Full scale onshore testing of free-fall lifeboats and davits

VIKING uses a test tower facility to perform onshore full scale testing of free-fall lifeboats, as required by DNVGL-ST-E406. This avoids the complexity and risk of testing from offshore installations. And the approach is recognised by classification societies and national authorities.

Freefall lifeboat testing

Onshore testing without disruption to offshore activities

The onshore tower facility is increasingly engaged by construction yards who wish to receive fully tested equipment, ready to be installed on the platform or vessel.

To avoid disruption to offshore activities, an extra boat can be supplied and used in place of the existing boats, while they are brought onshore for full scale testing by VIKING Norsafe. Regulators are also insisting that the periodic free-fall testing is completed, so there is a trend for operators to use "rotation boats".

Offshore Standard DNV-OS-E406

April 2010 - Section 9-D. Full Scale Acceptance Testing

101 Acceptance testing shall be carried out for each manufactured lifeboat.The main purposes of the acceptance testing are:
  • To document that the actual lifeboat does not have any structural deficiencies which could be detrimental in a real launch situation.
  • To test that the release system installed on the host platforms are functioning properly.
  • To ensure that all systems within the lifeboat are functioning properly.
102 For full scale acceptance tests a minimum of one drop test per lifeboat shall be carried out. The loading condition shall be 100%.103 For the acceptance testing, the launch height shall be the same as the launch height that applies when the lifeboat is launched from its permanent position in the lifeboat station.
105 If full scale testing on site in considered unsafe, difficult or impractical, full scale tests can alternatively be executed inshore. Two types of test sites may be considered for such inshore testing:
  • Inshore, in protected (calm) waters
  • Coastal location where tests may be executed with exposure to higher waves
201 The level of instrumentation for acceptance testing may be limited to registration of accelerations during the launch and water entry. However, it is recommended also to monitor the deformations of the canopy and the hull. Find full Offshore Standard DNV-OS-E406 here.


Norsafe cantilever load test

Onshore load testing of cantilever davits

The onshore test facilities are also equipped to test davit systems.

VIKING is able to fully test cantilever davit systems to NORSOK R-002 requirements, allowing straightforward installation afterward.

Browse related articles