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Old 07-05-2015, 22:00   #91
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Ok, so let's forget about the analogy of 'mandatory life rafts' again and we are down to what you believe people are implieing. (sic)

I don't see anything like that. No 'death wish' and no questions of the value of lives.
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Why take a risk? It could literally save your life and the lives of your passengers. Always worth storing on board just in case!
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How far can you swim?
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What's my life worth? To me, a great deal. What's the value of the lives of my children, loved ones, friends, or passengers? Everything.
I see a fair bit of implying going on here.

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
To me it just gets down to two things. What you can afford and what's practical. It's not practical to have a large fibreglass box on your 18 footer 'in my opinion'.
There we go, a discussion of the practicalities of the situation. If you put the liferaft in a valise rather than a container it would take less room. I'm actually agnostic on this question, what I'm against is a shrill pat answer offers no reasoning behind it. There is nothing to learn from answers like that except fear.

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Where you sail is also important. Where the OP sails is as cold and colder at times than where I am. 5 minutes and your imcapacitated, 20 minutes and your dead.
Current water temps around Denmark are about 7-10C:
Today's sea surface temperature for the Baltic Sea — European Environment Agency (EEA)

At that temp exhaustion should set in at about 45-60m and death at 1-3hr:
Cold Water Survival
Hypothermia Prevention: Survial in Cold Water | Minnesota Sea Grant
Hypothermia safety
Since all of these site give the same answers I assume they are getting their info from the same place. I would be happier tracking the info to the original source so I could assess its validity.
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Old 07-05-2015, 22:12   #92
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

We coastal cruise year round in Southern British Columbia. In the off season, we may only see one or two other vessels in a day. We do not carry a life raft, nor do most recreational boaters around here (as confirmed by daily walking of the docks) Sure, if money were no object, I would add one. But it is, and certainly is for most boaters I would argue. If I were to go offshore, I would include one in my prep. We always have an inflated RIB either on deck, or towed behind us. I am content with this setup. There are lots of anchorages one can hole up in around here. If the weather is bad enough to worry about the integrity of your vessel, don't go.
Honestly, I would suggest more local boats around here put that cash into bigger anchors, more chain, a windlass, heat, good comms, and a reliable dinghy for safety. I don't feel that there is any weather around here that could realistically sink our vessel (operator error and lack of maintenance not included, which we are pretty on the ball with). A good dinghy covers our needs, in our opinion. I absolutely do not think life rafts should be required items.

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Old 07-05-2015, 23:15   #93
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post

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!
Hi Rich,

This part of your post caught my attention since my boat also came with the same 6-man offshore Givens & suffers from the same problems you pointed out, namely it's old & needs recertification, it's heavy, and it's mounted in a cradle on the foredeck. I have also started looking at valise-type rafts, but was surprised to be told they are not designed to be stored anywhere on deck (due to moisture & UV). This presents some problems in my mind, namely accessibility in the (unlikely but possible) event of a sudden emergency, and secure stowage below decks. Would love to know your thoughts if you're willing. Tks.
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Old 08-05-2015, 01:20   #94
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
I see a fair bit of implying going on here.

There we go, a discussion of the practicalities of the situation. If you put the liferaft in a valise rather than a container it would take less room. I'm actually agnostic on this question, what I'm against is a shrill pat answer offers no reasoning behind it. There is nothing to learn from answers like that except fear.


Current water temps around Denmark are about 7-10C:
Today's sea surface temperature for the Baltic Sea — European Environment Agency (EEA)

At that temp exhaustion should set in at about 45-60m and death at 1-3hr:
Cold Water Survival
Hypothermia Prevention: Survial in Cold Water | Minnesota Sea Grant
Hypothermia safety
Since all of these site give the same answers I assume they are getting their info from the same place. I would be happier tracking the info to the original source so I could assess its validity.
That's 'today's' temperature! When equipping a boat surely you would prepare for the temperatures you would commonly sail in? And if that's the case the Baltic gets colder than 7 degrees. A lot colder. And in the links YOU provide suggest 10-15 minutes to incapacity, death inward from 30 minutes.
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Old 08-05-2015, 05:14   #95
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

We just got rid of the liferaft.

It was a heavy 8Person offshore version with >24h supplies. Total weight is 65kg which I can lift from the cradle when at dock but I don't see a chance to deploy it while underway in less than perfect conditions. My wife would have no chance at all, she is much lighter than the raft...

It had been stored for 7 years in a cradle behind the bridgedeck and I question the integrity of the air tubes after such a period. It passed the last service but I have little faith in it.

I don't like to trust such a device that I can't easily test frequently by myself. I test the PFDs at least once per year but for a liferaft??

I really prefer our dingy over the liferaft. Not only does it provide more space and buoyancy but it can also propel itself towards safety. With its inflatable keel & hard floor you won't be sitting wet and miserable in a pool like in a liferaft.

The most important thing is I know for sure it is operational with no leaks. It can be launched in a minute in normal conditions. My wife can do it easily and even the kids can do it together at age 7 & 8. For the unlikely event that the cat flips or something entangles we have a knife stored at the davits.

With two well-prepared ditchbags I hope it will offer a level of protection at least similar to the liferaft. That is a small sea anchor, plastic tarp with attachments, airpump, clamseal, EPIRB, handheld DSC VHF, satphone, hand-operated watermaker, food & water, etc

One thing missing is water ballast bags to improve stability like a liferaft has. But I hope a 3m dingy held into the waves by a sea anchor is less prone to wave capsize than a much smaller liferaft anyway.

I may add a light & small inshore liferaft to this as a backup and to avoid being fined by authorities, but I would definately try to launch the dingy first as my primary emergency device.

Or am I missing something here?
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Old 08-05-2015, 05:20   #96
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Curious as to what you did with the liferaft. I just removed a Revere six man Ocean life raft from the cabin top of our boat. It is a soft sided thing, and looks to be in good shape despite being stored outside on a boat for ten years. It had a canvas cover over it, too.

It's sitting in my garage, along with the two spinnaker poles, two Blake heads, Cabin heater, compressor and watermaker I've taken off this boat.

Did you throw the life raft away? Did you inflate it first, just for fun?
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Old 08-05-2015, 05:32   #97
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

I placed it on a local site similar to craigs list with an honest description. The guy who picked it up for a few bucks wanted to use it for an offshore training.
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:07   #98
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by rabbi View Post
We just got rid of the liferaft.

It was a heavy 8Person offshore version with >24h supplies. Total weight is 65kg which I can lift from the cradle when at dock but I don't see a chance to deploy it while underway in less than perfect conditions. My wife would have no chance at all, she is much lighter than the raft...

It had been stored for 7 years in a cradle behind the bridgedeck and I question the integrity of the air tubes after such a period. It passed the last service but I have little faith in it.

I don't like to trust such a device that I can't easily test frequently by myself. I test the PFDs at least once per year but for a liferaft??

I really prefer our dingy over the liferaft. Not only does it provide more space and buoyancy but it can also propel itself towards safety. With its inflatable keel & hard floor you won't be sitting wet and miserable in a pool like in a liferaft.

The most important thing is I know for sure it is operational with no leaks. It can be launched in a minute in normal conditions. My wife can do it easily and even the kids can do it together at age 7 & 8. For the unlikely event that the cat flips or something entangles we have a knife stored at the davits.

With two well-prepared ditchbags I hope it will offer a level of protection at least similar to the liferaft. That is a small sea anchor, plastic tarp with attachments, airpump, clamseal, EPIRB, handheld DSC VHF, satphone, hand-operated watermaker, food & water, etc

One thing missing is water ballast bags to improve stability like a liferaft has. But I hope a 3m dingy held into the waves by a sea anchor is less prone to wave capsize than a much smaller liferaft anyway.

I may add a light & small inshore liferaft to this as a backup and to avoid being fined by authorities, but I would definately try to launch the dingy first as my primary emergency device.

Or am I missing something here?
If I'm in a raging sea big enough to have caused so much damage to my boat that I have to abandon her, I'd definately prefer to be in a proper life raft than into a dingy.

But to the op's original question, if sticking as close to the shore as he's indicated I'd be content with a very stable dingy with positive floatations.
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Old 08-05-2015, 07:57   #99
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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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


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We have a light life raft in a cradle at the transom. I want to be able to launch it easily in all situations, e.g. when swimming near the transom when the boat has turned upside down after losing its keel. It is good to have the life raft easily available (without the need to fetch it somewhere) in all emergency scenarios, not only in some selected easy scenarios.

Also our life raft needs recertification. And since I'm mostly a coastal / archipelago cruiser I expect my dinghy to be plan A for most problematic situations that I expect to encounter. But it is good to have also the life raft available when plan A does not work.
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:41   #100
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
That's 'today's' temperature! When equipping a boat surely you would prepare for the temperatures you would commonly sail in? And if that's the case the Baltic gets colder than 7 degrees. A lot colder. And in the links YOU provide suggest 10-15 minutes to incapacity, death inward from 30 minutes.

Today is near the beginning of the sailing season there. Because of the lag in sea temps relative to air temps it should be running near their annual lows. By the time the season ends in October or so I would expect temps to be past their max but still warmer than now. Since the OP is asking newbie questions I assume he will follow the seasons for a year or two.

I found a site showing current and high and low temps for various Danish cities: http://seatemperature.info/denmark-w...mperature.html

This appears to show that the range for these cities is 6-15C.

I'd say that the numbers I gave were accurate for year round sailing and conservative for normal sailing during the normal sailing season there.

If you want to start talking about the northern Baltic that's different but I'm limiting my comments to the OP's area of operations.


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Old 09-05-2015, 03:33   #101
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
If I'm in a raging sea big enough to have caused so much damage to my boat that I have to abandon her, I'd definately prefer to be in a proper life raft than into a dingy.
Based on my gut feeling I tend to agree. Maybe this gut feeling is influenced by the wording. Its a life raft and we want to save our lives, its an emergency device and we surely are in an emergency.
We have seen people in liferafts in movies, we see them on cruise ships and planes also carry liferafts. So this seems to be the way to go.
On the other hand cruise ships and commercial ships seem to carry liferafts more as backups to their evacuation tenders.

looking at it from a more rationale perspective: what exactly can a liferaft do that a dinghy can't? In which aspects does it excel so much that I should prefer the liferaft over the dingy?
Just curiously looking for what I am missing
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Old 09-05-2015, 03:55   #102
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Based on my gut feeling I tend to agree. Maybe this gut feeling is influenced by the wording. Its a life raft and we want to save our lives, its an emergency device and we surely are in an emergency.
We have seen people in liferafts in movies, we see them on cruise ships and planes also carry liferafts. So this seems to be the way to go.
On the other hand cruise ships and commercial ships seem to carry liferafts more as backups to their evacuation tenders.

looking at it from a more rationale perspective: what exactly can a liferaft do that a dinghy can't? In which aspects does it excel so much that I should prefer the liferaft over the dingy?
Just curiously looking for what I am missing
I think the more pertinent question is what makes a life raft safer than a dingy to use in case of an emergency? And it does depend on the dingy. I'd assume a dingy built with positive boyancy as the problem with any other dingy is they will sink when swamped.

Basically it gets down to the type of life raft. Frankly, if your going to the cost of getting one, then a solas life raft in my thinking is the best option. Something that you can climb into to keep warm and to escape spray and wind chill. When it gets tipped over you remain inside it rather than getting tossed out.
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Old 09-05-2015, 05:21   #103
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

spend two hours drifting in an enclosed liferaft in the sun down here and you'd be cutting the side panels out of it anyhow. It would be frustrating to see the islands and cloud formations marking islands just a few miles away with no way to propel yourself toward them, I think.

Why doesn't anyone build a liferaft with a torqueedo and solar setup? Even slow and daylight only propulsion would be better than none. You might only need to alter your drift a little.

How about packing a traction kite and instructions in the life raft? Gives you a means of moving yourself quite a bit off the downwind course. And something to do with your time. And a kite in the air is a lot more visible from a distance than a raft on the surface. Put a radar reflector,cyalume or strobe on a bright yellow traction kite. See it for 30 miles day or night?
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Old 09-05-2015, 05:51   #104
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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spend two hours drifting in an enclosed liferaft in the sun down here and you'd be cutting the side panels out of it anyhow. It would be frustrating to see the islands and cloud formations marking islands just a few miles away with no way to propel yourself toward them, I think.

Why doesn't anyone build a liferaft with a torqueedo and solar setup? Even slow and daylight only propulsion would be better than none. You might only need to alter your drift a little.

How about packing a traction kite and instructions in the life raft? Gives you a means of moving yourself quite a bit off the downwind course. And something to do with your time. And a kite in the air is a lot more visible from a distance than a raft on the surface. Put a radar reflector,cyalume or strobe on a bright yellow traction kite. See it for 30 miles day or night?
Or, have an epirb with GPS
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Old 09-05-2015, 05:56   #105
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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How about packing a traction kite and instructions in the life raft?
There's a capital idea!

I've been holding off on opining in this thread, but seeing as the ice has been broken, here goes......

I sail 90% of my miles coastal, around South Florida. Some have said the water here is too warm to worry about hypothermia; That's BS, the water gets to 55°F here most winters. That said, I don't carry a liferaft mostly because on a 28' boat there simply is no room. I will tow an inflatable dinghy if planning a long offshore route (I can be as much as 100 miles from shore on some rhumbline routes), or if I plan to anchor out and want to have land access.

Towing a dink has its own pitfalls which have been set forth on this site many times.... But it seems the most workable alternative FOR ME.
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