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Old 10-05-2018, 06:21   #1
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Emergency Life Raft Recommendations

Our new boat didn't come with an emergency life raft like our 53 did. I'm looking for recommendations for a four person canistered life raft that's cost effective. I'd like to be able to store the canister down below in the stern locker most of the time and then bring it out and be able to attach it to the stainless railings during long passages when it's necessary to be available for deployment. Most of the time in the Mediterranean, I don't think it's necessary to have one on deck that'll be mostly in the way all the time; we have a dinghy on davits to perform the role when close to shore.

Just planning ahead and preparing today for a trans Atlantic trip mid summer.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

Ken
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Old 10-05-2018, 06:43   #2
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Re: Emergency Life Raft Recommendations

Ken, for once the UK/EU prices are much cheaper than the US.

Ocean Safety always have a good reputation although not the cheapest. They do a lot of commercial and charter stuff.

https://www.oceansafety.com/

We chose Seago after a walk around the Southampton Boatshow and lots of proding.

https://www.seagoyachting.co.uk/

PBO and YM have published some reviews over the last 5 years or so worth reading.

Some clever shopping and timing might get the VAT at 20% off if it counts as an export.
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Old 10-05-2018, 07:01   #3
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Re: Emergency Life Raft Recommendations

Pete,

I checked them out, and yes they are 1/2 the cost of the same thing in America.

Thanks for the tip.

Ken
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Old 10-05-2018, 07:08   #4
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Re: Emergency Life Raft Recommendations

The one make I would love to recommend is Avon, but they were taken over by Plastimo so not sure if they still make there own or are just re-badged French stuff.

Plastimo ones have limited servicing agents as do Viking another super raft maker.

The one feature I insisted on was an insulated floor. Most of the ocean type ones will be but worth checking.
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Old 10-05-2018, 07:14   #5
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Re: Emergency Life Raft Recommendations

I think the life raft on our 53 is an Avon. I might consider just bringing it back in three weeks when I return from Italy if it's practical. Do you know how much it costs to service a 16 year old raft, or am I better off just buying a new one?

Another issue: We plan to place the 62 into the Oyster Charter fleet next season, so maybe going all new is the way to go since I'll need to buy a second 4 person raft.
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Old 10-05-2018, 07:20   #6
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Re: Emergency Life Raft Recommendations

Forget the idea of bringing the life raft back on a plane, that won't work.

Or will it? Does anyone know if these are allowed on airlines?
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Old 10-05-2018, 07:27   #7
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Re: Emergency Life Raft Recommendations

We had a 6 man Avon Coastline which cost about £300 each year to service up to the 18 year point. I eventually sold it on e bay at the 22 yr point un-serviced as is with the age clearly explained. It went for £120 and the buyer delighted when he collected.

I would approach Ocean Safety for a commercial account (which I used to have) and order 3 x 4 man ocean type rafts and what sort of discount are they going to do for you. 1 x 4 man for Med and 2 x 4 man for Carib.

Do you have to supply lifejackets with the boat for Caribbean charter work? OS might be good for that too. Also commercial first aid kit, Cat C from memory, and a shed load of other stuff. Cost me £2000 to put a rib into cat 4 coding which is daylight less than 20 miles offshore. Ocean Safety supplied the lot at trade.

Investigate the VAT angle too.
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Old 10-05-2018, 07:28   #8
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Re: Emergency Life Raft Recommendations

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Forget the idea of bringing the life raft back on a plane, that won't work.

Or will it? Does anyone know if these are allowed on airlines?
Flog it locally to another yachtie, not worth dragging it half way across Europe on planes for its value.

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Old 10-05-2018, 08:49   #9
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Re: Emergency Life Raft Recommendations

Bare in mind that they are heavy and not easy to handle- bulky, made of slippery plastic and no hand holds. I bolted mine to the deck where it will stay. Rather lose deck space than slip a disk......
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Old 10-05-2018, 08:50   #10
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Re: Emergency Life Raft Recommendations

This article may be of help. It outlines what you should look for in the new (and still developing) ISO standard: Six ISO 9650 liferafts tested
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:10   #11
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Re: Emergency Life Raft Recommendations

I just bought a brand new one from Fitzwright. ISO-9650-1 certified, meeting ISAF offshore regulation. About CA$1700 for a 4 person.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:11   #12
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Re: Emergency Life Raft Recommendations

In this day and age, Emergency Life Raft are a waste of money unless you travel off the beaten path. I have an inflatable dinghy that I use as a tender, and I have a SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker, if needed I would use the SPOT and get into my dinghy and wait to be rescued within hours.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:24   #13
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Re: Emergency Life Raft Recommendations

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Originally Posted by Sdwcheney View Post
In this day and age, Emergency Life Raft are a waste of money unless you travel off the beaten path. I have an inflatable dinghy that I use as a tender, and I have a SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker, if needed I would use the SPOT and get into my dinghy and wait to be rescued within hours.
He said in the first post he is doing trans Atlantic later this year, so would you still recommend a dinghy?
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:28   #14
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Re: Emergency Life Raft Recommendations

I had a 16 year zodiac. To service I got quoted $680. Bought a brand new revere coastal $1100. If I remember right it's 70lb.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:41   #15
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Re: Emergency Life Raft Recommendations

Maybe SPOT can give us some examples of time to rescue in the Atlantic?
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