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Old 25-01-2013, 22:41   #1
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Liferaft expiry date?

My off date is fast approaching, my funds even quicker eroding so I am looking for that special deal.

So I find a L-raft from a major producer going cheap, from a dealer!

made in 2007. Never owned.

Manufacturer(Zodiac) says 12 life span. My question was from construction or from Sale?

Dealer says from sale, web says from construction?

Now how about flairs? They will be 4 years out of date already and 7 by the time I need to have the raft serviced?

What do you think? Know even better:-)

Great deal or run away?
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Old 25-01-2013, 23:15   #2
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Re: Liferaft expiry date?

Depends on the deal you are getting. The raft is 6 years old, and shouldn't be used without a major service, which should cost about $800-$1000 for a 4-6 man raft. The condition of the raft depends on where it has been stored (hopefully indoors in a controlled climate), but figure that 15-20 years after manufacture you would throw the raft away. You should be paying less than 40% of the price of a new raft.
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Old 25-01-2013, 23:34   #3
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Re: Liferaft expiry date?

Zodiac Offshore. $1500 never left the store. Vacuum packed? Same price for canister 4 or 6 man.
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Old 26-01-2013, 10:01   #4
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Re: Liferaft expiry date?

NP, Zodiac condemns life rafts once they are ten years old. Zodiac-US says this is by order of Zodiac by requirement of the French government. Once it gets 10 years old, their glued seams get unreliable and they will not repack or reinspect under any terms, not even if you offer them a written waiver. That's supposed to be binding on any authorized Zodiac dealer, worldwide.

So is your raft any good? You will have to replace all dated safety equipment, like the flares. You should not trust the raft without a test, which means a repack. And once you add the cost of one repack to the cost of the raft--that's it, maybe once more in 2016 or 2017 but you won't be able to do it again once the raft hits 10 years. You can DIY if you trust the raft, but since the maker says they become unreliable, you really need to consider your "purchase" as a rental or lease, and when the raft hits ten, your entire investment is gone.

Bargain? Dunno, pro-rate it against a new one, from a company that will give you longer service.
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Old 26-01-2013, 10:46   #5
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Re: Liferaft expiry date?

I will write to the dealer in Vancouver and post reply!
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Old 26-01-2013, 11:01   #6
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pirate Re: Liferaft expiry date?

SeaGo Offshore Liferaft - 4 Man Valise, 4 Man Liferafts | Mailspeed Marine

SeaGo Offshore Liferaft - 6 Man Valise, 6 Man Liferafts | Mailspeed Marine
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Old 26-01-2013, 14:28   #7
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Re: Liferaft expiry date?


Great price, but I have never heard of Seago before. Are they big in the UK?

I can't figure out why liferafts are so much cheaper outside of North America. You can get a Plastimo for half the price of any brand in the US. If I could get a offshore rated liferaft for under $1500, I would have one on our boat.
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Old 26-01-2013, 15:17   #8
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Re: Liferaft expiry date?

NorthPacific - are these the rafts from Checkpoint Marine Centre? Was wondering why so cheap. If for your own personal use, saving a few $ is a good idea if it serves your need. If the need is some pending legal requirement, do not cut corners, it will bite you.
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Old 26-01-2013, 15:37   #9
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Re: Liferaft expiry date?

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Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
Great price, but I have never heard of Seago before. Are they big in the UK?
Yes and did well in a recent budget LR review run by one of the sailing magazines. Interestingly, the more expensive liferafts didn't do much better in a later review. On that basis we bought a Seago 4 Man Offshore liferaft last year to replace our 23 yr old Avon which was still passing annual inspections btw. It was just a bit to old for my liking, but sold easily on e bay.

We have the valise version and keep it down below for security, but at 23kgs its easy enough to bring on deck. Might be different if it was say an 8 man version though.

I also can't believe the prices you guys pay for liferafts in the US

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Old 26-01-2013, 16:03   #10
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Re: Liferaft expiry date?

Pete,

Do you have a link to that test? Also, the SeaGo you purchased, was it the one linked to above or their upgraded version?
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Old 26-01-2013, 17:09   #11
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Re: Liferaft expiry date?

I think the way things are built today, I would prefer the more expensive, more recently built (read: brand new from the manufacturer, not from the shop) raft.

Older, s/h liferafts can be had at USD 100 or thereabout. If the thing is fine, inspect, repack and that's about that. Your insurer will NOT approve though.

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Old 26-01-2013, 18:35   #12
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Re: Liferaft expiry date?

Hi Rex,

Yip seemed like a good idea, but like most things if it is too good to be true. I am going to cruise for 5 years so having a raft that is probably coming unstuck as we speak is perhaps not the best option. I can get one of those Brit ones shipped real cheap so I will spend my $1500 after ytax and customs on a new one:-)

I agree BarniK, wonder if what they are doing is legal. Certainly the bit about the lifetime of the raft starts when it is sold does not fit with Zodiacs official line.
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Old 27-01-2013, 12:13   #13
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Re: Liferaft expiry date?

Why do all those adds appear in my post?

Damit now they are gone!
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Old 27-01-2013, 12:55   #14
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Re: Liferaft expiry date?

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Pete,

Do you have a link to that test? Also, the SeaGo you purchased, was it the one linked to above or their upgraded version?
Think this is the one, but you have to purchase it as a PDF copy of the magazine article.

http://marinedirectory.ybw.com/reprints/img/pdf.gif

We bought the Offshore version, but there is an ISO version as well. The main consideration for us was cost (560 in Jan 2012, if I remember correctly) and an insulated floor.

Not sure if this link will work, but it's the Seago UK catalogue with the differences, easy enough to search if the link doesn't work.

Seago Yachting Catalogue
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Old 27-01-2013, 13:37   #15
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Re: Liferaft expiry date?

The French Government has set a 10 year service life on Rafts. Don't know how they set that limit but my 20 year old Avon Redcrest is still going strong. If a raft has been exposed to the elements, there can be a problem with the inflation bottle rusting. The flares, water and other supplies will also be suspect beyond the service date. If these rafts have been in a dry indoor environment would expect that they would still be servicable well beyond 10 years and just need servicing till they fail the test.

The bottles also have a hydro test requirement because of internal corrosion. Any gas, as in vapor not petrel, servicing station should be able to weigh and hydro the bottle if necessary. You can blow up the raft and check it yourself. Inflate with nitrogen if possible so as not to introduce moisture. Getting the raft compacted down so you can refit it into the valise or canister could be an issue. Will be doing a self inspection on mine when the time comes.

FWIW, I paid $1600 for a 3 year old Viking 4 man canister.
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