Enclosed Lifeboats Serve As Escape Craft For Offshore Oil Platforms
Watercraft America, Inc., located in Edgewater, Fla., is designing and building ad- vanced lifeboats and launch systems for installation on offshore drilling and production platforms and ships. Called the Watercraft Survival System, it includes a series of lifeboats, winches, and davits that enable personnel to evacuate quickly and safely in emergencies caused by spills, fire, or gases.
The totally enclosed survival craft are installed on offshore platforms, oil tankers, and cargo ships.
The Watercraft boats feature automatic self-righting in case the vessel should capsize ; an external water spray system for use while maneuvering through fire; a compressed air system for personnel and engine for use in fire or toxic gas areas; and a full array of emergency equipment.
The craft are available in four sizes ranging from 21 feet long with capacity for 23 people to 28 feet long with capacity for 58 people. During production, each craft is care- fully tested for performance and reliability, with inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard.
A primary component in the hull and cover of the Watercraft boats is Dion FR® polyester resin supplied by Koppers Company.
Dion FR 6692T resin has flame-retardant properties that meet the stringent requirements of the Navy and Coast Guard specifications Mil-R-21607, Grades 1 and 2.
For the boat hulls and domes, the laminate construction consists of a 20-mil minmum international orange gel coat backed with 70-percent resin/30-percent chopped glass skin coat. The structural layer behind the skin coat is made from chopped glass up to ys-inch thickness. The process used to fabricate the structure employs the sprayup technique.
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