I find your attitude to your own life surprising. A half decent liferaft can be had for £400, why not have both?
A few simple facts, a liferaft is,
1. Highly visable, usualy in a bright colour and anyone seeing one will either report it or go to it to investigate. A tender
is usualy grey or similar and is much lower in the water
. Hard to spot at sea.
2. A liferaft is ready to go. Release the strap, pull the cord and it's there for you. A tender
is more likely to be straped to the deck
, on davits
etc. and most cruisers will have the outboard
mounted seperately on a rail etc. If you NEED to abondon ship, have you got time to release it and then faf about getting the motor
mounted as your own vessel goes down?
3. A decent liferaft will have some sort of survival pack on board, with rations, water
, even flares. We all keep those in our tender dont we?
4. A liferaft will give you protection from the elliments, either the cold or the sun, etc.
Those are just four reasons off the top of my head
and i'm sure there must be more. The pic above does show an alternative but you'd still have to set it up in a potentially rough sea and that would be tricky or damn right dangerous at best.
If you only ever go 1 mile off shore then I can understand the question but even then, the sight of land can be false security
. It's all too easy to be carried away from shore in a sailing dink, VERY east to get one flipped over and a tender with an outboard
(assuming youd had time to salvage
it from your sinking mothership) can break down or run out of gas fighting a current
resulting in the same effect.
So, launch liferaft, then see if you can release dingy safely. Then, once away from what ever disaster has befallen you, the option of using both is there, the dingy for locomotion and the raft for shelter and visability. There was a film I saw recently based on a true story, where a family
was sunk by hitting some whales in the Pacific. They managed to get both free and used the sailing dink as a 'tug' to tow them into the shipping
lanes while they sheltered from the weather
in the raft. They were eventually picked up by a passing cargo ship.
My own opinion is that if youre planning on doing any kind of decent sailing and cant afford to get a liferaft, then you cant afford to go sailing, period.