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Old 09-11-2013, 08:53   #16
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Re: Do you have a Liferaft?

We have a liferaft and survival suits, along with an inflated dinghy on the davits.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:38   #17
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Re: Do you have a Liferaft?

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I hear you on that and it was something in my head before I bought one. But honestly if you read up on people abandoning boats there are plenty that do it without a liferaft involved as well. Like the guy on here, with a perfectly operable sailboat, that plugged up his fuel filters and abandoned his Hunter (which then sailed by itself since he left the sails up, and crashed into a Mexican reef 100 miles away).

I don't even remember that I have it onboard and it certainly never comes into my decision making. There's even the razor thin chance that it won't even work, or that it will blow away, or that you'll die jumping into it when you miss and get swept away, etc, etc.

But a reality for me is that I spent two days with a whale pod all around me, often times coming maybe 10' away from (and under) the boat. I had a friend who got hit, anchored, in 25' of water by a whale. I've met two people who lost their boats that way.

So when I looked at that, having my family onboard and having an event that ruptures the hell so hard that the decks are awash within a minute or two, I wanted that liferaft as an option.
Understood, and had we different boats our priorities would likely be different. The Brewer has an empty keel, and that bothers me as there is no good way to seal a hole down there. I'm thinking of converting the keel to integral fuel tanks, protect the steel, create a double hull. Also have a full skeg so rudder is protected and unlikely to go anywhere.

The Pape already has integral tanks, and 1/4" plate. Full keel with attached rudder.

These boats are tough, especially the Pape.

All that said, a raft is on the list, just down the list. And with a different boat it would be UP the list.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:20   #18
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Re: Do you have a Liferaft?

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Also, it's expensive, requires ongoing cash for inspection, takes up deck space, etc.

Still, we may get one, it's on our list.

I do have gumby suits and cold weather flotation/work suits. I have used the work suit on deck, brrrrrrrr!
I know the cost of the liferaft itself runs into the thousands, but what are the ongoing maintenance and inspections costs like? Also what's a gumby suit?
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:32   #19
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Re: Do you have a Liferaft?

Even on my little 28 footer, I have a emergency raft and a gumby suit, which is really a micro dingy. The packed dingys are so thin that my first choice woild be the tough old Achilles inflatable. I have seen them take years of extreme exposure and still hold air. The gumby is for heat and sun.

PS A gumby suit is an exposure or immersion suit, usually of insulated rubber and fabric. Commercial fishermen often bring their own, or not. If not everyone aboard has one, it is wise to have something in the satchel that insures you will be the one using your suit to survive.

When you put one on you have big hands and feet, like a rubber Gumby toy.
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Old 09-11-2013, 19:30   #20
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Re: Do you have a Liferaft?

Google ......cold water survival suit
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:42   #21
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Re: Do you have a Liferaft?

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Google ......cold water survival suit
Thanks - have googled and checked out. They look very warm and stylish
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:52   #22
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Re: Do you have a Liferaft?

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It is something we discuss time to time. Usually my money goes into improving the boat and I never have the spare cash for the raft.

I am conflicted over the raft idea. False sense of security may lead to unnecessary chances. May be tempted to get I too early. It may not deploy or be lost in deployment. There have been case a where the boat survived, but the crew in the raft did not.

Also, it's expensive, requires ongoing cash for inspection, takes up deck space, etc.

Still, we may get one, it's on our list.

I do have gumby suits and cold weather flotation/work suits. I have used the work suit on deck, brrrrrrrr!
That was the thinking of the RAF higher ups in WWI not to equip their flyers with parachutes. Wouldn't want one of our pilots bailing out of a burning airplane before he was crisp bacon. No big thing that the life expectancy of a pilot on the Western Front was little more than a week.

Coastal cruising, sailed with an Avon Redcrest half inflated on deck. It stowed neatly aft of the mast and made a comfy place to lay out when the boat wasn't healing much. The Redcrest inflation partitions are fore and aft so was perfect for that stowage. Doesn't work with a dinghy with a transom as their typical inflation partition is side to side.

Gumby suits are really good to have items for cold water sailing, less than 70 degrees, for my tropically conditioned body. They will extend your survivability in cold water from minutes to hours. No substitute for some kind of raft/boat/etc in really cold water as they still won't give you long duration, more than a few hours, survivability if you are immersed in cold water. Still a good idea even if you have a raft. Sitting soaked in a raft in cold water is going to be a really 'cool' experience without one.

You can do an inspection of your raft yourself. Have to admit I haven't tried it, though. You don't need the certification of an inspector if you aren't involved in some kind of sanctioned race or rally. It's just a matter of inflating the raft, checking for leaks and replacing the consumables. Wouldn't use the CO2 inflator as I understand the extreme cold of expanding CO2 gas can weaken the raft fabric. Just weigh the bottle and replace/refill as necessary. Biggest problem I see is putting the raft back into a hermetically sealed plastic bag which I think the inspectors do.
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:21   #23
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Re: Do you have a Liferaft?

Ellen-
Gumby, with a capital G, is/was the star of a stop-motion children's tv show in the US for many years. He looks like a gingerbread man and has a pony for a sidekick, as I recall it. Anyway, since he's very much like a gingerbread man made out of some rubbery plastic. So in the States we call survival suits, aka float suits, "gumby" suits because they make you look and feel like some big orange version of the same thing. No fingers, no dexterity, kinda all bendy and floppy.
The survival suits are made of neoprene rubber, usually in safety orange, and they will keep you afloat and relatively warm even in icy waters for an hour or longer.

Google "Gumby tv show" to see the real thing.
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:48   #24
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Re: Do you have a Liferaft?

Have carried a life raft for 30 plus years. Years ago it really stretched the budget. About 25 years ago while coming off the Little Bahama Bank en route to Fl I scraped a container barley submerged. No hole but a good gouge just below the water line. Think you don't need a raft? With all the Floating junk out there think again.
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:51   #25
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Re: Do you have a Liferaft?

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Ellen-
Gumby, with a capital G, is/was the star of a stop-motion children's tv show in the US for many years. He looks like a gingerbread man and has a pony for a sidekick, as I recall it. Anyway, since he's very much like a gingerbread man made out of some rubbery plastic. So in the States we call survival suits, aka float suits, "gumby" suits because they make you look and feel like some big orange version of the same thing. No fingers, no dexterity, kinda all bendy and floppy.
The survival suits are made of neoprene rubber, usually in safety orange, and they will keep you afloat and relatively warm even in icy waters for an hour or longer.

Google "Gumby tv show" to see the real thing.
Oh yes - good old Gumby & Pokey. Gumby might make a good name for a boat and then you could name your dinghy Pokey.

Are having gumby/survival suits quite common when sailing in colder waters?
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Old 10-11-2013, 13:40   #26
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Re: Do you have a Liferaft?

Nah - nobody needs a life raft.

Unless, of course, the mother ship sinks.

We can navigate around the rocks and reefs; we can't stop a whale that wants our keel for a back-scratcher, and at night we can't see flotsam and jetsam.

Our life raft goes hand-in-hand with other items aboard like parachute flares and flare guns and well-stuffed ditch bags and man overboard equipment and etc.etc.. All expensive, all somewhat of a pain to maintain when, really, it'll probably never get used. Right? Right....

First priority: make sure the boat is seaworthy and prepared for the voyage.

Second: make sure captain and crew is prepared for the voyage.

Third: When it comes to safety equipment, I compare things like the cost and effectiveness of "equipment" against the value of my wife. * And my life.

Your boat - so do as you like.

James

*Note: I lived in Thailand for 4 years and know I could easily relocate there and become a walking ATM for some sweet thing 1/3 my age. All things considered, I'd rather keep my present wife.
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Old 10-11-2013, 14:34   #27
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Re: Do you have a Liferaft?

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Thanks - have googled and checked out. They look very warm and stylish

AND they match my eyes!
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Old 10-11-2013, 14:40   #28
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Re: Do you have a Liferaft?

Out of curiosity, and NOT arguing against a life raft, just mulling things over....
Which do you think is a better safety investment fora 60yo couple,a life raft or a defibulator? Which device has the greater chance of saving a life?
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Old 10-11-2013, 16:47   #29
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Re: Do you have a Liferaft?

Required in France and Spain.

A liferaft may be a good thing your boat is to small to carry a lifeboat.

How many NZ boats carry lifeboats onboard?

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Old 10-11-2013, 16:51   #30
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Required in France and Spain.

A liferaft may be a good thing your boat is to small to carry a lifeboat.

How many NZ boats carry lifeboats onboard?

b.
On France only required for offshore usage
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