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Old 26-08-2016, 20:42   #1
Aly
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Life Rafts

Any recommendations for a life raft for a 45' Oceanis going round the world?
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Old 26-08-2016, 21:04   #2
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Re: Life Rafts

How many people?


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Old 27-08-2016, 06:04   #3
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Re: Life Rafts

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Aly.
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Old 27-08-2016, 06:17   #4
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Re: Life Rafts

Are you trying to fit it the space designed for a life raft on your Oceanis 45? I have the same boat and I'm trying to find a 6 man offshore raft that will fit. I like the Viking raft but I think it might be too big. Hopefully someone has some good info on this.
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Old 27-08-2016, 18:55   #5
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Re: Life Rafts

I just got the Switlik offshore HD 6 person raft with hard case and cradle.

Switlik - ISO-9650 OPR-HD Offshore Raft Features
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Old 27-08-2016, 20:03   #6
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Re: Life Rafts

Howdy and welcome aboard CF Aly!

First, getting a life raft and it's possible use is a debatable topic. Some won't sail offshore without one, while others scoff at them. So, opinions will differ and you should expect opinions to be simply that.

My opinion? If I were going around the world this year I would pick this (6 person, hard case, self righting, inflatable boarding ramp):
Viking RescYou PRO ISO/ISAF Life Raft

If it did not fit in the Oceanus 45 designated spot, I would mount it on the stern in a special cradle with a quick release and a safety knife mounted nearby or on the case.

You can also find many threads here on CF which discuss different aspects of Life Raft designs, choices, age, maintenance, use, etc. here is a list of previous discussions on the topic.
https://cse.google.com/cse?cx=011403...aft&gsc.page=1

Bon voyage!
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Old 27-08-2016, 20:52   #7
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Re: Life Rafts

Winslow
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Old 03-11-2016, 13:37   #8
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Re: Life Rafts

I did a fair bit of market research on life rafts this summer as we are also preparing for a round-the-world cruise, hailing out of St. Augustine, FL. We decided on the Viking RescYou Pro 4-person life raft for our 35' sloop, and we bought the deck mount frame and the rail mount kit with it. We chose the Viking for a number of reasons: best materials, very good worldwide service, middle price range. I also just like the look of it, and the descriptive materials that are available from Viking. Finally, the Viking seems to be the only brand with a rail mount kit, which, if you want to mount it on the rail (in our case, the stern pulpit), you need the stainless steel deck frame and this kit, which is comprised of three clamps that clamp to your pulpit rails. The liferaft was $3000, the deck mount frame $300, and the rail mount kit, $150. Add in the shipping costs and everything and it came to $3700.

This life raft in the canister is HEAVY! And while the rail mount kit itself looks robust enough, but I am not sure my rail on my stern pulpit is up to the task. Also, the quick release shackle that holds the liferaft to the frame seems to be a little TOO EASY to release. I would fear a premature release that deploys the life raft when not intended. This means adding a safety line to hold it in place. So I would like to know, has anyone had experience with the Viking life raft rail mount kit, and what was that experience? My inclination is to forego the rail mount and bolt the mounting frame to the coach roof. On the rail, the installation just does not seem that robust, and the life raft seems to be in an exposed position. Bolting it to the coachroof would be much more secure, but at the same time would require being able to lift it off the boat in case of emergency.

I welcome the thoughts and experiences of anyone else with this or similar equipment.

Thanks!

Eric
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Old 03-11-2016, 14:05   #9
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Re: Life Rafts

I had a Rescue You raft rail mounted on my Catalina 42. I can verify that the quick release is on a hair trigger! One day I just touched the shackle and the raft released! I had to quickly float the raft case around behind to the swim platform a single handedly pull it up out of the water. Yes, the raft is really heavy, and slippery when wet! I'm not sure how I managed it. Fortunately the pull cord is quite long and the raft did not inflate. After that I kept a safety line with a slip knot around the raft and mounting cradle to keep it secure. Deploying would require pulling both the shackle release and the safety line. With both is place the raft seemed perfectly secure to me. I did bump it on various obstacles along the way from time to time, but I never had another issue.

BTW - the Rescue You Pro 6 man and 8 man raft does fit in the locker on the Oceanis 45.
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Old 03-11-2016, 14:22   #10
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Re: Life Rafts

Eric- As the #1 perennial complaint against mounting liferafts on deck seems to be "heavy weather tore ours off!" one might suggest adding two of the most robust possible stanchions, one on either side of that mount, so there is more "meat" holding the raft to the boat. I'd also get some 1" flat tubular webbing, and perhaps stitch it up "cargo net" style, to form an extra restraint over the whole package. With a dedicated knife kept nearby, for the purpose of slashing the webbing in case you do need to release it. (Or a fancier release, to your taste and budget.) FWIW.
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Old 03-11-2016, 14:25   #11
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Re: Life Rafts

Aly whatever company you choose, think carefully about how large a raft you get. A raft is only "required" (not going to debate that, just using the term for lack of a better one) on longer offshore passages, and you probably have a maximum crew number that you will contemplate for those longer passages. Buy a raft sized to that number of persons. It will be more compact, less expensive to buy and inspect, and perhaps most importantly, provide the optimum stability for that number of persons. In other words, four people in an eight person raft is actually not a good thing. If you take a Safety at Sea class, they will stress that over and over and over.

In addition, a smaller raft is more manageable, which is important if you're storing it in a valise in a cockpit locker, which is what a lot of people do as it's more secure. The smallest person on the crew (excepting children) should be able to get the liferaft deployed.

The size and weight differential between a four person raft and an eight is significant, largely due to the extra survival supplies required. Go small if you can.
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Old 03-11-2016, 14:40   #12
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Re: Life Rafts

We have a Viking 6 person raft on the stern pulpit and added an extra line around it 'just in case'. In more than 35,000 miles we never had any situation where we thought the raft was going to launch itself. When we bought our boat it had an old Avon 8 person just in front of the mast. Can't imagine being able to move that sucker to and over the lifelines in anything but calm conditions - and you are unlikely to have calm conditions when you need the raft - the Avon was so heavy. To give it its due, it did inflate when we decided to replace it (it was 25 years old).
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Old 04-11-2016, 05:25   #13
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Re: Life Rafts

Thanks, all, for your comments. Steve, glad you confirmed the "hair trigger" and the solution. I thought the same thing that a safety line would be necessary. Another point someone made in an article I read yesterday online, is that hanging on the rail, with a quick release, exposes the life raft to easy theft.

HelloSailor, thanks for the note. When we cruised from England to California on our 27' sailboat back in the 70s, we had a 4-man Avon strapped to the coachroof. We saw plenty of heavy weather, but never took so much water on deck to fear for the life raft washing overboard. This boat is a lot bigger and the top is higher off the water. The top of the coachroof is really the only outside space other than the stern rail to put it. I think that's what we're going to do, probably today--the life raft is in the car ready to go to the boat.

Suijin, thanks and noted. For all our major passages, we will be just the two of us on board. For short cruises, we may have our son or daughter on board with spouses, so no more than 4. There is no need to go larger than 4 for us, and they are not made smaller anyway.

AiniA, thanks for your comments. I imagine that in an emergency, we will probably benefit from the extra adrenaline flowing to get the life raft overboard--it needs only to get it a few inches up out of the rack and swung overboard to get it off. The tether that is supplied is really short, so we have to add extra line to allow the life raft to get overboard and float near the boat. We'll add that to the installation.

Thanks all for your input, it helps a lot.

Eric
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Old 04-11-2016, 06:19   #14
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Re: Life Rafts

Quote:
Originally Posted by ewsponberg View Post
This life raft in the canister is HEAVY! And while the rail mount kit itself looks robust enough, but I am not sure my rail on my stern pulpit is up to the task. Also, the quick release shackle that holds the liferaft to the frame seems to be a little TOO EASY to release. I would fear a premature release that deploys the life raft when not intended. This means adding a safety line to hold it in place. So I would like to know, has anyone had experience with the Viking life raft rail mount kit, and what was that experience? My inclination is to forego the rail mount and bolt the mounting frame to the coach roof. On the rail, the installation just does not seem that robust, and the life raft seems to be in an exposed position. Bolting it to the coachroof would be much more secure, but at the same time would require being able to lift it off the boat in case of emergency.

I welcome the thoughts and experiences of anyone else with this or similar equipment.

Thanks!

Eric
We purchased the Viking RescYou Pro 4 here in Brisbane with the rail mounting kit.

I was impressed with the life raft and attracted by the self righting feature of this unit however I was dismayed at the flimsiness of the rail mounted carrier. As you say, this life raft is heavy and I could easily see the life raft being carried away if we were pooped badly as the installation was on the outside of the rail.

Life rafts are so heavy that I cannot see one individual heaving it over the side in heavy seas and high winds and would only be good where it can be pushed off directly into the seas from a well supported position. I have observed many installations in which it would be downright precarious to launch the life raft from it's mountings. Mountings on the cabin top and anywhere forward of the cockpit I think are all ill advised if only due to the difficulty of painter lines that could tangle or foul when deploying the life raft.

We ended up having a custom carrier built and welded to the exisiting rail(s) outboard on the port quarter. This allows release from snap shackle and slight push with the painter attached to the base of a stanchion with no chance of fouling on release.

Now I just have to mount that EPIRB with the hydrostatic release.
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