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Old 20-07-2015, 01:04   #46
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Re: Which life raft and where to Stowe?

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Originally Posted by ASTBoone View Post

For those who say a life raft is over kill in the Gulf or Caribbean waters I have news for you. Your body temperature is 98.6 degrees. Once your temperature drops just 3 degrees (95 degrees F), you are in the first stage of hypothermia. Symptoms include feeling cold, shivering, drowsiness, slurred speech, and disorientation. Not a good way to start your stay in the water. Now once it drops 4 more degrees (91F) shivering diminishes, decreased level of consciousness, slower rate of respiration, and decreased heart rate.
If the water temperature is say 75 degrees, then at some point, your body temperature will match that water temperature. Yes, you will be long gone by then but it's important to know that once the shivering stops (stage 2), you will no longer be able to reheat yourself. Your temperature can only go down from here at twenty-five times faster than it would standing in ambient air.
I would suggest reading "Not Without Hope" Written by Nick Schyuler. Nick was one of the individuals who's boat capsized off of Clearwater FL. a few years back. (NFL football players who perished). Nick describes the events that took place as each of his friends died, one after the other from hypothermia.
I have flown several years as a USCG aircrew member and I was the guy who searched for you. If you do not have enhanced signals or a larger target, such as a life raft, there's a good chance that you will not be found. Even in heavy boat traffic areas such as Clearwater FL.
Don't rely on chance when it comes to your life!
I don't think anyone was suggesting that treading water in the tropics is a viable option.

You do need a survival craft in tropical water... as well as for cold water

However in cold water..... investing in a survival suit to wear before going into the life raft or ribbed tender is paramount.
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Old 20-07-2015, 01:09   #47
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Re: Which life raft and where to Stowe?

The fastening clamps I have seen consist of a pelican clip and a ring. To open you press the clip down and slide off the ring then flip the clip back to open and the strap falls away. Simples. If you are concerned there's no reason why you couldn't fit two straps, even opening the opposite way to each other

So simple the instructions come as pictograms and if my 5 year old nephew can program the Sky box I'm pretty sure he could follow the instructions.

Now I wouldn't want to ask him to manhandle the thing but if it was mounted on the rails ready to go then no problem, he undoes the clip and voila the raft is launched.

These, by the way, are the same fastenings that are used on life rafts fitted to ferries, cruise ships, oil rigs and other commercial vessels.

Cheers and cold beers

Keiron
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Old 20-07-2015, 01:21   #48
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Re: Which life raft and where to Stowe?

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Lol, how many do you go on



I really don't think the intention is that you literally wait until it sinks before abandoning ship. The saying refers to the point that way too many people abandon ship into rafts when their ship was in fact their safest option.

Having done more water survival courses than I can count, I can say with full confidence that you don't want to have to drag yourself into it from the water if you are not in good shape.




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Old 20-07-2015, 02:23   #49
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Re: Which life raft and where to Stowe?

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Having done more water survival courses than I can count, I can say with full confidence that you don't want to have to drag yourself into it from the water if you are not in good shape.
Oh yes, it's hard enough hauling one's backside into a life raft if you are in good physical shape even if it is fitted with a boarding ladder. Imagine doing that in an offshore survival suit with a life jacket inflated and a compressed air Emergency Breathing System attached to your right hand side.

Oh the joys off offshore survival training at least it only happens once every 4 years
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Old 20-07-2015, 09:03   #50
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Which life raft and where to Stowe?

It is a bad idea to stress the floor of a life raft by jumping down into it. Rolling into it from a boat would be the preferred method.


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Old 20-07-2015, 09:19   #51
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Re: Which life raft and where to Stowe?

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Oh yes, it's hard enough hauling one's backside into a life raft if you are in good physical shape even if it is fitted with a boarding ladder. Imagine doing that in an offshore survival suit with a life jacket inflated and a compressed air Emergency Breathing System attached to your right hand side.

Oh the joys off offshore survival training at least it only happens once every 4 years
When stationed in Kodiak, the town had immersion suit races each year. At the whistle you ran down a long boat ramp, picked up your immersion suit and put it on (zipper all the way up and face flap secured). Then you had to swim about thirty yards to a life raft. There were four to a team and the stop clock stopped when the last person was completely in the life raft. Many of the fishing crews and CG personnel participated in it. Excellent training while having fun. My wife's (all female team) took second place one year.
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Old 20-07-2015, 10:02   #52
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Re: Which life raft and where to Stowe?

Capt Eric: Ideally rolling in would be good but stepping into the sitting is perfectly acceptable. What I would definitely avoid doing is jumping down into a raft as that could result in damage to the floor. Life rafts are not trampolines

ASTBoone: Now that sounds like a wonderful spectator event as well as great training. Did you do this for charity?

Keiron
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Old 20-07-2015, 10:03   #53
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Re: Which life raft and where to Stowe?

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What makes the most sense to me, out of everything I've heard here and elsewhere, is that a properly designed bluewater boat (there's those words again) should have a liferaft storage compartment in the companionway bridge deck. So it is "under" the deck, can be sealed just like a lazarette (but with no internal openings) and it is right there in the cockpit when you need it. Otherwise, protected a bit more from sun and moisture as well.


As to how water crashing on deck can set off a hydrostatic release or tear away a life raft? Ever use a fire hose? Even a 3-4" fire hose? One man holds the nozzle, a second man holds the hose so it won't run away from the first! Water pressure can be damned strong, surely you've seen it used for riot water cannons sweeping crowds off their feet and the streets? A crashing wave, dropping onto your deck (which may be sideways or even in the process of capsizing and rolling) can easily provide enough pressure to rip things clean off the deck, and tripping a hydrostatic release should be much of a stopper for it.
The numbers for columns of water (breaking waves crashing down) impacting on a boat vary a lot because the water isn't a fixed solid. But numbers like "one ton per square foot" aren't unknown either.


Bridge deck compartments being almost as common as hens' teeth...
I agree hello sailor, I've seen video of a wave over the bow of a fishing vessel that pushed the entire pilot house ten feet back. I would probably be more concerned that a wave-over would lift the entire canister, cradle and screws overboard more than activating the HRU.
I looked at a few reports about rail mounting a life raft. They are convenient, but the rails on most smaller sail boats are not built (or designed) to hold a 100lb.+ life raft & canister. Add a wave-over and watch it float off.
The other problem I saw was theft. Placing the canister outside of the rail could allow someone (even a five year old) to release the life raft from the dock.
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Old 20-07-2015, 10:10   #54
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Re: Which life raft and where to Stowe?

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Capt Eric: Ideally rolling in would be good but stepping into the sitting is perfectly acceptable. What I would definitely avoid doing is jumping down into a raft as that could result in damage to the floor. Life rafts are not trampolines

ASTBoone: Now that sounds like a wonderful spectator event as well as great training. Did you do this for charity?

Keiron
Kas, No, they hold a crab festival once a year. It was part of the events for the festival.
Wearing immersion suits was part of living there. Our shop at the CG base, (Rescue Swimmers) conducted training at the local school and taught kids how to use them as well.
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Old 20-07-2015, 16:13   #55
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Re: Which life raft and where to Stowe?

I'm a little surprised as to how little knowledge there is around how life rafts work.

A hydrostatic release in it self does not 'pump up' or 'set off' the raft. All it does is release the system that is holding the raft to the cradle. Therefore you would usually only have them attached to external cases on deck. They are designed so that when they get to 1.5 to 4 meters below the surface of the water they will then 'cut' the line which is holding the life raft to the cradle of the boat. Then the life raft will float free. When the life raft reaches the end of it's teather, it will then inflate.

What this means is that even a fire hose pointed directly at a hydrostatic release, even if it did manage to activate the mechanism, which I doubt it would, but even if it did, then all it would do is cut the mounting line and not inflate the raft.

If you have hydrostatic releases and usually you will have two of them but it depends on your set up, then you need to check them periodically because if they have gone off, then there is nothing holding your raft in the cradle.

I could be naive about this and there might be others designed in some other way, but not to my knowledge. Hydrostatic releases operate not through getting 'wet' but through pressure activating them to terminate the connection.
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Old 20-07-2015, 16:21   #56
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Re: Which life raft and where to Stowe?

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Having done more water survival courses than I can count, I can say with full confidence that you don't want to have to drag yourself into it from the water if you are not in good shape.
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I've only done two. You are right, it's not going to be a fun experience when in a real emergency, or in the dead of night with a black sky, with waves battering overhead and with frigid stinging water. The most ideal situation is to remain with your boat unless it abandons you.
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Old 20-07-2015, 16:38   #57
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Re: Which life raft and where to Stowe?

Sorry... didn't read the comments here. I had (it was stolen by Offshore Repack's Paul Siege)... a Switlik 6 man valise. I lashed it down aft of the helm and it function as a seat (rarely) for the helm. It would have been easy to deploy and to get into if we used the stern boarding ladder.

We never came close and that's good. All boats are different.. I'd keep it in the cockpit and easily accessible for deployment.
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Old 21-07-2015, 09:46   #58
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Re: Which life raft and where to Stowe?

Here's an article I found. The author discusses all the options we discussed and give some pretty good pros and cons to each placement.
So, here's my new position. Put a life raft in the cockpit, and one on deck. That way all options are covered. hee hee...
A raft in need - Ocean Navigator - November/December 2014
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Old 25-09-2015, 12:35   #59
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Re: Which life raft and where to Stowe?

Have just had the valise packed Winslow 4 plus offshore re packed into a Pelican case. Case is awesome. Underway it will be at the entry to the companionway. Per Winslow it is OK to sit on top of this, so for over night passages, one can sit in warmth of the dodger on top of the Pelican Case. Case has two small wheels so it is easily moveable. Will be tethered at companion way. Most "safety experts" advise against storing raft down below because of the need to deploy quickly. Needs to be at hand and easily launched.


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