Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 16-10-2011, 09:14   #61
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

Surprising how many people will push on saying "We do not have a liferaft, so it is stupid to have one". (Or: "We have a monohull, so catamarans are crap").

;-)
b.
__________________

__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-10-2011, 19:54   #62
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: South-East Australia coast
Boat: 40ft fibreglass sloop
Posts: 163
Liferaft: any DIY options?

This thread referenced an article by CF member Evans Starzinger - I quote an extract:

"In NZ about 20 cruising boats got together to get their rafts repacked. Before repacking they all pulled their inflation cords and about 1/3 did not inflate, 1/3 inflated but promptly deflated and only 1/3 inflated and stayed inflated (this after the rafts were on average only two years at sea). More recently, the Concordia launched 4 rafts and one failed (tube burst). That's a 25% failure rate for commercial SOLAS grade, annually serviced and inspected, rafts." (end of quote)

Even if the quoted statistics reflect a too small sample size etc., I for one would feel much better if I could "try out" my liferaft whenever I wanted to (eg. before a voyage) without having to send it away for an "official service". Depending on your cruising location, the time and costs of commissioning a raft service will likely mean you minimise those events.

Now if you could test-inflate and repack it yourself whenever you feel the itch to do so, it would be a GAME CHANGER (safer, quicker, more peace of mind).

Now I know that you could probably never re-pack it as compactly as the factory; but then I am prepared to accept a more bulky replacement valise (ie. larger, though not heavier). Won't store this on deck; valise models are typically stored in cockpit lockers. So let's accept this - self-packing will be MORE BULKY and use a larger valise.

Moving on - is there is any liferaft product out there, anywhere, intended for DIY maintenance ? I know of a UK product called the Tinker, but (refer quotation below) it seems to have major flaws. Any others?

Quotation from CF thread on Tinker dinghy/raft:
"The Tinker used to be sold (Henshaws no longer sell the survival canopy) as a craft that would do it all - lifeboat, sailing dinghy, tender etc but like most all in one gimmicks (mobile phones for example) it falls down badly outside of its primary function of an inflatable dinghy. For instance, the preferred deployment for the sea anchor, as per the manual, is over the side tube, as this presents maximum buoyancy to oncoming waves. Great in theory or the test tank, but it doesn't work in anger! I've sat overnight like that in a force five with waves breaking aboard about twice an hour filling the cockpit. "


If there are no commercially available DIY rafts, what about 'converting' one to a DIY raft?
Is there anything technically tricky or complex to do when re-packing a raft (accepting it will only be as reliable as the owner's attention to detail, although, on the up-side, this reliability can be readily tested)?

Marqus
__________________

__________________
Marqus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-10-2011, 20:39   #63
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
Re: liferaft - yes/no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
I will not go offshore without a liferaft. Or an EPIRB. Or ....

Coastal cruising - not really needed.
Agreed.
__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-10-2011, 21:03   #64
Registered User
 
sabray's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wash DC
Boat: PETERSON 44
Posts: 3,169
Agree unless you need it. Then if you don't have it you would be better if you had it .mostly you won't need it until you want it. When you want it and can't get it your screwed. I think thats called masturbation. If you can't buy one that's fine. Not attracted a loner okay. It's bs saying people who have them are ditching their boats. . I have not seen a case where a boat was given up for a raft unless needed. plenty of ditches where people were on floating boats and abandoned. Very few giving up the boat for a raft. Let's call them out rather then talk general. Who here has wrongly gone into a raft while their boat floated along. Bad advice inexperienced advice suggesting getting a life raft is a bad choice. It's a choice means nothing in life. Most people are not thinking they will merrily jump into their life raft. It's a false argument made by people that have an odd opinion or can't afford the things.
__________________
sabray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-10-2011, 21:59   #65
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sabray View Post
Agree unless you need it. Then if you don't have it you would be better if you had it .mostly you won't need it until you want it. When you want it and can't get it your screwed. I think thats called masturbation. If you can't buy one that's fine. Not attracted a loner okay. It's bs saying people who have them are ditching their boats. . I have not seen a case where a boat was given up for a raft unless needed. plenty of ditches where people were on floating boats and abandoned. Very few giving up the boat for a raft. Let's call them out rather then talk general. Who here has wrongly gone into a raft while their boat floated along. Bad advice inexperienced advice suggesting getting a life raft is a bad choice. It's a choice means nothing in life. Most people are not thinking they will merrily jump into their life raft. It's a false argument made by people that have an odd opinion or can't afford the things.
Pick up a copy of Fastnet, Force 10, you'll see a lot of examples. It's a pretty common theme. Here's Buck's Fizz, one of many boats that was abandoned with all hands lost yet the boat showed up floating by itself later.

__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-10-2011, 22:12   #66
Senior Cruiser
 
Minggat's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Hawaii, South Pacific bound
Boat: Islander 36
Posts: 1,221
Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Pick up a copy of Fastnet, Force 10, you'll see a lot of examples. It's a pretty common theme. Here's Buck's Fizz, one of many boats that was abandoned with all hands lost yet the boat showed up floating by itself later.

All scary stuff. Obviously experienced sailors. It seems that the liferaft mindset can be a very a very dangerous thing all by itself. Then add in the deployment failures....
__________________
Minggat
Minggat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-10-2011, 22:40   #67
Registered User
 
sabray's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wash DC
Boat: PETERSON 44
Posts: 3,169
So right having a raft is daft. Laying a hull is more daft but you have a hull yes? Fastnet was a concentrated disaster.a few folk died right on there boats. To summarily say fasnet proves having a life raft is dangerous is idiocy. I read fastnet no where did I surmise having a raft was a bad option. When you use the raft is a choice. You limit your choices okay if your incompetent to choose when to deploy a raft and decide not to have one that's cool. To tell others they are in endangering themselves having a raft is lunacy.
__________________
sabray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-10-2011, 23:33   #68
Senior Cruiser
 
Minggat's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Hawaii, South Pacific bound
Boat: Islander 36
Posts: 1,221
Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sabray View Post
.... idiocy. ... lunacy.
Nice work. You make good points. You deliver them badly. And you completely discount the failure rate.

Please note, that I said "the mindset CAN be dangerous". I... being an idiot, think the mindset has pretty well demonstrated itself. The words "can be" were intended to give credit to other peoples thoughts on the subject.

"idiocy" and "is lunacy"... is a form of name calling. Does that work well for you?

Sadly, the last resort is often used as the first resort. And if that first/last resort simply fails to deploy then you've been enjoying a false sense of security and it MIGHT BE too late for other efforts that might safe your life.

What? Do you think some of us are simply saying "don't make any provisions for your safety" ? If you judge yourself to be the intellectual superior, it must be very frustrating to you to have to remind us that we are idiots.

It was never my intent to say that someone is endangering themselves by having a liferaft. It has always been my intent to point out that it is a more serious question than a simple "yes or no". Clearly, if you have room and budget, it's a good idea, as long as you know and when to deploy and that it might fail to inflate or fail in some other way.

If someone ask the question, then good chance they are up against some obstacle and they and others might appreciate hearing different viewpoints.

It's OK to share ideas without ridicule of others ideas.
__________________
Minggat
Minggat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2011, 00:48   #69
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Eldean Shipyard, Holland, MI
Boat: 1977 Pearson 30
Posts: 113
Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

As a low time, private pilot and wanna-be sailor I find this discussion fascinating!

During my flight training I heard over and over all the things that were dangerous and would surely kill me. "Never fly a single engine over water", "Never fly a single engine at night", "Never fly over a cloud layer without being instrument rated", blah-blah-blah. There are guys that practice engine out procedures in the landing pattern all the time. How many crashes result from an engine out in the pattern every year, you ask? Almost none. Most crashes occur because of fuel exhaustion, but nobody practices running out of gas. It is actually recommended to have a life raft on board when flying from Florida to the Bahamas. A trip that, if at 10,000 feet, you can almost always glide to land. Not to mention all of the boats around that you can crash near.

So, nine months after getting my license, we flew from Michigan to the Bahamas. We left before sunrise, flew over an overcast layer of clouds, crossed 90nm of water and blah-blah-blah. After we returned safely, I posted about our experiences. Then was critiqued on all of the things that we did wrong and informed that it was pure luck that the trip wasn't tragic.

As for sailing and life rafts, I really don't know. The thought of spending $3K for a piece of survival equipment when our boat budget is around $30K seems unrealistic. Am I being cheap? Maybe, but I don't think so. I don't need another reason not to go.

Also, using a racing organizations rules as a reference seems a little "apple to oranges". People racing boats will be in situations that people cruising will avoid. People racing boats are also monitored for position and have rescue plans in place.

Why do life rafts cost so much in the US? Simple, American's love their lawsuits. Companies that produce a product that requires frequent recertification and still has a high failure rate are sure to be sued regularly.
__________________
Anonymous7500 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2011, 01:09   #70
Registered User
 
svBeBe's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: from Houston, TX; currently berthed in Barcelona, headed west
Boat: Amel SM 53 - BeBe
Posts: 946
Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJBrookster View Post
I'm glad the boys survived, but are you suggesting this as a valid reason to not carry a life raft?
No, but you asked about stories of people who survived open ocean in a dinghy. I could also look up and post the story of the 3 fishermen in a tiny boat that drifted away from St. Lucia and were rescued off Aruba by a sailboat in a round-the-world rally in early 2008. We met the sailor in Panama who rescued these guys. Fishermen had been drifting for weeks; so desperate they set fire to their boat to attract attention of the passing sailboat. One man died as a result of the fire, but the other 2 were rescued. Point is that it is possible to survive longer times that one might expect in an open tiny vessel; not just in a life raft.

Like I said earlier, we carry a life raft. I do not consider it necessary for coastal cruising by any means, but definitely want a certified, inspected life raft on our ocean crossings.

Judy
S/V BeBe
__________________
svBeBe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2011, 01:23   #71
Armchair Bucketeer
 
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Surprising how many people will push on saying "We do not have a liferaft, so it is stupid to have one". (Or: "We have a monohull, so catamarans are crap").

;-)
b.
Can't say I saw the "Stupid" tag applied by anyone - either to those with or to those without a liferaft

To my previous list I would add:-

- Buy a boat that can handle rough weather. Everyone fears the "Big" storm, but in practice it seems a F5 - 7 for an extended period is more of a problem for many.......inadequate crew (numbers / skills) and design more suited to cocktails at sunset. Learning how to sail also helps......

- I would also add that for a family Skipper (wife and a few kids) that (IMO!) that it is barmy (an accident waiting to happen?) if wife is the only other adult aboard and can't sail / handle the boat as well, in all weathers (and be able to know when things are going wrong)........too lazy, ignorant or "girly"? Buy a liferaft ...........small crew = no passengers.
__________________
David_Old_Jersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2011, 02:02   #72
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,764
Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anonymous7500 View Post
Why do life rafts cost so much in the US? Simple, American's love their lawsuits. Companies that produce a product that requires frequent recertification and still has a high failure rate are sure to be sued regularly.
Right. It's the cost of product liability insurance, the fruit of our f****d up tort system.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2011, 03:00   #73
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Atlantic ICW 29N/81W
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 36CC, now sold
Posts: 817
Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Right. It's the cost of product liability insurance, the fruit of our f****d up tort system.
I can understand that could be a significant factor, but was told by someone in the business in the UK that his US counterparts nevertheless said 'because they CAN' charge double. That implies either protectionism of US makers of some kind, or that they have some kind of price fixing agreed with US makers (isn't that illegal?) or the US prices are really what it costs to build in the US and the European makers are taking advantage of that and their US distributors are just profiteering.

Price IS a factor, maybe it shouldn't be but it is. $3,000 for a raft for a $20,000 boat, then factor in servicing costs and you can see perhaps why! Drop that $3,000 to $1500 and the shall I shan't I picture changes a bit.

We have 40 years of sailboat cruising behind us and for 15 of those years did so in old and small and cheap boats, in mainly the English Channel, where conditions are often very severe and big ship traffic high. In those days we had no liferaft but we carried a half inflated (would support 4 people still) Avon donut on deck, it was the same dinghy we used to go from shore to mooring. We did rent a raft occasionally at the end of that time for some offshore races where it was a requirement. Some 25 years or more back however we inherited a liferaft with our 'new' boat, had it serviced and having one became a habit after that. We have never used one in anger, but have been present when ours were serviced because our local service agent was a club mate and a friend and I trusted his work 110% where I would not be so trusting of others having heard the horror stories many times.

We are not buying one for our new US boat, that is my choice and if money were no object then it might be different. As it is we will be spending instead on a quickfind epirb and in making sure all the boat systems and fittings are in first class order. That is our choice for us alone, based on having a quality Hypalon double bottomed RIB with large tubes and outboard with fuel tank ready to launch. We have our USCG PFDs stowed in it routinely (we will normally wear other better ones, automatic type but EU not USCG) and a grab bag with all the essentials like flare gun, VHF, and all the usual raft kit contents is stowed close too it ready to go also, plus another with all our must take documents, water, food etc. We will be cruising however in the ICW mainly with occasional hops out to the Bahamas etc, we will not be crossing oceans and rescue if required is measured in terms of hours not days. I think our choice is reasonable, but it is OUR choice and others may think entirely differently.

I still think that fire or collision are a more likely abandon ship scenario for most than getting caught in an unforecast Perfect Storm whilst on a 12 hour open sea trip. If it were a perfect storm, I wouldn't like the idea of a liferaft anyway unless the big boat was dropping away from my outstretched legs whilst neck deep in water! I wouldn't want to use a RIB instead either, so my argument is prevent getting into trouble in the first place.

You can't buy safety. You can buy safety equipment, but it doesn't make your boat any safer, it is reactive not proactive.

My choice, not advice to others!
__________________
Robin3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2011, 04:44   #74
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 12,327
Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

I wonder if there is a data base of people who have had to use their life raft as to the conditions? Whether they got into durng a storm, or whether they had hit something and were taking on water, etc.
__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2011, 04:52   #75
Registered User
 
hoppy's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40
Posts: 2,842
Re: Liferaft: Yes or No ?

It seems like a bit of pig headed stupidity to be refusing to carry a liferaft when cruising offshore.

Just carry one and skipper your yacht like you don't have it or a Epirb onboard.

If the **** really hits the fan and you decide you want to go down with the ship, go down, I'm sure your last thoughts will not be about regretting carrying a liferaft and what you could have bought instead. On the other hand if you don't have one and you start regretting that foolhearty decision, then you are screwed.

This is why Govenments always over-regulate, because they need to protect stupid people from themselves and the rest of us have to suffer as a result.
__________________

__________________
hoppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
liferaft

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A Self-Service Liferaft Design - Interested ? David_Old_Jersey Health, Safety & Related Gear 70 20-01-2016 14:56
For Sale: Liferaft: 8-Person Plastimo Transocean George P Classifieds Archive 5 16-12-2011 11:59
Sailing without a Liferaft or EPIRB Rory B Health, Safety & Related Gear 27 09-10-2011 10:19
Liferaft AquaticUrsidae Health, Safety & Related Gear 1 11-07-2011 22:42
Lavezzi 40: Removal of Liferaft Recess in Rear of Lavezzi Cruisin Cat Fountaine Pajot 1 07-07-2011 14:21



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:56.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.