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Old 12-05-2009, 17:24   #16
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risk assessment

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Originally Posted by David M View Post
Personally, I would never be able to forgive myself if I had to and my family died because I took them to sea without an adequate backup. I am not saying you are irresponsible, but it would be irresponsible to do such a thing. That's just my opinion. I know there are others in this forum who do not believe that life rafts have any merits at all.
Right, And I guess that you have read the reports of only 1/3 of life rafts deploying successfully? So you have gone out and brought 3 life rafts? and you maintain them all?

You could do this and you would have 'more' adequate backup. So tell me do you have 3 life rafts? How could you forgive yourself if your family drowns because you skimped and only had one faulty life raft?

You have an unsinkable (positive buoyancy) boat though? Right?

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Originally Posted by knottybuoyz View Post
So what kind of voyaging are you doing anyways? North sea? North Pacific crossings?

So it boils down to, how much is the life of your loved one worth?

If you're just toodling around a pond (or an island in the north sea) well you can probably get by with the gumby suit. .
What it boils down to a realistic assessment of the risk.

Look for a start I am buying a boat with positive buoyancy. That means my chances of needing a life raft at all are already very much reduced.

I am not doing any open ocean sailing, just coastal sailing around the UK.
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Old 12-05-2009, 19:39   #17
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Sabray those lifeboats aren't as simple a design as they look. Stability is paramount in those & they are rugged.
That was kinda the point. I like the idea of a hard dinghy that can serve another function. I don't think tying an inflatable over a hard dink is a great solution. the forces that you may be exposed to are extreme. I watched my 9'6 inflatable with 60 lbs of motor and 14 lbs of fuel do a kite act. I kid you not it lifted out of the water so that looking back I saw the thing at deck level it stayed that way a bit flipped hit the water came back out turned happy side up.
I sailed for years without an inflatable life raft. Now that my young kids are involved and we extend our sailing offshore I bought the inflatable. I wouldn't have bought it if I thought there was a 30% chance it would inflate.I would put good money on the challenge that were I to pull the rip cord right now it would deploy. I have practiced how to deploy it and have deployed similar rafts (not in crisis situations) never having one fail. my opinion a dink with floatation and a good canvas tent lashed on is a better option. I can tell you are thinking this through.
For some reason I still want that big boat life boat it's for sale $6000 if you can get to pakistan.
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Old 12-05-2009, 20:06   #18
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Look for a start I am buying a boat with positive buoyancy. That means my chances of needing a life raft at all are already very much reduced.
The case for not needing a life raft are better than those that claim you will. I think it's more the case that we all choose to believe in things we need now, rather than what might be. We are all optimists at heart. If you really thought it could be worse just how could you ever leave?

So as they say, hope for the best and pray against the worst. The percentages are small against needing something for the worst unless you find yourself there. There is always a worst case situation even if there are more for the better cases. It's not about scenarios you understand it is more about the ones you don't. You cannot anticipate everything. There a whole set of things you ain't never seen before. In the middle of the night, in your worst nightmare, it could be worse! No one knows what they won't ever need. Risk management is much easier when it's not your life on the the line or those you are responsible for. Maybe they really are worth only what you can afford.
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Old 12-05-2009, 21:36   #19
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I would be quite comfortable doing coastal sailing without a liferaft, particularly in a boat with positive buoyancy.
I just got back from 3000 ocean miles in a boat with positive buoyancy and no raft.
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Old 13-05-2009, 02:22   #20
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I did not say it would be better than a proper life raft. If I could afford it I would buy a Givens. However I cannot.

I think my idea is better than;

* No Lifeboat
* An open boat

It is merely a suggestion for improving on using a open boat.
I hear Givens rafts leak oil and the lights on their Lucus flashlights never work...
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Old 13-05-2009, 03:37   #21
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Anything would be better than nothing...

If I am ever unfortunate enough to have my boat sink then anything that I (and any crew) can hold onto would be better than nothing.

Lifejackets are a given and I'm moving towards clothing that will keep me warm in the water (wetsuit?).

If the weather is good then a rigid dinghy would be OK but otherwise an inflatable has got to be a lot better - I could probably climb into one in rough weather. Preferably held on with a quick release and a separate tether.

A ditch bag containing (at least) epirb, water, food, flares and space blankets would be good to have.

For coastal voyaging I might take my chances with the inflatable but for blue water my preference would be to go with a new liferaft.
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Old 13-05-2009, 04:10   #22
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Your dual dinghy plan has merit, if it offers you comfort and reassurance.
In the vast majority of cases, over the vast majority of time, possession of a life-raft offers a psychological perception of increased safety (placebo effect).
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Old 13-05-2009, 09:38   #23
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Shackleton made it in an open boat that was tarped over in the Southern Ocean. I have given thought to a hard sailing dink that could have shade, and protection from waves. Fortunately for me I have 1ksq.ft. deck space to place it.

A nice sailing dink to play with in wonderful anchorages. A dink that could substitute as an emergency escape from what ever failure the mother ship has. It is not always the rocket scientist that finds the solutions to a problem. BEST WISHES Sam in finding a solution to your situation........i2f
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Old 13-05-2009, 11:17   #24
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if the point is for one vessel to serve two functions...

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Originally Posted by sabray View Post
That was kinda the point. I like the idea of a hard dinghy that can serve another function.
...try this: Portland Pudgy multifunction dinghy -- the fun boat that could save your life!
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Old 13-05-2009, 12:25   #25
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Originally Posted by dana-tenacity View Post
I would be quite comfortable doing coastal sailing without a liferaft, particularly in a boat with positive buoyancy.
I just got back from 3000 ocean miles in a boat with positive buoyancy and no raft.
Amen. I have spent my whole life coastal sailing with no life raft. If you have positive buoyancy, I don't see the need for any life raft, especially if you're not in the middle of the ocean.

Think about it -- the only purpose of a life raft is if the mother ship actually sinks (remember, never get into your life raft unless you can step UP into it). This is very rare. Read all the reports about boats abandoned only to drift up to their original destination. You'd just be much better off in a drifting, dismasted hulk, than in a little life raft. How likely is it that you won't have even that, with your positive buoyancy?

So I'm not sure it's worth obsessing about.

If you really think you need a liferaft on top of your positive bouyancy, then just buy a cheap coastal life raft -- they are cheaper than two dinghys. Even cheaper if bought well used, then re-tested.
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Old 13-05-2009, 14:45   #26
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Portland Pudgy multifunction dinghy -- the fun boat that could save your life!

The Portland Pudgy looks great. It is however very expensive, and also very heavy.

A Bic 245 is about £500
Bic 245 new boat for sale. The Yacht Market online boat sales and charters.

A old Avon inflatable can be picked up for about £100 on ebay.


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Think about it -- the only purpose of a life raft is if the mother ship actually sinks (remember, never get into your life raft unless you can step UP into it). This is very rare. Read all the reports about boats abandoned only to drift up to their original destination. You'd just be much better off in a drifting, dismasted hulk, than in a little life raft. How likely is it that you won't have even that, with your positive buoyancy?

So I'm not sure it's worth obsessing about.
All very true, I don't plan on obsessing at all Fire is the main reason I am considering this.

I also need at least one dinghy to get me to shore and back, so the only additional expense is a £100 inflatable. I feel this will be money well spent.

It will also have the additional security advantage of looking like there is someone aboard, when we are actually ashore.
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Old 17-05-2009, 10:25   #27
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A hard dinghy should NEVER be left on davits during ocean crossings,always strapped to deck upside down.That way its there if you need it.I like the idea of liferaft and dinghy deployed together ,either hard or soft.Read the book ,"Survive The Savage Sea".You can't put a price on life,buy the gear.
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Old 17-05-2009, 13:21   #28
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For sitting in the middle of an angry ocean I can't say a 6 / 8 foot rubber ring would be high on my list. for me or family. No matter how much I had paid for it. Sometimes in life simply spending money does not provide the solution, apart from providing a sense of security.

In an ideal world I would want a RIB with a self inflating cover, a sea anchor and failing a couple of 50hp Evinrudes a means of sailing. Of course in this ideal world the RIB would be around 25 foot ........I'm gonna need a bigger boat

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Old 17-05-2009, 15:01   #29
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I think the best "liferaft" is a hard, sailing tender, with positive buoyancy and some kind of sun shelter (and a well stocked ditch bag, of course -- water, food, charts, compass, etc)

The idea of floating around in an orange kiddy pool with no way of moving in the direction I want to go -- sitting, waiting for someone else to come and get me -- sounds as un-seamanlike as I can imagine. Depending on where you are when you ditch, unless you're Captain Blye, you're just as likely to die in a sailing dink as a rubber raft, but at least I'd be doing something to affect my own survivial.

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Old 17-05-2009, 19:55   #30
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The issue I've got with using a tender is: with the assumption there's heavy seas any that I can think of are going to roll sooner or later. You'd have to have supplies well secured and be able to get back in. The stability even with a rib isn't there.
The point of directional movement is valid and Steve Calahan has put a lot of thought into the ideal surival craft and it is a covered rib essentially.
So, is there a perfect survival craft? I don't think so. I do have a lot more faith in the new GPS epirbs than I had with the old ones.
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