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Old 24-09-2017, 12:39   #1
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Lifeboat recertification

In preparation for my sail south this year, I sent my lifeboat out for recertification. I bought it new in 2014, so it was time. I picked it ip a couple of days ago and was shocked that the invoice was $1180.00 !
I think it's a money maker because very few people are qualified to certify them and thus have a monopoly. Cheers!
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Old 24-09-2017, 12:46   #2
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Re: Lifeboat recertification

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In preparation for my sail south this year, I sent my lifeboat out for recertification. I bought it new in 2014, so it was time. I picked it ip a couple of days ago and was shocked that the invoice was $1180.00 !
I think it's a money maker because very few people are qualified to certify them and thus have a monopoly. Cheers!
Actually it's mostly the parts/materials that go into the recert that drive up the cost. The labor is a relatively minor part of the total. The reason there are so few qualified technicians is that it is difficult to make money at it compared to years ago.

If more time elapsed between when you bought the life raft and it's specified inspection date, that drives up the cost too as there are other materials/tests that have to be performed.
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Old 24-09-2017, 18:53   #3
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Re: Lifeboat recertification

I had my liferaft recertified this past spring. Since I singlehand offshore I think it's money well spent. I'm worth it.
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Old 26-09-2017, 10:45   #4
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Re: Lifeboat recertification

Ours is being re-certified at the moment. I'm expecting approx a $1500 bill.

I was there when it was inflated and inspected. I suspect much of the cost is replacement of packed components (valves, lights, consumables, etc.). I was surprised to see that many of the components are not generally replaced with more modern equivalents. For example, why a flashlight with filament bulbs and much more limited run-time? For this I provided a new flashlight instead, but for some things, like the dome-light, that is not possible. I probably should've given them a small fold-up solar panel for VHF/flashlight/strobe recharging too.

I do want someone trained to do the job doing the job. I recognize that it takes both the staffing (& training) and facilities to do these, and that costs money. I think if it were so lucrative there would be many more liferaft servicing companies around. I'm not crazy about paying $1500, but I suspect it is in line with the true cost to the whole supply chain to provide that service.
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Old 26-09-2017, 17:55   #5
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Re: Lifeboat recertification

Accomplice-
I think you will generally find, when there are any type of regulatory codes, or even "franchisee" rules, that the folks complying with them are required to replace "same with same" and that means EXACTLY the same as what what originally certified as compliant. That obsolete flashlight was submitted, tested, certified, and that's what it has to remain. They may not have the discretion to upgrade any mandatory equipment.
Then too, it could simply be cost. Last year I replaced pretty much all of my remaining old tungsten flashlight bulbs (halogen, krypton, whatever) with LED bulbs. The brighter LED bulbs, not from "two guys in Shenzhen" but from reputable sources, often cost almost as much as an entire new LED flashlight would. Not to mention, there's a wide range in brightness in replacement bulbs. And of course the really bright stuff just doesn't come in the same form factors as the old flashlight bulbs.
So it is probably a very simple mystery, the repack shop can certainly tell you why they let it be.
FWIW.
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Old 26-09-2017, 18:27   #6
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Re: Lifeboat recertification

hellosailor,
They were happy to replace the components I wanted with ones that I provided. I tried to buy components from them, but they didn't offer them to meet my requirements. I imagine that if they offered me a solar charging kit I might've bought one from/through them. Perhaps they're leaving money on the table.
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Old 27-09-2017, 02:36   #7
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Re: Lifeboat recertification

i'm thinking of getting an old Avon life raft in a valise for a couple of hundred bucks.

Bad idea? Anything else is out of the question, so I figure it is far better than nothing.

Old ones seem to inflate ok.



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Old 27-09-2017, 02:49   #8
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Re: Lifeboat recertification

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i'm thinking of getting an old Avon life raft in a valise for a couple of hundred bucks.

Bad idea? Anything else is out of the question, so I figure it is far better than nothing.

Old ones seem to inflate ok.
Only if you are willing to repack it yourself and feel reasonably competent to do it.
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Old 27-09-2017, 03:59   #9
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Re: Lifeboat recertification

I'm unreasonably incompetent, so I wouldn't touch it. The supplies are packed away inside the raft, so it would require refolding, which I suspect would be very tricky.
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Old 27-09-2017, 04:09   #10
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Re: Lifeboat recertification

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I'm unreasonably incompetent, so I wouldn't touch it. The supplies are packed away inside the raft, so it would require refolding, which I suspect would be very tricky.
Yep, as one who has serviced rafts professionally, getting the "B"
back in the container can be a long and frustrating process. Blame the manufacturers, not the service guys. Vacuum bags, ratchet straps ,levers . It all gets a look in.
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Old 27-09-2017, 04:20   #11
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Re: Lifeboat recertification

[QUOTE=kimtrang;2487909]i'm thinking of getting an old Avon life raft in a valise for a couple of hundred bucks.

Bad idea? Anything else is out of the question, so I figure it is far better than nothing.

Old ones seem to inflate ok.

I sold our old Avon at the 22 year point, but it passed services up to about 20 years without any problem. The old Avons were built at a time when stuff was built with quality. At the 22yr point I decided enough was enough and sold it on e bay, also the 6 man version was bloody heavy. Buyer was quite happy with the age.

The replacement Seago 4 man Valise is much lighter but also much thinner nylon type material. Whilst I am happy with the quality, it probably won't last as long as the old Avon.

Got a quote for a service last night, about 230 all in by Seago in the UK.

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Old 27-09-2017, 04:35   #12
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Re: Lifeboat recertification

lifeboat recertification ... Just for a laugh ... ask for an itemised invoice ... see how much they mark up the bottled water from the supermarket. I think mine was in the vicinity of 1000%.

I did it once ... Next time I will do it myself. The simple version is no one is more interested in my personal safety than I am, and I have no guarantees that the "technician" wasn't hung over or about to quit the day he did mine.

If I had it done professionally again I would require that I was present for every item on the checklist ... at which point I wonder why I am paying someone else ...
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Old 27-09-2017, 20:13   #13
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Re: Lifeboat recertification

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I'm unreasonably incompetent, so I wouldn't touch it. The supplies are packed away inside the raft, so it would require refolding, which I suspect would be very tricky.
Then it is probably a waste of money to purchase old raft. Many older rafts are no longer serviceable at a certified station or the cost is prohibitive.
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