Originally Posted by Geoff54
I too have been looking at life rafts and I am leaning towards a Viking RescYou Pro because it appears to be a quality product but more importantly, because it is self-righting. The prospect of having to right a life raft that launched inverted in rough conditions sends a shiver down my spine.
I would be interested in your opinions especially if you have any experience, either with the RescYou Pro or a life raft that has inverted.
During STCW training, one of the requirements is to invert a 20 person Liferaft
in a pool, which is hard. Try to invert a Liferaft
of any size in even small seas is going to require exceptional skills. Also understand that a Liferaft capacity is based on something around two square feet per person. In both my STCW classes
we had 13 adult males inside a 20 person raft and it was crowded.
Order a raft that is two persons larger than your normal crew size, but remember if it is too large and doesn't have enough weight in it, it could be unstaable. This can be compensated by using a water
My advice is look for one that is self righting. I believe any SOLAS rated off-shore raft is self righting.
Also consider where you mount the raft. Most Liferaft deployments are done by the crew, not the hydro release. Make sure the average person can deploy it. Lots of people are storing their rafts in places that will be difficult to deploy, if needed. If you use a canister have it in a place you can access it safely in heavy seas and can slide it across the deck
into the water instead of lifting it. If you used a a soft container make sure it is located somewhere near the cockpit
and that the average person can get it out of where it is stored without having to dig for it.
I have two friends that ended up in liferafts, one spent 4 hours in the water after striking a whale and the other spent 38 hours in the North Atlantic after the bow sheared off on hie one design catamaran
. I also heled coordinate two rescues via SSB
. One 1900 miles SW of San Diego
, which took 10.5 hours to get parachute medics to them and anthoer 12 hours to get a rescue
ship to them. The other was in the Sea of Cortez
, where a singlehander fell asleep and went aground in 90 miles from no where. It took 7 hours to rescuers to him. I have also read several books
and reports on rescues at sea and the bottom line is the time it takes rescuers to you is based on where you are and how close someone else is to you. But these stories should give you an idea how long you could potentially be in a liferaft.
The people who commented about safety
being overated are entitled to their opinions and can blame it on the governments, but in my opinion, safety
is important and you should consider the bad things happeneing and have a plan.