Okay, I've hauled a 1997 Viking 6-man raft from the Atlantic to the Pacific and back. It was never opened or inspected since I got it, but it was kept in a very nice comfortable spot under my companionway
ladder in its valise.
I knew the food
might not be edible, but OTOH, I knew it would never be packed better than in the UK by the factory team. Be that as it may, I called around and got quotes on a recert and repack, and it came out to about a grand, give or take, plus shipping
a few 100 miles both ways from Jax to Savannah to the authorized Viking repackers.
Instead of this, I decided to buy a new 4 man offshore
raft. So the old Viking was sitting in my garage for a few months. A couple days ago, I decided to pull the lanyard on the lawn, and see what would happen.
Well, the old Viking performed perfectly, and inflated in just seconds, right-side-up. It held its air for a few days without losing any PSI. If I knew it was this great, I probably wouldn't have bought a new 2014 raft. But in any case, my 97 Viking was popped, and now the CO2 can't be refilled with a new trigger head
unless it's by a certified packer, so I'm back to "What to do with it?" One thing for sure, I won't be able to get it back into its valise!
1. Donate it to the USCG auxiliary or the Sea Scouts if they want it for a trainer.
2. Cut it down to just the black tubes and use it on a lake for a party barge, right side up or upside down.
3. Cut it down as above, but repack it myself as best I can (vacuuming out the air etc) and keep it as a backup, planning to use a pump or my own CO2 bottle.
4. Donate it to a day care for a free playhouse.
5. Any other ideas?