RFD Marin Ark has been the Marine Evacuation System (MES) of choice for cruise operators and large passenger vessels throughout the world since its inception in 1999. In fact Marin Ark accounts for the vast majority of marine evacuation systems on cruise ships today. To strengthen our range of marine evacuation products and to maintain our market leading position in this sector, our research and development team commenced work on designing a new solution which would meet the changing demands in cruise and large passenger vessel design.
Some of the issues leading to the development of the new generation Marin Ark 632
- The cruise industry is demanding bigger vessels, with increased passenger capacity, as their ability to increase capacity gives them greater earnings growth.
- Naval Architects and interior designers are demanding more revenue earning space, thus reducing the footprint available for lifesaving equipment. This has resulted in the deck space & side shell space allocated to MES being reduced, meaning there is now a drive for MES to be more compact.
- The post-panamax vessels have larger beams, greater passenger capacity and considerably greater tonnage but are not proportionally longer. This means the evacuation density (the number of passengers to evacuate per m length of side shell) has increased, in turn driving an emphasis on a more efficient use of space.
- Owners are expecting more cost effective through life costs, creating a focus on reduced servicing costs
Why did we need a new Marin-Ark 632P MES Mk 2?
Cruise and Ferry passenger vessels are becoming larger
- In terms of passenger capacity;
- In terms of height;
- In terms of beam;
- In terms of tonnage,
- But not in terms of length, which in turn is driving the evacuation density up, meaning more effective use of side shell by the LSA.
- Customers are focusing on cost of ownership, scrutinising servicing costs in particular.
Key Requirements for the new system
- More efficient and effective in all conditions
- Provide higher evacuation density
- Maintain its unique appearance and performance differentiators
- Continually improved reliability
- Maintain its simple crew operation philosophy.
Key factors during development
As market leaders in MES technology, and with a drive to be at the forefront of all new survival technology, RFD wanted to find the best solution to meet the new demands of cruise and ferry customers.
Some of the considerations when developing the new product were as follows;
- The system should require a reduced side shell footprint;
- Meet all IMO LSA requirements for passenger vessels. A faster evacuation of a greater number of passengers within the time allowed in IMO/SOLAS guidelines, and
- The system should enable a successful deployment and evacuation under more difficult list and trim conditions.
After 18 months of planning, innovating design and testing, the new generation Marin Ark 632 has made significant technological advances to maintain its market position as the benchmark for all suppliers of MES. We worked closely with some of the key shipyards and shipowners to introduce a new system which sets a new industry standard.
Some of the key benefits of the new system are;
- A completely new designed liferaft which will be easier to service, therefore reducing servicing costs to the shipowner
- A completely new helical evacuation chute which offers a safer, gradual, controlled decent to the liferafts. The new chute also allows for crew acsent, where necessary
- A completely new fully reversible liferaft, increase in MES capacity, requiring less liferafts and reducing operating costs.
- A completely new launching stowage making for faster & easier installation and extraction from the ship. A stowage service winch to install and extract our system. This reduces dependency on shipyard/dry dock/dock craneage which otherwise is a major logistical problem for the shipowner in terms of costs and time;
- A more service friendly MES which will result in reduced servicing costs, quicker turnaround and lower logistic costs for the shipowner;
- A more comprehensive list of technical benefits and features is incorporated into the technical section.
- Reduced hot works, shell details and faster installation, reducing costs to the builder.
We believe that the new generation Marin Ark 632 will be the new system of choice for cruise and ferry operators alike. It has already been selected by several yards for their current list of new builds and it has been well received by experts in the industry.
In addition the US Navy has also selected the new system for two vessels – this is new territory for the Navy, who chose Marin Ark after a comprehensive market study of all available marine evacuation systems.
For more RFD Marin Ark developments watch this space!