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Old 09-05-2015, 06:03   #106
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
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?
In practice (while waiting for the new life raft models) I might try to take with me both the life raft and the dinghy, when the boat sinks. That would give me a wide arsenal of options while floating or trying to reach the islands.

In addition I would hopefully take some pre-packed survival item packages with me to the raft (food, solar power, gasoline,...).

The life raft should be the easiest thing to deploy (in all imaginable situations). All other stuff would be additional bonus to me. A luxury life raft could give many of these benefits to me automatically (but probably not a fast dinghy with a motor).
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Old 09-05-2015, 07:50   #107
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Having one and not using it does not hurt anybody. So there is really no argument for not having one when cruising in waters and seasons that call for it.

An inflatable is no substitute. It can be better in some cases and worse in others.

If you think you need a liferaft, get one.

b.
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:43   #108
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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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.
Thats the question for me: what makes a liferaft safer than an inflatable with a tarp made to fit?
Why is one with solas certificate safer than ISO?

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When it gets tipped over you remain inside it rather than getting tossed out.
If a liferaft flips over i am sure the bottom collapses and the occupants may drown... i'd rather be under a flipped inflatable than under a liferaft
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:49   #109
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Thats the question for me: what makes a liferaft safer than an inflatable with a tarp made to fit?
Why is one with solas certificate safer than ISO?



If a liferaft flips over i am sure the bottom collapses and the occupants may drown... i'd rather be under a flipped inflatable than under a liferaft
A liferaft with a cover has an inflatable arch that provides some buoyancy in the inverted position. Liferafts also come with ballast bags which make them less stable in the inverted position. The liferaft is more likely to self-right and if it doesn't less effort is likely to be needed to do it manually.

There is no reason these items couldn't be added to an inflatable or even a hard dinghy for that matter, but it takes effort and thought to do so and it won't have any kind of cert behind it so there may be insurance or regulatory implications depending on where the boat is registered.
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:56   #110
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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An inflatable is no substitute. It can be better in some cases and worse in others.
.
I still trying to figure out In which cases is the raft better than a dinghy And vice versa? Under which circumstances would you choose to go with one or the other?
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:45   #111
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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I still trying to figure out In which cases is the raft better than a dinghy And vice versa? Under which circumstances would you choose to go with one or the other?
Gimme a chance.

I think, (without chewing the whole idea overnight, tossing & turning), in broad terms:

EXPOSURE: cold, water (seawater and rainwater), sun, wind, noise ARE your prime enemies.

SURVIVABILITY: rate of drift, capsize factors, water pockets, color and reflectors/markers/ lights, ability to stock basic SAR aids: EPIRB/PLB/AIS/DSC/MOB/VHF.

All the above seem to be better addressed in a liferaft.

Still on the boat, a liferaft is less likely to be damaged in a bad knock-down or roll-over. (A dinghy tied down to the deck has high % chance of getting punctured or ripped apart by green water or by lose deck hardware, spars, etc.).

Etc. etc. long list.

But a liferaft may have some cons too: e.g. it tends to be very stationary in the water. Not too good if you embark one in the middle of the ocean and nobody knows you did.

People sailed / rowed / drifted across oceans in inflatable dinghies too. But, in all cases that I know of, they were purpose fit and the crews 'knew what they were doing' (read as: they prepared for the stunt beforehand). This is not the case of an odd ocean goer and their 8ft quicksilver.

I am biased because we do not carry a liferaft. But we may. I am also considering survival suits.

b.
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Old 09-05-2015, 13:00   #112
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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I still trying to figure out In which cases is the raft better than a dinghy And vice versa? Under which circumstances would you choose to go with one or the other?
storm & middle of the ocean => life raft
no storm & land visible => dinghy
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Old 09-05-2015, 13:03   #113
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

bar--good post.
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Old 09-05-2015, 13:07   #114
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Whether you depend on a life raft, Dinghy, or your boat depends on where you are and what kind of trouble you are in... and how many people are involved... Then it will depend on what condition everyone is in, and the condition your emergency equipment is in. If you are close to shore the best thing for survival is grounding your boat and salvaging what you can. If off shore a Dinghy large enough for all people on your boat plus the survival equipment permanently stored on board. The last is an inflatable raft and hope someone finds you. The question about a raft, is when was it last inspected and serviced, next is it large enough for everyone and does it have supplies enough for everyone, for three days and set camp if you find a landing spot on some beach. You need to take all these questions in to consideration. I have seen the results of a boat that was grounded on rocks that depended on a NEW life raft that could not take it in bad weather, and no one made it, but might have IF they had stayed with the boat. SO IT DEPENDS ON DECISIONS... This occurred up in Alaskan waters so who knows...It is your choice skipper....
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Old 09-05-2015, 13:09   #115
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

A life raft by any other name is still a life raft.

Think about it, if you asked Steven Callahan, author of “Adrift,” and having spent 76 days at sea, if he would have preferred a hard or soft floor in his inflatable raft, what do you think he would say? Please consider that he points out quite clearly and repeatedly that the raft's soft bottom material gave him no comfort as the sharks patrolled his universe.

Furthermore, inflatable life rafts have been around for quite some time, i.e., much longer than RIBs (which aren’t easy to turn over in their normal position), thus putting a bit of a hole in the traditional view of what is best for escaping total disaster. Therefore, as I see it, when deciding which type of emergency abandon ship vessel to take, it should only be a matter of whether or not you have room for an RIB, or similar type craft. If not, then the automatically inflatable life raft appears to be a viable option. As for a regular inflatable dinghy, that’s a toss of the dice, and your life may depend on how bad the sea conditions are, the accessibility of the dinghy, the place to inflate it, how much time you have before your vessel sinks, etc.

That being said please consider the voyage of Captain Bligh and ask yourself you think he would have preferred a circular soft bottomed life raft:

Captain Bligh and eighteen of his crew survived aboard a 23 foot (7 m) launch where the gunwales were only a few inches above the water and made good 3,618 nautical miles (6,701 km; 4,164 mi) to Timor in 47 days. The weather was often stormy, and they were in constant fear of foundering due to the boat's heavily laden condition.

Finally, I remember enjoying an afternoon in Biscayne Bay aboard an inflatable dink when the outboard died due to a major mechanical malfunction. Wanting to get back to our point of departure, we used our oars as a mast and beach towels as sails. All in all, the trip home was far more enjoyable than the trip out. That being said, I am sure glad our vessel wasn’t circular.
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Old 09-05-2015, 13:10   #116
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Barnakiel
I think taht most of these points are equally addressed with a dinghy, a custom made tarp, a sea anchor and a well prepared grab bag.

Except the dinghy on davits being damaged... haven't thought about this one. For coastal cruising in the med i consider this risk low, but for offshore work this is a genuine reason for a liferaft as a backup.
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Old 09-05-2015, 13:49   #117
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Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Rabbi, you may be happier looking at a Portland Pudgy which is a double hull dinghy which is purpose made to serve as a lifeboat also. It's expensive for a dinghy but not if you think of the cost of dinghy and life raft. http://www.portlandpudgy.com/


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Old 09-05-2015, 13:50   #118
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

I, like many others, have no davits and always deflate the dinghy & stow below during any offshore passages, even if close to land. I'll occasionally leave it on the foredeck in inland waters, and occasionally tow it, but only if I have a reliable forecast. This pretty much rules out relying on it in the event of . . . .

FWIW . . . .
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Old 09-05-2015, 14:37   #119
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

I've considered towing a Gunboat in case I need to abandon ship, but...


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Old 10-05-2015, 04:15   #120
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Rabbi, you may be happier looking at a Portland Pudgy which is a double hull dinghy which is purpose made to serve as a lifeboat also. It's expensive for a dinghy but not if you think of the cost of dinghy and life raft. Dinghy | Lifeboat | Yacht Tender | Portland Pudgy


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its too heavy and small for my taste, at least for daily use. It also seems small for emergency use.

And the total price of the dink with all ermergency equip would also allow for a really good dink plus a liferaft as a backup.
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