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Old 14-10-2008, 15:45   #16
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Regarding Talbot's bad advice comment. I do not treat my raft with contempt nor do I give bad advice. I reported what professional re-packers at two different companies have told me regarding most modern, cannister packed rafts. The manufacturer will tell you what they recommend for the particular raft in question. It is also well known that manufacturers are purposefully extremely conservative for reasons of liability. It is the batteries and flares that become outdated first. No need to repack the raft just for those items on an annual basis as I stated in my first post. A ditch bag can be refreshed for those items. Perhaps in Europe life rafts are required and if so then it follows that various countries could require a raft be certified according to a manufacturers recommendations. I do not know the European situation and will defer. In the USA or in international waters they are not required on not-for-hire pleasure craft. Consequently, if they are not required then it is up to the owner of the boat to follow or not to follow those recommendations. Different people have different tolerances for risk. But sticking strickly to the first question in this thread. A modified dinghy is a poor subsitute for a liferaft when a liferaft is truly needed. For reasons of economy the advice given for leasing a raft makes good sense. You also use to be able to rent EPIRBs for a passage. I believe that BOAT US used to offer that service.
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Old 14-10-2008, 15:50   #17
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Hi Talbot,
Modern valise rafts are also vacuum packed but 100% agree on need to check each three years.
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Old 14-10-2008, 17:12   #18
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Quote:
It is also well known that manufacturers are purposefully extremely conservative for reasons of liability.
If they are worried about liability it seems prudent to worry about your life as much. They only are losing money. I think my life is worth more than their money. I would even say your life is worth more than their money.
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Old 14-10-2008, 19:53   #19
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If they need to be workiing every three years they have what a 150% fudge factor engineered in so they would probably work after five years. Divide that by the chance of using the life raft at all and the solution will give you an answer as to whether or not you are comfortable with not having the raft recerted every few years
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Old 26-10-2008, 20:47   #20
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[quote=Cheechako;213787]The raft needs certified every year or so to be reliable.

Some how I question the once a year stratagy.
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Old 26-10-2008, 21:40   #21
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"The raft needs certified every year or so to be reliable."
One might suggest that is Orwellian Doublespeak created by the industry.

Rather, let us say the existing rafts are all so UNRELIABLE that they need to be checked annually to see how many repairs they already need after one year in the can.

The whole concept of recreational life rafts badly needs to be re-examined from scratch, and something more suitable cobbled up to replace what's out there.

Something like the Ansari-X prize, or the prize given for the first chronometer...there's a world full of engineering students whole would love a host at something like that. The only question is, who to sponsor it.

Right now the best addition you could make to a ditch bag would be a couple of rolls of gaffers tape (not duct tape), some Bostik adhesive, some urethane adhesive, some clamp plugs, and perhaps a coupe of cans of self-expanding urethane foam, which would certainly fill and seal a leaking tube, especially a wet one.

Hardly reliable to start with.
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Old 27-10-2008, 04:45   #22
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Raft needs to be certified every year
That depends on the raft. Most new designs (for the past decade) have been vacuum packed and then installed in the cannister or valise. Testing is required by the manufacturer to ensure that the raft will still deploy through the vacuum packing before they are able to sell.

The advantage of this is that the raft only needs to be checked every 3 years therafter, which coincides with the date for replacement of most of the extra bits like flares, water, medicines etc.

DOH seem to have posted this before.
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Old 27-10-2008, 11:05   #23
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I've often wondered if a raft is really better than a good inflatable with a small sea drogue. Not proposing that it necessarily is, but is it possilbe. Latest case in point is the fishing boat last week that sank in the bering sea. I believe 5 people were in the raft in gale conditions. After being tumbled a few times two of the five were lost as they were unable to get back into the raft. I believe they said seas were in the 15-25 foot range. They weren't in the raft long before rescue arrived. A raft doesnt plane very well... just tumbles. Maybe we need a steerable "dingy" with cover? or a drogue...
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Old 27-10-2008, 14:49   #24
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Rafts can be "better" when the correct choices are made about them. First, the raft needs to be sized properly. Four men in a ten-man raft are going to get thrown around, that's useless. Then there is the matter of how well the water pockets (I can't see calling them "ballast" when they are just full of water) work, some have worked very well others have been panned by testers.

Then there are other questions, like whether the folks who got thrown out were secured into the raft, or the raft secured closed. Heck, half of the dead men the USCG recovers annually are found with their flies open. The only reason they fell overboard and drowned was because they went to the rail to take a leak!

A properly ballasted, selected, designed, and loaded life raft will endure the worst storm conditions better than any "dink". You may feel like you've just gone bowling whilst INSIDE THE BOWLING BALL...but comfort is not always the prime factor in life raft design.[g]
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Old 27-10-2008, 15:17   #25
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about as good as using a wheelbarrow as a rescue helicopter...
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Old 27-10-2008, 15:36   #26
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Heck, half of the dead men the USCG recovers annually are found with their flies open. The only reason they fell overboard and drowned was because they went to the rail to take a leak!
[g]
Is this fact or speculation?

Would make an interesting subject for a show on the Discovery Channel....

'12 most amazing ways to die when you are not expecting to"
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Old 27-10-2008, 17:30   #27
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Is this fact or speculation?

Would make an interesting subject for a show on the Discovery Channel....

'12 most amazing ways to die when you are not expecting to"
I believe that high on the list for older fella's dying alone is sitting on the toilet (exertion ) and practicing being a solo sailor
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