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Old 17-03-2019, 13:39   #1
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Beneteau Oceanis 45 Liferaft Mounting

I am currently involved in a refit aboard a 2014 Beneteau Oceanis 45 that is used for open ocean/passagemaking cruising and have run into the problem of where to mount a canister housed Liferaft on this boat.

In keeping with the easiest deployment location advised by many cruisers, I would like to have it mounted on the stern pushpit rail. Here, someone of lesser strength can deploy the raft with the pull of a single pin. Quick and Easy.
However, Due to the small size of the Beneteau Pushpits on this model, mounting the rack that holds the liferaft could become a problem due to strength of the pushpits and small size of same, especially in a rough or following sea.

Another alternative I have considered is mounting the rack up on the sprayhood behind the mast where it can hinder forward vision and increase time/effort at deployment quickly. Forward of the mast also introduces the same problems. The boatowner couple are in their mid 60's and healthy but not weight lifters.

There is a dedicated Liferaft storage Location under the rear seat of the cockpit that is handy for using, but in Beneteau's wisdom, allowing for the "wow" factor of an electrically operated rear swim platform, I am hesitant to use this location for fear of losing electrical power under the conditions that might warrant the use of the raft. Rendering it unusable. Stowage here would also dictate Brand/Model selection due to being a smallish area. A case of the tail wagging the dog.

There is one other possibility.
The boat is equipped with a quite substantial custom aftermarket aluminum tubed rear arch where with the dingy is launched and retrieved. It also supports 3, 42 inch framed solar panels on top. A nice setup and very strong.
I am considering mounting the liferaft "cage" under the bottom side of the arch much like a drawer is mounted to the underside of a table. Here, it would be easier to deploy than a deck mounted location but would place some weight higher on the boat which I do not want to do.

The liferaft the owner is considering is a Viking RescYou Pro 4.
Placing the liferaft down below or in a locker is not an option, hence the necessity of using a canister.

If anyone out there has experience with this model boat or has a suggestion that might be workable concerning the above, or even advice on this liferaft, I would certainly appreciate any help given.
All options are still on the table except the two mentioned above concerning mounting down below or in a locker.
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Old 17-03-2019, 15:03   #2
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Re: Beneteau Oceanis 45 Liferaft Mounting

I think you are right to be concerned about mounting it attached to the rails. I have seen too many pictures of rails missing after a knockdown or dismasting. Of the positions you described, I'd go for in front of the dodger mounted to the solid deck, not the hatch turtle.
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Old 17-03-2019, 17:09   #3
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Re: Beneteau Oceanis 45 Liferaft Mounting

The French government mandates a life raft compartment in the cockpit, it is not just B's thinking. And that's not all madness, because a life raft on the cabin top, or mounted outboard of the rails, is certainly more likely to be torn away shortly before you need it. Plenty of folks have reported loosing them in storms.

Personally? I'd stop by the Beneteau plant (G) unannounced and ask them what the correct procedure is, because there MUST be a way to ensure you can get that life raft out of the compartment, even with all power dead on the boat. Might need a crowbar or might be a "secret" handle on the boat, the same way that some folks throw out emergency tillers because "What's that thing?" went unanswered.

I'd find a way to make that compartment work, if AT ALL possible. Even if it meant explosive bolts to clear things out of the way. (Don't laugh, Mercedes uses them to detach gull-wing doors after an overturn, and Porsche uses them to deploy head guards before an overturn!)
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Old 17-03-2019, 17:14   #4
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Re: Beneteau Oceanis 45 Liferaft Mounting

+1 to this. I cannot believe that beneteau created a liferaft locker that was inaccessible in a power failure. There must be a trick.
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Old 17-03-2019, 22:37   #5
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Re: Beneteau Oceanis 45 Liferaft Mounting

Great information so far and I appreciate the effort to help.

The rear transom "door" is hydraulically operated from an electrically powered pump.
Prior questioning from the Beneteau Owners Group suggest that the door can only be operated by use of the electrical control. However, there is a manual locking mechanism that must be disengaged before the hydraulics will successfully move the door to the open position.

I do know that in case of hydraulic or pump failure upon CLOSING the door would require partial disassembly of the hydraulic ram mechanism. I can only assume at this time that this would also be the case when trying to OPEN the door manually after the manual safety lock is tripped.

The above statement requires more verification on my part and is certainly something I will look into right away and report back.

I kinda like the idea of explosive bolts! Although in this case it may take a little more C4 than I presently have on hand. <grin>.

I've been doing quite a bit of research on this. Unbelievably, after consulting most every photo of an Oceanis 45 in Google Images, there was not one picture of this model with a liferaft mounted anywhere except on the pushpit. And even then, it was only 2 or 3 shots out of hundreds. Hopefully, I can find someone out there that is cruising this model and have faced this challenge.

Marketing photos/Brochures and Materials seldom display such equipment. I suppose, especially for Beneteau, that doing so is just not sexy enough. (Plenty of ladies in Bikinis however)

I discovered today that Beneteau is one of the more popular brands sailed by owners in the well-known ARC Races. The Brand made up the majority of the recent Carribbean 1500 and Gran Canaria to St. Lucia race. Therein may lie the answer to this $6400 question. Since this level of safety equipment is required by ARC rules, I will try and find a past participant and pick his/her brain. Maybe Noonsite can help in that respect.

The suggestion to contact the people in Marion SC is a good one and something else I plan to do as a result of your help. Dropping in on them would not be that difficult as I don't reside too far away.

Going to the cabintop is looking more and more real. But handling that raft over the handrail is not something I want these folks to be faced with in "sporty" conditions.

I'll get on these above points and see where it leads. Thank you all again for your wise advice. As said above, I'll report back my findings.
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Old 17-03-2019, 23:37   #6
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Re: Beneteau Oceanis 45 Liferaft Mounting

I agree that the pushpit is not a good idea, but you say there's a substantial arch. Can you mount it where the pushpit meets the arch support? Attached to both its likely to be safe, but I personally dislike anything fixed in places like this for both Wingate and aesthetics.
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Old 18-03-2019, 04:12   #7
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Re: Beneteau Oceanis 45 Liferaft Mounting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailstrong View Post
Great information so far and I appreciate the effort to help.

The rear transom "door" is hydraulically operated from an electrically powered pump.
Prior questioning from the Beneteau Owners Group suggest that the door can only be operated by use of the electrical control. However, there is a manual locking mechanism that must be disengaged before the hydraulics will successfully move the door to the open position.

I do know that in case of hydraulic or pump failure upon CLOSING the door would require partial disassembly of the hydraulic ram mechanism. I can only assume at this time that this would also be the case when trying to OPEN the door manually after the manual safety lock is tripped.

The above statement requires more verification on my part and is certainly something I will look into right away and report back.

I kinda like the idea of explosive bolts! Although in this case it may take a little more C4 than I presently have on hand. <grin>.

I've been doing quite a bit of research on this. Unbelievably, after consulting most every photo of an Oceanis 45 in Google Images, there was not one picture of this model with a liferaft mounted anywhere except on the pushpit. And even then, it was only 2 or 3 shots out of hundreds. Hopefully, I can find someone out there that is cruising this model and have faced this challenge.

Marketing photos/Brochures and Materials seldom display such equipment. I suppose, especially for Beneteau, that doing so is just not sexy enough. (Plenty of ladies in Bikinis however)

I discovered today that Beneteau is one of the more popular brands sailed by owners in the well-known ARC Races. The Brand made up the majority of the recent Carribbean 1500 and Gran Canaria to St. Lucia race. Therein may lie the answer to this $6400 question. Since this level of safety equipment is required by ARC rules, I will try and find a past participant and pick his/her brain. Maybe Noonsite can help in that respect.

The suggestion to contact the people in Marion SC is a good one and something else I plan to do as a result of your help. Dropping in on them would not be that difficult as I don't reside too far away.

Going to the cabintop is looking more and more real. But handling that raft over the handrail is not something I want these folks to be faced with in "sporty" conditions.

I'll get on these above points and see where it leads. Thank you all again for your wise advice. As said above, I'll report back my findings.
Isn't it lifeline wire, not a rail at this point? You can add a pelican hook gate to the lifeline here to make launching easier.
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Old 18-03-2019, 12:08   #8
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Re: Beneteau Oceanis 45 Liferaft Mounting

Sailstrong-
No no! No C4 for this, you just needs to wrap primer cord around the hatch and the mechanism. Then wire it up to a covered safety switch on the breaker panel.(G)
Actually, knowing the French passion for bureaucracy? It wouldn't surprise me if they mandated the existence of the storage locker, and then (just like our own Congress) forgot to mandate accessibility to it. Or...
"To remove life raft, invert vessel and shake well."

The laws of unintended consequences apply across all national borders.
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Old 18-03-2019, 15:35   #9
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Re: Beneteau Oceanis 45 Liferaft Mounting

You might visit the beneteau groups on Yahoo groups. The 423 and 473 are not much different than your boat. We use a valise style input 423 stores in a cockpit locker. It does not meet some of your criteria but believe it will work for us.
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