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Old 13-12-2010, 21:16   #16
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Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
It does get a little spendy in the US, OC'... I have also used a repacker just north of Ensenada, Mexico on the west coast. The raft was recertified by the shop which was run by Bomberos (firefighters from Ensenada) and the recert was fine with the USCG when they boarded me for inspection a year or so later. The added advantage of using the shop in Ensenada was that we took all the expired flares down to the beach behind their shop and set them all off including the orange smoke ones. You rarely get a chance in the US to do that! Nice to have operated all the signaling equipment in the raft before you need it! It was a fun afternoon and the shop guys had as much fun as we did!... cheers, Capt Phil
Always get my dated stuff back. If I'm going to pay $2.85 for a battery, I'm going to use it. Save all my old flares and smoke in a box marked "expired". If I ever need to use 1 flare, there is going to be a heck of a show.

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Old 14-12-2010, 06:02   #17
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A friend who sold his boat gave me an old, he said from 1978 about 6 man Avon raft in a soft valise.

Last time was repacked in the mid '80's.

I was thinking about getting it repacked, is there any age limit?
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Old 14-12-2010, 06:19   #18
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Our repacker wanted more than half the cost of a new raft to try to repack a 12 a year old Givens. We bought a new raft. We're thinking about triggering the Givens in a driveway party in the spring.
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Old 14-12-2010, 09:33   #19
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The biggest problem on older rafts is the integrity of the raft iself. If there are leaks or delamination issues it is probably cheaper to buy a new one. Consumables, signaling devices and other stuff like desalinators, pumps, fishing line all have to be replaced. OC who posted yesterday gave a pretty good run down of the costs of replacement gear. Most repackers will give you an onest assessment of replace or buy new... by the way Hannah... they make a great swimming pool for kids! cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 14-12-2010, 10:36   #20
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One of the more accomodating repackers has been Beaufort in Richmond, British Columbia. They repacked a hard case 8 person raft for me from an obscure Japanese manufacturer. The only problem was that all the contents and emergency manuals in side the raft were in Japanese but we put together new consumables and survival instructions with Beaufort's help in English and had it recertified without problem. The inflation and leakage audit was really helpful in understanding what we could expect. Capt Phil
Hello Capt Phil, would you have any contact info for Beaufort?
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Old 14-12-2010, 10:53   #21
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Sorry, Bluefuss... I don't recall the person I was dealing with but their plant is listed in the phone book in Richmond, British Columbia, I believe. They also service rafts for commercial vessels visiting the Vancouver harbour area so there facility is quite large. CP
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Old 14-12-2010, 14:30   #22
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Ted-
"My boat being uninspected isn't required to have one. But, USCG regs require me to have it repacked every year if I have one on the boat."
Would you know what specific regs those are?
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Old 14-12-2010, 15:19   #23
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Hi Ted,
Never heard of any such regulation. But then again, I am not a licensed captain. My boats have been (and currently is) documented. I've been inspected by the Coast Guard (not auxiliary) and was never faulted for not having a life raft aboard.
I am told that it should be repacked by a certified repacker every 3 years but nowhere does it say there is an expiration date. So I can't help answer your question.
Sorry, Mel
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Old 14-12-2010, 18:00   #24
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The requirement to repack life rafts for uninspected vessels is for those carrying passengers for charter (UPV), not recreational use. Below is the requirement to service rafts in these regulations. Normally you are required to follow the regulations (as a UPV) even if you aren't required to have the item.

As an example, my vessel is not required to have a VHF radio. There is a specific regulation (CFR) that says if you are not required to have a VHF, your are NOT required to have an operator license or a station license if you choose to equip your boat with one. Not being required to have these licenses does not exempt you from following VHF rules and regulations.

In contrast, no CFR exists to exempt me from an operator or station license for an SSB radio. So even though a UPV isn't required to have one, both licenses are required if you choose to have an SSB on your UPV.


46 C.F.R. PART 160--LIFESAVING EQUIPMENT 160.151-35 Servicing.

(a) Inspection and repair. Inflatable liferafts carried under the regulations in this chapter, and in chapter I of title 33 CFR, must be inspected periodically by a servicing facility approved by the Coast Guard, repaired as necessary, and repacked. Requirements for periodic inspection and repair of liferafts approved by the Coast Guard appear in 160.15137 through 160.15157.

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Old 14-12-2010, 18:05   #25
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If you are chartering, you must have a certified raft to accommdate the passengers you are carrying... I recall the certification was checked during the annual vessel inspection. If you are racing SOLAS you also need a certified inspected raft. Also, if you are on a delivery and have a paid crew of one or more, you must have an inspected raft. If the boat doesn't have a raft, you can rent a valise type and charge the owner for the duration of the trip. I have been boarded a couple of times during deliveries in US waters, and this was one issue they made me aware of years ago. Don't have the same concern in either Mexican, Costa Rican or Canadian waters to my knowledge... maybe someone else can enlighten us about practices in the Carib... cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 14-12-2010, 18:08   #26
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Hi Ted,
Never heard of any such regulation. But then again, I am not a licensed captain. My boats have been (and currently is) documented. I've been inspected by the Coast Guard (not auxiliary) and was never faulted for not having a life raft aboard.
I am told that it should be repacked by a certified repacker every 3 years but nowhere does it say there is an expiration date. So I can't help answer your question.
Sorry, Mel
Mel,
Being a Documented vessel has nothing to do with being a UPV (Uninspected Passenger Vessel). UPVs are vessels for hire (think charter fishing boat). Most Documented vessels are not used as UPVs. UPV rules only apply to documented vessels when they are used as a UPV.

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Old 14-12-2010, 18:12   #27
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Originally Posted by Jimbo2010 View Post
A friend who sold his boat gave me an old, he said from 1978 about 6 man Avon raft in a soft valise.

Last time was repacked in the mid '80's.

I was thinking about getting it repacked, is there any age limit?
The reality is that, like most things, liferafts, or more specifically, the fabrics and adhesives used itn their manufacture, do deteriorate with age.

So, while it is reasonable to expect liferafts to be good for quite a number of years (and there is no magic number - it will vary from liferaft type to liferafts type, and even from liferaft to liferaft), they will not last forever, even if they are never used in anger.

Part of your (expensive) repack is an air-holding test. The liferaft is inflated to a specific pressure (typically the rated working pressure), and must not lose more than a certain percentage of that pressure (typically 5%) in a given time (and yes, changes in atmospheric condition are taken into account). The reality is that it becomes progressively harder and harder to get a liferaft to keep passing that test as it gets older.

My personal opinion (and I work in the industry) is that, given that your liferaft is your last resort, and if you ever use it, it will be literally saving your life, is that at sometime between 10 and 15 years, you should condemn and replace your liferaft. FWIW, I think the liferaft has to pass a 2 x working pressure test at 11 years old.
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Old 14-12-2010, 18:27   #28
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If you are chartering, you must have a certified raft to accommdate the passengers you are carrying... I recall the certification was checked during the annual vessel inspection.
This is only true for inspected vessels (licensed to carry more than 6 paying customers) and UPVs of 100 gross tons or larger.

Quote:
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Also, if you are on a delivery and have a paid crew of one or more, you must have an inspected raft. If the boat doesn't have a raft, you can rent a valise type and charge the owner for the duration of the trip. I have been boarded a couple of times during deliveries in US waters, and this was one issue they made me aware of years ago. ... cheers, Capt Phil
I believe the requirement here is because of a work place requirement as opposed to a charter vessel. As an example, a crew boat with 4 construction workers working on a bridge falls under different safety equipment requirements than if the same boat were taking 4 people out charter fishing. The USCG likely doesn't consider vessel delivery a charter.

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Old 14-12-2010, 18:36   #29
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A friend who sold his boat gave me an old, he said from 1978 about 6 man Avon raft in a soft valise.

Last time was repacked in the mid '80's.

I was thinking about getting it repacked, is there any age limit?

What WeyAlan saidabove about the 10-15 year life expectancy of most rafts comportswith what I have been told. I still have a hardtime with the assertion that a raft built to survival standards (and vacume packed) is NG after 10 years-- particularly when repack costs $1K+ (for winslows).

Elsewhere, I have seen stats that a 12 yr old raftwill have a 90% chance of passing inspection. A 15 yr old 80% and degrading more quickly thereafter. You oughta be able to find this stuff via google.

-M
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Old 14-12-2010, 19:32   #30
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Ted, i think some of us were under the impression that your boat was "just" a pleasure craft, not a commercial operation. You say your boat is uninspected...that usually means not commercial and not subject to UPV/charter regulations at all.

How do you get a commercial vessel not subject to inspection? Or are you just keeping it "inspectable" in case you want to flip the switch and go commercial?
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