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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 14-10-2011, 16:47   #16
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Re: liferaft - yes/no?

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Zee, you would never be homeless...lot's of good men and true on this site would give you a home onboard.....can you cook Mexican?
i can cook anything...... and what i cant cook i invent.....
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Old 14-10-2011, 16:49   #17
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Re: liferaft - yes/no?

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
The cost isn't the reason I don't plan on having one. I consider my wife's and my life worth a lot more than the price of a liferaft.
Of course and goes without saying.

Do you have a dinghy that could be launched quickly whilst on passage instead?

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Old 14-10-2011, 16:53   #18
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Re: liferaft - yes/no?

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Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post

Do you have a dinghy that could be launched quickly whilst on passage instead?

Pete
Yes! ................ (needed dots to make message long enough, what's up with that)
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Old 14-10-2011, 17:16   #19
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Re: liferaft - yes/no?

My boat is the classic definition of a coastal cruiser, as such I believe that the RIB is good enough to get me to land and while it may capsize it's not going to sink. Given that I have a cat, I would only expect to abandon ship as a result of a fire. If I ever start crossing oceans I would definitely have a raft if only for the shelter and survival equipment.
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Old 14-10-2011, 17:28   #20
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Re: liferaft - yes/no?

Like any other decision, it's a matter of weighing the costs and benefits and those will change depending on the circumstances.

What are the odds your boat will completely sink, your life raft will properly inflate and you'll abandon ship before help arrives? How does that risk balance against the cost of what ever else you might have spent that money on?

On one boat I own, I have one. On another I do not. Different circumstances - different conclusion.
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Old 14-10-2011, 17:30   #21
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Re: liferaft - yes/no?

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Originally Posted by RHoodJr View Post
"How long can you tread water"?

Have you ever seen a boat on fire? When you need to leave the boat in a hurry, I'd use a life raft if I was only 1/4 mile off shore. I can swim but sure don't want to find out he hard way the I can't swim as far as the shore is!
#1. Won't you be wearing an appropriate PFD?
#2. If it is a husband/wife aboard cruising, won't you each grab a fire extinguisher and kill the fire before it gets out of hand?
#3. There is no guarantee, in case of a serious fire, that the raft won't be damaged, depending on where the fire is.

I sailed from Florida to Colombia with no liferaft. We were on a cat though, and they don't sink!
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Old 15-10-2011, 04:10   #22
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

If I had a wife and kids onboard I would get a liferaft (having been through the dead wife thing already I know the 2nd guessing oneself that goes on, both fairly and unfairly).

But for myself (and any other crew!) I won't bother. Albeit I do like to keep an inflated dink on the stern (which IMO covers the fire thing fairly well).
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Old 15-10-2011, 06:35   #23
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

We are planning on just the Caribbean and coastal central America, so NO liferaft. In dinghy range if $hit happens.

If we decide to cross the Pacific, YES definitely...
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Old 15-10-2011, 09:06   #24
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
If I had a wife and kids onboard I would get a liferaft (having been through the dead wife thing already I know the 2nd guessing oneself that goes on, both fairly and unfairly).

But for myself (and any other crew!) I won't bother. Albeit I do like to keep an inflated dink on the stern (which IMO covers the fire thing fairly well).
Sailing between Tampa, Florida, and Ft. Jefferson (about 200 miles) we were becalmed in the Gulf for awhile. Within a short while we had a number of visitors. All things considered a think a life-raft would is cheap insurance.
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Old 15-10-2011, 09:25   #25
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

In South Africa (over regulated) there is no choice. Overnighters HAVE to have a current serviced liferaft aboard, flares, life jackets, all the usual safety gear, a current COF and someone with a valid skippers ticket, or else you may not go to sea. The dinghy is not considered as safe enough, and only life jackets aproved by the South African Bureau of Standards may be used. In other words, we may not use a top of the range life jacket made in the States or elsewhere if it does not have the SABS stamp, even though it is good enough elsewhere. And this is just the beginning of it!
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Old 15-10-2011, 09:29   #26
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

RTB-
Bear in mind that even with a PFD, you are subject to hypothermia in the water. Not as great a problem in the Carib, but come a bit further north and your survival time drops from days to hours as the water gets colder. The PFD then becomes just a sourtesy to the SAR guys, so they can recover your body faster & get home in time for dinner.
"#2. If it is a husband/wife aboard cruising, won't you each grab a fire extinguisher and kill the fire before it gets out of hand?" The typical "liter bottle" sized dry chemical extinguisher is good for a fire about the size of a home or office waste basket. The size of a fire typically doubles every 30 seconds. So unless you and the wife both arrive within the first minute...it can easily get away from you.

Not that I think life rafts are a great solution to the problem. I think they are incredibly overpriced, considering the way they "rot on the shelf" and require repacks and replacements. But given the alternatives, they might have some use.
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Old 15-10-2011, 09:50   #27
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

In fact, we have already done one big cruise without a liferaft. And yet, should the boat be sound and seaworthy, adding the liferaft detracts nothing from her seaworthiness.

One can be a Loick Peyron, sail a Titanic, then hit a stupid container and sink the ship.

PS I do not think they should be obligatory in a private, non-commercial pleasure boat.

b.
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Old 15-10-2011, 10:05   #28
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

I have a valise 4 man that lives in the laz when in shore and under a grating that I put in aft of the bridge deck when offshore. Bail out bag lives at the head of the quarter berth, so both are easily deployed. They are there if I hit a container or something big and can’t contain the damage and inflow of water, if I rolled and was demasted the boat has all I need to survive for a long time, never abandon your best life raft.
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Old 15-10-2011, 10:08   #29
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

While we are carrying a PLB for our trip, we will not be carrying a liferaft. Our inflatable dinghy has been slightly modified to serve as our raft. I subscribe to the stats that the odds of one's boat sinking offshore are far less than off a coast. I've also read much anecdotal evidence of liferafts which have not inflated or have leaked when being re-certified. That doesn't fill me with much confidence. In comparison, an inflatable dinghy on deck can be inspected daily & is ready to use when needed. Obviously, it needs to be covered to avoid degradation.
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Old 15-10-2011, 11:29   #30
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Re: liferaft - yes/no?

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Originally Posted by Thanna5 View Post
Why not?
Why not?

Because a false sense of security is counter productive.

Sorry folks. But a certification is no guaranty that you will have a life saver.

This has gone around so many times on this forum. It seems that not only do people count on them prematurely and are never seen again when the boat is found safe and sound, but liferafts are also know to be notoriously unreliable.

I carry 2 dinks, which I can get use out of daily so I know they work, and (hopefully) I have a set up for emergency protection etc that I can grab.

So the why not for me, after all the research I have done on the questionable reliability, coupled with the space & cost, it was a big NO THANKS.

Of course I am not invulnerable. But I'd rather not think that I am covered because I have a certified liferaft when in fact, I'd still be gambling.
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