Greetings and welcome aboard the CF
, Capt. Jeanette.
The life raft should not be too large. If you normally sail with 2-3 people on board, you ought to choose 4-person life raft. In this case there will also be room for even a 5th (smaller) person, in an emergency
In general, life rafts should not be too large because the extra space in the raft allows for an escape of body heat from the occupants. As the function of a life raft is to keep its people safely out of the cold water
, it is important to trap what heat is available.
A more fully occupied raft is also more stable at sea, whereas a half-empty raft is more vulnerable to the power of wind
Here’s Don Casey (of no particular authority on THIS subject) on life rafts
➥ BoatUS BoatTECH Guides: Life Rafts