Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 14-04-2015, 16:40   #61
Registered User
 
Rustic Charm's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Boat: Bieroc 36 foot Ketch
Posts: 4,898
Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Hawley View Post
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
He's cruising in 'Danish' waters
__________________

__________________
Rustic Charm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2015, 17:21   #62
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Atlantic ICW 29N/81W
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 36CC, now sold
Posts: 817
Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Hawley View Post
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
That all makes perfect sense to me Chuck. in our case we have one of your excellent Hypalon 310 RIBs with a 9.9 Mercury 4t hung in our stern davits all ready to go if we need a rapid get off quick escape like for a fire we cannot extinguish we can then either wait for the fire to go out or for a rescue summoned and/or directed via handheld VHf or PLB or we can zoom off towards the nearest bit of safe dry dirt, navigating via the handheld plotter.

I was actually at sea in the Western Approaches to the English Channel in the vicinity of the ill-fated 1979 Fastnet Race fleet but cruising gently home from our annual summer cruise with family, not in the race and no way would I have wanted to take to our Liferaft in those conditions unless forced to at gunpoint or stepping up to it from the vanishing masthead. But those conditions are not the most likely reason to abandon ship for most of us, most of the time. More likely would be a galley or electrical fire or perhaps flooding after a collision and in which case we do not need the ultimate in self righting ballasted packable technology, we need something ready dry and waiting to step into. Abandoning ship is the ultimate last resort

We had cannister mounted liferafts held in purpose designed brackets on the sterns of our last UK based boats and these could be launched singlehanded by the weakest crew with the simple pull of a pin and a shove. Most rafts are very heavy and cumbersome and even with added situational adrenalin very hard to get out and launch. Having one coach roof mounted above a burning galley or cabin fire is not a good scenario either which is why I opted for a transom or pushpit rail mount. Neither are we exempt from harm if we choose never to go far offshore or always avoid bad weather because fire (for example) needs no rough seas to start and most rocks and reefs or sandbanks are found inshore not mid ocean

This is a difficult and emotional discussion subject and we all need to make our own personal risk assessments and act on those accordingly, but as someone else already said, having a liferaft does not make you safer, it is not 'safety' gear but 'emergency' gear.

Choose wisely and sail safely all.
__________________

__________________
Robin3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2015, 17:23   #63
Registered User
 
FamilyVan's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,779
Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Hawley View Post
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
That's odd that you believe rescue is available within a few hours any where in the US. Coast guardsmen are men on boats, if it's rough enough to sink the boat you are on, it's likely to be very uncomfortable for the men coming to get you.

A 33' sailboat or 47' MLB have an operational limit. I've been in some serious weather trouble on full sized ice breakers just on the great lakes.

I've been in situations on 47's where we were able to get on scene but we're basically incapable of doing anything but keep an eye on the situation.

I've also been in situations where cruising boats have wondered into shoal waters where I couldn't follow on a 47.

I've also searched for people literally for days before even finding them.

I've never been to the Baltic, but I assume whatever the Viking equivalent of the USCG is highly skilled, but I suspect the same rules of man vs sea exist there. Rescue is often only hours away, but it is often much much more. I can't imagine one would survive in the Baltic very well for three hours without a boat.

Sent from my SGH-I547C using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________
FamilyVan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2015, 19:56   #64
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
That's odd that you believe rescue is available within a few hours any where in the US.

If one has a registered EPIRB, the average response time to rescue WORLDWIDE is 200 minutes.

I present that as a simple statistic, and not a judgement, recommendation or endorsement.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2015, 19:57   #65
Senior Cruiser
 
hpeer's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Boat: Murray 33-Chouette & Pape Steelmaid-44-Safara-both steel cutters
Posts: 3,896
Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

This is a question as much or more than an opinion.

So I've done some Northern, cold water sailing. We use a Porte Bote, not the fastest thing to launch. Not easily towed in a seaway. Don't have a life raft.

What I do have is a combination of Gumby suits, a semi dry flotation suit, and full dry work suit. We have two boats so things can get mixed up a bit, not carrying all, at all times.

The Gumby suits, with an EPIRB, will buy you time to get rescue. Not a guarantee for sure. But there are no guarantees with rafts either. I have read of them being ripped away from the boat, being ripped and depleted by the boat, or other failures. In a way a Gumby is easier to deploy, more certain to achieve protection, if inferior protection.

The work suits can serve dual purposes. I have worn the semi dry flotation unit when I got real cold. It was great for blocking the wind, better than my heavy Gill outfit. The full dry is too hard to get into alone to be very useful. But I think it would be very good for survival.

I can see a progression. First get the Gumby suits, but then get a lift raft when finances and/situation demands. Gumby suits alone help, in a dingy it would be pretty good, in a raft even better.

If you are going to do some more serious cold weather stuff then look into dry flotation work suits. You can wear then in the cold and wet. If you already have it on then your chances are much improved. They are doing dual duty, good on a boat. They will help you deal with the emergency. And if you do go over, be it in a dingy or rafts or nothing your chances are better IF you have an EPIRB.
__________________
hpeer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2015, 09:40   #66
Registered User
 
Joe Brown's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Indiana
Boat: Crealock 37
Posts: 23
Send a message via AIM to Joe Brown
Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Most of my cruising has been coastal in the Gulf and Bahamas. With a well cared for RIB dinghy, I never felt the need for a life raft. The waters were not cold, the routes we took were well-traveled.

On the other hand, for a boat delivery from Tortola to Connecticut via Bermuda - you bet we had a life raft.
__________________
Capt. Joe Brown
Joe Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-04-2015, 13:21   #67
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Akron, Ohio
Boat: Bristol 29(1967)
Posts: 595
Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

I don't think I understand the original question ...

Are you asking about having a "lifeboat", only on board, or are you asking if you happen to have a dinghy(which is rather normal), and you only venture 10 or so miles out, would you need a lifeboat ... ALSO?

I say that if your boat sinks 10 miles out, you'd better be able to swim to shore or at the least have "something" to keep you afloat ... be it a lifeboat, a dinghy or a bunch of swim noodles tied together.
__________________
SURV69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2015, 13:03   #68
Moderator
 
cabo_sailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Tarpon Springs FL
Boat: Cabo Rico 38
Posts: 1,905
Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Very interesting thread with a variety of well presented opinions. I tend to be in the " youse pay your money, you takes your choice" class.

I can of look at it as a tierd response. First are the PFD's. I know, many old time sailors didn't have them and refused to learn to swim. Why prolong the terror?

Next, while trying to figure out what's wrong, others would be preparing to
abandon ship. Grab the EPIRB, the ditch bag with VHF and get it into the cockpit with the EPIRB singing its song. The VHF would also be singing on DSC.

If the dinghy was on deck, it would have be assed for launching. There may be enough residual air to keep it floating.

The life raft with the ditch bag would be deployed in the cockpit. All would be accounted for and, if time, check our options. If the boat were stable, I'd stay with the boat and let the EPIRB scream. Otherwise, The raft goes over.

As an aside, our boat came with a Givens 6 person offshore raft in a canister. Three problems, it badly needed recertification , it was mounted on the foredeck ( which I think was silly) and finally it weighed over 100 lbs. Way to heavy for a couple of codgers in bad conditions. I replaced it with a Winslow 4 person offshore in a valise. I checked but my wife can lift it with two hands and I with one. I wasn't about to go down with the liferaft still attached!

I apologize for being so long winded but I don't think these scenarios are so much a procedure as a process. The more arrows in you're quiver, the more options for your process.

Stay dry everyone and keep the water outside the hull.

Rich


Sent from my iPhone using Quantum Entagelment
__________________
cabo_sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2015, 13:46   #69
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Long Beach, CA
Boat: Tayana Vancouver 42
Posts: 1,854
Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Was Noah's Ark costal cruising? Did he have a life raft or an EPIRB? Oh yeah, I guess so.


S/V B'Shert
__________________
Tayana42 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2015, 15:13   #70
Moderator
 
cabo_sailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Tarpon Springs FL
Boat: Cabo Rico 38
Posts: 1,905
Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Tayana, I'm no scholar but I don't think there was a coastline then. Hmm, no anchoring restrictions, no license fees, no customs and can you imagine the holding tank for an ark full of critters? It boggles the mind (and probably the nose). 🙀


Sent from my iPhone using Quantum Entagelment
__________________
cabo_sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2015, 17:23   #71
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
The life raft with the ditch bag would be deployed in the cockpit.
How big is your cockpit? We have a catamaran and I don't think our cockpit would hold a deployed liferaft - let alone being able to toss it overboard when necessary.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2015, 17:41   #72
Moderator
 
cabo_sailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Tarpon Springs FL
Boat: Cabo Rico 38
Posts: 1,905
Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

By deployed I mean attached inside the cockpit connected to the ditch bag and ready to toss overboard. I can't think of any reason to inflate on board.

Apologies for being imprecise.

Rich


Sent from my iPhone using Quantum Entagelment
__________________
cabo_sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2015, 19:51   #73
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Ah - I just read that wrong. Makes sense now!

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2015, 02:23   #74
Moderator
 
carstenb's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Copenhagen
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Fast 40.3
Posts: 4,936
Images: 1
Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

I sail the waters the OP is talking about. Sure a dinghy could do, but if his boat goes down (aside from fire), it will be in a big time storm. NOt sure a dinghy will survive that or even stay right side up.

Hypothermia is a real concern. Even in the height of summer, water temps are going to be something like 68-70 degrees F

10 minutes in that and you're a goner
__________________
I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted - Elmore Leonard
carstenb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2015, 13:36   #75
Registered User
 
Barbossa's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 8
Lightbulb Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicks View Post
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.
Why take a risk? It could literally save your life and the lives of your passengers. Always worth storing on board just in case!
__________________

__________________
Barbossa is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cruising, import

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Your Coastal/Near Coastal Vessel - And Why You Chose It. Shibumik Monohull Sailboats 20 17-03-2013 18:40
For Sale: Life Raft - Revere Coastal Commander, 6 Person - $900 phboujon Classifieds Archive 3 15-07-2011 13:48
WTB: Sat phone, Life Raft, EPIRB, Cruising Guides KevinE Classifieds Archive 0 16-09-2009 10:15
The Importance of Going Cruising NOW! oldsalt_1942 The Sailor's Confessional 49 30-12-2008 07:32



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:53.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.