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Old 13-10-2012, 06:42   #1
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How to Sever the Liferaft Painter?

I just got thinking, I've got a nice new Zodiac liferaft on deck tied to the boat with a bowline. I've been told to just throw it over to launch and I can do that. But once in it do I have to have remembered to bring my knife so that I can cut the painter and not get dragged down with the ship? Can anyone tell me what type of painter release system they have? Surely I don't have to go back & get the knife?
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Old 13-10-2012, 06:47   #2
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The painter should be attached to the raft with a weak link
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Old 13-10-2012, 07:18   #3
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Re: How to sever the liferaft painter?

I always carry a knife.
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Old 13-10-2012, 07:42   #4
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Re: How to sever the liferaft painter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
I always carry a knife.
a properly packed raft should have a painter knife at or near the entrance too
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Old 14-10-2012, 10:48   #5
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Re: How to sever the liferaft painter?

You should have a sharp knife in your ditch bag.
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Old 14-10-2012, 11:05   #6
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Re: How to sever the liferaft painter?

I sail a multihull and don't carry a raft, just an inflatable. That said...

Why would I want to be working with a sharp knife, in the dark in rough seas, near an inflatable boat which is my only hope of survival? Why wouldn't a life raft have a release like a deck harness? Not a weak link, but something I can release at will (boat might be on fire rather than sinking, for example)?

Seems funny, now that I think about it.

------------

Yup, you should always have a knife, but I don't wear one in bed. Certainly there's one in the ditch bag, but I don't want to be digging through that in a hurry, only to lose something vital.
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Old 14-10-2012, 11:12   #7
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Re: How to sever the liferaft painter?

1. one can make the boat-end of the painter from a line with BL below the displacement of the raft,

2. one can modify the raft end of the painter to allow for a secure, quick release device,

3. one can get a blunt tip knife, serrated - these do not cut with the tip, just with the portion of the blade that is meant to cut the line,

4. one can too go for a combination of the above, plus some other tricks, I guess.

(?)

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Old 14-10-2012, 11:24   #8
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Re: How to sever the liferaft painter?

I don't sleep with my knife either!! But it's on the belt of whatever I was wearing when I laid down ! and I never go on deck with out clothing ! So I have it all the time ! It's just a Habit I have gotten over thr years ! Also we have all the PFDs aboard equiped with net knifes on them for emergencys ! No such thing as enough or two many knives in any emergency situation, just my ideas not any rules but it makes us feel better to know theres a good sharp knife handy!!
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Old 14-10-2012, 13:11   #9
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Re: How to sever the liferaft painter?

I have a hydrostatic link that also has a manual release.
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Old 14-10-2012, 13:24   #10
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Re: How to sever the liferaft painter?

all liferafts should have a blunt end knife usually attached near entrance to cut painter, check your liferafts spec's and equipment list, its also a good idea when you get your liferaft serviced to go and see it inflated so you will be a bit more familiar with it if you have to use it also you can also add any gear you may want in raft at that stage
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Old 14-10-2012, 13:27   #11
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Re: How to sever the liferaft painter?

why not add a caribiner?
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Old 14-10-2012, 15:14   #12
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Re: How to sever the liferaft painter?

Perhaps the painter should be tied to the life-raft with a knot that is easy to untie under load, such as a Mooring Hitch.

Mooring Hitch - How to tie a Mooring Hitch

or just a chain of simple slip knots.
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Old 14-10-2012, 15:37   #13
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Re: How to sever the liferaft painter?

watch how slip knots let you actually watch your dinghy or liferaft go away from you....
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Old 14-10-2012, 15:45   #14
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Re: How to sever the liferaft painter?

My best advice is to read the instructions of your particular life raft. Mine has a brake away line that should keep the raft from sinking with the boat. Fire is actually a question that I had not addressed. Not having it secure to the boat is probably a much more likely problem. A caribiner does not sound good to me because it would be hard to release if under significant pressure. A quick release snap shackle like on your tether is a thought. But again, the companies should have given this more thought than I so read the instructions.
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Old 14-10-2012, 18:50   #15
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Re: How to sever the liferaft painter?

KISS.

A line with no extra hardware, no fancy releases, no metal bits to add cost, fail, or chafe the raft is the simplest solution. In the raft, the odds are you will always need at least one knife anyway, so why not use it to cut the painter?

And if you're sailing, or a boat where there are exposed lines all over that can traumatically amputate your fingers, wrist, or neck, why wouldn't you be wearing a knife all the time as well? A small backup in your PFD/harness, to cut you free if you are entangled, at the least.

Shouldn't be an issue. Should be at least one packed in the raft. Some boats keep a knife sheath ON the steering binnacle at all times while offshore, to make sure there's one in fast reach of anyone who needs it. Easy enough, machetes only cost a dime wholesale in China. Coupla bucks in most of the third world.
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