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Old 03-01-2012, 16:16   #1
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Life Raft Shipping

Need to ship a Winslow 6 person SLOR in canister. Sure would be simpler and cheaper if the CO2 canister was not charged. It needs to be repacked/serviced anyway.

My question: is it reasonable to remove and discharge the cylinder or would I be better of just yanking the cord and inflating the thing and doing a temporary re-pack (just for shipping purposes)?

Anyone have hands-on experience with removing and discharging the cylinder?

Thanks.
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Old 12-02-2012, 16:53   #2
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Re: Life Raft Shipping

To answer my own question for the future reference of others: It's easy.

A friend of mine in Florida discharged the cylinder for me (I'm not there). Magically this makes liferaft shipping much easier and cheaper.
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Old 12-02-2012, 17:06   #3
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Re: Life Raft Shipping

Our new liferaft inflated in transit from the supplier. They repacked the semi-inflated liferaft and all of the survival bits in a refrigerator box and finished shipping it to us. Duh!!
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Old 12-02-2012, 17:11   #4
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Re: Life Raft Shipping

Are you talking about shipping by air or truck? Does UPS or common carrier care about the CO2 canister? We plan to drive ours to the re-packer to see it blow and to familiarize ourselves with it. (old equipment on our used boat)
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Old 13-02-2012, 18:13   #5
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Re: Life Raft Shipping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
Are you talking about shipping by air or truck? Does UPS or common carrier care about the CO2 canister? We plan to drive ours to the re-packer to see it blow and to familiarize ourselves with it. (old equipment on our used boat)
Several different shipping services I contacted in FL (including UPS) had issues with the pressurized CO2 tank or at least wanted to treat it as HAZMAT shipping. This was just for ground shipping across FL to Miami. With the tank depressurized they took it just like a regular package shipment.

This little boondoggle started when a friend sailing from Belize back to FL borrowed my liferaft. The idea was that he would use it for the trip and then drop it off to serviced. This was before I checked Winslow's price for servicing -- about 50% of the original cost of the raft!

At that rate, I decided to ship it back and do it myself. I think this is a better approach anyway because you have the chance to get hands-on familiarity with the raft.
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Old 24-04-2012, 13:30   #6
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Re: Life Raft Shipping

The compressed gas cylinder is not the only item in a life raft that is considered hazardous materials (dangerous goods). Flares, repair kit cement and lithium batteries used for the lighting also fall into this classification.

Some manufacturers have a policy of not repacking a life raft that has been used. If someone sent a raft in to my shop that had an empty cylinder this would be a red flag and I would need to find out why the cylinder was empty prior to servicing.

Contact the service station you are going to be using prior to opening the raft up. They might be able to save you money.
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