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Old 13-04-2012, 07:07   #76
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
delmarray said it much more concisely and eloquently than I. Personally, I just don't feel competent to do the task myself. I've been on two ships (commercial) that sank in the PNW, one in the winter, and perhaps I have a skewed view of what else is on your mind as you are trying to figure out how to survive the ordeal as opposed to wondering if you did everything right on your repack. In neither case was there a life raft available to deploy. As the monster inflates, it is no time for an 'oh ****' moment, did I remember X,Y or Z.
I imagine it is just a personal choice and if you have supreme confidence in yourself to do it right, go for it yourself.
A ditch bag that you pack yourself is an entirely different question and should be updated and reviewed regularly by the ditcher or ditchee (or if your lucky, the ditchette). Capt Phil
You are right, and one way to test your competency in this matter, is to inflate the raft after your first packing trial, if all goes well and if you had documented properly the process to repack it should be ok to repack a second time, a third one and so on. I am not saying that I will succeed for sure, if the raft does not inflate properly in my basement, I will reconsider first what I did wrong, or should I just get a new one since this is an old Zodiac raft anyway. In my country there is no need for Coast Guard inspections of rafts, I have cruised in the past with only a dinghy as a raft, but would not recommend this option. Dinghys have a tendancy to capsize in big waves and it is impossible to return them. But as the Bailey's did when their boat sank, they kept the dinghy and the raft as long as they could.
As one of my friends who has a business of commercial rafts inspection in Europe said: "Don't ever get in one of these **** rafts!"
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Old 13-04-2012, 07:28   #77
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Which is why do-it-yourself surgery is so popular.
Yes it is!

Lying with one open hand in the hospital (Denia, Spain), the surgeon ran away for some unknown reason after the first stitch.
I finished the remaining work as he didn' t come back and I felt the local anesthetic losing strength.
It was not very symmetric, but 20 years later there is only the straight line of the cut visible.

When the surgeon came back I was already in the reception paying the anesthetic and the bandaid, which I took myself from the surgical table.

He was quite surprised but took the whole thing with some humour.
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Old 13-04-2012, 07:57   #78
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Originally Posted by MacG

Yes it is!

Lying with one open hand in the hospital (Denia, Spain), the surgeon ran away for some unknown reason after the first stitch.
I finished the remaining work as he didn' t come back and I felt the local anesthetic losing strength.
It was not very symmetric, but 20 years later there is only the straight line of the cut visible.

When the surgeon came back I was already in the reception paying the anesthetic and the bandaid, which I took myself from the surgical table.

He was quite surprised but took the whole thing with some humour.
Well, not perfect but quite reasonable for a suture job done in mid South China Sea. Didn't cost much for the surgeon!

Attachment 39900
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Old 13-04-2012, 08:01   #79
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Well, not perfect but quite reasonable for a suture job done in mid South China Sea. Didn't cost much for the surgeon!


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Old 13-04-2012, 08:32   #80
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

Hey, Roland... great to hear that another fellow Canuck (I'm an ex-C, myself) has the interest, ability and inquisitiveness to do their own repack. I hadn't considered doing the inflation a few times in my basement to get the pack right. We had to put meds for ourselves and food for our cats in to the raft but there was heaps of room. Based on your comments, I'm rethinking whether I would go your route if I had the time and facilities or go to a certified repacker. As a licensed skipper, even if I had friends out for a weekend cruise on our own boat, there would probably be a liabiity issue if we had to hop up into the raft but I don't know that for a fact. Good post, Roland, thanks... Capt Phil
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Old 13-04-2012, 09:26   #81
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
Hey, Roland... great to hear that another fellow Canuck (I'm an ex-C, myself) has the interest, ability and inquisitiveness to do their own repack. I hadn't considered doing the inflation a few times in my basement to get the pack right. We had to put meds for ourselves and food for our cats in to the raft but there was heaps of room. Based on your comments, I'm rethinking whether I would go your route if I had the time and facilities or go to a certified repacker. As a licensed skipper, even if I had friends out for a weekend cruise on our own boat, there would probably be a liabiity issue if we had to hop up into the raft but I don't know that for a fact. Good post, Roland, thanks... Capt Phil
I think as a licensed captain, you're right - you might get sued if you repacked your own raft and used it on a trip and it failed to deploy or stay inflated.

Probably not an issue for private use, though. As someone else said, an uncertified raft is still better than no raft at all

I agree with hellosailor. I've seen how incompetent some of the licensed, trained and certified workers in some fields can be. If I'm going to trust my life to some piece of equipment, I'd much rather take it apart myself, learn how it works, and learn how to put it back together than just take at blind faith some guy's word that it was done properly.

At least that way, when it fails and my life is slipping away, I'll know I have no one to blame but myself.
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Old 13-04-2012, 09:35   #82
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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At least that way, when it fails and my life is slipping away, I'll know I have no one to blame but myself.
Even though this is the way I think, I find it sometimes harder than blaming others!
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Old 13-04-2012, 11:18   #83
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

"In neither case was there a life raft available to deploy. "
Capt. Phil sort of makes the case for not having a life raft at all, no? Or is that just a life raft vs life boat kinda thing?

"you might get sued if "
jags, this is why I learned early on that if you have to hit another racing boat, you should leave no surviviors. You spend no time with the protest committee when there's no one left to argue. You wanna come in my life raft? OK, sign this waiver first please. Welcome to Spirit Airlines, that'll be $35 for your first checked bag, and $35 more if you want a floatation cushion on your seat.
Oh, the opportunities!
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Old 13-04-2012, 11:31   #84
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"In neither case was there a life raft available to deploy. "
Capt. Phil sort of makes the case for not having a life raft at all, no? Or is that just a life raft vs life boat kinda thing?
Is a liferaft mandatory in the US for pleasure crafts and under what circumstances, how far from shore?
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Old 13-04-2012, 11:56   #85
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

"Is a liferaft mandatory in the US for pleasure crafts"
No, never. We enjoy the freedom to drown, and to walk on water.
(Not recommended in public though, it tends to start religions.)
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Old 13-04-2012, 12:07   #86
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Question Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"Is a liferaft mandatory in the US for pleasure crafts"
No, never. We enjoy the freedom to drown, and to walk on water.
(Not recommended in public though, it tends to start religions.)

The reason I asked is that someone said that you need a sticker showing the last inspection if checked by Cost Guards, what the point if not mandatory??
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Old 13-04-2012, 13:22   #87
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

"someone said "
Well, that's just not applicable to a pleasurecraft.

If you want to know the law--ask for a citation on the actual statute.
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Old 13-04-2012, 18:23   #88
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

I have often wondered at how a liferaft designed to inflate in water fails to inflated on dry land. Could it be that somehow water acts as a lubricant during inflation?

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Old 13-04-2012, 20:28   #89
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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Originally Posted by PamlicoTraveler View Post
As someone who just paid $1,150 to have our life raft reinspected and packed, and even paid for the company's brand name stickers, your solution sounds great. The only problem is that coast guards around the world will consider it non certified. If you have a life raft it is expected to be certified. If you don't have a life raft, no problem. That is an example of misguided bureaucracy.
Whether to re-pack yourself or not of course depends upon your intended use and how comfortable you are will DIY. In my case, I am not currently doing any commercial work (and thus no liferaft carriage requirement or inspection requirement -- maybe different in other venues). Personally, I feel more confident in my liferaft now. I know for sure it is in good shape and I am familiar with it. I never really liked the idea of assuming that someone else did it right and that magic will happen when I pull the cord.

I also don't really like the idea of bobbing around out there and waiting for someone else to save my butt. If I really ever need to abandon ship my first preference would be my dinghy (assuming near coastal of course) and get myself to shore. Liferafts are designed to minimize mobility/drift -- I would would rather be mobile and get myself to shore. Steve Callahan, who holds the inevitable record of something like 76 days adrift in a liferaft, is of the same opinion.

If I did choose to do a professional re-pack then I would certainly want to be there for every step of the process.
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Old 13-04-2012, 21:04   #90
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

It's all good and well to service your life raft for YOURSELF, it is though an entirely different scenario if others onboard rely on it....

If nothing else it covers your arse if done professionally, and in today’s litigious society that is a plus....
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