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  • Ocean Safety develops world’s first SOLAS Ocean Ultralite liferaft for Volvo fleet

Ocean Safety, part of the 3Si Safety Group, is continuing to lead the way in marine safety innovation with the launch of their new, lightweight SOLAS liferaft.

Thanks to the unparalleled innovation of Ocean Safety, seven of the eight yachts competing in the forthcoming Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) will battle it out in this week’s RORC Rolex Fastnet Race, whilst carrying a lot less weight on the transom than ever before.  

The new Ocean Ultralite SOLAS compact liferaft is a totally new concept derived from Ocean Safety’s original space-saving Ocean compact liferaft. It uses carbon composite technology to achieve a significant 23% weight saving, a vital boost in the search for speed. Certified to SOLAS standards, the Ocean SOLAS Ultralite is a great example of product innovation and development, which is the result of a close technical partnership between VOR organisers and Ocean Safety.

"Weight saving in ocean racing is the holy grail" Ocean Safety's General Manager, Alistair Hacket.

Ocean Compact Ultralite

So how much is 23%? Well, it amounts to a huge 23kg or, to put that into perspective, the same as 7360 tea bags, 230 blueberry muffins, 8519 table tennis balls, or 153 bananas! That's a lot of saved weight in a world where weight really can make the difference between winning and losing. 

Alistair Hackett of Ocean Safety explains “We seized an opportunity to work with the VOR team to find a solution that would reduce the weight of the 12 person liferafts to enhance performance, while conforming to international SOLAS standards. The key areas of development were the inflation system, pack contents and the construction of the canister. Despite the weight reduction, the liferaft containers are still incredibly robust to withstand the harsh environments that they will endure on the open ocean.”

Each Volvo 65 yacht will carry two 12-person Ocean SOLAS Ultralites, not just on the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race, but around the globe when the fleet cross the start line in Alicante in October 2017. That means each boat will be saving a total of 46kg compared to previous races. 

Keep up with everything Volvo Ocean Race related at

 Volvo Ocean Race

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