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Old 28-03-2016, 10:01   #1
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Love or hate Winslow, Switlick, Revere?

I need to buy a new life raft. Anyone have strong opinions about these brands?
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Old 28-03-2016, 13:02   #2
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Re: Love or hate Winslow, Switlick, Revere?

I replaced an old Givens with a Winslow 4 person offshore. Haven't needed it but the selling points for me is that my wife can lift and launch it. It weighs roughly a third of the Givens and even with both of us it was difficult to move.

Three year inspection cycle.

At $3k I could afford it.

In short, if my wife can handle it solo, it went the top of the list.

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Old 28-03-2016, 13:14   #3
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Re: Love or hate Winslow, Switlick, Revere?

I also have a Givens and it is very heavy. You need to be able to lift the raft if it is a valise.
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Old 28-03-2016, 13:43   #4
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Re: Love or hate Winslow, Switlick, Revere?

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Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
I replaced an old Givens with a Winslow 4 person offshore. Haven't needed it but the selling points for me is that my wife can lift and launch it. It weighs roughly a third of the Givens and even with both of us it was difficult to move.

Three year inspection cycle.

At $3k I could afford it.

In short, if my wife can handle it solo, it went the top of the list.

Rich


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+1

Hard to go wrong with a Winslow. Little spendy. I went with a 4 man SLOP in a valise. One of the big selling points for me is that they offer custom pack jobs for valises if you care to specify the dimensions you're working with. Mine fits perfectly in it's spot inside the lazarette.
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Old 28-03-2016, 14:38   #5
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Re: Love or hate Winslow, Switlick, Revere?

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Originally Posted by laika View Post
+1

Hard to go wrong with a Winslow. Little spendy. I went with a 4 man SLOP in a valise. One of the big selling points for me is that they offer custom pack jobs for valises if you care to specify the dimensions you're working with. Mine fits perfectly in it's spot inside the lazarette.
I agree. The Winslow's are light which IMO is a good safety factor, and long experience says they're actually well built and one of the better brands. My only complaint vs. e.g. Switlick is that there are relatively few shops that will repack a Winslow, especially the 3 years vacuum pack.

One nice thing is that Winslow appears at a lot of boat shows with an inflated liferaft. Actually climbing in one is a very educational experience.
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Old 28-03-2016, 14:53   #6
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Re: Love or hate Winslow, Switlick, Revere?

Winslow here; expensive, harder to find a refit location, but very well built
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Old 28-03-2016, 17:53   #7
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Re: Love or hate Winslow, Switlick, Revere?

Most private aircraft that fly over water use Winslow s
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Old 28-03-2016, 18:46   #8
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Re: Love or hate Winslow, Switlick, Revere?

We have the Winslow 8-man SLOP (I think -- they've changed the names, but the weight and features look right.) We have it vacuum-packed in a valise, and it stows well in a cockpit lazarette. I have it secured with quick-release straps so it doesn't move around and get chafed.

We've never had to use it, but it looks good at the shows. The weight is a big plus for me. I've had it serviced and re-packed by authorized service centers in Alameda CA and in Tacoma WA.

The foil / vacuum pack seems to do a great job; the raft and components look fresh and clean when we do the re-pack. Repacking isn't cheap, but I don't think that Winslow is any worse than the other brands in this regard. The foil seal extends the service interval, so that's probably worth it, and it protects the raft which is probably more important.

Note that if you are participating in ocean racing, ORC/ISAF says that valise-packed rafts require annual servicing regardless of the manufacturer's schedule. For what it's worth, many case-packed rafts suffer from UV degradation (some cases don't stop the UV very well).
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Old 28-03-2016, 19:45   #9
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Re: Love or hate Winslow, Switlick, Revere?

My old life raft was a Givens 6-man. The Winslow 8-man is smaller and lighter than the Givens was, so I consider that a big plus. I'm not sure, but I think the same benefit might be true of the Switlick and Revere.

I would like to switch to a canister so that I can move the life raft from a deck locker to the stern rail and free up the space for storing other things. I have been advised that the canister might not protect the raft from UV and ocean humidity as well as if it were in a valise in the deck locker. What are your thoughts about that?
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Old 29-03-2016, 13:52   #10
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Re: Love or hate Winslow, Switlick, Revere?

My Givens 6 person offshore was mounted on the foredeck in a canister. As I mentioned it was durn heavy. As a canister it seemed to be always in the way and I was concerned for the safety of getting my wife and self forward to launch it.

We went with valise. With only the two of us, the 4 person raft seemed the right size (too big a raft can be dangerous, too much room to be thrown around).

We store ours in the garage aka the quarter berth along with the ditch bag. Out of sun and water. The GPIRB is mounted very near. Everything can be placed in the cockpit in seconds.

I have no problem with a canister on the rail but a wave could wash it away along with rail. Besides, space on my rail is at a premium.

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Old 30-03-2016, 01:38   #11
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Re: Love or hate Winslow, Switlick, Revere?

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[...] I have been advised that the canister might not protect the raft from UV and ocean humidity as well as if it were in a valise in the deck locker. What are your thoughts about that?
If you're asking me, all I know is what I've heard, if I recall correctly, from a very professional liferaft service guy. He mentioned something about some canisters being more transparent to UV than others. I'm afraid that's not much to go on, but it's all I've got...
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Old 30-03-2016, 02:26   #12
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Re: Love or hate Winslow, Switlick, Revere?

Wouldn't it be easy to avoid the UV damage by simply lining the inside of a valise with something like aluminium foil?

Best,

Jack.
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Old 30-03-2016, 11:26   #13
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Re: Love or hate Winslow, Switlick, Revere?

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Wouldn't it be easy to avoid the UV damage by simply lining the inside of a valise with something like aluminium foil?

Best,

Jack.
That seems like the simple solution. Heck, if you didn't want to open it up you could wrap the outside with dark blue Sunbrella and get about the same thing.
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Old 30-03-2016, 19:57   #14
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Re: Love or hate Winslow, Switlick, Revere?

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That seems like the simple solution. Heck, if you didn't want to open it up you could wrap the outside with dark blue Sunbrella and get about the same thing.
In the "things I have heard" department, I've heard of people using a sunbrella cover over the canister for just such a reason. It sounds like a good idea. It the canister is the hydrostatic release type (or even if it's not) you will need to ensure that the cover doesn't interfere with the opening of the canister.
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