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VIKING changes the shape of the lifeboat market

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MINNESOTA (US) : VIKING Life-Saving Equipment, a global leader in maritime safety solutions, is launching an innovative range of lifeboats and davits which set new standards for compact and lightweight lifeboat-based evacuation solutions. By challenging traditional lifeboat design, the 40- and 52-person VIKING Norsafe Totally Enclosed Lifeboats (TELB) respond to a rising tide of industry demand for space- and weight-saving boats for typical crew capacities.

Major shipbuilding clients have requested alternative concepts for vessel types – especially for Offshore Service Operation vessels (SOV) – where onboard space is at a premium and space for the lifeboat and davit installation must be optimised. VIKING’s response is the ‘VNJY’ range of lifeboats, which feature a minimal deck footprint, while optimizing capacity and serviceability. In addition, the VNJY features a shorter and wider hull than usual and incorporates an innovative forward steering position that allows for additional space on board.

Using significantly less materials in manufacturing, the new VNJY lifeboats also deliver lower height and weight (up to 400 kg lighter) and are designed to achieve a reduced carbon footprint compared to previous models. The lower weight also reduces loads and the required capacities for the gravity- or hydraulic-powered davits used to launch and recover lifeboats.
The design is certified by DNV to meet SOLAS and LSA requirements. First deliveries, due in Second Quarter 2024, will feature on vessels whose flag states require EU Marine Equipment Directive verification or USCG certification. On the logistics side, two VNJY lifeboats can be shipped on a single 40 ft flat rack, benefiting convenience for VIKING’s global customer base.
“VIKING Norsafe lifeboats are built to last, which is one reason we have taken so much care over what is truly a step change for lifeboat design after over 20 years of continuous orders for our popular JYN range,” says Thomas Thompson, VIKING Technical Director, Boats & Davits. “Some customers will continue to prefer designs that have served them so well, but VNJY lifeboats offer the space-saving, lightweight solution others have been hoping for. Operators will also appreciate the way the steering position improves visibility, and the stability gains brought by extra width.”
Manufactured in a modular design, the VNJY is easy to adapt to new sizes and requires reduced maintenance efforts. Serviceability has been further enhanced by the smart placement of engines and the hydrostatic release for on-load release hooks. For boats installed where hydrocarbons are present and fire protection is necessary, the new range will come complete with a compressed air system and external seawater deluge.
“The extensive work VIKING has completed to optimise the new lifeboat range is based on the years of experience available to our team of naval architects and boat-builders, from preliminary design to full prototype testing,” Thompson concludes.

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