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Old 07-04-2017, 05:27   #1
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Liferaft Service in Caribbean or US East Coast?

Hello All,

TL;DR - Where to get a life raft CO2 bottle re-filled for a good price?

Recently I screwed up by temporarily storing our liferaft under the cockpit table. A family guest wanted to clean up the cockpit when I was not there and ended up accidently triggering the liferaft. It was certainly entertaining see them struggle with the beast from the next boat over, and we had some good times exploring the liferaft.

That said, I would like to get it back in the box properly.

I have now had two different liferaft service companies inspect the liferaft - St. Lucia and in Martinique. The life raft itself is in great condition - 4 year-old Bombard offshore. The consumables are expired, but the huge problem is getting the CO2 refilled. My model new is $1700, and the last quote I got was $1400 to re-pack the one I have.

We are not a commercial operation and at the moment we are puttering between the Windward and Leeward Islands. We carry two dinghies and we are good sized cat. Given the short distance between the islands, I am not feeling any super urgency to have a life raft Right Now!

That being said, I am not going to pay $1400 to repack my liferaft, I would obviously rather pay $1700 for a new one.

But I also hate the idea of just throwing stuff away. I have now seen this liferaft inflated and deflated three times and I am beginning to feel pretty familiar with the craft! :-)

I did some google searching, but I did not get a hit.

Does anyone know of a good & cheap place for me to get this liferaft serviced? I am willing to sail anywhere in the Eastern or Western Caribbean, up to Florida or along the east coast? (I assume that shipping a liferaft 2x is just too expensive.)

Thank you,
-Erik
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Old 07-04-2017, 07:15   #2
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Re: Liferaft Service in Caribbean or US East Coast?

We recently had our Revere Life Raft serviced by Solution One in Tampa. They did an excellent job at a reasonable price. Further to your situation, however, I must wonder what raft you have that only sells for $1,700? That seems to be an unusually low price for a decent raft.
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Old 07-04-2017, 08:01   #3
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Re: Liferaft Service in Caribbean or US East Coast?

You might try Liferafts Etc in St. Martin to see if they will service a Bombard. They will have pretty competitive prices. What year is your liferaft? It might be that repacking alone won't be worth it if it has deteriorated over the years. I'm in Guadeloupe right now and can check the local places to get a quote - I'm at a dock and am waiting for a new CC to be sent to me (the old one was scammed in Dominica last week) so I have time on my hands.

p.s. I just checked their site and they do indeed support Bombard, see http://www.liferaftsetc.com/brands.html
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:02   #4
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Re: Liferaft Service in Caribbean or US East Coast?

Also try seagull Inflatables in Flamouth - Antigua. They did a full service and re-pack on my Winslow offshore raft with a 3 year service sticker. for less than $1400. So I would think a straight repack and CO2 refill will be a lot less. I also think $1,700 seems way too cheap for a liferaft.
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Old 08-04-2017, 00:45   #5
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Re: Liferaft Service in Caribbean or US East Coast?

We had ours serviced in St Lucia (I think) but I can not remember the guy who did it.
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Old 08-04-2017, 09:30   #6
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Re: Liferaft Service in Caribbean or US East Coast?

If you get up to St Thomas, try Caribbean Inflatable Boats and Liferafts (janis@caribbeaninflatable.com, 340-775-6159). They sell and repack....they just quoted me $700+consumables for a 6-man hardpak reservice.
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Old 08-04-2017, 17:15   #7
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Re: Liferaft Service in Caribbean or US East Coast?

If you plan to sail south to Grenada, there is an option in Prickly Bay, Sea Safety Service (www.seasafetyservice.com) with very competitive prices. I have mine now being serviced by them.
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Old 08-04-2017, 18:24   #8
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Re: Liferaft Service in Caribbean or US East Coast?

River Supply, Thunderbolt, GA. Tell Steven Captain Mark referred you.
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Old 08-04-2017, 20:57   #9
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Re: Liferaft Service in Caribbean or US East Coast?

I've used Marine Safety Equipment in Chaguaramus. There's enough infrastructure in Trinidad to hydro and refill cylinders.

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