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Old 12-01-2008, 18:41   #16
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Funny thing that thought had occured to me earlier. I don't even know if this thing works. I don't know the guy I bought it from. Though I talked to Winslow and they assured me it was one of their's but . . . On the other hand I've done plenty of costal trips with no liferaft at all though not the north coast.

I'm leaning toward having it serviced. Maybe I just won't have the survival gear and rations serviced till we head into Mexico.

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Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 29-05-2008, 03:06   #17
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Keeping the life in your life raft ~ by Jen Brett (BWS, May/08)
“Proper maintenance can ensure that you have something to “step up” into...”
Goto: Blue Water Sailing Magazine | Articles | Keeping the life in your life raft

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Old 02-05-2009, 08:41   #18
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SoCal Winslow Repacking Issue

I have a 2002 Winslow 8 man raft in a hard pack that I purchased new in 2002. Way overdue for repacking so I brought it to a local repacking place in Southern California that was on Winslow's website as approved/certified repacker. I was gearing up my 38 foot sailboat for my 5th Newport to Ensenada race. I asked the guy how much it would cost and he told me it starts around $500 and goes up from there depending on what it needs. I brought the raft to his shop and looked around and saw 8-10 of deployed liferafts and a few people working one them. I then asked if I could watch them deploy mine to video the process. He refused and told me he couldn't get to it until the following week. He promised to take some pictures of it deployed. Seemed reasonable at the time. A week later I call to check on the status of my liferaft and was told it was all repacked and I need to pay $1638 to get my raft back. I was surprised to say the least (my wife went ape-sh$t). So I picked it up and was given a clear plastic bag of supplies for a ditchbag that included water, food rations, flares, sun screen, flashlights etc. No photos as previously promised. Then I raced to Ensenada and at the end received a random safety inspection by the NOSA race committee. Thats when I broke out my ditchbag and was embarrased to find out that EVERY SINGLE THING in the bag was expired. The real sticking point was the flares were expired for 2 years. My exhausted crew was justifiably angry with me for failing to check on this critical detail prior to the race.

My question is: What should I do next?

1. Report this place to Winslow?
2. Ask for some $$ back?
3. Ask for a complete repacking as now I dont trust anything regarding this repacking?
4. Get a lawyer involved if they refuse #3?
5. Small claims court if they refuse #3?
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Old 02-05-2009, 14:58   #19

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Report it to Winslow AND THE USCG. Dunno what your local consumer protection laws are, but you might want to look into whether the shop would also have been required to give you an estimate (or did you sign a blank work order?) and then if they are required to stay within a set percent of the estimate. Not to mention, possibilities of fraud, consequential damages, reckless endangerment, from packing the ditch bag with expired goods contrary to USCG regulations.

Between the USCG and the state/federal authorities (i.e. AG's offices) you may be able to raise holy hell without hiring anyone privately. Of course, the shop may also be old hands at this who know how to delay the prosecution and go out of business without repaying anyone for anything.

I'd also contact BOAT-US, they might be able to get involved or suggest a course of action since any "industry" problem affects their membership, too.

If the shop wants to settle--I wouldn't accept anything less than a complete refund (since the repack cannot be trusted and will have to be redone) AND repayment of anyuthing you lost by being DSQ'ed from that racing event. (I assume you wre DSQ'd for not having the right equipment?)
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Old 02-05-2009, 17:22   #20
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Dear Hellosailor,

Brilliant. This is just the kind of advice I needed. Would never have thought to involve the USCG or BOAT-US. Thanks so much for the quick reply. I will provide an update under this thread.
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Old 02-05-2009, 21:18   #21

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"update" Please do! Good hunting.
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Old 04-05-2009, 14:39   #22
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Well I'm glad I called them directly before calling anyone else. The guy explained to me the material in the clear plastic bag was all my OLD stuff that was inside the pack that needed replacing. The new stuff is all within the repacked raft. Its hard to imagine it all fitting in there but I guess thats what happens when you vacuum pack these things. I also found another packet of paperwork I originally misplaced and it had the photos of my raft all blown up with my vessel's name stenciled on it. So its all good as far as I can tell. Expensive but...

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