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Old 12-05-2009, 11:02   #1
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Question Stupid Lifeboat Idea?

Hi all I have been thinking about the endless dinghy/life-raft debate.

In my particular circumstances I plan to get a boat with positive buoyancy, I hope that the only circumstance where I would need to take to the lifeboat/raft would be a fire.

I am planning to get a plastic dinghy with positive buoyancy. It seems to me that the main problems of taking to such a boat in a survival situation are

* Exposure
* Capsize

It then occurred to me that perhaps I could use an upturned inflatable dinghy as a roof. The two dinghy's could be securely attached to each other.

It would also mean that in the event of a capsize you would still be enclosed within the structure. You would obviously want to use a drogue as well.

If I could afford it I would certainly buy a Givens liferaft. Until I have that money does my dual dinghy plan have any merit?
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:04   #2
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not really. the first real blow would pick that dink of the top of your raft and send it flying downwind.
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:25   #3
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Ask yourself one question: "Would you trust the lives of your wife & children in a rig like that?"
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:38   #4
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Im thinking of something like this

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...1&d=1242153315
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Old 12-05-2009, 13:00   #5
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Sabray those lifeboats aren't as simple a design as they look. Stability is paramount in those & they are rugged.
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Old 12-05-2009, 13:20   #6
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I'd be interested in seeing your plans. As I think about this concept, I'm estimating a hard shell dingy is about 12-14 inches deep and an inflatable, depending on tube size, might be 18-24 inches equalling 30 -38 inches if you join them gunwale to gunwale. But that leave so way to see or get in and out. Now you've got the problem of how do you get some space, still protect yourself from weather, and most importantly, how do you assemble this when you need it -- most likely not the calmest of times.

As one who is always trying to find a way to save a buck and usually ends up spending a lot more, my inclination on this one is to ask yourself the question Rick asked in an earlier post.

all the best,
craig in rainy, windy Seattle
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Old 12-05-2009, 14:27   #7
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Better than nothing?

"not really. the first real blow would pick that dink of the top of your raft and send it flying downwind."

Surely that would depend on how well they are attached?

Quote:
Originally Posted by knottybuoyz View Post
Ask yourself one question: "Would you trust the lives of your wife & children in a rig like that?"
Yes I think so, compared to;

* A liferaft that has failed to inflate (and I can't afford anyway)
* The open sea
* A open boat

As I mentioned I plan to have a "unsinkable" boat and would plan to stay on it.

"18-24 inches equalling 30 -38 inches if you join them gunwale to gunwale. But that leave so way to see or get in and out."

I was imagining having the solid dinghy on davits. When at sea I would securely attach the front part of the inflatable boat and leave the back part resting on the top to form a kind of hinged clamshell.

In a fire I would lower both boats into the water. Lift up the back part of the inflatable and get my wife inside. Unhook from the Davits and slide inside. Once inside secure the top dinghy to the bottom using the pre prepared ropes.

Float blindly until the storm calms down then loosen the attachments and slide the inflatable forward.
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Old 12-05-2009, 15:31   #8
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Tent

I would just do a tent over a hard dinghy. People bad mouth the idea, but I have been in a life raft. It is INFERIOR to a dinghy for comfort. The only redeeming quality is the large nauseatingly orange tent, something that could be arranged for a dink.
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Old 12-05-2009, 16:09   #9
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Tent +

Quote:
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I would just do a tent over a hard dinghy. People bad mouth the idea, but I have been in a life raft. It is INFERIOR to a dinghy for comfort. The only redeeming quality is the large nauseatingly orange tent, something that could be arranged for a dink.
I think that the inflatable boat is kind of doing what you suggest, it seems to me that it is a very cost effective way of creating a strong inflatable tent.
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Old 12-05-2009, 16:11   #10
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LOTS of research and first hand experience has gone into the design of modern life rafts. No offense but the average Joe is not going to come up with a better design. I would not depend on my own design to save my life. There is a lot to be said about designs based on peoples first hand experiences of what works and what does not.
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Old 12-05-2009, 16:22   #11
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Maybe windsurfing is the ultimate lifeboat answer.....

While one man drifts awaiting an unknown rescuer, at an unknown time, not knowing if anyone is coming at all....... the other is trying to do cartwheels and looking for bigger waves........... :>)
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Old 12-05-2009, 16:29   #12
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"I would just do a tent over a hard dinghy. People bad mouth the idea, but I have been in a life raft. It is INFERIOR to a dinghy for comfort....."
Yes liferafts have saved some lives, but from many accounts (including the Bering sea up in Alaska) they tumble real well, spewing all their contents (you!) I too wonder if a good inflatable isnt just as good..... Let's face it, there are risks in crossing oceans, if we knew the odds of ever getting in our liferaft, and knew the odds of survival once we did get in, and knew if the conditions were survival conditions or just being sunk by an "object inthe water" it would help....
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Old 12-05-2009, 16:43   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
LOTS of research and first hand experience has gone into the design of modern life rafts. No offense but the average Joe is not going to come up with a better design. I would not depend on my own design to save my life. There is a lot to be said about designs based on peoples first hand experiences of what works and what does not.
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.
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Old 12-05-2009, 16:51   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_uk View Post
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.
Something that is bad is not necessarily better than something that is less bad....not if you can get something that is good.

My thoughts are that its probably best to get a real life raft. Wait until you can afford one. As someone else already said, if the worse happens, are you prepared to put your loved ones in this boat if it ever came down to it?

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.
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Old 12-05-2009, 16:59   #15
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So what kind of voyaging are you doing anyways? North sea? North Pacific crossings?

I work for the Coast Guard (Canadian) and I hear the discussions about the high cost of safety equipment and how that plays out in court when someone dies, injured or lost. Mostly those are incidents involving fishing boats but the same goes for recreational boats too. So it boils down to, how much is the life of your loved one worth? A $3500 life raft? A $1500 Gumby Suit? A $500 Mustang Suit? A $200 Life vest? Add to that the cost of an EPIRB, flares, strobes yadda yadda yadda, safety costs money, period.

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. Crossing a big pond (such as the Pacific) well that's not for the inexperienced or unprepared. But rest assured if you get into trouble the coasties of the world will risk their lives to save you and your family. That's why we're there, we know, every year there will be thousands who go to sea unprepared for the task before them.
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