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Old 06-04-2017, 01:17   #1
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Life Raft Service in Europe

We have a Revere life raft, an Offshore Commander 6 person. The only authorized service center in Europe for Revere is Eurovinil, in Grosetto, Italy.

Has anyone had experience with this firm for life raft repacking? We plan to be in this area later in the summer, so it won't be any problem to be there to witness the repacking.

Thanks!

Steve
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Old 25-06-2017, 00:02   #2
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Re: Life Raft Service in Europe

I'll answer my own post, in case anyone is in need of repacking. We used Eurovinil and were very satisfied with them. Excellent English was spoken and that helped a lot. We toured the facility and discussed the process of inspection and what would be done to our raft. We witnessed the unpacking and inflation (from shop air) of the raft, and also inspection of the survival packet. We saw the weighing of the cylinder to check for leakage, and it was well within specs.

The raft was left inflated overnight to check for leakage. We did not return the next day to see the actual repacking, but were very comfortable with this based on our experience with the facility the day before.

One item came out of this that I was surprised at. Apparently, most customers want to yank the cord and see the raft inflate as if it were at sea. I had always been told that this stresses the raft and should not be done unless it is an actual emergency. For inspections and repacking, you should always use dry air or nitrogen. It took a bit of explaining that I did NOT want to yank the cord, but would prefer inflation from shop air. They agreed and actually provided another old raft for us to yank the cord on. I think this one had been taken in as a trade-in and need to be serviced anyway.

Any comments on using the cylinder to inflate the raft?

Note - if anyone wants more info, I have photos and a more detailed explanation at http://orontes2.com.
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Old 25-06-2017, 00:41   #3
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Re: Life Raft Service in Europe

What was the repack cost? Percent of the original cost?
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Old 25-06-2017, 00:51   #4
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Re: Life Raft Service in Europe

380 euros, including shipping back to the boat. I forget the original cost. It was a lot more!
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Old 25-06-2017, 00:56   #5
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Re: Life Raft Service in Europe

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Originally Posted by steve77 View Post
380 euros, including shipping back to the boat. I forget the original cost. It was a lot more!
I just paid about $1,200 usd in New Zealand to recertify after 3 years a Viking raft. Just under 50% of what I paid new. You got a much better deal😉
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Old 27-09-2017, 06:45   #6
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Re: Life Raft Service in Europe

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve77 View Post
I'll answer my own post,........

One item came out of this that I was surprised at. Apparently, most customers want to yank the cord and see the raft inflate as if it were at sea. I had always been told that this stresses the raft and should not be done unless it is an actual emergency. For inspections and repacking, you should always use dry air or nitrogen. It took a bit of explaining that I did NOT want to yank the cord, but would prefer inflation from shop air. They agreed and actually provided another old raft for us to yank the cord on. I think this one had been taken in as a trade-in and need to be serviced anyway.

Any comments on using the cylinder to inflate the raft?

Note - if anyone wants more info, I have photos and a more detailed explanation at http://orontes2.com.
Your raft is required to have a gas inflation every five years. It is timed with the five year hydro-static test of the cylinder. It causes stress on the raft, but it's nothing the raft can't handle. Those rafts are tested in the most extreme of conditions and a gas inflation is nothing compared to what they are designed to take in the form of punishment. I'd be more worried about standing water inside the raft container. We condemn more rafts because of the effects water has on a raft sitting in standing water/humidity. The glue comes apart when the raft goes through a series of wet/dry periods.

When we do gas inflations, we take the raft out of the container before pulling the painter line. Other places pull the painter with the raft packed. Either way is fine but you should wear safety glasses and stand back if you watch a packed raft gas inflate. They come out of their container pretty fast and send bits of banding strap and clamps all over the place.

The servicing facility I work at is also a training hub for raft technicians. If you're ever in South Florida, look me up and I'll be happy to show you a gas inflation along with all the tests that are done. We'll use a training raft so you won't be charged a service fee.

Glad to hear your experience was a good one at Eurovinil. They are part of the organization I work for and it sounds like they took good care of you.
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Old 27-09-2017, 07:25   #7
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Re: Life Raft Service in Europe

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Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
I just paid about $1,200 usd in New Zealand to recertify after 3 years a Viking raft. Just under 50% of what I paid new. You got a much better deal��
Sounds about right. My last service in Rhode Island cost $1300.

Monopolies are wonderful things . . . . . . . . for some.

350 euro is a great deal.
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