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Old 14-04-2012, 00:31   #91
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

You guys inspired me to pull out an old RDF four person raft that came with my current boat.
Last serviced in 03.
It inflates fine, but the arch wont inflate. I have looked for an inflation point and there isn't one to see.
Any clues on what is going on?
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Old 14-04-2012, 01:05   #92
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

Belay that, I just found the second inflation valve.
Everything is fine.
Have to admit, this is a lot easier to sort out on the back lawn than at sea.
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Old 14-04-2012, 08:34   #93
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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Originally Posted by rolandgilbert99 View Post
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??
Only applicable if you are running an USCG Inspected passenger vessel. No life raft requirement for recreational vessels in the USA (not even to carry, pro-packed or otherwise).
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Old 14-04-2012, 09:54   #94
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

Just a quick observation, belizesailor... most professional reft repacking operators allow you to be present when they do the safety check, re-inflation and repack. It is a great idea because it familiarizes you with the raft and its contents and you can put some personal items aboard such as drugs, etc. that you might or might not have in your ditch bag. Not a good plan to see your raft inflate for the first time when you step up in to her as your main vessel sinks below the waves... Capt Phil
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Old 14-04-2012, 21:57   #95
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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Have to admit, this is a lot easier to sort out on the back lawn than at sea.
Yes, imagine doing that for the first time in survival conditions!
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Old 14-04-2012, 21:59   #96
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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Just a quick observation, belizesailor... most professional reft repacking operators allow you to be present when they do the safety check, re-inflation and repack. It is a great idea because it familiarizes you with the raft and its contents and you can put some personal items aboard such as drugs, etc. that you might or might not have in your ditch bag. Not a good plan to see your raft inflate for the first time when you step up in to her as your main vessel sinks below the waves... Capt Phil

Absolutely. I also considered inflating mine, getting familiar with, and then having it professionally serviced. But, given my remote location that would have cost as much as a new raft.
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Old 15-04-2012, 21:20   #97
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

I have a 10 foot Ding, with a Yamaha 8 HP motor. I am going to have 4 survival suits on board, 4 survival packs and an EPIRB( or two). Done
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Old 16-04-2012, 06:20   #98
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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I have a 10 foot Ding, with a Yamaha 8 HP motor. I am going to have 4 survival suits on board, 4 survival packs and an EPIRB( or two). Done
Have you tried getting into an inflatable dinghy when in the water. If the seas are that bad you need to abandon ship what are you doing having the dinghy and motor hanging and available.
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Old 16-04-2012, 07:37   #99
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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I have a 10 foot Ding, with a Yamaha 8 HP motor. I am going to have 4 survival suits on board, 4 survival packs and an EPIRB( or two). Done
Sometimes boats sink in rough weather and I can't imagine lowering my ding with the outboard in such weather on a sinking boat!
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Old 16-04-2012, 08:15   #100
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

From what I've read, in most sinking's the crew ends up in the water before ever getting into another boat/vessel. One just doesn't step off a sinking boat gracefully.

In the northern hemisphere, if you're up North one better have a survival suit. In the South one will need shade and plenty of fresh water. And the amount of time spent out there will depend on how far off shore one is and/or the weather conditions.

So, it doesn't really matter what you have until the moment arrives. One has to survive with what ever they have available, which should be as much as one can carry w/o going to extremes.

If you get hit by a cargo ship in the middle of the night and live, a on-deck auto inflating raft would be the best choice. But if one gets holed and it inevitable the boats going down, one may have time to collect belongings and load them in a dinghy. I plan to carry both but the inflatable dinghy will be stowed away while off shore. Some don't have davits or a deck to stow a another boat. And towing is not an option on long hauls. It has about destroyed mine towing it around the Sound here the past few years (around 1000 nm).
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Old 16-04-2012, 14:20   #101
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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I have a 10 foot Ding, with a Yamaha 8 HP motor. I am going to have 4 survival suits on board, 4 survival packs and an EPIRB( or two). Done
Same here (minus the survival suits -- no cold water for me!) -- lots of options are good -- you never know what might happen. I have read a number of accounts where the life raft was lost in heavy winds and survivors wound up in the dink -- good day to have a dink.

See "Albatros" by Deborah Scaling as an example (http://www.amazon.com/Albatross-Debo...ion/0395655730)
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Old 16-04-2012, 14:32   #102
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

OTOH as I recall SOLAS now requires ballast pockets on life rafts because anything without them will simply tumle and dump you out, or crush you, if rough surface conditions. OTOH a hard dink is never going to suffer an inflation failure.

But really, as long as you're at sea, it's all right. No one will be bothered if you just walk on the water. Well, as long as you either make sure they've drowned, or teach them to walk alongside you.
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Old 17-04-2012, 20:18   #103
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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Which is why do-it-yourself surgery is so popular.
Hammer and a screwdriver

I am in the DIY camp. I no longer hire anyone except when I need an artist. (perfect paint job, stainless welding etc.) I'm a PE, and have designed and built special machines for 35 years. I can operate a mill, lathe, welder etc. I have been very disappointed in the low level of competance of trades people in the marine business in general. I have had to re-do many things I hired done so far. I have a hard time as noted above, trusting my life to some guy I don't know, will never see again, who won't be there when the cord is pulled. I repair all my own fiberglass, do my own wiring. I've built a car and rebuilt several engines. I built my rudder. I built a home by hand; wiring, plumbing, HVAC, drywall. I've made sails and over time, fixed about everything. Blowin' up a boat is not rocket science. If you can flake a sail and pack a tent you can fold a boat. If fittings for the tank are not available I can make them. In the machine business, I have a lot of contacts to find about anythig. There are a lot of great links throughout this thread. You can go to school reading and following them.
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Old 18-04-2012, 09:40   #104
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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Hammer and a screwdriver

If you can flake a sail and pack a tent you can fold a boat. If fittings for the tank are not available I can make them. In the machine business, I have a lot of contacts to find about anythig. There are a lot of great links throughout this thread. You can go to school reading and following them.
Good point here, once you know a good machine shop, you can fix or replace almost anything. Look at cubans, they still drive these old chevys from the 50's and the reason is machine shops! We in North-America tend to replace with original parts because they are mostly available to us, but when they aren't, we can make them.
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Old 19-04-2012, 00:08   #105
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Re: Life Raft Self-Service

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Good point here, once you know a good machine shop, you can fix or replace almost anything. Look at cubans, they still drive these old chevys from the 50's and the reason is machine shops! We in North-America tend to replace with original parts because they are mostly available to us, but when they aren't, we can make them.
You betcha!!!
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