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Old 31-03-2010, 10:24   #1
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Question Life Raft Repack

Can anyone tell me the approximate cost of repacking a life raft. My Reevre 6 man coastal commander vacuum packed raft expires in April 2010. If the costs other have told me are real then It is almost better to buy a new one then repack an old one. Any honest dealers on the Texas Gulf Coast?
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Old 31-03-2010, 11:31   #2
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, RCErickson.

I've heard #350 - $650 to repack (certify) an $1800 raft.

According to
http://www.reveresupply.com/revere_2...reational.html
there are 3 Revere Service Stations in Texas:

Ask for a quote.

Fire Protection Services, Inc.
8050 Harrisburg Blvd.,Houston, TX 77012
Tel: 713-924-9600
Fax: 713-923-6272

Fire Protection Services, Inc.
4221 Beacon St., Corpus Christi, TX 78408
T: 361-289-9102
F: 361-289-1421

Triad Marine & Industrial Supply, Inc.
1155 FM 518 Rd., Kemah, TX 77565
T: 281-334-0815
F: 281-338-4956

Goto ➥ REVERE | reveresupply.com | Award-Winning Survival Equipment Proven to Save Lives
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Old 09-04-2010, 21:16   #3
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It's expensive. I bought this boat 2 years ago in Florida and put it up on the hard until I retired. It has an Avon that was last repacked in 85(slightly out of date) but never opened or touched. The place I took my EPIRB into quoted me a price of 295.00 just to open it and tell me it's bad. If I wanted to buy another one then the inspection price of the old one would be deducted from the price of a new one. Oh joy, what a deal.
WD
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Old 09-04-2010, 21:32   #4
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I was told about 350-450 for a 6 man revere here in Corpus Chrisit. But don't know for sure.
Next raft I purchase prior to the big sail, in 10 years will be a vacuume packed winslow.
Figure 400 every 2 years, that is 2000 over 10 years... ouch.
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Old 09-04-2010, 21:34   #5
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Ahoy, can you repack them yourself and test them, if a man made it then a man can fix it?
what is actually involved in "repacking" it?
Cheers from Keith.
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Old 09-04-2010, 23:59   #6
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The place that inspects my raft inflates it with dry nitrogen (or something like that) since other methods can harm it while stored ... especially wet air and the CO2 from the auto-inflate bottle.

The actual 'repack' is trivial. It's the inspection and test that are important. Well worth the money but unless required certainly not necessary every 2 years in my opinion.
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:10   #7
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Thanks Daddle, I thought that there must be a good reason for the high cost!
Keith
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Old 10-04-2010, 04:42   #8
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Other factors in the cost of a life-raft re-pack will include the replacement of dated items like signal flares and any food rations among the raft's equipment and supplies. In addition, the high-pressure gas cylinder may need to be hydro-tested, and the valve perhaps replaced...
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:31   #9
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Quote:
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Other factors in the cost of a life-raft re-pack will include the replacement of dated items like signal flares and any food rations among the raft's equipment and supplies ...
A good reason to have a basic life raft, with minimal expendable supplies packed inside; all of which you provide (presumably at lower cost) in your separate ditch bag.
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:42   #10
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Quote:
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A good reason to have a basic life raft, with minimal expendable supplies packed inside; all of which you provide (presumably at lower cost) in your separate ditch bag.
Very true.
But might be a false choice if you had to get off very fast, the raft auto deployed and you had nothing...
In bad storm conditions, in the dark, without power due to the batteries being under water..... finding your ditch bag that was under the compionway stairs but got moved earlier with the repeted fuel filter cloggings, and after several knockdowns, not the cabin is a mess with broken glassware, water several feet deep, and coming in fast, a gash on your head from being thrown around.... and your mate screaming "lets get off now.... "
Of course that might never happen, but having a life raft fully equipped with all the necessary supplies, and the ditch bag as backup... would be fully appreciated in that situation.

But a fully equipped life raft like a Winslow offshore is expensive to buy, to maintain and wont ever be appreciated unless something very bad happens, in which case it will be vital.
I don't think repacking your own life raft is possible. Better leave to the experts on this one.
Except the experts in the past have been neligent in the extreme in some cases. So make sure the repacker is authorized from you life raft company. And might be a good idea to attend when it is done, just be sure.
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:05   #11
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I was trained to repack life rafts in the navy as an aircrew survival equipment man and books are still available on how to do this stuff. The nutshell version is the raft is unpacked, unfolded, lanyards released the the raft is inflated to a recommended PSI value where it sits for 24-48 hours then the pressure value is rechecked. During that time the cylinder is checked for hydro and weighed for the proper fill along with all the supplies and batteries exchanged for up to date shelf life items. The end process is to vacuum out all the air from the raft while folding it back down, reconnect auto lanyards and encapsulate. No big mystery, just qualified people and QC checks.
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:46   #12
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I paid about $800 last Summer to have my Winslow re-packed at the factory - probably a little more expensive to do it that way. They replaced all perishable materials/foods/etc. and did a complete test. I got a nice detailed sheet back showing all of the checkmarks of what they did. At a minimum, I know they checked the boxes...

It seems expensive but if you've made the decision to have a liferaft, then there's a good reason to make sure it can actually save you.
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:02   #13
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After buying my boat, I took the deck mounted canister with liferaft in for re-cert. Upon inflation it just fell apart. Apparently it was 12 years old, and the service facility said they just don't last that long. They returned the raft and supplies to us and charged us nothing.

So it turned out to be expensive, because we needed a new raft. But, it was good to find that out.
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Old 11-04-2010, 14:30   #14
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I had my Avon 6 Man liferaft recertified last yaer in St. Lucia by a factory authorized centre. Since it was not known when it was last inspected he did a complete check. Although looking a bit rough it passed all pressure tests. He replaced the cylinder with a refurbished one hydrotested and filled with Nitrogen and CO2. He replaced the flares,painter line, flash light, Avon liferaft knives, whistles, sponges,repair kit, paddles and anti seasick pills.

The total cost was $3200.00EC or about $1200.00. Although the raft was almost 20 years old (it is now) he said it was inpretty good shape. He felt that Avons last much longer than others and could be servicable for several more years.
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Old 11-04-2010, 15:18   #15
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Mangobob has it right: There's no mystery except the one that the man behind the curtain wants to create.

I'd strongly question the forthwrightness of any shop that even accepted a 1985 raft for recertification. Considering that Zodiac (under French government regulation) condemns rafts that are just 10 years old...the odds of a 25+ year old raft passing certification are terribly slim, and zero unless it was welded as opposed to glued construction.

That's dirty little secret #1 with life rafts, glued ones literally rot apart on the dotted lines. And there HAVE been USCG confirmed cases of repacks done improperly with rafts being literally stolen from the cannister.

A reputable shop will allow or encourage you to see the repack with your own eyes. They may not leave it inflated for 48 hours but they should be able to inflate it before your eyes and repack it the same way. the CO2/N in the bottle can freeze-damage the material so a lower pressure "dry air" or nitrogen source is a better way to inflate it. Nitrogen being best but...air is 80-odd percent nitrogren to start with. To do it yourself, the exhaust from a leafblower or shopvac would work very nicely.

The cylinder may need hydrotesting--but I think that's only every 20th year for cylinders under 1800psi in the US--and certainly weighing. But it ain't rocket science, and considering the mistakes underpaid help make and the cost, versus the motivation of the owner who hopes never to USE the raft...DIY has its merits.
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