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Old 19-03-2012, 15:15   #16
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post

I agree they are not making a killing off us cruisers, but I can do the same job for a very small fraction of the cost and learn something in the process.

If I were currently running an Inspected vessel then I would have no option but to use a commercial facility, but I'm cruising -- I have no legal life-raft carriage requirements anyway. And, I can buy all the little misc bits and pieces for a few dollars.

Even if I return the boat to charter use in Belize I still have no life-raft carriage requirements and certainly no official inspection. Same is true of many other popular charter venues in the world.
Totally agree. Since my boat will not be in charter I will do my own inspection and repacking.
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Old 19-03-2012, 16:28   #17
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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Here is a german video on how to do it I just watched it from begining to end and it really doesn't look that hard.
Yes, I've watched a few other servicing videos too and the necessary skill set seems pretty basic. I expect there are some experience based tricks that are not covered in detail in the videos, but so far it's been quite easy.

One issue I have encountered is finding any documentation at all on the CO2 firing head (EAM Model 3000). I expect that is deliberately not widely available. Eastern Aero Marine (EAM) makes it, but I assume they only provide documentation to authorized service centers -- have not contacted them yet, but that is the answer I expect. Fortunately, the head is in excellent condition -- I would just like to know more details about it's use and maintenance.
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Old 19-03-2012, 16:44   #18
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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Am I to believe from this that there are countries that REQUIRE that you have a life raft?
It is my understanding that the laws that apply to your boat are the laws that your boat is flagged under. For instance if I was in Spain with a UK flagged vessel then I would only have to meet the laws that apply to the UK. This makes sense since ships/boats that travel from country to country would have a difficult establishing what regulations one needed to follow. I would insert a caveat that if a ship spends an inordinate amount of time in one particuilar place -- say a UK boat in Portugal. The portugesse(sp) would probably have the right to impose their regulations on that boat. How to define inordinate? I don't know.
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Old 19-03-2012, 17:16   #19
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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It is my understanding that the laws that apply to your boat are the laws that your boat is flagged under. For instance if I was in Spain with a UK flagged vessel then I would only have to meet the laws that apply to the UK. This makes sense since ships/boats that travel from country to country would have a difficult establishing what regulations one needed to follow. I would insert a caveat that if a ship spends an inordinate amount of time in one particuilar place -- say a UK boat in Portugal. The portugesse(sp) would probably have the right to impose their regulations on that boat. How to define inordinate? I don't know.
I suspect that gets a little fuzzy for recreational vessels in some venues.

I remember reading a few years ago about a big flap over the Aussies trying to enforce more stringent safety requirements on cruising vessels, but not sure what became of that.

Definitely, if you are doing business in a country (my case in the past) then you are subject to their regulations, but to a much lesser degree if just passing through (in my experience).
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Old 19-03-2012, 17:58   #20
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
It is my understanding that the laws that apply to your boat are the laws that your boat is flagged under. For instance if I was in Spain with a UK flagged vessel then I would only have to meet the laws that apply to the UK. This makes sense since ships/boats that travel from country to country would have a difficult establishing what regulations one needed to follow. I would insert a caveat that if a ship spends an inordinate amount of time in one particuilar place -- say a UK boat in Portugal. The portugesse(sp) would probably have the right to impose their regulations on that boat. How to define inordinate? I don't know.
In theory this is all correct. In practice once you are in the jurisdiction of another country you are subject to whatever whims they care to enforce. Not sure if it is allowed to post a link but look at a thread on ybw.com on restrictions in Portugal. Then there is the classic, guns on board. Legal in the US but US flagged vessels are not allowed to take them to many countries.

To travel the rivers of Europe you are required to have a license that isn't issued in the US. Not sure if this is in the same category or not as you are no longer in the ocean but still.

I understand it has been repealed but at one time New Zealand would not allow foreign yachts to depart until the passed the local safety inspections and regulations.

Most places I think the authorities will adhere to the policy of applying the rules of the country of registration but I plan to check before I go.
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Old 20-03-2012, 04:01   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie

It is my understanding that the laws that apply to your boat are the laws that your boat is flagged under. For instance if I was in Spain with a UK flagged vessel then I would only have to meet the laws that apply to the UK. This makes sense since ships/boats that travel from country to country would have a difficult establishing what regulations one needed to follow. I would insert a caveat that if a ship spends an inordinate amount of time in one particuilar place -- say a UK boat in Portugal. The portugesse(sp) would probably have the right to impose their regulations on that boat. How to define inordinate? I don't know.
This is a common misconception. When a vessel is within national waters she is subject to the rules and regulations of that state irrespective of flag state. She does however have some specific rights conferred upon her by the IMO law of the sea. Innocent passage being the obvious one.

You are not entitled to any "protection" from local laws. If the are stated to apply to all boats then they apply. This is why Italy could apply it to non national boats ( since recinded) , the USCG can board you in US waters at will, Belgium can fine UK boats for having red diesel, safety laws in France app,y to all boats etc etc etc.

Having said that the observation of comity generally applies, but that is by convention and practice.

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Old 20-03-2012, 13:54   #22
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

Update on self-pack:

Did a test vaccum pack of raft today. Vaccumed all air out of raft, folded, put into large household grade vaccum back, drew vaccum on it. Worked out just fine. Will need a bit larger bag to accommodate raft with CO2 canister and extra gear, but test pack went well.

Saftey Gear. Replaced the spare batteries and other consumables. Vaccum bagged saftey gear in standard "food saver" bags (same type as originally used).

Waiting for CO2 tank to complete hydro and fill.
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Old 22-03-2012, 09:45   #23
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

"Fijase que...", nothing good ever follows that phrase. Turns out "Productos del Aire" thought they had the couplings to fill the CO2 tank, but could not do it. So, it is on it's way back to me.

The upside is I can investigate the firing head easier with it in my hands. In the interim, I will probably make-up a manual fill connection using another CO2 tank I have. Given that I carry the raft on a cat I am not too concerned about quick/automatic inflation.
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Old 22-03-2012, 11:17   #24
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

Don-
"Am I to believe from this that there are countries that REQUIRE that you have a life raft? " I think that was pasrt of the big stink over NZ about five years ago. First it was "no one leaves unless they're equipped to our standards" and then it was some deal about faxing in clearance (yes, faxing) when you were 48 hours offshore inbound...The US and EU sadly don't have a monopoly on brilliant bureaucrats.

Belize-
Find out who refills fire extinguishers near you. If there are warehouses and stores, there are fire extinguishers and someone who refills them, usually using CO2 or nitrogen, and the worst you'll need to do is find some pipe fittings to hook 'em up.

Or, you cram a thousand alka-seltzer tablets into the raft and then just need to add water. <VBG>
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Old 22-03-2012, 13:07   #25
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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Belize-
Find out who refills fire extinguishers near you. If there are warehouses and stores, there are fire extinguishers and someone who refills them, usually using CO2 or nitrogen, and the worst you'll need to do is find some pipe fittings to hook 'em up.

Or, you cram a thousand alka-seltzer tablets into the raft and then just need to add water. <VBG>
"Productos del Aire" is a large company that handles all sorts of commercial gas products, including servicing/selling of extinguishers. They fill CO2 tanks for me which I use in making beer, but they just don't have the fittings for this EAM Model 3000 firing head (...or don't want to fabricate something to fill this one little tank).

I expect I can sort it out when I have it back in my hands. Maybe build an adaptor to fill from my other CO2 tanks. There is a very good commercial hoses shop here which can make up most anything needed.
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Old 22-03-2012, 13:39   #26
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

EAM Technical Data (Service Bulletins, etc): Technical Data
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Old 22-03-2012, 14:07   #27
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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EAM Technical Data (Service Bulletins, etc): Technical Data
Yes, I've looked at EAM's Tech Data page, but apparently to get actually service documentation you have to complete a request form -- the form is geared towards Government approved service providers. I plan to just give them a call and see if I can find someone in helpful mood, but I don't have a lot of optimism about getting detailed documentation out of them.
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Old 22-03-2012, 17:40   #28
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

"the fittings for this EAM Model 3000 "
OH OF COURSE. (Smack!) Another special industry that needs another special fitting to make sure that no one accidentally...just fills the damned thing. I wonder how the price of a small balloon and big tank of helium compares to a life raft....

The official verdict on Whitney Houston's death was released today. What does this have to do with life rafts or boating safety you may ask. Well, apparently she officially accidentally drowned while unsupervised in an unlicensed bath tub. Her heart attack and the many drugs in her blood having nothing to do with the real problem, a home bathrub that was not professionally supervised while being used.

Now if we can get the life raft folks to seize the opportunity here...Ban all unlicensed home bath tubs, require the fill water to be inspected and installed professionally....What, there's any difference in the need to KEEP US SAFE FROM OURSELVES? (sigh)

Good luck with that adapter, if you get deep enough into the thrid world, you'll be able to find a machine shop and a machinist with a lathe, who'll just look at it and cut matching threads and probably charge a whole five bucks for the job. Or, one live chicken.

You KNOW you're off the beaten path when the ATM machines don't dispense twenty dollar bills, they only give out live poultry, right? <G>
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Old 22-03-2012, 20:10   #29
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

This is a great thread. We have an AVON 8-man Ocean type in hard pack that is way out of service date. It was on the boat from the PO. In the midwest, there are few options other than to pack off this 100 pound crate to a certified service center, further increasing the costs. I look forward to seeing what is in the box. I hope there is some good follow up on how to adequately mark the service date. I prefer to know what to expect if I pull the cord including the stores and equipment.
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Old 22-03-2012, 20:40   #30
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

?? how to adequately mark the service date.??

As this is for yourself, do it any way that makes you happy. I would take a sheet of "plastic paper" i.e. latex or tyvek sold as water-proof paper, and write up a summary of what I did, what I replaced, when the contents expired, the cylinder weight, etc. and include it INside the case.

Then I'd make a copy of the inventory and dates, on same plastic paper, and stick it on the OUTside of the case as well. On the side that is normally sheltered or protected, so it is accessible but not blatant.

On the case itself, either use a permanent marker, or place a label that says "Repacked on....To be recertified by..." and date it both ways, so the dates are clear. A couple of coats of clear spray over the label or marker will make it last better. A P-touch could also work--if they are durable enough.

These days with everyone owning computers, and such a wide variety of printer media available, professional labels are easily made. Places that sell specialty papers usually sell a wide range of plastic papers for exterior use, waterproof and durable. usually different for laser vs inkjet, some of the inkjet types will actually melt in laser printers.

And of course a copy of whatever goes in/on the raft might be a good addition to your logs, easy enough to print a spare.

The videos I have seen don't show this, but I'd also suggest liberally TALCing the entire raft when you get set to roll it back up. Plain talcum powder (unscented, not corn starch, just plain talc) is a miracle for rubber products. It is a dry lubricant, inert, and it seals the surface of the material from oxidation. I don't know how, I just know that an old frogman (literally) taught us to talc all our rubber scuba gear, and the damned stuff never ages or cracks when you treat it that way.

Apparently not great stuff to inhale large amounts of, because it stays inert in the lungs, but still reasonable for exterior and occassional use.
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