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Old 16-01-2016, 10:13   #196
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
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.
That's what I would do too. I bet it will be cheaper to get it serviced - not cheap but cheaper.
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Old 16-01-2016, 10:51   #197
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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That's what I would do too. I bet it will be cheaper to get it serviced - not cheap but cheaper.
Fwiw, I brought my then 15 year-old Givens that came with the boat in for inspection, fully expecting the shop to issue its death warrant. To my surprise, they said it was fine, replaced contents, and upgraded a valve on the CO2 cylinder. It had not been serviced for about 5 yrs. at that point. I think it depends on how well it was made, whether properly packed, quality of the seals on the canister, etc. Cost me around $900 as I recall, and a PITA getting it off/on the boat. But as Maggie says, much cheaper than replacing if you luck out and the old one is still OK.
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Old 16-01-2016, 11:15   #198
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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A boat that I'm looking at has a 4 person Liferaft, which is like 6 years out of date, last inspected 2009, is this a useless throwaway now, or could I have it inspected and reinstated as such?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
It really depends on the type of raft, how it was packed and stored.
If not vacuum packed, in a soft bag, stored at the transom in tropical waters it well might be toast.
If stored inside, possibly dry at home all those years , it might be OK.

If its a low end model from a cheap brand the difference between service and replacement cost may be less than you think.
A raft fresh from the manufaturer is IMO better (more trustworthy) than an old one with unknown history even if serviced but others have a different view on that.
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Old 16-01-2016, 16:32   #199
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by ASTBoone View Post
So what is your point, other than to come on here to argue about percentages?
My only point, and unlike you I managed to make it without sarcasm, was that we have to be careful when we use statistics that are misleading. My original post was to point out that 350 sailors per year don't drown offshore. That's it.

If people start to repeat incorrect statistics, they'll start worrying about the obscure issues that are not actually killing many sailors, instead of the real issues that kill proportionately more. Lots of boaters are worried about propane fuel explosions, largely because they are dramatic and no one want to get blow up. They are also exceedingly rare, and in many years, no one dies due to propane use on boats in the U.S.

About 25 sailors die each year in the U.S. Most drown. Life jackets are a relatively cheap solution. That's all I was getting at.

If you talk to US life raft manufacturers, and I have, you'll discover that there are very few life rafts that are deployed in a given year. No one knows how many are saved by having a life raft on board, but it's probably fewer than 20, and perhaps less than 10. Life rafts are expensive, have periodic maintenance, and last for about 15 years. That doesn't mean you shouldn't have one, but it does fall into the "expensive based on the odds" category. Compare that to the cost-effectiveness of a life jacket or VHF radio or PLB.

Chuck Hawley
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Old 16-01-2016, 18:12   #200
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

I would rather be in a RIB than the lifeboats that El Faro had, same basic thing as Titanic had. Why is commercial and USCG always so far behind. When I was much younger we fished up from Va to Georges Bank into late November. Working over a 100 miles out and all we had, was those hard liferafts, not much more than a life ring with some webbing on the bottom. I would rather have a RIB than that. Commercial boats out on the water are in some very nasty water, why were they allowed out there with that junk. Coastal I'm fine with a RIB ready for deployment. If someone is doing occasional offshore passage, a fishing tournament or regatta that requires a liferaft, you may want to rent.



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Old 16-01-2016, 21:54   #201
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Over the years I have been involved in my share of rescues, both close to shore and off shore, from Attu to Bermuda, from the Gulf to the Bering Sea. I can only give you my opinion. I would forget the Life raft, and would go for a RIB that would hold as many as you have sleeping accommodations for. Why you ask, most of the time you don't have time to get it inflated and over the side without punching a hole in it, the one case I remember clearly, in Alaska where the crew did get into the life raft the winds were so strong the raft was blown off the foredeck, parting the painter. tossing everyone out as it tumbled down wind. We were finding bodies down wind for 6 months as the washed up on various beaches. We found the boat a day after storm, high and dry, with 2-3 inches of ice on her on another beach. with this in mind the crew might well have survived if the had stayed with their boat... Must say you are ALL doing well thinking about what you might need in a situation that requires you to leave your boat,,, Keep thinking ....
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Old 17-01-2016, 04:03   #202
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by Olde Chief View Post
Over the years I have been involved in my share of rescues, both close to shore and off shore, from Attu to Bermuda, from the Gulf to the Bering Sea. I can only give you my opinion. I would forget the Life raft, and would go for a RIB that would hold as many as you have sleeping accommodations for. Why you ask, most of the time you don't have time to get it inflated and over the side without punching a hole in it, the one case I remember clearly, in Alaska where the crew did get into the life raft the winds were so strong the raft was blown off the foredeck, parting the painter. tossing everyone out as it tumbled down wind. We were finding bodies down wind for 6 months as the washed up on various beaches. We found the boat a day after storm, high and dry, with 2-3 inches of ice on her on another beach. with this in mind the crew might well have survived if the had stayed with their boat... Must say you are ALL doing well thinking about what you might need in a situation that requires you to leave your boat,,, Keep thinking ....
Very interesting perspective and much respect to you sir. Just one thing though, in the latter case would they have done any better in a rib? I run a coded boat with davits, and a pair of liferafts, one auto, one manual, so my order of evacuation would be: Rib WITH liferaft loaded, along with grab bags, if feasible.
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Old 17-01-2016, 07:03   #203
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

That is a good question, and the answer is we will never know... though from what I have seen the RIB's are quite a bit heavier as people are usually running into things, or hitting sharp rook and coral when going to the beach. were as with typical life rafts you only plan to use it the one time, and to fit in a small container the have to be a lot lighter. Also have you ever tried to get into an inflated Life Raft in the water,,,, it is bad enough in calm water, and I can only imagine what it would be like in bad weather... I have tried out both a one man and 20 man raft in calm water and would hate to try it in any kind of a sea... With the 20 man at least you had help both on the raft and in the water... I guess about all you can do is make your choice and live with it...
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Old 17-01-2016, 09:51   #204
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by Olde Chief View Post
Over the years I have been involved in my share of rescues, both close to shore and off shore, from Attu to Bermuda, from the Gulf to the Bering Sea. I can only give you my opinion. I would forget the Life raft, and would go for a RIB that would hold as many as you have sleeping accommodations for. Why you ask, most of the time you don't have time to get it inflated and over the side without punching a hole in it, the one case I remember clearly, in Alaska where the crew did get into the life raft the winds were so strong the raft was blown off the foredeck, parting the painter. tossing everyone out as it tumbled down wind. We were finding bodies down wind for 6 months as the washed up on various beaches. We found the boat a day after storm, high and dry, with 2-3 inches of ice on her on another beach. with this in mind the crew might well have survived if the had stayed with their boat... Must say you are ALL doing well thinking about what you might need in a situation that requires you to leave your boat,,, Keep thinking ....
Thaks for giving us some first hand experience based information on what things look like in real life when things go wrong.

I tend to think that it could be safer to install a raft at the rear rather than on the foredeck. The raft would be ready to deploy out there without any hassle (and reachable from the cockpit). One could launch the raft also after the boat turns upside down.

I have both a dinghy and a raft (uninspected). I sail mostly in coastal waters / archipelago, so it is quite possible that I would use the steerable dinghy instead of the randomly drifting raft in case of emergency. Or maybe both together to be on the safe side. We tow the dinghy a lot (in the archipelago), and then it is very ready to be used. But I respect also the rule to stay in the boat as long as possible, and use the others only after the boat sinks.
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Old 23-01-2016, 18:04   #205
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

In my opinion, if you have only half a boat, then a liferaft is needed because half a boat can sink. On the other hand, if you have a whole boat, the worst case scenario is that it can capsize (but not sink) and a capsized boat is probably a better refuge than a liferaft.

ps: Whole boat means two or more hulls. In my opinion, a monohull is half a boat with a great weight attached to ensure it will sink if things go very badly.
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Old 24-01-2016, 00:20   #206
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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In my opinion, if you have only half a boat, then a liferaft is needed because half a boat can sink. On the other hand, if you have a whole boat, the worst case scenario is that it can capsize (but not sink) and a capsized boat is probably a better refuge than a liferaft.

ps: Whole boat means two or more hulls. In my opinion, a monohull is half a boat with a great weight attached to ensure it will sink if things go very badly.
In my opinion, you have posted this to illicit an emotional response. According to the forum rules, this makes you a rule breaker of 'trolling'

And 'whole boats' as you call them, can sink too in worst case scenarios.
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Old 24-01-2016, 01:00   #207
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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In my opinion, you have posted this to illicit an emotional response.
That's not an opinion; it's a suspicion -- and an incorrect suspicion.
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Old 24-01-2016, 01:35   #208
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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That's not an opinion; it's a suspicion -- and an incorrect suspicion.
Its my opinin, that i suspect you posted this to illicit an emtional response hows that



Now, if you didnt post claiming that a mono hull is only 'half' a boat to illicit an emotional response, what did you mean by it

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Old 24-01-2016, 03:55   #209
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Now, if you didnt post claiming that a mono hull is only 'half' a boat to illicit an emotional response, what did you mean by it
I was emphatically illustrating the vast difference in the relative risk of needing to abandon a monohull (which has a giant weight attached to the keel) versus a multihull (which inherently has much greater reserve buoyancy and most of which are unsinkable) to justify why I recommend carrying a liferaft with the former but not with the latter.

It was not my intention for you (or anyone else) to become emotional about it.
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Old 24-01-2016, 04:01   #210
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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I was emphatically illustrating the vast difference in the relative risk of needing to abandon a monohull (which has a giant weight attached to the keel) versus a multihull (which inherently has much greater reserve buoyancy and most of which are unsinkable) to justify why I recommend carrying a liferaft with the former but not with the latter.

It was not my intention for you (or anyone else) to become emotional about it.
Ok, thankyou for for explaining that. Ill stop crying and cheer up now content in the understanding you were not offending mono hull owners on purpose.
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