Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-05-2009, 12:30   #31
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,579
Images: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiracer View Post
GordMay,
Can you summarize PS's experience with inflation rates?
Sorry, I cannot.
__________________

__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2009, 12:32   #32
Senior Cruiser
 
nautical62's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Live Iowa - Sail mostly Bahamas
Boat: Beneteau 32.5
Posts: 2,264
Images: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
I think we all understand that a liferaft is a last resort. Precisely why we should expect it to work. Considering it's required kit to meet SOLAS guidelines and costs several thousand dollars in some cases, given proper maintenance and age parameters, it damn well ought to work.
Yes, but considering they don't always work, should make one reconsider the other strategies available and perhaps place the role of a life raft in a different perspective. My point is good risk management means considering the part, not alone, but as part of a whole. The likelihood of needing a life raft for survival, for example, will vary depending on whether or not one carries a 406 EPIRB.
__________________

__________________
nautical62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2009, 12:46   #33
Eternal Member
 
imagine2frolic's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Las Brisas Panama AGAIN!
Boat: Simpson, Catamaran, 46ft. IMAGINE
Posts: 4,508
Images: 123
When I have the chance to cross an ocean. I will have a good sized sailing dink on board. Other than that my life raft is Imagine upside down. 1 1/2 inches of insulation throughout the deck, and coachroof, collision bulkheads, and an inflatable strapped between the sterns. Not to mention she's wood.......i2f
__________________
SAILING is not always a slick magazine cover!
BORROWED..No single one of is as smart as all of us!
http://sailingwithcancer.blogspot.com/
imagine2frolic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2009, 12:51   #34
Senior Cruiser
 
sneuman's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2003
Location: Jamaica
Boat: Tayana 37 Cutter
Posts: 3,167
Images: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiracer View Post
True, but have you seen Steve ever endorse the product that saved his life? I haven't. Just asking.

I ask because he seems reticent to lend his name to promote liferafts. Also, he has designed a competing product.

From the Pardey website ( Sailing with Lin & Larry Pardey ):

Life Rafts In our book, Cost Conscious Cruiser, we have a complete discussion of why we are not comfortable with currently available life rafts. Steve Callahan is definitely someone who supports our view that a tender that is rigged out to work as a sailing life raft not only saves money, but presents a safer alternative since daily use means you know the thing will work when you need it in an emergency. That is why he spent a lot of time and thought coming up with what he calls the FRIB, folding rib. Steve holds two patents on this folding boat. Light weight, easy to store. Definitely worth a look. Steve can be contacted at massahan@onebox.com.
These photos are provided by Steve as is this diagram, reproduced from Cost Conscious Cruiser The FRIB is 10 feet long, excluding inflations tubes and weigh about 100 pounds. These photos show her folded, with her lifeboat canopy, sailing and being rowed with four on board.











Old CNN blurb about it:
CNN.com - Sinking survivor designs life raft - April 22, 2002
Steve's book, btw, is fascinating. I read it about 15 years ago and seem to recall he didn't have much good to say about the raft.
__________________
Voyage of Symbiosis: http://svsymbiosis.blogspot.com/
sneuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2009, 13:15   #35
Sponsoring Vendor

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK and BC, Canada when not sailing
Boat: 25ft Merlin catamaran, 34ft Romany catamaran
Posts: 116
As I said earlier, I like the lifeboat idea. But if your insurance company insists on a liferaft what do you do??

One idea I had years ago was a clamp on transom extension to a rigid dinghy. This would contain the essential safety supplies plus the dinghy cover etc. Only clamp it on when at sea.

Just because a boat is unsinkable doesn't mean you don't sometimes need to get off.

Think fire

Richard Woods of Woods Designs

Woods Designs Sailing Catamarans
Woods Designs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2009, 13:30   #36
Registered User
 
Hydra's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Lorient, Brittany, France
Boat: Gib'Sea 302, 30' - Hydra
Posts: 1,229
The French point of view

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
As for the rafts coming apart...That's why the French government requires rafts to be condemnded at ten years of age, and Zodiac won't repack them once they reach that age--even with a waiver and instructions from the owner. Apparently "glued" rafts have endemic problems that "welded" ones don't.
Before 2005, the French government required rafts to be condemned at twelve years of age. Since then, they are to be condemned when 15 years old. Maker are responsible for deciding the period between checks. Most require rafts to be checked and repacked every 3 years, or annually in tropical conditions. Since 2005, new rafts must comply with ISO-9650 standard. This year, some Chinese-made ones have been refused type-acceptance by French authorities, so I guess that some checks are performed.

In France, it is mandatory to have a raft for offshore navigation (more than 6 miles from shelter). There has been many long and instructive threads and detailed information (in French) on Hisse et oh !

The most informative is probably this one: Articles

Rigid tenders such as the one designed by Steve Callahan can only fit in a large boat. Unfortunately, I can only afford a 30" boat and I just have room for an inflatable raft. Even if a raft is mandatory for me, I consider that it is just "something useful to have", I don't trust it fully. But I train to use it, just in case (see pictures).

It's fine that a boat such as a multihull cannot sink. Don't forget that it can burn!

Alain
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	in the raft.jpg
Views:	137
Size:	27.4 KB
ID:	8102   Click image for larger version

Name:	overturned.jpg
Views:	120
Size:	21.1 KB
ID:	8103  

__________________
Hydra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2009, 13:37   #37
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,033
sneuman-
"What would it really take for UL to test and certify these designs?"
I've been told by multipe sources--although I haven't confirmed them--that simply submitting a simple "wall wart" power transformer to UL for certification is on the order of a $50,000 expense. Now, consider that those wall warts are made and sold by the million to recoup that expense, and life rafts? What, does any maker sell more than 500 of any model in a banner year? 100?
Then consider how much more there is to test. With a wall wart...you pretty much plug it in under load and see what it takes to make the thing catch fire. With a life raft, you'd have to do accelerated aging, temperature, effects of repacks...I doubt there's any way the makers could afford to pay what a reputable commercial lab would need to charge to tear into them. And then, if I were a life raft maker I'd be scared *hitless to submit one because what would happen if mine failed?

The open reviews like the ones run by Practical Sailor and Equipped.org give us SOME possibly objective criteria. I would guess that there are military procurement contracts for milspec life rafts out there--and that's probably the gold standard. I'd hate to ask what they pay for them, though.

Alain-
Thank you for the correction. It was Zodiac-US who told me ten years...possibly in 2004 or 2005, I don't recall exactly when I was speaking to them about this. 15 years is much more reasonable, but if the French can bottle champagne for longer periods than that, SURELY they could make better life rafts? Perhaps filling them with champagne is they key? <G>

Hiracer-
That FRIB isn't really a new idea, I have a friend that has long (15-20 years) used a Tinker inflateable dinghy with cover and sailing kit for the same purpose, in the same thinking.
On the surface of it, a sailing canoe of some kind does make very good sense. But as so many of the life raft tests have noted, the odds are greater that you will need to abandon ship in extreme weather, and in that kind of weather a canoe or dink is worthless. You need a "capsule" with ballast, so you'll only be tossed about like garbage, rather than rolled around in a clothes dryer. A number of commercial rafts were redesigned for that express purpose after reviews showed their ballast systems to be totally inadequate, IIRC.
Raft + upscaled dink, even better way to go. Maybe a kite sail and a waterski too? <G>
__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2009, 13:37   #38
Eternal Member
 
imagine2frolic's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Las Brisas Panama AGAIN!
Boat: Simpson, Catamaran, 46ft. IMAGINE
Posts: 4,508
Images: 123
I understand the burning issue, and that's the reason for a good sized sailing dink besides my Caribe12. Unfortunately in life we can't protect ourselves from everything. Most of us have limited resources, and do the best we can. There are just going to be some chances taken. That's true for even waiting to cross the intersection. Hell, I am 58, and have already lived 40 years past my much expected death......lololololol.....i2f
__________________
SAILING is not always a slick magazine cover!
BORROWED..No single one of is as smart as all of us!
http://sailingwithcancer.blogspot.com/
imagine2frolic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2009, 13:53   #39
Registered User
 
Amgine's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Vancouver BC
Posts: 1,384
Images: 1
The timing here is serendipitous.

One of my major projects in the next two months is to figure out how to rig a canopy for my walkerbay 8 with inflatable ring, as well as stow the blades and sailing rig aboard it and a survival ditch bag. This dinghy is the one I have, not the one I'd prefer, so I need to get it ready to serve as my lifeboat before I head off.

I think it's really important idea for sailors contemplating any extensive cruise to give serious thought to your abandon ship plans. Yes, the best approach is to avoid ever needing to abandon ship, but one cannot remove the risk without removing the boating, so if you assume the latter then you have to assume the former. How would you abandon your boat?

I read of a sailor whose dinghy was his lifeboat, and he boarded it still in its chocks on deck - an extreme example of stepping up into the liferaft. Personally, having wrestled with my dinghy in rough conditions, I'm quite concerned with how I'd get it over the side if disaster struck in gale or storm or worse. A ditch bag heavy with water containers, blades, oars, sailing rig, canopy... I don't know if in the ultimate situation I would be able to successfully get off my boat and into the lifeboat.
__________________
Amgine
Blog

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog anchored in a coral atoll.
Amgine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2009, 14:57   #40
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: The boat lives at Fidalgo Island, PNW
Boat: 36' custom steel
Posts: 992
Yes, the comments about burning are very appropriate. My vessel is steel and theoritically more difficult to hole than others, but to avoid galvanic corrosion the through holes are synthetic so fire is a huge problem for me too. I have six fire extinquishers on board from bow to cockpit, but all it takes is one little 12 volt short while I'm asleep and, poof, it's too late to react.

Alternate floatation is an intractable problem. We want something that is:

Fail safe or close to it.
Cheap.
Small foot print on deck.
Large foot print on the water.
Low maintenance.
Can be stored on board in such a way that it will not get removed by a large wave or vessel roll.
Easy, fast, and safe to deploy when conditions are at their worst.
Durable, can survive a storm or two in the water. And survive fish hooks, spears, etc.
Durable stored on deck.
Stable in a storm, won't flip too many times.
Yet can be propulsed by wind to get back to land.
Protects survivors from the elements, including the sun in the tropics and cold water up north.
And preferably has duel use.

Not all going to happen. Pick your poison.





Question: Is there any brand of life raft that has a better reputation for dependable inflation? Good, better, and best? Is this a case where you get what you pay for?

Maybe same for repacking?

Don't know; just asking.

I know if I was about to cast off the shore lines, I would be buying those past issues of PS.
__________________
John, sailing a custom 36' double-headed steel sloop--a 2001 derivation of a 1976 Ted Brewer design.
Hiracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2009, 15:09   #41
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,579
Images: 240
[quote=Hiracer]... Question: Is there any brand of life raft that has a better reputation for dependable inflation? Good, better, and best? Is this a case where you get what you pay for?
Maybe same for repacking?...[/quote

From post #25:

Practical Sailor review of Life Rafts
"Life Rafts: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly":
Life Rafts

The Life Raft: Don't Leave Your Ship Without It:
The Life Raft: Don't Leave Your Ship Without It - EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE (tm)

Equipped to Survive Marine and Water Survival:
EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE (tm) - Marine and Water Survival

More ETS reports from Equipped to Survive:
EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE - Outdoors Gear, Survival Equipment Review & Survival Information

Transport Canada’s Liferaft Study concluded that the inspection interval can be safely extended from one year to four years. The report also recommends that life rafts be retired after 16 years in service, or that the inspection interval revert to annually for life rafts in service for more than 16 years.
Extension of service interval for life*rafts - Marine Transportation - Project Directory - Transportation Development Centre -
and:
Liferaft service interval extension (TP*14170E) - Transportation Development Centre -

Summary of Transportation Safety Board of Canada Pool Tests

Defence R&D Canada Stochastic and Life Raft Boarding Predictions in the Cold Exposure Survival Model:
Stochastic and Life Raft Boarding Predictions in the Cold Exposure <STRONG>Survival</STRONG> Model (CESM v3.0)

Examination of the Contribution of Personality to the Ability to Board a Life Raft:
Liferaft service interval extension (TP*14170E) - Transportation Development Centre -

Study Operational performance of inflatable life rafts.
Research Report 2005 | Students volunteer on a life raft for safety research

http://www.revver.com/video/941440/1...-julie-update/

Life Raft Servicing, What You Should Expect and Why:

http://www.usmsa.org/PDF/raft_flyer.pdf
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2009, 15:51   #42
Registered User
 
roger.waite's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Plimmerton, New Zealand
Boat: Samsara, a Ross 930
Posts: 380
Several posts mention scarce dollars; this is a good way to look at it.

Say you have done everything you can to protect the yacht, but it is going down sometime soon. Dollars are scarce. So, what will you buy from that handy mid-ocean superstore (which sinks in 10 minutes)?

Most of us own flares, PFDs, grab bag, inflatable dingy, VHF radio?

Waterproof comms is highest on my list (EPIRB; waterproof handheld). I sure want floatation, but PFDs & dingy will do in many situations. Of course, that dependes on conditions and when help should arrive.

If I buy the raft (which may seem so affordable now) I worry about how to use it, not whether it will inflate. Interestingly, in a quick scan of Gord's links I do not see authors fretting about failure to inflate.

Experienced testers focussed on other things. Why might that be?
__________________
roger.waite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2009, 16:01   #43
Registered User
 
roger.waite's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Plimmerton, New Zealand
Boat: Samsara, a Ross 930
Posts: 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiracer View Post
Yes, the comments about burning are very appropriate.
As said, there are a whole lot of ways to wreck a boat ...

Those relying on being "unsinkable" (monohull or multihull) may like to look more carefully at rescues and disasters. Whales & rocks break up all hull types, and last year a capsized cat washed up (without crew) on a Pacific island with something like "HELP" daubed on the underside of the hull.

Wave-washed hulls, hypothermia and exhaustion make the unsinkable unsurvivable.
__________________
roger.waite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2009, 16:30   #44
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: The boat lives at Fidalgo Island, PNW
Boat: 36' custom steel
Posts: 992
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiracer View Post
Question: Is there any brand of life raft that has a better reputation for dependable inflation? Good, better, and best? Is this a case where you get what you pay for?
I researched this question in the late 1990s and my answer was the Winslow liferaft with insulated floor. But I don't have access to the more recent PS articles so I don't know if the answer has changed since then.
__________________
John, sailing a custom 36' double-headed steel sloop--a 2001 derivation of a 1976 Ted Brewer design.
Hiracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2009, 13:53   #45
Registered User
 
Hydra's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Lorient, Brittany, France
Boat: Gib'Sea 302, 30' - Hydra
Posts: 1,229
The reliability of a liferaft results from proper care as well as from good design and manufacturing. Proper care consists of adequate stowage and correct servicing. A liferaft lashed on deck and exposed to UV rays, spray, even green water, will probably degrade faster than another kept in a deck locker.
About servicing, many horror stories circulate. A French worker even made a website to expose carelessness in raft servicing stations surviemer : un site internet pour dire la vérité aux marins pêcheurs


For the raft that I will have to buy next year, I will choose, within my budget, a brand that I trust for its design and manufacturing quality, as well as for the reputation of its servicing shops. Other French yachtsmen consider that a raft will probably NOT inflate. Then, they select the cheapest one.


Alain
__________________

__________________
Hydra is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
liferaft

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hurth / ZF M15A Transmission Failures tomj Propellers & Drive Systems 138 06-05-2016 05:05
Maine Passage - Successes and failures, Moving On... skipgundlach General Sailing Forum 2 20-08-2008 09:20
Warning: Pre-1994 Crewfit PFD failures hellosailor Health, Safety & Related Gear 0 12-07-2006 19:41
Bilge Pump Failures ? GordMay The Sailor's Confessional 6 14-08-2003 02:23
Equipment Failures GordMay Construction, Maintenance & Refit 2 31-03-2003 17:47



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:26.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.