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View Poll Results: do you plan to have a liferaft on your boat when heading out to cruise?
yes 180 64.98%
no 97 35.02%
Voters: 277. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 23-10-2011, 18:42   #181
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

I have a couple of opinions regarding cost and need for a liferaft.

First, if the cost of a liferaft was a function of the value of the boat there would be far fewer people using liferafts. For example, if a liferaft for a $20,000 boat cost $3,000 and the liferaft for a $200,000 boat cost $30,000, I doubt either would be very common. However, this isn't the case and therefore it is an easy arguement for the owner of the $200,000 boat to say it is irresponsible not to have one.

Second, the USCG keeps accident statistics. In 2010 they recorded 4,500+ accidents among all recreational watercraft. Of those, only 10 were due to capsizing or sinking of vessels between 26' and 40' (I think this covers the majority of forum members). These would be the incidents that require using a liferaft. The total number of deaths resulting from accidents involving sailboats of any length or configuration was 23 out of a total of 672 deaths. Types of watercraft that have more fatalities: canoes, kayaks, inflatable, pontoon and rowboat.

I realize that I chose statistics that support my position. I also realize that ocean sailing is in a different class than lakes and rivers as far as risk. Actually, statistically, lakes and rivers are much more dangerous.

Personally, I would rank the necessity for a liferaft on a sailboat about as high as cold weather survival gear in a car in Florida. It may make you feel safer. Statistically, it is not supported.
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Old 23-10-2011, 18:55   #182
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
I am Canadian, all of our waters are cold. (With the exception of Desolation Sound.)

Cruising instructors here tell our students that swimming is a death sentence. Even the swim instructors no longer teach drown-proofing for the same reason.
I would agree that all Canadian waters are cold ( have dived near Vancouver in a drysuit) and that swimming would be a death sentence.

There are some parts of the world where it is not.

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Old 23-10-2011, 19:30   #183
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

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Originally Posted by downunder View Post
I would agree that all Canadian waters are cold ( have dived near Vancouver in a drysuit) and that swimming would be a death sentence.
Just as a side comment/note . . .my prefered 'foul weather gear' is a dry suit. That's because with a dry suit I can take a complete green water wave over me and still be absolutely bone dry with no drips or leaks into the suit - which is not typically true with more normal foul gear. Thus I don't have a second thought about going forward when it is really wet and the spray flying or hand steering in pouring rain.

But per this discussion, a side benefit, is that with a dry suit you will float really high in the water (if you do not purge the air out) and stay relatively warm.
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Old 23-10-2011, 19:31   #184
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

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Originally Posted by downunder View Post
I would agree that all Canadian waters are cold ( have dived near Vancouver in a drysuit) and that swimming would be a death sentence.

There are some parts of the world where it is not.

cheers
Were also in the Pacific North West US and were lucky our catamaran came with a rescue pod. I now need to find where I can get it serviced next year hopefully near Seattle when were crusing for the summer.
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Old 23-10-2011, 19:55   #185
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Just to give my vote (I believe everyone should do their own research-not based on my opinion & certainly don't want a law. We have an offshore racing liferaft & prepared ditch bag, PFD's, SSB & a dingy. We had planned offshore travel but have only gone to Mexico & up the Sea of Cortez (now working for 2 1/2 yrs more). We did travel 50+ miles offshore on passes though. I have done the liferaft drill (not on water) on a similar raft. I will do it on ours before repacking and be there as it is repacked) It worked and was interesting-you would hope someone would get the EPIRB signal quick) We just prefer to take whatever precautions we can- including proper maintenance, being aware of what is happening onboard and proper boat handling. But it is for the things we can't plan. I would take every precaution (I will not go without a fight too) I could for the ones I love-my hubby & sons... but it is my choice.
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Old 23-10-2011, 20:42   #186
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

"I would rank the necessity for a liferaft on a sailboat about as high as cold weather survival gear in a car in Florida. It may make you feel safer. Statistically, it is not supported. " I think that's a cruel misapplication of comparisons and statistics.

On a sailboat, offshore, there are a known set of dnagers and potential situations which even the mythological "prudent mariner" cannot avoid. This is why we say "§#ĄT happens" and when it inevitably does, we sometimes try to prepare for it. Not because it is statistically likely to happen, but because the results can vary so largely based on our preparation.

Cold weather survival gear might seem unlikley for a car in Florida. But in January, stuck out on a dirt road when the temps drop to the low 40's and the orange crops are being misted and smoked to prevent freeze damage? Yes, that extra blanket and candy bar still can prevent hypothermia, or make you night pass in comfort. Each has many other uses.

On a boat? Yes, you are unlikely to need the life raft. Damned unlikely. And it is equally likely to be a damned good thing to have around, when that does happen.

I'd be more interested to know the comparative odds:
Odds of ever needing a life raft? Versus, odds of a non-military, non-commercial-required, life raft that has been repacked at least twice, actually deploying 100% functional in working order.

If nothing else, the repack proess needs to follow ISO-9000 type quality assurance processes. With two trained workers, doublechecking each other at all points, and both proudly signing off on the inspection tag. No phone calls, no interruptions, during the process.
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Old 23-10-2011, 22:37   #187
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Just as a side comment/note . . .my prefered 'foul weather gear' is a dry suit. That's because with a dry suit I can take a complete green water wave over me and still be absolutely bone dry with no drips or leaks into the suit - which is not typically true with more normal foul gear. Thus I don't have a second thought about going forward when it is really wet and the spray flying or hand steering in pouring rain.

But per this discussion, a side benefit, is that with a dry suit you will float really high in the water (if you do not purge the air out) and stay relatively warm.
Good practical comment re drysuits. If I was diving/sailing regularly in cold waters they would be a priority purchase.

I believe having a diver on board is an extremely important safety tool on any vessel. To be able to check/free anchors, inspect under water on a vessel, free ropes/lines/entanglements, etc. Having onboard wetsuits and in cold areas drysuits which are both practical and useful in extreme conditions in all seas for their bouyancy/warmth.

I would encourage all sailers to become competent divers as a safety measure as well as the pleasure to all the sights available underwater.
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Old 24-10-2011, 03:46   #188
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"I would rank the necessity for a liferaft on a sailboat about as high as cold weather survival gear in a car in Florida. It may make you feel safer. Statistically, it is not supported. "

I think that's a cruel misapplication of comparisons and statistics.
But illustrative . and funny
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Old 24-10-2011, 08:37   #189
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anonymous7500 View Post
I have a couple of opinions regarding cost and need for a liferaft.

First, if the cost of a liferaft was a function of the value of the boat there would be far fewer people using liferafts. For example, if a liferaft for a $20,000 boat cost $3,000 and the liferaft for a $200,000 boat cost $30,000, I doubt either would be very common. However, this isn't the case and therefore it is an easy arguement for the owner of the $200,000 boat to say it is irresponsible not to have one.

Second, the USCG keeps accident statistics. In 2010 they recorded 4,500+ accidents among all recreational watercraft. Of those, only 10 were due to capsizing or sinking of vessels between 26' and 40' (I think this covers the majority of forum members). These would be the incidents that require using a liferaft. The total number of deaths resulting from accidents involving sailboats of any length or configuration was 23 out of a total of 672 deaths. Types of watercraft that have more fatalities: canoes, kayaks, inflatable, pontoon and rowboat.

I realize that I chose statistics that support my position. I also realize that ocean sailing is in a different class than lakes and rivers as far as risk. Actually, statistically, lakes and rivers are much more dangerous.

Personally, I would rank the necessity for a liferaft on a sailboat about as high as cold weather survival gear in a car in Florida. It may make you feel safer. Statistically, it is not supported.
The value of the boat is not the equation here, it is the value you put on your life and more importantly on the lives of your family, children, friends. If that has no value for you then go ahead don't have a life raft...but don't drive a car a with brakes either.
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Old 24-10-2011, 09:32   #190
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

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Originally Posted by Mexdon View Post
The value of the boat is not the equation here, it is the value you put on your life and more importantly on the lives of your family, children, friends. If that has no value for you then go ahead don't have a life raft...but don't drive a car a with brakes either.
I have been on or flying over the water my whole life...never needed survival gear (even with 23 years USCG aviation to distant corners of the planet) but DID use my brakes at least 100 times in the last hour....and yet not one was an emergency stop.

While I think liferafts have their place....your argument gives ground to the the other side that doesn't think the whole issue through either.
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Old 24-10-2011, 10:12   #191
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

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I have been on or flying over the water my whole life...never needed survival gear (even with 23 years USCG aviation to distant corners of the planet) but DID use my brakes at least 100 times in the last hour....and yet not one was an emergency stop.

While I think liferafts have their place....your argument gives ground to the the other side that doesn't think the whole issue through either.
You used your brakes to avoid a situation that could have been an emergency if you hadn't. Which is my point exactly, you have them to prevent any life threatening emergency. When one needs to deploy emergency gear at sea or in the air the life threatening emergency is upon you and that same gear may help in preventing a life threatening situation in becoming a fatal situation just as much as do the brakes on a car.

Never having to use safety gear over a period of 23 years is fantastic and shows the quality of workmanship and maintenance both on the aircraft and seacraft. However you did not say if there was any safety gear on board had it been needed. Being USCG I would imagine that there was. Isn't it the USCG who recommend the safety gear we should carry on board as well as advocating that everyone should boat safely and responsibly?
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Old 24-10-2011, 10:16   #192
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

By the very nature of the beast, nothing on a boat works 100% of the time, actually less likely when you need it most and are less likely to be able to fix it/get it fixed.
When it comes to survival you need to make sure you have best possible changes. Basically do not cut corners on any safety or survival gear...actually any system or compent the failure of which puts you and/or you boat at jeporty should be backed up, rethought or replaced. On my boat this is reflected by the lack of electronic gadgets and gizmos.
Probably what would be considered to be the most hazardous work environment I have ever worked in was a welding shop, for the most part guards, shields and other OSHA type safety devices were impracticable if not completely impossible. For that matter people had to know all the hazards and possible hazards and act accordingly..knowledge of existing hazards actually made it one of the most accident free work places I have ever worked in.
Just buying a life raft only provides you with the basic equipment for survival "just in case", equipping your boat for a disaster does not prepare you for it. Knowing how to survive in the open ocean in a life raft requires more than knowing where the rip cord on the raft is.
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Old 24-10-2011, 10:26   #193
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

You might want to read (this to the original thread poster) 76 days Adrift by Steven Callahan. Looks like a good water maker and spear gun might be good things to have also. Plus, knowledge of ocean currents etc depending on where you plan to sail. Like a poster said earlier, when you are out there and it's dark and cold, your opinion of what you do and don't need tends to change.

Link: http://www.amazon.com/Adrift-Seventy...der_0618257322

Tom
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Old 24-10-2011, 10:30   #194
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

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You used your brakes to avoid a situation that could have been an emergency if you hadn't. Which is my point exactly, you have them to prevent any life threatening emergency. When one needs to deploy emergency gear at sea or in the air the life threatening emergency is upon you and that same gear may help in preventing a life threatening situation in becoming a fatal situation just as much as do the brakes on a car.

Never having to use safety gear over a period of 23 years is fantastic and shows the quality of workmanship and maintenance both on the aircraft and seacraft. However you did not say if there was any safety gear on board had it been needed. Being USCG I would imagine that there was. Isn't it the USCG who recommend the safety gear we should carry on board as well as advocating that everyone should boat safely and responsibly?
Your example of having brakes and liferafts is way OFF BASE.... having brakes on a car is a necessity for day to day operation otherwise almost EVERY time you used the car there would be an emergency.

NOT having brakes on a car is like having a hull full of leaks and NO bilge pumps onboard (or not working well).... kinda like a lot of commercial fishing boats through the years that have sunk and killed crewmen because they left the dock sinking and the pumps never kept up with the situation.

But equating safety gear to essential gear just dilutes the discussion.
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Old 24-10-2011, 10:35   #195
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

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By the very nature of the beast, nothing on a boat works 100% of the time, actually less likely when you need it most and are less likely to be able to fix it/get it fixed.
When it comes to survival you need to make sure you have best possible changes. Basically do not cut corners on any safety or survival gear...actually any system or compent the failure of which puts you and/or you boat at jeporty should be backed up, rethought or replaced. On my boat this is reflected by the lack of electronic gadgets and gizmos.
Probably what would be considered to be the most hazardous work environment I have ever worked in was a welding shop, for the most part guards, shields and other OSHA type safety devices were impracticable if not completely impossible. For that matter people had to know all the hazards and possible hazards and act accordingly..knowledge of existing hazards actually made it one of the most accident free work places I have ever worked in.
Just buying a life raft only provides you with the basic equipment for survival "just in case", equipping your boat for a disaster does not prepare you for it. Knowing how to survive in the open ocean in a life raft requires more than knowing where the rip cord on the raft is.
No but a liferaft, 2 epirbs and staying near shipping lanes increases your odds by thousands...as has been proven time and time again...please don't ask me to post all those results...if anyone reads SAR reports from all the available sources they will know this to be true.

Yes people go missing when in the dark corners of the world...but if you are in danger and help is only a few days away...an EPIRB (or 2) a working liferaft (remember they can be blown up manually too) and a bit of fresh water and your chances of survival go up huge...

Now it if you don't make it to the raft or it's not deployed...then you had a VERY UNUSUAL case of disaster...and the rest may not matter...
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