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View Poll Results: What would you actually buy? Quality vs Budget.
Plastimo: Cruiser, 4Person, 24hrs max, Valise, 24kg, 950€ 0 0%
Plastimo: Offshore, 4Person,24hrs max, Valise, 33.5kg, 1800€ 0 0%
SVB Seatec by Seago: Offshore, 4Person, 24hrs max, Valise, 26kg, 850€ 1 33.33%
Seago: Model ISO 9650-1, 4Person, 24hrs max, Valise, 34kg, 1300€ 0 0%
Zodiac: Open Sea, 4Person, 24hrs max, Valise, 35kg, 1600€ 1 33.33%
AWN/SeaCurity: Model ISO9650-1, 4Person, 24hrs max, Valise, 33kg, 1150€ 0 0%
AWN/SeaCurity: Model Offshore, 4Person, 24hrs max, Valise, 26kg, 800€ 1 33.33%
Voters: 3. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 22-03-2016, 15:35   #16
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Re: Which liferaft? Experiences?

Quote:
Apparently the French government condemns (or condemned, at least) all life rafts at ten years of age
This is inaccurate: since 2004, the French regulations for liferafts have extended their use to 15 years. I had a 1995 Plastimo liferaft serviced in 2008 in their workshop.

Quote:
You might want to look at the repack schedule and costs, not just the purchase cost. Remember that every 3rd year, or more often, you'll have to ship the raft by "Hazmat" ground shipping, unless there's a local authorized repacker.
Many yachtchandlers collect the rafts for sending them to a repacker, saving on transport. Anyway, there are repackers in major fishing harbours: fishermen have to have their rafts repacked every year.

Quote:
Most "inshore" models have a simple floor, while a true offshore raft will have a double bottom with insulation between the layers, designed to prevent hypothermia if you (the raft) are in the water for longer periods.
"ISO 9650" standards define 3 types of liferafts:
- Type I, groups A and B, for offshore use when strong winds and high waves may be encountered. Rafts in group A are designed to inflate correctly in air temperatures between -15°C and +65°C. Rafts in group B are designed to inflate correctly in air temperatures between 0°C and +65°C. In group A rafts, the floor must include thermal insulation.
- Type II, for use in moderate conditions, e.g. coastal areas.

When I bought a new raft in 2010, I selected a Plastimo again because they are made in Lorient, where I live. So, I just have to drive to the factory to have my raft repacked. I was very pleased with the service I got for my previous raft: when the gas bottle expired in 2008, they gave me (for free) another one, still good for 2 years, until the raft itself had to be decommissioned. And the raft inflated perfectly when tested in 2012.

Alain
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Old 22-03-2016, 16:08   #17
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Re: Which liferaft? Experiences?

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Originally Posted by Lizzy Belle View Post
Just how many would you bring for an ocean crossing, Hansel?

I see the value of having 2 on board, but not more.

Could be that's what you mean, but in your post it sounds like a high tech trail of bread crumbs
In my eyes it depends on the kit. Ideally I would want at least a week of position indication to the rescuers, but that could be in a multiple of forms. SPOT trackers, EPIRB's, PLB, sat phone (with GPS), an EPIRB has a minimum battery duration of 48 hours while a PLB has 24 hours. I have no issue that it needs to be continuious, and would be fine with a use profile that looks like;

1) EPIRB for 48 hours
2) silence for 12 hours
3) PLB for 24 hours
4) silence for 12 hours
5) EPIRB FOR 48 hours

Think of it this way, assuming you are mid Atlantic it could be at least four days before a rescue asset get to you. So with an EPIRB they know where you are when they are headed that way, but may not be able to locate you because the signal went dead, then SAR assets have to start a grid search based on likely drift speed/direction.

What I really wish is that someone would come up with an EPIRB with a 7 day battery. Yes it would be big and bulky, but two days in my opinion really isn't enough if you are really far from land.
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Old 22-03-2016, 16:49   #18
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Re: Which liferaft? Experiences?

Hi.

Interesting info! Thanks.

Wasnt aware of the temperature and coastal implications.
Guess offshore under 24hrs in warmer climates is fitting my bill.

Also interesting that larger rafts might be less good for smaller crew due to capsize risk and righting. Good point.

The survival dinghy is also very interesting but rather expensive.
6000$ with canopy and rigging.
At that price tag I rather have a 1000€ raft and two Epirbs at 350€ each. Thank you.

Btw. very nifty these catalogues.

I just read that the cheaper AWN SeaCurity Offshore model for 800€ has Material to fit ISO 9650-1. Their wording implies that only the material is fullfilling the standart (without beeing certified though) in this case.
Not the full raft.

Similar their direct competitors SVB SEATEC Offshore.
Here is written the model was developed along the lines of the standart. Not to the standart.
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Old 22-03-2016, 18:01   #19
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Re: Which liferaft? Experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post

(...)

Those inflatable things are unreliable

(...)

I can't think of many cases where they saved anyone.

(...)
Last year when two in the water perished while the other two in the raft made it. Rings the bell?

That minitransat sailor that spent 70+ days in one and made it. Never heard of?

People from Estonia ferry - those that made it - are you aware of?

I suggest you contact USCG for relevant data. Then we can return to this part of the discussion.

b.
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Old 29-03-2016, 09:16   #20
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Re: Which liferaft? Experiences?

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
What I really wish is that someone would come up with an EPIRB with a 7 day battery. Yes it would be big and bulky, but two days in my opinion really isn't enough if you are really far from land.
You could always modify a spare EPIRB to accept an external power supply and even run it off solar.
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Old 29-03-2016, 11:31   #21
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Re: Which liferaft? Experiences?

Thanks for the update, hydra. I had gotten my (mis)information directly from Zodiac-US, who got it from Zodiac in France, well after 2004. Perhaps there is a difference with rafts manufactured in France by French companies? Or, Zod were simply behind the times.


Once upon a time some 40-odd years ago, people who wanted to use cameras in/under the water either bought an Ikelite case, or built one the same way. And they were not so difficult to fabricate. Waterproof to depths.


Today it should be simple enough to take an EPIRB that is "obsolete" because of an expired battery, and either install it in a Pelican case, or sleeve a section of PVC pipe with a bigger battery onto the bottom. Either way, adding a water resistant battery and housing to whatever capacity.


Given that SAR assets in the middle of nowhere are more likely to include aircraft and commercial shipping though, I think a waterproof handheld with VHF16 and 121.5MHz capabilities might be of at least equal use, because if you can see a dot on the horizon, they're more likely to hear you on the radio.
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Old 29-03-2016, 12:06   #22
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Re: Which liferaft? Experiences?

After buying a new raft, just for the heck of it, last year I popped my 20-year-old Viking 6 person raft in my front yard. I'd been told it had no value, nobody would take it, or recert it, etc. Cheaper to buy new, so I pulled the rope on the old one. It inflated immediately, held air like a rock for days. Looked, felt, smelled perfect. 20 years old.
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Old 29-03-2016, 13:53   #23
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Re: Which liferaft? Experiences?

The day I tested my expired liferaft, 3 or 4 other rafts were tested, too. IIRC, one failed to inflate at the first try: 20 or 25% failure rate in *expired* rafts. I don't know how old they were, how they were stowed on yachts, which brand they were, how long they had been expired or by which station they had been repacked.

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