The ISO 9650 standard for liferafts

Since March 2005, the international standard ISO 9650 for liferafts on sailboats and motorboats is in force. This standard is to define the scope of the equipment and the technical specifications of the liferaft and its materials.


The ISO 9650 is divided into three parts:


ISO 9650-1 (Part 1): liferafts for ocean navigation

ISO 9650-2 (Part 2): liferaft for coastal navigation

ISO 9650-3 (Part 3): Material requirements for Life Rafts


1. ISO 9650-1:

Sets out requirements for life rafts for long trips, where strong winds and high waves are possible (except for unusual weather conditions such as hurricanes).

It is divided, depending on the temperature conditions of the travel zone in the classes A and B:


  • Class A: liferafts which inflate at a temperature of -15 ° C to + 65 ° C and which are equipped with an insulated double bottom.

  • Class B: liferafts which inflate at a temperature between 0 ° C and  + 65 ° C and are equipped with a single bottom.


Depending on the duration, which the victims are expected to spend up to their rescue, there are 2 different emergency equipments available for the liferaft:

Pack 1 (> 24 hrs.): If your expected rescue after more than 24 hours.

Pack 2 (< 24 hrs.): If your expected rescue within 24 hours.


To save space, a part of the emergency from Pack 1 is stowed in a separate grave Bag, which must contain a detailed table of contents.


2. ISO 9650-2:

Sets out requirements for liferafts designed for navigation in coastal waters, large bays, estuaries, lakes and rivers where one can encounter moderate wheather  conditions. These liferafts are designed to inflate at temperatures between 0 ° C and + 65 ° C and are equipped only with a single bottom and a standard emergency equipment.


3. ISO 9650-3:

Sets out requirements for the material used for the manufacture of liferafts. It is prescribes a variety of tests which must be passed for each component of the liferaft before the liferaft gets the ISO certificate.