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Old 17-02-2016, 08:17   #16
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Re: Life Raft Questions

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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
For the sake of the exercise, you might simply inflate the Seago somewhere that it will not be damaged by doing so and inspect the raft yourself. You can examine the seams easily enough yourself (at least superficially) and, by leaving it inflated over night, see whether it continues to hold air. (If you don't have a pressure gauge, you can get an approximate measure by standing a measuring rule on one of the tubes and dropping a coin from the top of the rule on the tube, noting how high the coin rebounds. The rebound should be about the same from one day to the next.) If the raft seems to be serviceable to you, you could then take it to the service center where the service agents can re-inflate it, make a thorough technical inspection and, if the raft passes, repack the raft. If not, at least you could recover some or all of the supplies before the raft is discarded. For my part, I suspect the raft will prove serviceable for at least one more sequence if it has been reasonably well cared for. If not, you will not have lost anything with the exercise, No?
Actually I think about using the old Seago in a "live fire" abandon ship exercise.

Has anyone on here ever actually deployed a life raft? I've heard people say that it is not what you would expect and that they desperately wished they had had some practice.

I would want to do in with wind and sea condition, after notifying the coast guard, and with another boat standing by. I think it would be immensely valuable.
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Old 17-02-2016, 08:19   #17
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Re: Life Raft Questions

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You mean like the ones wot he sells ....
LOL. He doesn't sell any life rafts at all; he only services them. He's the excellent guy at Universal Marina in the Hamble. He even advised me to bring my own rocket flares and emergency rations so that I wouldn't have to buy his expensive ones. I trust his advice.
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Old 17-02-2016, 08:21   #18
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Re: Life Raft Questions

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I see no Seago are including a 12 year warranty with their liferafts, so I guess they should now at least last that long.
Could be they've improved the construction methods.

They have always been top rated among budget rafts for design and construction, and they are very popular around here.
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Old 17-02-2016, 08:23   #19
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Re: Life Raft Questions

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ONly relevant if in 'Perfect Storm ' conditions, otherwise ( fire, collision damage sinking etc, extra wriggle room and room for some basic supplies could be useful, more so if an injured person was involved. When we had liferafts that side of the pond, we chose a 6 man cannister partly for that reason and partly becuase if we had more crew than our normal 2 who would we throw over and what if some jobsworth foreign official pointed out we had berths for a fullcrew of 10 but raft space only available for 4


BTW cannister rafts are not fully waterproof and have a drain hole that should be at the lowest point when stowed.


Edited to add:-




We had a very old Avon too many moons back but when it did finallydeteriorate it went very fast ( between annual services when the cannister brasscorroding had destroyed large bits of the fabric.
I find that argument pretty convincing.

Especially since my Avon is still worth some money. A new six man and sell the Avon would be the cheapest solution.
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Old 17-02-2016, 08:36   #20
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Re: Life Raft Questions

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Actually I think about using the old Seago in a "live fire" abandon ship exercise.

Has anyone on here ever actually deployed a life raft? I've heard people say that it is not what you would expect and that they desperately wished they had had some practice.

I would want to do in with wind and sea condition, after notifying the coast guard, and with another boat standing by. I think it would be immensely valuable.
We participated in some Life Raft exercises sponsored by the Winslow Life Raft company at our Club several years ago that included inflating a raft in the Club pool and having members (attempt) to enter the raft from the water and then see what it was like in the (4 man) raft when afloat (ignoring the missing action of wind and waves). Several things became quite clear, not the least being how difficult it was to simply get into the raft absent an inflatable boarding platform. If one was not in reasonably good shape, it was extremely difficult. Of course, participants did not have the adrenaline "rush" or strength that comes from a threating situation, nor, however, did they have the difficulties of wind and waves to say nothing of darkness, rain, et al to contend with. It was a worthwhile exercise. While we do carry a raft, we make it a point to avoid, to the maximum extent possible, ever having to use it!
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Old 26-02-2016, 05:47   #21
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Re: Life Raft Questions

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I find that argument pretty convincing.

Especially since my Avon is still worth some money. A new six man and sell the Avon would be the cheapest solution.
Have you made a decision on which way you will go?

After seeing how small a 4 person LR is inside, I'm starting to think that Robin3's comment makes enough sense to see me choosing a 6P.

I like the SEAGO ISO 9650-1 6 person in the bag as it weighs 35kg which should be manageable when kept in a shallow cockpit locker
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Old 26-02-2016, 12:27   #22
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Re: Life Raft Questions

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Have you made a decision on which way you will go?

After seeing how small a 4 person LR is inside, I'm starting to think that Robin3's comment makes enough sense to see me choosing a 6P.

I like the SEAGO ISO 9650-1 6 person in the bag as it weighs 35kg which should be manageable when kept in a shallow cockpit locker
I have a big advantage in that I have a special life raft locker in the after deck which would allow the raft to be simply dragged over the transom, no lifting required at all.

I think I'm going to go with the new 6 man, but not Seago. I'm shopping.
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Old 26-02-2016, 13:06   #23
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Re: Life Raft Questions

Dockhead,

When we serviced the (then) 12 year old Winslow 6 person offshore raft (valise) that came with our boat, I asked that commercial operator/business owner his best guess at longevity. He guessed one or two more repacks 3 years apart (Winslow is also vacuum packed.)

I also asked his recommendation for replacements when the time came. Without hesitation he suggested the Viking offshore models for price point and value for recreational vessels. (And no, he didn't sell them. He does sell Avon, Winslow, and the like.)

This company does commercial ships and airlines mostly, so when I pressed about Viking he cited their long-standing reputation In the commercial field.

Based upon this I took a close look at them at a boat show last year. I came away confirming they are well made and stout. If there was a downside, the tubes are unfinished black rubber, and smell like it. I suspect that would contribute to any discomfort while confined within...

But at about half the price of Avon or Winslow, they were no where near half the raft. (Unlike a Revere or similar which I consider 1/4th the raft...)

Therefore, Viking is still on my short list when the time comes. I look forward to learning more as this thread continues.

In case this is useful.

Cheers!

Bill


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