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Old 01-06-2010, 14:23   #1
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Mounting Liferaft without Factory Cradle

We have just had our new to us Viking Liferaft repacked and recertified, and now would like to mount it to the boat. The factory cradle sure looks nice, but it is a $500+ item. I was thinking of building our own cradle, out of wood, or Starboard, or ??? Any of you folks have thoughts on the matter?

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Old 01-06-2010, 15:06   #2
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If the liferaft is mounted in an exposed position, the wave forces on it could be quite high, and the last thing you want in the ultimate storm is no liferaft to step up into. Thus, the material of choice is stainless steel, through bolted to the deck.
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Old 01-06-2010, 15:21   #3
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No idea what starboard is Have seen them made of wood and I see no fundamental reason not to use wood. The key will be the design and using decent wood - and being well bolted down (but that applies to any other material as well - as said, scope for enormous forces trying to wrench it off deck).
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Old 01-06-2010, 15:23   #4
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I was thinking of asking a local fabricator for a quote to make one up from Stainless. Anyone ever go that route? I imagine it could be made from stainless tube or bard fairly easily.

Chris
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Old 02-06-2010, 06:14   #5
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No idea what starboard is ...
King StarBoard® is a modified form of high density polyethylene (HDPE).
King Plastics market a number of products within the StarBoard® family: StarBoard, StarBoard AS, StarBoard ST, StarBoard XL, StarLite XL, and E-Board.
King StarBoard
http://www.kingstarboard.com/CMS/Med...orkingwith.pdf
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:23   #6
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I've seen a couple cradles made out of teak and they looked very nice. You could use Starboard, Delrin, or stainless but if you're going to make your own, it seems to me that wood is the easiest and most forgiving. You might talk to some stainless fabricators and see what they would charge.
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Old 02-06-2010, 20:29   #7
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I used foam to shape two holders in front of my dodger. Then glassed over these and bolted them to the deck. Then through bolted 4 eye bolts through the deck on the outside of these. Use webbing and a snapsahckle to hold and release.

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Old 02-06-2010, 21:46   #8
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I used foam to shape two holders in front of my dodger. Then glassed over these and bolted them to the deck. Then through bolted 4 eye bolts through the deck on the outside of these. Use webbing and a snapsahckle to hold and release.

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Old 02-06-2010, 22:51   #9
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Viking stainless cradles are under $300. Google it and you'll find a source. Not cheap but probably less than you could have one fabricated as a one off. You can certainly make chocks out of teak but if you figure your time in making them and the cost of teak, the Viking Stainless cradle is a bargain.
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Old 03-06-2010, 16:29   #10
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Picture or two.

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Here's a couple quick pics - they show a lot.

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Old 15-06-2010, 08:42   #11
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If the liferaft is mounted in an exposed position, the wave forces on it could be quite high, and the last thing you want in the ultimate storm is no liferaft to step up into. Thus, the material of choice is stainless steel, through bolted to the deck.
I've heard that deck mounting is a bad idea period. Even if through bolted stainless will hold it, the liferaft still adds undesirable windage and is better stored elsewhere... I'm curious where - buried somewhere below deck seems a little unsafe. Any thoughts?
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Old 15-06-2010, 10:53   #12
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I've heard that deck mounting is a bad idea period. Even if through bolted stainless will hold it, the liferaft still adds undesirable windage and is better stored elsewhere... I'm curious where - buried somewhere below deck seems a little unsafe. Any thoughts?
The best place for a raft is in a dedicated purpose built locker in the cockpit or near the aft of the boat. Since most cruising boats don't have this you could build one, or go to an alternate mounting. Mounting in the main cabin is not a good place, as a major reason to use a raft is due to fire, and they are heavy and would be very difficult for a Mom & Pop crew to bring up in tough conditions. The tradeoff often ends up as a deck mount.

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Old 15-06-2010, 11:15   #13
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My 6 man offshore raft is in a valise, and fits perfectly under the bridge helm seat...about the size of a 120 gal cooler.
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Old 15-06-2010, 11:27   #14
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It's not a good idea to store valise life rafts exposed to the elements. We kept our four man in the cockpit for our two years cruising. Tried to get it certified after 5 years and the raft was throwaway. This was a mid '70s Avon so materials may have changed but I wouldn't store a valise raft where the elements could get to it.
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