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Old 06-03-2017, 16:34   #16
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Re: LIFERAFTS -- Delayed Inspections

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Originally Posted by Douglas McLean View Post
Greetings cruisers,

Does anyone have advice regarding delayed inspection of liferafts? I have a six-person Revere Offshore Elite in a fiberglass canister on deck, purchased in 2010, last serviced in 2013, recommended service intervals of three years. The last inspection was done by a reputable, Revere authorized company in Ft. Lauderdale. I am in Ecuador, heading for New Zealand, and getting it serviced in Tahiti or New Zealand will mean 4 + years since the last service.

Is four or five years since the last inspection a) probably OK, b) a bad idea, c) really dumb.? The raft has never been subjected to freezing conditions, but it has been on deck in the tropics.

Cheers,
Douglas McLean
s/v Gillean -- In Transit
In my opinion, (commercial use), we have to inspect every 4 years for inland waters which makes no sense as we can see shore all the time. The inspection is not yours to determine for time extension. It is a liability issue. The life raft is for the safety of your passengers and you can / possibly be sued for not providing the minimum requirements for your crew or passengers. It's insurance protection. I am not aware of the issue for passenger on pleasure crafts...
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Old 06-03-2017, 18:41   #17
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Re: LIFERAFTS -- Delayed Inspections

I just brought my life raft in for service last week. I asked to be present when it was inflated and they were happy to have the technician who will service my raft available to me when I arrived. He explained every step of the recertification procedure and provided a valuable familiarization lesson. I got to test the inflation trigger which took much less force than I'd have anticipated. We found the spare flashlight batteries had leaked but remained in their hard plastic case. The flares had expired. The inflation cylinder was in perfect shape and doesn't need testing for seven years. The raft was in perfect condition.
Spending a half hour with a technician familiarizing yourself with your last means of survival is a worthwhile experience.
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Old 06-03-2017, 19:36   #18
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Re: LIFERAFTS -- Delayed Inspections

This is not a recommendation. It is merely an observation. When we were in majuro there was a boat crew who had been in the Marshall Islands for a very long time and had no access to a raft inspection service. They bought a new life raft because their old six-man Avon was almost ten-years out of date and they did not trust it. After the new raft arrived, the crew announced in the local yacht club that they would attempt to deploy their old raft the next morning, just to see what happened. As you can imagine, this created a lot of interest. The next morning a large flotilla of dinghies gathered around the "test" boat. The old raft was tossed overboard and the lanyard pulled. After a very few seconds, the canister separated and the raft emerged. It fully inflated and basked in the glory of cheers and whistles. Everybody took turns getting into the raft and gasping at how small a six-man raft was. the raft was left tied to the test boat for a week or so and never lost pressure. It was then towed to the near-by swimming area where it became a popular toy for the local kids. Six month later it was battered but still afloat. Please note that this raft had been kept on the deck rather than hanging on the the transom or slung under the boat and that it had always been protected by a Sunbrella cover. Hope this helps with your desision.
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