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Old 15-12-2012, 22:28   #1
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Liferaft servicing in Australia


We need to get our EV ISO/9650-1 6 man cannister liferaft serviced as it was due in Aug 2009. We risked sailing to Aus' from New Zealand without being in date - but are contemplating sailing to Tassie in the New Year and would like to have peace of mind when crossing the Bass Strait.
However, we spoke to the RFD people (survivatec) at the Sydney boat show and were given a "worst case scenario" price of $2000 for the servicing. I know that our lives are worth that - but being live aboard, long term, international cruisers - we are a little short on the old $ front and wondered if anyone has any advice of where else we could go. We are not really game to have a go ourselves as feel that packing it back into the cannister would be impossible.

All thoughts gratefully received.
Best wishes for Christmas,

Ruth and Gillie,
The Tuppenny Girls.

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Old 16-12-2012, 00:21   #2
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Re: Liferaft servicing in Australia

Thats daylight robbery. I'm just wondering if you are in a yacht club, and can get someone to help pack it, and you could buy new flares etc. Does insurance come into it, is self servicing not allowed under insurance policies - really it shouldn't matter because life rafts are not mandatory. Good luck.

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Old 16-12-2012, 01:13   #3
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Re: Liferaft servicing in Australia

Standard minimum fee for a repack/survey in aus is around $500. Extra for consumables. I recently had my raft repacked, long out of service, involved replacement of all consumables, including the gas cylinder, cost somewhere around $950. Thats about the max you should expect.

Nobody sensible will quote, because they have no idea what they will find when they open the cannister.

Strongly suggest you do not try to repack yourself, its a specialist job.

Strongly suggest you be there when the raft is unpacked/inflated, to see how things look. If your surveyor won't agree, get another one. Being there at unpack/inflation is fundamental good practice.

New rafts in aus start at around $2500, look around. Big issue in going to a new raft is whether your deck chocks will fit.

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Old 16-12-2012, 02:21   #4
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Re: Liferaft servicing in Australia

We got our Viking raft serviced in Brisbane last year for about $600 which still seemed pretty expensive compared to North America. The raft was just at the end of its three years. Can't imagine how it could be $2000 even for worst case (and I would like to know what that would be).

Zodiac Inflatable Boats and Zodiac Liferafts. Is the company we used. Don't know I'd they do all brands.
Back to Great Lakes sailing on our Catalina 36 MkII after many years ocean sailing on a Bristol 45.5, which was just too big for the yacht clubs on Lake Ontario.
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Old 26-02-2013, 14:51   #5
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Re: Liferaft servicing in Australia

I work for one of the top life raft companies... That seems really overpriced unless it was made in the early 2000s or 90s, and hasn't been serviced. Typically, life raft servicing would be avg $300 with out parts nor if it needs a hydrostatic testing. Keep in mind that the price for the internal parts can add up very quickly.
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Old 07-03-2013, 20:37   #6
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Re: Liferaft servicing in Australia

Liferaft servicing is expensive in Australia. Depending on how out-of-date the liferaft is, it can be very expensive indeed. I have paid about anywhere from $640 for a service on an 8-man RFD to over $1200 for a service on a 10-man zodiac liferaft.

Given that your liferaft has not been serviced since 2008, It is going to be expensive. You are going to need all the items with a "use-by" date replaced. This includes food, water, first aid kit and flares (flares are particularly expensive), so this is never going to be a cheap. Also, chances are that your cylinder may need pressure test and fill... also not cheap.

Sorry if the above is not what you wanted to hear.

To be honest, if your liferaft is less than 8 years old, and you are on a budget, I'd probably take the chance and not get it serviced... caveat emptor and all that.
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Old 18-03-2013, 16:15   #7
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Re: Liferaft servicing in Australia

Its definitely expensive business, anything to do with luxury and safety comes with a price. Especially because not many people will do it

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