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Old 08-01-2016, 05:52   #181
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
as a responsible skipper I won't gamble with my crew or passengers.
Carsteb . . . . life is 'a gamble' . . . .going sailing is a 'gamble' . . . . going sailing in cold(er) water is 'a gamble', taking non-swimmers sailing is 'a gamble', going sailing in over xx kts is 'a gamble', driving with your family is 'a gamble', taking a bath is 'a gamble'. We are all 'gambling' all the time.

This question has to properly be looked at as a risk assessment. What is the risk we are trying to mitigate? What is the likelyhood this action (carrying a raft) will mitigate that risk? What is the cost and opportunity cost (eg is this the best way to mitigate that risk, and are there other risks we should further mitigate first/before this one) of the action?

I'm not going to answer those questions for you (my own personal assessment is public and well known) . . . but that is how you should think about this . . . . not a binary of whether you want to 'gamble' or not. Otherwise the answer is the same for ALL safety equipment, from defibrillators to your very own personal sar helo - yes you should carry them because 'you dont want to gamble'.
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Old 08-01-2016, 06:36   #182
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Carsteb . . . . life is 'a gamble' . . . .going sailing is a 'gamble' . . . . going sailing in cold(er) water is 'a gamble', taking non-swimmers sailing is 'a gamble', going sailing in over xx kts is 'a gamble', driving with your family is 'a gamble', taking a bath is 'a gamble'. We are all 'gambling' all the time.

This question has to properly be looked at as a risk assessment. What is the risk we are trying to mitigate? What is the likelyhood this action (carrying a raft) will mitigate that risk? What is the cost and opportunity cost (eg is this the best way to mitigate that risk, and are there other risks we should further mitigate first/before this one) of the action?

I'm not going to answer those questions for you (my own personal assessment is public and well known) . . . but that is how you should think about this . . . . not a binary of whether you want to 'gamble' or not. Otherwise the answer is the same for ALL safety equipment, from defibrillators to your very own personal sar helo - yes you should carry them because 'you dont want to gamble'.
Evans I do know your viewpoint on this and I happen to believe that for you and Beth- that decision is the right one. But it might not be the same for everyone. Certainly it is a matter of risk assessment - yoou can't guard against every known, unknown or imaginable danger.

My passengers or crew, other than my wife, might not be able to make an informed decision on this.So the skipper has to do it for them
I surely hope I never have to even think about deploying the raft. _But if I have to- it will be there. I also always wear a vest at night, sailing solo or during rough weather and always if I go on deck. Arguments can readily be made that a vest hampers movement, thereby exacerbating the danger. But it gives me, and wife, some peace of mind.

These are personal decisions each skipper has to make. The answer will depend on the skippers experience, boat, crew and personal viewpoint
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Old 09-01-2016, 09:27   #183
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Carsteb . . . . life is 'a gamble' . . . .going sailing is a 'gamble' . . . . going sailing in cold(er) water is 'a gamble', taking non-swimmers sailing is 'a gamble', going sailing in over xx kts is 'a gamble', driving with your family is 'a gamble', taking a bath is 'a gamble'. We are all 'gambling' all the time.

This question has to properly be looked at as a risk assessment. What is the risk we are trying to mitigate? What is the likelyhood this action (carrying a raft) will mitigate that risk? What is the cost and opportunity cost (eg is this the best way to mitigate that risk, and are there other risks we should further mitigate first/before this one) of the action?

I'm not going to answer those questions for you (my own personal assessment is public and well known) . . . but that is how you should think about this . . . . not a binary of whether you want to 'gamble' or not. Otherwise the answer is the same for ALL safety equipment, from defibrillators to your very own personal sar helo - yes you should carry them because 'you dont want to gamble'.
Yeah, life is dangerous and we are all going to die anyway so why bother taking steps to minimize risk? Especially if it is expensive to do so.
I wonder how many people who feel that the risk/cost/benefit analysis rules out having a life raft aboard still think that it is a good idea to pay for insurance covering total loss (sinking) of the vessel?
I wonder why the Coast Guard does not require defibrillators and SAR Helo's on commercial vessels yet they do require life rafts?
I wonder how much the average person would be willing to pay for a lie raft if their boat was sinking 5 miles from shore and they were about to go swimming with the family?
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Old 09-01-2016, 09:49   #184
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

There is a school of thought that rejects a life raft onboard because it may preclude extra-ordinary efforts to save the boat. Saving the boat is the best option and with a life raft the captain can simply press the easy button.

There can be no argument that cruising is mentally stressful. I tend to worry. Buying and installing a life raft was an important investment in piece of mind. Never mind that reality may be different.

I was able to look at the raft and know that I at least had additional options if the boat caught on fire or was sinking.
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Old 09-01-2016, 10:37   #185
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Yep, but that wasn't what I was refuting. The claim was made about coastal boaters, not all boaters. 92% of the boating fatalities, from all causes of death, are NOT in coastal or ocean waters.

Chuck
Sorry, I didn't know that this forum only pertains to offshore sailors. I didn't place the number to be refuted, I entered it to show that there are a number of boaters, rather they be on a lake, in a river, or in the ocean, that could have used a life raft and in many cases a life vest.
Last time I checked, 98% of all CG rescues take place in coastal waters, so yes, you are correct that there are less causes of death from drowning while offshore. There are also far less boaters offshore. So what is your point, other than to come on here to argue about percentages?
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Old 09-01-2016, 10:58   #186
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by mariner36bob View Post
Post #103 is genius.
I'm putting a kite in my ditch bag.....which will be thrown in the life raft :-)
Mine will have a drone. Ha!
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Old 09-01-2016, 11:09   #187
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Mine will have a drone. Ha!
And My wife said she was never going to leave me for another!
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Old 09-01-2016, 12:07   #188
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Not much has been said about budgets, which are tight for many sailors. Or priorities. Before buying a liferaft, I'd spend money on PFDs, tethers, radio, PLBs/EPIRBs, wooden plugs, flares, survival suits, ditch bags, etc. And training. And learning weather and passage planning. And I'd be skeptical about how much added benefit would come from a raft that's old, minimal spec, or well beyond its certification date or useful life, or which is poorly equipped. Would you rather depend on an old raft or upon your RIB along with survival suits and a well stocked ditch bag with distress beacons, etc.? Of course that's something of a dumb question or comparison, but so is the whole all-or-nothing approach that ignores budgets and specific sailing conditions.

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Old 09-01-2016, 12:18   #189
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

And if you are on the paranoid side or sail across oceans (not the original question of this thread), should you be heavily dependent upon just one life raft, especially if it's one of the more marginal ones? Rafts sometimes fail to inflate, some leak, etc., sometimes accidents occur doing deployment. If you have a big enough budget, should you have a backup for raft failure? This may be devils' advocacy, but the point is that a raft, by itself isn't the magic bullet that fixes all safety issues. It has value in some situations, but it's only one piece of preparation, and not the most important.

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Old 09-01-2016, 12:59   #190
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by rgscpat View Post
Not much has been said about budgets, which are tight for many sailors. Or priorities. Before buying a liferaft, I'd spend money on PFDs, tethers, radio, PLBs/EPIRBs, wooden plugs, flares, survival suits, ditch bags, etc. And training. And learning weather and passage planning. And I'd be skeptical about how much added benefit would come from a raft that's old, minimal spec, or well beyond its certification date or useful life, or which is poorly equipped. Would you rather depend on an old raft or upon your RIB along with survival suits and a well stocked ditch bag with distress beacons, etc.? Of course that's something of a dumb question or comparison, but so is the whole all-or-nothing approach that ignores budgets and specific sailing conditions.

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Yes, budgets are always a consideration. And all of the things that you mention are really important and should definitely come before a liferaft in the gear hierarchy.
The actual expense really depends on how you look at it.
I got a pretty good deal on my liferaft. I bought it direct from the manufacturer at a boat show. It cost about 40% less than at a chain marine store. I have had it re-packed and certified one time so far. My investment (including re-pack) is about $3k. I have owned it for ten years. That works out to be $25 a month which I look at as no more than the cost of a so-so lunch or a round of good drinks. My guess is that there are people who pay more than that per month to watch TV on the boat or get satellite radio.
Hell, I know people who spend more than $25 a month at Starbucks.
Not saying that there is anything wrong with drinking good coffee...
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Old 15-01-2016, 21:03   #191
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

A boat that I'm looking at has a 4 person Liferaft, which is like 6 years out of date, last inspected 2009, is this a useless throwaway now, or could I have it inspected and reinstated as such? Cheers Jeff
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Old 15-01-2016, 22:31   #192
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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A boat that I'm looking at has a 4 person Liferaft, which is like 6 years out of date, last inspected 2009, is this a useless throwaway now, or could I have it inspected and reinstated as such? Cheers Jeff
It would definitely be worth having it inspected. There's a good chance it's been well preserved and just needs some of its contents replaced. They will let you know if it's not worth servicing when they open it.
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Old 16-01-2016, 00:07   #193
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by Boxertwinjeff View Post
A boat that I'm looking at has a 4 person Liferaft, which is like 6 years out of date, last inspected 2009, is this a useless throwaway now, or could I have it inspected and reinstated as such? Cheers Jeff
When I bought my boat it carried with it the Winslow life raft the original owner bought for it, in 1963! I took it home thinking it would fall apart in my hands. Lo and behold I pulled the cord and the thing popped right open and held air for three days and that was about it. I guess I could have used it! (Ok I am joking)
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Old 16-01-2016, 01:10   #194
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by ASTBoone View Post
Right out of the USCG 2014 Excutive Summary:

n 2014, the Coast Guard counted 4,064 accidents that involved 610 deaths, 2,678
injuries and approximately $39 million dollars of damage to property as a result of
recreational boating accidents.

The fatality rate was 5.2 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels.
This rate represents a 10.6% increase
from last year’s fatality rate of 4.7
deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels.

Compared to 2013, the number of acci
dents increased 0.05%, the number of
deaths increased 8.9%, and the number of injuries increased 2.2%.

Where cause of death was known, 78% of fata
l boating accident victims drowned. Of
those drowning victims with reported life jack
et usage, 84% were not wearing a life
jacket

If my math is correct, that's 475 boating related drownings. But I am not going to get into what the numbers or percentages are, they're out there.



Wow.

Absolutely atrocious figures. Especially when one considers that the overwhelming majority of boats barely leave the harbour, annually.
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Old 16-01-2016, 07:54   #195
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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A boat that I'm looking at has a 4 person Liferaft, which is like 6 years out of date, last inspected 2009, is this a useless throwaway now, or could I have it inspected and reinstated as such? Cheers Jeff
Hello Boxertwinjeff,
If this liferaft is in a canister it is probably ready to replace. What is the manufacturer date? Normally a canistered liferaft will give you 10-12 years when repacked in compliance with intervals. I'm guessing that it's not vacuum packed judging by the age so that means it has missed at least seven inspections. Plus it has missed at least one hydrostatic test on the CO2 cylinder. It will be a costly inspection if you can get someone to do it.
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