Design against impact loads (slamming) can be challenging and time consuming and can involve complex calculations. Application of simplified, quasi-static calculation approaches will make the design process much easier. In this paper, such simplified methods are discussed using free fall lifeboats as a case. Results from non-linear FE-analysis show that the response is non-linear due to large deformations. The impact pressure is then mainly carried by membrane stress and the dynamic response is small. A non-linear beam theory approach for hand calculation is established. As the non-linear calculation model is the most realistic, it is recommended that this is used in an initial design assessment. Although the results are on the conservative side, simple hand calculations including non-linear geometry can be used to predict the maximum strain. Linear methods are also investigated. However, these methods should be used with more rigid structures such as stiffened steel and aluminium panels.

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