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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 29-10-2011, 12:02   #286
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfenzee View Post
As this thread has drifted considerably I will pull it back long enough to point out a few things. NO one has come out saying they are actually against life rafts, the only case in which a life raft has said to actually be a bad idea is when people consider a life raft as a complete survival system and do not feel the need to supplement it with a ditch bag....this false sense of security could actually prove fatal.
The tangents this thread have taken involve the need of a ditch bag, equipping and maintaining the boat, as well as other saftey measures that would actually prevent the need for the use of a life raft. Then evolved into the overall equipping and maintaining of the boat and finally into socialogical/economic reasoning for why boats are equipped the way they are.
How self-sufficency, creativity, invetiveness has been replaced with dependancy on other people to do things for you: if it breaks (or you are led to beilive it is obsolete), get it fixed or replace it with what marketing says is the essential replacement.....our culture has actively been ingraining in people to not be able to do stuff for themselves (if you can afford not to or get a bank loan/credit card, why bother)
While I agree with a lot of what you say...you are still complicating the OPs question...do you plan on having a liferaft?

The purpose of a liferaft is to keep you from drowning or dying from hypothermia (maybe hyperthermia bit that's a stretch ) until you either hit dry land on your own or are rescued in one way or another.

The liferaft is just one of several ways to accomplish that task...anyone that thinks it's the only answer or not an answer I contest has no real feel for survival at sea. having one on board should neither give you warm and fuzzies or instill a fear that sailing will always wind up in a situation where you and the liferaft will become close friends. Too many factors...too many options.

I have been through 4 military survival schools and have taught sea safety at sea at all levels including the Annapolis Safety at Sea weekend on many occasions. Survival is a mindset and when necessary a process...lots can go right...lots can go wrong..that's why risk management is the real key and not lip service to safety gear.

So would I do a circumnavigation without a true bluewater liferaft??? Probably not. Will I take my trawler all the way throughout the caribbean even to the ABC's with just a highly modified dingy and superior ditch bag (really for both scenarios)
...you bet. Will I cruise long term above Cape Cod without survival or dry suits??? Probably not...they will be in addition to the dingy.

If you have a plan...you have a chance...no plan and even a liferaft is just a piece of gear...even unecessary for some and useless to some of those counting on it.
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Old 29-10-2011, 14:17   #287
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No

To go back to the OP's question (my question) the only question asked was whether you planned on having one or not. Never asked any why's.
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Old 29-10-2011, 14:30   #288
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
To go back to the OP's question (my question) the only question asked was whether you planned on having one or not. Never asked any why's.
Then question should be phrased YES, NO, EVENTUALLY, POSSIBLY
My answer:eventually I plan to include a rife raft as part of my entire survival system.
As far as YES/NO now....I'd have to say no
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Old 29-10-2011, 15:14   #289
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No

And once the luftraft and the dutch bug are fully paid up ... let's go cruising, honey!

Errr, but should we not get a boat for that too? Uhmm, yes, a boat, a boat and an insurance - just in case the ditch raft and the life bug fail to inflate!

NAVEGARE necesse est, liferaft non necesse est!

;-)))
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Old 29-10-2011, 15:55   #290
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No

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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
While I agree with a lot of what you say...you are still complicating the OPs question...do you plan on having a liferaft?
Fair question. Short answer is probably no, not for coastal cruising. I don't have the funds to go and buy one or the funds to pay for the mandatory inspections they require. If I could fund an extended cruise across the Pacific (at the moment, I can't) I would include a raft in that funding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
The purpose of a liferaft is to keep you from drowning or dying from hypothermia (maybe hyperthermia bit that's a stretch ) until you either hit dry land on your own or are rescued in one way or another.
Concur. In regards to hyperthermia v hypothermia, the former is unlikely, however the canopy will stop you from getting sunburned, which can be debilitating. I won't go into an open boat for more than a five minute trip to the shore, yet many people spend all fishing in one on a day when it's 45c - and frequently come home burnt. A week in an open dinghy/rib/rubberducky in the Pacific in summer would leave you burned to a crisp without the canopy protection of a raft, unless you have lots of 35+ Sunblock on hand. That said, I guess you could rig something from a sail or whatever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
The liferaft is just one of several ways to accomplish that task...anyone that thinks it's the only answer or not an answer I contest has no real feel for survival at sea. having one on board should neither give you warm and fuzzies or instill a fear that sailing will always wind up in a situation where you and the liferaft will become close friends. Too many factors...too many options.
Again, concur. Survival is in many ways a state of mind, and an ability to accept that things can go wrong, but need not be fatal. There are always alternatives. The finest survival equipment in the world (and often the least well utilised) is between your ears.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
I have been through 4 military survival schools and have taught sea safety at sea at all levels including the Annapolis Safety at Sea weekend on many occasions. Survival is a mindset and when necessary a process...lots can go right...lots can go wrong..that's why risk management is the real key and not lip service to safety gear.
Absolutely agree. I would consider a liferaft and a lifejacket as PPE, Personal Protective Equipment. The entire philosophy of Risk Management is that PPE is the last resort, something you use only if the risk cannot be removed, managed or mitigated in some other way. Blindly depending on PPE (or a liferaft) to get you out of trouble is not the philosophy you want to adopt, but rather try and avoid or reduce the hazard in other ways first. Ramming a container is a clear sinking hazard, but it's a risk that can be managed. Barrelling along in the dark in the pious hope you won't hit one is not managing that risk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
So would I do a circumnavigation without a true bluewater liferaft??? Probably not. Will I take my trawler all the way throughout the caribbean even to the ABC's with just a highly modified dingy and superior ditch bag (really for both scenarios)
...you bet. Will I cruise long term above Cape Cod without survival or dry suits??? Probably not...they will be in addition to the dingy.
Makes sense. I do note that some companies will rent you a raft that would exceed the needs of most yachties at a fraction of the cost of purchase. If I was going to sail the Pacific, that's probably what I'd do.
If I'm sailing in midwinter in open water south of here, I'd consider some form of temperature retention clothing, possibly a wetsuit would be sufficient in our milder climate, where water temperatures do not drop to the levels you see in the region you are speaking of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
If you have a plan...you have a chance...no plan and even a liferaft is just a piece of gear...even unecessary for some and useless to some of those counting on it.
If you plan to survive, you probably will. If you don't you won't. I've had that drummed into me from many sources, in many different ways and I find it to be true. I plan to make a dinghy (inflatable probably) fill the role of a survival craft, simply by carrying extra stuff in it at all times and having it rigged so it will separate from the yacht if it goes down in a hurry. (Not that hard to do). It has the advantage of being already there, already inflated and afloat and able to do more than just drift.
In many circumstances, particularly if you are coastal cruising, that is a better survival plan than drifting in a raft with an EPIRB until someone finds you.


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Old 29-10-2011, 17:16   #291
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No

Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieGeoff View Post
Fair question. Short answer is probably no, not for coastal cruising. I don't have the funds to go and buy one or the funds to pay for the mandatory inspections they require. If I could fund an extended cruise across the Pacific (at the moment, I can't) I would include a raft in that funding.


Absolutely agree. I would consider a liferaft and a lifejacket as PPE, Personal Protective Equipment. The entire philosophy of Risk Management is that PPE is the last resort, something you use only if the risk cannot be removed, managed or mitigated in some other way. Blindly depending on PPE (or a liferaft) to get you out of trouble is not the philosophy you want to adopt, but rather try and avoid or reduce the hazard in other ways first. Ramming a container is a clear sinking hazard, but it's a risk that can be managed. Barrelling along in the dark in the pious hope you won't hit one is not managing that risk.


AussieGeoff

Using the Risk Analysis is the best way to go. I concur with your post.
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Old 29-10-2011, 17:21   #292
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No

How thick must one's steel hull be strong enough traveling at six to eight knots not to be holed by a wayward container?



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Old 29-10-2011, 18:13   #293
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I'm not sure how hitting a container is a risk that can be managed. If you are sailing on a moonless night, you will not see a semi submerged hazard. You have odds on your side- but you could roll the dice and hit a fish pen or a container. You keep going in dark with the hope it won't and have back up if it happens. Or else you stay home. Everything is a risk- sailing is more of a risk since we don't float or swim long when you are offshore very far. You could go that way or on the 405 stuck in traffic. It's a choice.
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Old 29-10-2011, 19:26   #294
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Wolfenzee and fellow cruisers,

I will repeat that the stats show that a life raft will increase your chances of dying. And history also shows that while you die, your boat will probably still be floating. Or it may sink because you were busy with a liferaft instead of plugging that thru hull. Evans quotes more figures and anecdotal evidence of deaths and liferaft deflations and semi-inflations and on that basis has no life raft. But is it really about physics, gas canisters, ditch bags and weather? Or is it about your mental strength, perception vs reality in extreme situations, the strength of your boat and your desire to live? There is no correct answer! But I lean towards the latter....

Some say that it is a simple risk analysis and that they have other priorities for their $$ before they buy a
Iferaft. Others argue the value of their own lives and can therefore justify buying a liferaft, "just in case", like insurance. They also infer that they accept that most other sailors abandon ship too early but not themselves, they are different, they can withstand 72 hours of no sleep, great discomfort and still think rationally. They insist that they will fight to THE END to save their boat before stepping up into the liferaft.

I say "HAH! What a load of self-serving BS! But good luck with the huge assumption that YOU will react differently to all the other humans who have been in similar situations before you."

We are a family (typical Mum, Dad and 10 y.o son) and we can afford to buy insurance and a liferaft. But we don't. Other priorities or different logic? On our uninsured, floating home, we accept that we are humans and will probably react accordingly, just like other humans have done before we graced this planet with our presence. We are talking about survival situations. Saving your boat and staying with your boat is THE BEST WAY to ensure your own survival. The weak link is typically the crew, NOT the boat. If you think otherwise, prepare your relatives to accept the probable consequences on the basis of recent marine history. If you still think that you are some sort of super-human who will not take the easy way out when things get really really bloody tough, well, ok, you have a big ego or some extreme experiences on which to base that assumption. Good luck with that!

When the going gets tough, I don't want an easy way out. The last half century of extreme sailing conditions has shown what most sailors and pro racers do - they abandon ship too early and then die while their boat continues to float.

So are you a superman? Are you sure about your own mental abilities in tough situations? Sure enough to bet your life? Have you already got experience where you truly, really fought for your life and your boat? Or are you an average, slightly overweight, middle-age to older cruiser who is accustomed to living in the suburbs, cruising a bit, using TowBoatsUS, and ringing for help when you have a problem? If you are the latter and you enter extreme weather conditions, it is probable that you will abandon ship, switch on your epirb and wait for help.

And it is probable that you will die but your boat won't.

Or is it better to remove the easy alternative and fight?

PS. Reading back over this, I am not sure that I have expressed myself correctly. Evans does a better job on his website and you should read his take on the situation.

Yeah, we have a supposedly unsinkable cat so it is easier to go without a liferaft - fire should be our justification for a liferaft, not sinking. So we prevent the fire and then if we fail in that objective, we plan to put it out. If we can't, well then we will just die trying. On our previous boat, a steel mono, we had no liferaft and no insurance based on the above logic. It's your life, nada mas y nada menos, a very interesting gamble.
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Old 29-10-2011, 20:46   #295
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No

The most resent wast of money for a liferaft http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...tml#post806701
"The reporting source said that the crew all had life jackets on, but their life raft had washed overboard."
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Old 29-10-2011, 20:52   #296
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No

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Wolfenzee and fellow cruisers,

I will repeat that the stats show that a life raft will increase your chances of dying.....edited for space...., a very interesting gamble.
Geez..a lifetime of going to sea or flying over it...all the time with liferafts and loads of other survival gear...and I'm still alive!!!! It's a miracle!!!!

Ya gotta love Darwin!!!
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Old 29-10-2011, 21:00   #297
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LOL!! Touché, psneeld!

But I was referring to the entire cruising and racing pop., not just 1 isolated case of YOU. Or ME.

The point is: do what you like, it is YOUR life. We made our decision and live and sail by it. It is not a theoretical yacht club bar topic. There are consequences. And there is lots of history!
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Old 29-10-2011, 21:04   #298
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pirate Re: Liferaft: Yes or No

In response to the OP.... NO...!!
Not your packed stacked pull a cord kind....
Each to their own.... the man for the modern liferft says I'm risking life and limb...
to save a few bucks... wrong...
Can you guys who think its possible to make everything fool proof wake up and smell the coffee...
Your either a survivor or a statistic.... still... gorra admit... advertising works....
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Old 29-10-2011, 21:18   #299
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Re: Liferaft: Yes or No

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LOL!! Touché, psneeld!

But I was referring to the entire cruising and racing pop., not just 1 isolated case of YOU. Or ME.

The point is: do what you like, it is YOUR life. We made our decision and live and sail by it. It is not a theoretical yacht club bar topic. There are consequences. And there is lots of history!
I don't think so...but I doubt there is a repository of stats that could prove or disprove that having survival gear creates an atmosphere of complacency enough to increase the risk of disasterous results initiated by an emergency.
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Old 29-10-2011, 21:28   #300
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It is not so much complacency as escape. Check out the Queens Birthday action off NZ, the '79 Fastnet, Syd-Hob etc etc etc.

I am not trying to convince you to change what you already do, just explaining our logic. It is about removing an attractive alternative from our choices, a choice that is fatal more often than not, a choice that is often taken incorrectly due to mental stress. Your life is yours, look after it yourself, mate!
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