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Old 17-10-2014, 10:55   #1
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Liferaft Reviews or Recommendations

Hello,

Is anyone aware of a recent review of various liferafts by anyone? The most recent one I've found is from 2009, 5 years old. Does anyone have any specific reviews? I know this is hard to come by, since hopefully a life raft remains a waste of money for a piece of gear that is never used!

I'm looking for a 6-man raft (family of 4), leaning toward canister instead of valise, and double floor/tubes. The specific trip necessitating one is from Maryland-Mobile or Mississippi (done in 3 legs), although it should be adequate for up and down the east coast to the Bahamas and back, and perhaps as far as the Caribbean. No transocean crossings.

Right now I'm looking at Viking and Winslow, but that's only because those are the only brands I am familiar with.

Thanks!

Frank
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Old 18-10-2014, 13:09   #2
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Re: Liferaft Reviews or Recommendations

Well alrighty then!


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Old 18-10-2014, 13:45   #3
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Re: Liferaft Reviews or Recommendations

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Originally Posted by GeoPowers View Post
Hello,

Is anyone aware of a recent review of various liferafts by anyone? The most recent one I've found is from 2009, 5 years old. Does anyone have any specific reviews? I know this is hard to come by, since hopefully a life raft remains a waste of money for a piece of gear that is never used!

I'm looking for a 6-man raft (family of 4), leaning toward canister instead of valise, and double floor/tubes. The specific trip necessitating one is from Maryland-Mobile or Mississippi (done in 3 legs), although it should be adequate for up and down the east coast to the Bahamas and back, and perhaps as far as the Caribbean. No transocean crossings.

Right now I'm looking at Viking and Winslow, but that's only because those are the only brands I am familiar with.

Thanks!

Frank
Unfortunately (fortunately) few people have direct experience. I am increasingly suspect of product reviews in most sailing magazines these days -- lots of pressure, in my opinion, from advertisers. I just put a deposit on a 4-man Viking after looking at several rafts at the boat show">Annapolis Boat Show. The price was competitive and the raft seems to be well constructed.

Hope I never have to find out if it was the right choice.
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Old 18-10-2014, 14:43   #4
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Re: Liferaft Reviews or Recommendations

If you have not read the Dashew's weather and storm tactics books, I would recommend them, especially now that they are available for free download. Go to the end of the article to see the download links.

SetSail » Blog Archive » Weather Forecasting, Storm Tactics & Successful Cruising – Plus An Offer You Can’t Refuse

The storm tactics book has information about life rafts that might be helpful when looking to buy a raft. There is also great information that is needed to survive ON/IN the life raft to allow one to maybe get rescued.

Later,
Dan
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Old 18-10-2014, 15:45   #5
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Re: Liferaft Reviews or Recommendations

I looked at two reviews in Dutch magazines. In the first one the Ocean ISO from Ocean Safety, Rescyou Pro from Viking and Global Star from Winslow score well. Only the Viking is self-righting. The Ocean ISO however is cheaper than the Rescyou Pro and a lot cheaper than the Global Star. Winslow is considered an expensive brand and Viking is located in the middle segment.

The second test does not include the Ocean ISO, but it does have the Winslow Global Star and Viking Rescyou Pro. In this review the Viking wins because a) unlike the Winslow it's self-righting and b) it's twice as cheap as the Winslow.

I also remember an article that said that round or octagonal shaped rafts tend to spin around a lot more than square shaped ones.
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Old 19-10-2014, 17:11   #6
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Re: Liferaft Reviews or Recommendations

Thanks for the comments, and the link to the free books. In the absence of any negative info, I'll probably end up getting a Viking.

Cheers,

Frank
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Old 20-10-2014, 04:03   #7
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Re: Liferaft Reviews or Recommendations

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I looked at two reviews in Dutch magazines. In the first one the Ocean ISO from Ocean Safety, Rescyou Pro from Viking and Global Star from Winslow score well. Only the Viking is self-righting. The Ocean ISO however is cheaper than the Rescyou Pro and a lot cheaper than the Global Star. Winslow is considered an expensive brand and Viking is located in the middle segment.

The second test does not include the Ocean ISO, but it does have the Winslow Global Star and Viking Rescyou Pro. In this review the Viking wins because a) unlike the Winslow it's self-righting and b) it's twice as cheap as the Winslow.

I also remember an article that said that round or octagonal shaped rafts tend to spin around a lot more than square shaped ones.
I should add that the one I ordered is the Rescuyou Pro.
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Old 20-10-2014, 05:39   #8
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Re: Liferaft Reviews or Recommendations

I would not go over the top. Look up Zodiacs, Bombards (same maker), Seago, Ocean Safety, etc.

I heard best opinions of Switlik, Viking and I would consider Avon top shelf too - judging by how they make their dinghies. They may be more expensive as their market is mostly commercial / offshore use.

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Old 20-10-2014, 05:43   #9
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Re: Liferaft Reviews or Recommendations

Practical Sailor had a series of 3 articles in 2007 that took on life rafts. I suspect while some of the info is dated not much has changed either. They did a pretty thorough job.
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