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Old 12-03-2008, 04:08   #1
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Good liferaft shop in the Leeeward islands?

Hello,
I would be interested in buying a 4-person offshore liferaft for a trans-atlantic crossing from the caribbean leeward area. Any names for good value/service shop for purhase in the area? We start venezuela, will likely stop at Guadeloupe but are also likely to go further north to Stmartin/virgin islands before sailing off.

Flying finn
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:11   #2
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Sevin/Offshore International, C.A.
Ave. 1B Calle Oriente, No. 94-66 Sector La Ciega
Maracaibo, Venezuela

Caribbean Inflatable Boats & Liferafts on St. Thomas, USVI (Winslow)
Telephone: (340) 775-6159
Fax: (340) 775-2014
- Welcome to Caribbean Inflatable Boats & Liferafts, Inc.


Plastimo has Service Stations in Guadeloupe, Martinique, Trinidad & St, Martin:
Plastimo authorised service stations: Liferafts

Liferafts, Inc. of Puerto Rico
159 Fernandez Juncos Ave., San Juan, Puerto Rico 00906
Liferafts Inc. of Puerto Rico

Liferaft and Inflatable Centre (St Lucia) Ltd., P.O. Box R.B. 2289, JQ Charles Mall, Reduit, St. Lucia, West Indies.
Liferaft and Inflatable Centre - Liferaft Repairs

You might also check with the various Life Raft manufacturers, including:
Avon Inflatables
Crewsaver by Eurovinil
DBC Marine Safety
Givens Marine Survival
Plastimo
Switlik Parachute Co.
Revere Survival Products
Viking Lifesaving Equipment
West Marine (by Zodiac)
Winslow LifeRaft Co.
Zodiac International
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:53   #3
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Gord,
Are the liferaft service stations and sales centers you list in The Caribbean, ones that you can personally vouch for, or are they ones you are simply saying exist on some list?
The reason that I am asking the question is that I have first hand experience (albeit more than 10 years ago) where a cruiser had their raft serviced and didnt end up with the same raft they took to the service center. Only two years later when the cruiser had the raft serviced again in the Pacific did they realize it had been switched to an old piece of rotten junk. Even if you are personally watching the entire procedure (and this isnt always possible or easy to do) you must have a lot of trust in this packing procedure. Having been in the commercial and yachting liferaft service business I know how important the resources, integrity and ability of the service center are. Many commercial grade, SOLAS rafts will last years and years if properly looked after.
Dave
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Old 10-06-2008, 13:19   #4
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I have limited personal experience* with, and personally recommend Caribbean Inflatable Boats & Liferafts on St. Thomas.
The others come recommended to me, and are, I believe, "authorized" service centres.

Many dealers will let you witness the test & repack, which is a good idea. Most cruisers can invest time, to gain knowledge & save money. Time is our most abundant resource.

* Caution: As an APPARENTLY knowledgeable professional, I may get better service than many others.
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:20   #5
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Watch the repacking

Gord I agree that everyone should watch thier liferaft being repacked. Personally I wouldnt let it out of my sight. I'd rather rely on a raft that was seriously overdue on repacking than put it into the hands of those I don't absolutely trust. Often its not posssible to ununpack and repack a raft all in one session due to parts issues and most likely the hydrostatic test and refulling of the C02 cylinder which all liferaft stations don't have on premises. The best thing to do is to make it very clear up front that you must be present when the raft is unpacked and especially when its repacked.
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:35   #6
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Don't have anything to do with the Englishman from St Lucia. He charged me a lot of money for a repair to a Zodiac dinghy. The repair failed within days and had to be redone. This time I accompanied my dinghy to his premises.

Whilst I was there I saw a liferaft being unpacked for service. The liferaft was in very poor shape, seams coming apart, cylinder a mass of rust, the whole arch tube was coming away from the upper tubes.

"Are you going to condemn it " I asked.
"No, we'll just stick it together again" , came the reply. He went on to add, "All they care about is that it has a certificate."

Take your business elsewhere. Good Zodiac agents in Le Marin, Martinique.
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:56   #7
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Re: Good liferaft shop in the Leeeward islands?

Hi guys I am in Venezuela Puerto la Cruz and here we have some people that has 30 years plus of experience with life raft thats the only thing they dono dinghy patching. For tankers , navy, and yatch and sailboats. Here is my number +584128597070 or through this forum will be fine. I serve as an agent here at PLC so if anyone has question regarding the area please be welcome to ask and by the way they will allow for you to be present when you open and close the raft
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Old 07-11-2012, 15:25   #8
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Re: Good liferaft shop in the Leeeward islands?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sestina View Post
Don't have anything to do with the Englishman from St Lucia. He charged me a lot of money for a repair to a Zodiac dinghy. The repair failed within days and had to be redone. This time I accompanied my dinghy to his premises.

Whilst I was there I saw a liferaft being unpacked for service. The liferaft was in very poor shape, seams coming apart, cylinder a mass of rust, the whole arch tube was coming away from the upper tubes.

"Are you going to condemn it " I asked.
"No, we'll just stick it together again" , came the reply. He went on to add, "All they care about is that it has a certificate."

Take your business elsewhere. Good Zodiac agents in Le Marin, Martinique.
I second Le Marin--for Zodiac and most anything else. And St. Anne is a great place to stop.

FWIW...
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