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Old 08-01-2010, 07:53   #16
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Thanks for the advice.

Renting a EPIRB would probably be a good idea. I already own a safety harness and will pick up a self inflating vest by time we make the trip. I think we will go for sea room versus running into a harbor. I have a house on the Jersey shore and I know that a lot of those inlets can be dicey in foul weather, especially a storm out of the east. Add fog to the mix and it is definitely white knuckle time. Been there, done that but in a power boat.
Thanks for the input.
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Old 08-01-2010, 08:29   #17
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How far can you swim?

I am probably way over cautious but...

I would not think of sailing without a liveraft and EPIRB aboard. For about $3k you can get set up.

So I ask, how far can you swim in 60 degree water? Even if you were only 2-3 miles off the beach and your boat sank, how much would you pay then for a liferaft?

Some say, I will take my chances and play the odds. Odds are it will never happen. So true. But are you willing to make that decision for crew and guests who have entrusted their well being in you hands?
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Old 08-01-2010, 15:38   #18
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Originally Posted by Liam Wald View Post

So I ask, how far can you swim in 60 degree water? Even if you were only 2-3 miles off the beach and your boat sank, how much would you pay then for a liferaft?
Not far, but I can row a long way in my dinghy that I normally use to get ashore.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:10   #19
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Over the years, I have bought used liferafts from a firm in Portland Maine, Chase Leavitt. The rafts are inspected and not terribly expensive. For short almost-offshore trips the equipment is certainly suitable. The new Spot trackers are practical as well.

It is always better to spend more to get the best stuff and then take the time to learn how to use it, etc. In the real world, we don't have unlimited resources so we make the "other choice."

Having made the trip any number of times: calm is your biggest worry. If it blowing so hard from the NE that the NJ Shore is hazardous, you will know way before you exit NY Harbor.

More to follow.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:37   #20
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I would feel "comfortable" with a readily deployed dinghy in this situation but a liferaft is always comforting. In some ways though it may be more comforting close to shore and in moderate weather to have something already usable, and visibly so, then to depend on a rental to really work when you need it. Definitely take the EPIRB though.

Jim
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:05   #21
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Loner, Your right, you would be well served by opting for sea room, if you leave port for your approx. 24 hr run down the jersey coast with a possibility of foul weather, storm conditions
and/or fog. Certainly you will not want to run any of the Jersey inlets in those conditions...and you certainly you have answered
the question about haviing a life raft on board.
Me...I agree with NormanMartin's 3rd paragragh in post #19 "Having made the trip any number of times: calm is your biggest worry. If it blowing so hard from the NE that the NJ Shore is hazardous, you will know way before you exit NY Harbor." Hugo
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:14   #22
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I have to say I don't think that I've ever had an EPIRB on any of the boats I've chartered although I mostly sail within 20nm of the coast. I always make sure that I have a handheld VHF and GPS in my sailing jacket or close to hend.

I wouldn't think of going past the end of any harbour without a liferaft and some flares..
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:41   #23
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It would be interesting to know how many yacht liferafts are deployed each year. I bet it is a very, very small number. I met one guy, Bill Bailey, who got into one as a result of a yacht's sinking. He was way off shore.

I have read a couple of studies, one detailed in the West Marine catalogue many years ago, that inflatable dinghies make poor substitutes for life rafts. The catalogue doesn't go into detail any more but I think the point is well taken.

The larger question is: what steps does one take in advance to avoid/minimize the risk of sinking? (Not going out is not an answer.) Most yachts are not much bigger than a ship's lifeboat! Do ship's lifeboats have life rafts?

more to follow...
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:52   #24
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I saw an 8 man liferaft on craigslist for $500 (retail is like $3000 on this thing!) I passed it up (because my boat is packed full of foam and should not sink) Maybe I should have gotten it so I could sell it to other cruisers for $1000 :-P
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Old 11-01-2010, 13:15   #25
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Liferafts are insuranace though not failsafe. I guess the

big difference between an inflatable (assuming it is inflated and sitting on the deck. If it's not inflated then it is useless unless you have a lot of time on your hands to pump it up) and a liferaft is the ballasted bottom and a cover to protect you from rollovers and the elements. If you are going down in a calm sea then I guess it doesn't make a difference. If the seas are rough with a heavy wind I wouldn't put much stock in a inflatable.
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Old 11-01-2010, 15:41   #26
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For this one trip, I would rent a liferaft rather than buy a used one. Liferafts have a limited lifetime (they do degrade) and require regular maintenance. If you anticipate doing a lot of other offshore work in the near future, and/or races that require you to carry a liferaft, THEN you can think about looking into purchasing one.
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