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Old 09-07-2019, 08:33   #1
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What to do with an old life raft

I have an old Givens life raft that was mounted on my foredeck. I'm looking to get rid of it because 1) it's long expired (needed re-cert in 1999), 2) It always snagged my genoa sheets, 3) I have a much newer, certified liferaft.

I'm curious if anyone has ever disposed of one of these things. It's massive. Weighs easily 90lbs and is about 3'X2'x1.5'.

Aside from setting it off for fun and tossing it in a dumpster, anyone have any ideas? Extra points for environmentally friendlier methods of disposal.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:13   #2
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Re: What to do with an old life raft

OK. If it were mine: I would strip it for useable parts, including the case, then salvage as much potentially useful material from it as I can, and then take it to our county landfill. There's not much in there that can be recycled, but there is stuff that could be useful.
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:24   #3
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Re: What to do with an old life raft

Get as many friends and crews as are around you set it off, then practice entering from the water and rerighting it, have a bbq and a beer and discuss as a group the good the bad and the ugly......

You might want to pop it to see it's usable before 15 people are standing around.....

Afterwards dispose of it properly.....
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:57   #4
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Re: What to do with an old life raft

I gave the one that came with the boat I have now and which had not been serviced for many years to a volunteer marine rescue organization which gave courses in life raft usage to use as a demonstrator. Some of them will take your old flares which they use for the same purpose.
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Old 09-07-2019, 12:48   #5
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Re: What to do with an old life raft

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Originally Posted by RaymondR View Post
I gave the one that came with the boat I have now and which had not been serviced for many years to a volunteer marine rescue organization which gave courses in life raft usage to use as a demonstrator. Some of them will take your old flares which they use for the same purpose.
I like this. Thank you. Will try to find something like that in the US. If anyone reads this and would like the unit for educational purposes, it's still in its case and is located in Brooklyn, NY.

If I can't find someone to take it, it will likely be a combination of posts 2 and 3 - strip the good stainless hardware from the cradle, then call some friends, set it off, and practice getting in.

Thanks all for the input.
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Old 09-07-2019, 13:01   #6
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Re: What to do with an old life raft

Not that you should use it, but it probably still works fine so I like the idea of practicing with it yourself a lot and then donating it to some training facility. I had an ancient Winslow liferaft that came with my boat. I think the original owner bought it when he bought the boat in '62. I don't think it had ever been serviced. So I popped the cord to see what would happen. It dutifully popped open into a nice yellow donut, and it actually held air for a day or so! I was going to give it to my kids to play with but the rubber was just too rotten to hold air.
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Old 09-07-2019, 13:07   #7
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Re: What to do with an old life raft

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Not that you should use it, but it probably still works fine so I like the idea of practicing with it yourself a lot and then donating it to some training facility. I had an ancient Winslow liferaft that came with my boat. I think the original owner bought it when he bought the boat in '62. I don't think it had ever been serviced. So I popped the cord to see what would happen. It dutifully popped open into a nice yellow donut, and it actually held air for a day or so! I was going to give it to my kids to play with but the rubber was just too rotten to hold air.
Impressive! I reached out to my local power squadrons. Looking for a local contact for coast guard aux as well.
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:40   #8
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Re: What to do with an old life raft

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Originally Posted by tkeithlu View Post
OK. If it were mine: I would strip it for useable parts, including the case, then salvage as much potentially useful material from it as I can, and then take it to our county landfill. There's not much in there that can be recycled, but there is stuff that could be useful.
On the contrary every bit can be recycled.
But first give it to someone for a backyard pool for thr grandkids. Take it to the beach for the kids. 90 pounds is can be dragged quite far by enthusiastic chilren looking for new ways to have fun .
Think out of the box, put it on Craigslist , someone will relieve you of the task of dealing with it ....
The landfill is the last resort.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:27   #9
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Re: What to do with an old life raft

Donate it to a sailing school.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:40   #10
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Re: What to do with an old life raft

We had two - when we offered them free to good homes they were snapped up - excellent paddling pools complete with sun awning ( all hazardous contents removed of course)!
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:22   #11
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Re: What to do with an old life raft

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Originally Posted by RaymondR View Post
I gave the one that came with the boat I have now and which had not been serviced for many years to a volunteer marine rescue organization which gave courses in life raft usage to use as a demonstrator. Some of them will take your old flares which they use for the same purpose.
did the same with mine , gave it to a charity that used it around colleged for training courses
it was a large 12 Man so was great size for them
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Old 10-07-2019, 13:42   #12
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Re: What to do with an old life raft

Try US Sailing and their education coordinator. They offer an Offshore Safety at Sea class where life rafts are deployed for training. https://www.ussailing.org/education/...sea-resources/
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:02   #13
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Re: What to do with an old life raft

Opened the pack, removed everything; then inflated it in my grandchildren's garden where it is a play tent...
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