Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-02-2021, 06:27   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 2
Best 6 Man Liferafts

Hi Everyone!

I just had a friendly discussion with a fellow sailor and we got onto the topic of safety at sea. We were not interested only in the best life rafts for safety but also for best track record.

We both were interested at hearing your comments on what are the best life raft makes out there?

What is the best 6-man in your opinion? (This is what were were arguing mainly)




Thank you in advance!

Happy sailing!


Rob
CaptRobZA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2021, 07:06   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 148
Images: 1
Re: Best 6 Man Liferafts

Is this a bit like asking what is the best airbag for your vehicle? I don't think that many on here will have personal experience. The only thoughts on this I'd be interested in is the differences between coastal and ocean certified.
Pandor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-02-2021, 08:31   #3
Registered User
 
BigBoater917's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: East Coast
Boat: 2018 Senesco 110'
Posts: 165
Re: Best 6 Man Liferafts

Speaking from the commercial side of things, our company only uses Viking Rafts.
__________________
27 years and too many miles to count under the stern.
BigBoater917 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-02-2021, 04:43   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 362
Re: Best 6 Man Liferafts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandor View Post
Is this a bit like asking what is the best airbag for your vehicle? I don't think that many on here will have personal experience. The only thoughts on this I'd be interested in is the differences between coastal and ocean certified.

nope. don't think he means it in safety as this you cannot justify yourself.

for safety you can use the reviews avaliable, eg:
https://www.cruisingworld.com/gear/b...afts-reviewed/



it's also about maintenance costs, durability, weight, installing. and this differs significantly.
...and ease/where you can service it. eg Plastimo is in 104 countries while seaq onl in 23 and AWN only in 10.



I have the AWN offshore for 4 persons in a bag (its stored inside in the pilothouse): cheap, around 1000Euro, has all certifications, good test results BUT limited service centers and a service after 3 years cost 450Euro. So i do 1 service and sell it after 5years for around 300Euro. Makes a reliable and safe life raft for 5 years for 700Euro. No issues in service twice, no additional repairs and liferaft was working as we released it before service.

This is due to cruising offshore in the EU or close to, so approx max 600NM outside where you have sea traffic and also coastguard can get to.



preping the boat for a 10years world circum and I will change it to the Plastimo transocean 4, 2,5 times the cost but I can service it everywhere in the world and I will service it twice. Also more safety features and good recommendation from fellow sailors who have it for years.
CaptainRivet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-02-2021, 05:05   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 362
Re: Best 6 Man Liferafts

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBoater917 View Post
Speaking from the commercial side of things, our company only uses Viking Rafts.
commercial at sea means you fullfill the absolutest minimal requirements the laws request from you. not a penny more then needed. And the controller or sourcing manager is not the one who is on the vessels he sources it for...
sure exceptions for very small fleets where you are the skipper yourself or familiy but thats 0.00001% of the commercial.
2nd commercial sourcing it for the lifetime of the boat or as close too possible.

in leasure water sports you buy it for yourself, you pay for added features and security as it is your ass that need to be saved. And you buy it for the span you think you use/own the boat and your usage.

thats the classic viking versus Plastimo discussion.
eg vikings made out of natural kautschuk which holds longer but requires more servicing and really smells aweful a really long time. Plastimo uses plastic, i think it was a kind of PVC which is cheaper and have a shorter lifespan BUT its more sturdy during his lifespan, doesn't smell or only shorttime, needs no maintenance and the double layer they use isolates better then the viking thicker but one layer kautschuk.

So whats better for a cruiser, decide yourself. for me clear the plastimo.
CaptainRivet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-02-2021, 05:42   #6
Marine Service Provider
 
Snore's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Boat: Tartan 33 and OPB
Posts: 3,100
Send a message via Skype™ to Snore
Re: Best 6 Man Liferafts

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainRivet View Post
nope. don't think he means it in safety as this you cannot justify yourself.

for safety you can use the reviews avaliable, eg:
https://www.cruisingworld.com/gear/b...afts-reviewed/



it's also about maintenance costs, durability, weight, installing. and this differs significantly.
...and ease/where you can service it. eg Plastimo is in 104 countries while seaq onl in 23 and AWN only in 10.



I have the AWN offshore for 4 persons in a bag (its stored inside in the pilothouse): cheap, around 1000Euro, has all certifications, good test results BUT limited service centers and a service after 3 years cost 450Euro. So i do 1 service and sell it after 5years for around 300Euro. Makes a reliable and safe life raft for 5 years for 700Euro. No issues in service twice, no additional repairs and liferaft was working as we released it before service.

This is due to cruising offshore in the EU or close to, so approx max 600NM outside where you have sea traffic and also coastguard can get to.



preping the boat for a 10years world circum and I will change it to the Plastimo transocean 4, 2,5 times the cost but I can service it everywhere in the world and I will service it twice. Also more safety features and good recommendation from fellow sailors who have it for years.
While providing a link is good. The data is 12 years old.
__________________
"Whenever...it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea..." Ismael -a link to my delivery website is in my profile—
Snore is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14-02-2021, 06:05   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 362
Re: Best 6 Man Liferafts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
While providing a link is good. The data is 12 years old.
While it is 12 years old it gives a lot of background info what to consider and look for. , not much have changed since then and majority of models still available.
I am sure you find the most recent review of your choice of life raft, if not you should stay away from Bluewater sailing anyhow
CaptainRivet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2021, 10:36   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 4
Re: Best 6 Man Liferafts

Don't buy seago liferafts. They are delivered without seasick tablets, You must ask seago to send the tablets!!! And if you ask for the tablets they don't send you anything !!They save on tablets
So you know you shouldn't expect anything from their promised warranty
Willroy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2021, 10:48   #9
Registered User
 
Marathon1150's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Vancouver, Canada; Papeete, Tahiti
Boat: Beneteau Idylle 1150 (Papeete), Beneteau First 35s5 (Vancouver)
Posts: 395
Images: 11
Re: Best 6 Man Liferafts

We have a Viking RescuPro 6 person raft. We replaced a DBC 6 person raft because DBC would no longer service it. After much research of various brands, we bought the Viking because:
-it self-rights,
-has a loading ramp/vestibule,
-3 year service interval, and
-a double inflatable floor. If you read Steve Callahan's (sp?) book, the floor is really important.

Viking also has a reasonably well distributed service network. I have however seen evidence that sometimes the service is not the best.
__________________
Desolation Island is situated in a third region, somewhere between elsewhere and everywhere.
Jean-Paul Kauffmann
Marathon1150 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2021, 10:54   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 38
Re: Best 6 Man Liferafts

Off topic but a great example is the Titanic.
One of the ship's faults was that she had 20 lifeboats, which was the minimum required by law. An antiquated law at the the time that maxed out for 10,000t vessel. Those 20 boats in total could only accommodate 1,178 people, despite the fact that there were approximately 2,208 on board and a maximum capacity of 3320.
jack4566 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2021, 11:17   #11
Registered User
 
Cuvee's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Annapolis/St Thomas
Boat: Fountaine Pajot Saba 50
Posts: 80
Re: Best 6 Man Liferafts

Yachting Monthly did a nice, thorough review of 6 rafts in 2016. It's interesting to see the list of companies that ignored their requests for a raft to test.

https://www.yachtingmonthly.com/gear...tested-2-34114
Cuvee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2021, 18:19   #12
registered user
 
HankOnthewater's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: West Australia
Boat: plastic production yacht, suitable for deep blue water ;)
Posts: 731
Re: Best 6 Man Liferafts

Like post #2 said: not many people used liferafts and therefore can talk from experience. The commercial guys, and very often recreational skippers have a very economical view on this issue.
If not costs, it comers down to much credence we give to marketing hype.
I have a Switlik HD, not sure meaning if I am gullible or not.
Just smile as the below pictures are used to promote this product.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	offshore_life_rafts-overview_slide4.jpg
Views:	17
Size:	74.8 KB
ID:	236610   Click image for larger version

Name:	offshore_life_rafts-overview_slide1.jpg
Views:	20
Size:	90.4 KB
ID:	236611  

__________________
Wishing you all sunny skies above, clear water below, gentle winds behind and a safe port ahead,
and when coming this way check https://www.cruiserswiki.org/wiki/Albany,_Australia
HankOnthewater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-04-2021, 02:20   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cherbourg - France
Boat: Le Guen Hémidy, Lévrier de mer, 16 m / 53 ft, "AZAWAKH"
Posts: 145
Send a message via Skype™ to Eric50
Re: Best 6 Man Liferafts

Hi to all,

Here is my own experience with the first life raft I did own and that had its life ended after 12 years, never being used I mean.

I decided to experience it in my garden, as I read so many disappointing articles on life raft performance (in Europe), in particular about their lack of ability to keep pressure once inflated.

Mine was a Plastimo offshore 12 persons capacity, in hard container, duly serviced as per the manufacturer requirement (I am in the QA/QC activities, so I get used to stick to the rules generally).

I did pull the rope and I was very happy to see it inflating, self opening and breaking the container straps, as it should do, then getting fully erected, making a nice color contrast between the green lawn and the bright orange of the top fabric on the raft.

1rst good point, it worked !
2nd good point all the included goodies were there, in good shape !

I decided to see how long it would stay in such good condition, well inflated, so I went to bed the same day.

The morning after, I don't know why I was not surprised to see the top of the raft almost fully deflated, and the body (hull?) 50% deflated as well.

I was not that surprised, as, as I said I read this happening so frequently that the surprise would have been if it had remain in the same condition than after inflation 24 hours after. It obviously did not happened.

i checked the raft, could not find any leak, only re-inflate it to 100% pressure (easy to do on land, will not be as easy at sea...) and had another 24 hours waiting period, ended the same, if not more...

I waited a full week to have it 100% deflated as is.

The conclusion was easy, although it is (was) one of the most renown brand in my country, cost me a fortune to service, not to mention its original price, this is absolutely worthless in the middle of the ocean if you are not rescued immediately.

I am not that disappointed because I always consider this object as mandatory by the regulation and useless in term of safety, I just had the confirmation.

Based on this experience, everyone is, of course, free to make any decision on it, my is to manage my safety onboard counting not on the life raft which will eventually become the very last way-out, when everything else would have been tried...and the boat not visible anymore form the surface.

I also ensure that I have as much pumps available in the raft as possible, any kind of repair tools for them, to ensure a good pumping about 2 hours a day, for a month period at least to keep it afloat.

I read articles of such poor performance on about all the major well known brands for leisure craft in my country, so, if you know 1 (even a commercial / industrial one) that is a serious one, please let me know.

Waiting the time were I'll have a real life raft, I do not count on the one I have as I said.

Hope this will help.

Best regards.
__________________
Fair winds
Eric - S/Y Azawakh www.syazawakh.blogspot.com
Eric50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
6 man, brand, liferaft, make, ocean, saftey, sailing, seasafe, viking

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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
How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ? SvenG Health, Safety & Related Gear 604 11-11-2014 19:37
Do Catamarans Need Liferafts ? Catalysis Multihull Sailboats 47 15-07-2009 08:16
liferafts nalani Health, Safety & Related Gear 1 28-08-2007 01:42
liferafts Charlie Seamanship & Boat Handling 25 26-01-2007 14:06
Liferafts - Soft Pack or Hard Case? tianti Health, Safety & Related Gear 2 06-04-2006 21:55

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 15:50.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.