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Old 14-04-2015, 09:51   #46
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Again - how far can you swim? how fast does hypothermia set in? (much, much faster than you think)
Assuming you have a dinghy??
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Old 14-04-2015, 09:55   #47
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

When $5000 fell into my lap just before I set off on my first transAtlantic, I bought a Givens 6 man lifebuoy.

Five years later, I had it repacked and all the outdated materials replaced for 350. I also had it shrinkwrapped.

I can't swim very far and always wear a life jacket.

Although I am usually a coastal sailor, the idea of hitting a submerged object and losing the boat didn't give me very many options.

My family is often with me and that justified the expense for the best liferaft I could find.
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Old 14-04-2015, 10:03   #48
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

A dingy to get to shore from an anchor or mooring is obvious . The life raft is a choice. If you are comfortable with not having one when sailing solo, you and only you end up in the soup. As captain with guests on board, you are responsible for their safety. I don't know how you feel with guests on board, but my sense of responsibility is always pegged with the family on board.

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Old 14-04-2015, 11:29   #49
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pirate Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Reading this I wonder.. how many of you have done a Survival at Sea Course.. how many have actually used a liferaft and tried righting it in rough and windy conditions.. it aint as easy as some/most seem to think.. do a survial course where you have to right one in a swimming pool.. then imagine doing it in a seaway..
But then again I don't use lifejackets or lifelines and harnesses.. and always have a half inflated slat floored dingy on the foredeck that I can launch as fast as a raft.. with grab bag and water stowed inside..
Try before you buy.. its not for everyone and I personally would hate the helplessness of sitting in a paddling pool of seawater and puke being blown further away from any help..
Read 'How safe are the Azore's' posted by Atoll last year.. or was it the year before.. 5 or 6 disappeared without trace.. and they carried rafts..
Each to their own..
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Old 14-04-2015, 11:57   #50
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Reading this I wonder.. how many of you have done a Survival at Sea Course.. how many have actually used a liferaft and tried righting it in rough and windy conditions.. it aint as easy as some/most seem to think.. do a survial course where you have to right one in a swimming pool.. then imagine doing it in a seaway..
But then again I don't use lifejackets or lifelines and harnesses.. and always have a half inflated slat floored dingy on the foredeck that I can launch as fast as a raft.. with grab bag and water stowed inside..
Try before you buy.. its not for everyone and I personally would hate the helplessness of sitting in a paddling pool of seawater and puke being blown further away from any help..
Read 'How safe are the Azore's' posted by Atoll last year.. or was it the year before.. 5 or 6 disappeared without trace.. and they carried rafts..
Each to their own..
I've definitely done ocean survival courses, in fact, I'm teaching three this spring. Like I mentioned in previous posts, I personally am happy with my RIB.

Since, I tend to agree with you, I'm more or less just playing devils advocate here. Have you ever tried righting a capsized RIB at sea? It's not exactly easy either.

I remember doing one survival course where we intentionally upset a Hurricane 733. What a job that was to right, and it was even equipped with a CO2 self righting system. Pulled the cord, bag inflated and the stern just sat higher up in the air, still totally inverted. The instructors eventually picked us up out of the water after about 40 minutes of farting around. This was march in Halifax Harbour (wearing dry suits obviously).

My storey has no point though because I also prefer a RIB.

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Old 14-04-2015, 12:05   #51
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Reading this I wonder.. how many of you have done a Survival at Sea Course.. how many have actually used a liferaft and tried righting it in rough and windy conditions.. it aint as easy as some/most seem to think.. do a survial course where you have to right one in a swimming pool.. then imagine doing it in a seaway..
But then again I don't use lifejackets or lifelines and harnesses.. and always have a half inflated slat floored dingy on the foredeck that I can launch as fast as a raft.. with grab bag and water stowed inside..
Try before you buy.. its not for everyone and I personally would hate the helplessness of sitting in a paddling pool of seawater and puke being blown further away from any help..
Read 'How safe are the Azore's' posted by Atoll last year.. or was it the year before.. 5 or 6 disappeared without trace.. and they carried rafts..
Each to their own..
Boatie

A liftraft is by no means the end all to yournproblems. certainly righting one in cold ocean waters is not easy. The OP asked about coastal sailing in danish waers. The rescue services here are pretty good (providing you have told them you are abandoning ship) and help in the Baltic is not so far away.
The major problem here is hypothermia - get out of the water and wait until they come get you.

Having tried to right a raft and crawl into it I can only agree - it needs to be practiced
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Old 14-04-2015, 12:11   #52
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pirate Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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I've definitely done ocean survival courses, in fact, I'm teaching three this spring. Like I mentioned in previous posts, I personally am happy with my RIB.

Since, I tend to agree with you, I'm more or less just playing devils advocate here. Have you ever tried righting a capsized RIB at sea? It's not exactly easy either.

I remember doing one survival course where we intentionally upset a Hurricane 733. What a job that was to right, and it was even equipped with a CO2 self righting system. Pulled the cord, bag inflated and the stern just sat higher up in the air, still totally inverted. The instructors eventually picked us up out of the water after about 40 minutes of farting around. This was march in Halifax Harbour (wearing dry suits obviously).

My storey has no point though because I also prefer a RIB.

Sent from my SGH-I547C using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
Do not like RIB's.. I like slat floor flat bottom dinghy's.. half inflated she'll float with you in it and is harder to flip by sea action.. kinda folds/bends over the waves..
When things calm down inflate her and row.. things build up again deflate her a bit again.. lowers the windage etc..
There's a madness to my methods..
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Old 14-04-2015, 12:15   #53
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

I do not call a liferaft a 'safety' item. I call it an emergency item. Personal thing, of course.

If water is cold, if access to immediate rescue is not granted, get one.

If you are in the tropics and sailing only within VHF DSC stations with plenty of other boats around, then a liferaft may become optional for some sailors.

b.
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Old 14-04-2015, 12:21   #54
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Do not like RIB's.. I like slat floor flat bottom dinghy's.. half inflated she'll float with you in it and is harder to flip by sea action.. kinda folds/bends over the waves..
When things calm down inflate her and row.. things build up again deflate her a bit again.. lowers the windage etc..
There's a madness to my methods..
Mine isn't technically a RIB either, inflatable keel, aluminum slats. Mostly because I'm a weakling and true RIBs are heavy.

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Old 14-04-2015, 12:25   #55
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

When we are sailing nearshore we tow the inflatable floor dinghy and would probably go to it first in an emergency. For longer passages or farther offshore we deflate the dinghy and stow it below. That is why we bought a life raft. For that reason we bought an off shore, self righting, ballasted raft. Not an open costal model.

Sailing inshore in cold water I guess you have to decide how readily and securely your dinghy would be available in emergency conditions.


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Old 14-04-2015, 12:39   #56
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Lots of good advice here.

The question depends on your context for shore

I just wanted to emphasise that your coastal waters sound as cold as they are here. If you have to go in the drink, and get wet, survival in coastal waters where I live is about 20minutes at most in winter. So, keep that in mind.

More importantly than a life raft for costal cruising is an epirb, so make very sure you have one of those. The use of an epirb can have you rescued if your boat is sinking, well before you need to get in the water. Especially if it's gps eqipped.

Check your local legislation to and comply with at least the minimal requirements of that.

And last thing I want to say is 'DONT' follow any advice about not using life jackets and safety lines. Especially if your solo.
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Old 14-04-2015, 13:52   #57
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

TN carries a 4-person offshore raft just behind the mast. On passages the Avon 2.95 Roll-up is stored below, rolled up in its bag. But there's plenty of room on the flush deck, with the removable inner fore-stay parked out of the way, against the shrouds.

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Old 14-04-2015, 14:09   #58
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

My first order of business is keeping the boat afloat, so I have Forespar Staplugs, wood plugs, a couple of tubs of Stay Afloat Form-A-Plug, and a few fire extinguishers.

Next up is staying in the boat with tethers & jacklines, then keeping those overboard afloat with life jackets and recovering them with a Lifesling.

In the event I have to leave the boat, I've got a 6-man life raft. Someone here posted that it's not unusual for life rafts to fail to inflate or have other major problems and I've taken that to heart, so I'm thinking of replacing both the raft and my dinghy with a Portland Pudgy & their exposure canopy & sail kit.

The last requirement is being found, so I carry an EPIRB and a well-stocked ditch bag with an InReach, a Garmin hand-held GPS, a couple of VHF radios, flares, a laser flare, and a small water maker. A Sat phone is on my wish list.

Fair winds,

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Old 14-04-2015, 16:24   #59
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Hi,

I am wondering how 'important' a life-raft is to have on-board when you will mostly be coastal cruising in the summer. Maximum 5-10km away from land.

I know a life-raft is an essential piece of safety equipment, but how essential is it when sailing so close to land? I see many small boats without a raft that sail around during the summer.
I think that some of the other responses miss some important points.
  1. Very few people get in a life raft in a given year. When I have asked raft manufacturers how many US boaters abandon ship into one of their rafts, the numbers are in the single digits. So, the likelihood is low.
  2. There are alternatives, as has been pointed out. Virtually any inflatable boat can be made into a life raft in the short term (several hours).
  3. Rescue 21 has made it increasingly likely that you'll be able to reach the Coast Guard along the coasts of the US, and that they will know where you are.
  4. The two primary reasons for having to use a life raft are a fire you cannot extinguish, and a hull breach. Many other problems can be resolved or held at bay in the time it takes to return to a marina or boat yard.
  5. In the US, if you have a PLB, and EPIRB, or a handheld VHF with DSC and GPS, rescue can be had in a few hours. IN other locations, your mileage may vary.
  6. Finally, the nature of your boat determines to a great degree your need for a raft. A boat with a well-attached keel and rudder, a dependable engine, and a rig with relatively new standing rigging can handle a lot of heavy conditions.

My preference would be to have you rent or borrow a raft when you go further offshore, but to spend your money elsewhere for coastal cruising.

Chuck
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Old 14-04-2015, 16:31   #60
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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...if you have a PLB, and EPIRB, or a handheld VHF with DSC and GPS, rescue can be had in a few hours...
In theory, if everything works, you can rely on someone else to save you in time.
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