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Old 25-04-2020, 10:01   #16
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Re: Liferaft Storage, no good choices.

That's a challenge. I have similar issues: PO had L/R in a cradle on the foredeck, which prevented storage of dinghy there, not to mention I was contantly dinging my ankles on the sharp edges of the cradle. I moved mine to aft lazarette, and have it in the cockpit during passages - is it in the way? Yes, sort of, but readily accessible. I move it back to the aft lazarette in protected waters.
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Old 25-04-2020, 10:04   #17
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Re: Liferaft Storage, no good choices.

Maybe this has been suggested... will it fit between the scupper railings in front of the mast?
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Old 25-04-2020, 10:16   #18
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Re: Liferaft Storage, no good choices.

We had a Cal29 with tiller steering. The 4 man valise liferaft fit perfectly in the cockpit, in the space behind the rudder shaft and the transom. Cockpit was narrow so raft stood up on end. We should have secured it better - that could be done with a very strong fabric or solid material well secured over it.

With tiller steering you sit farther forward so the raft behind the tiller was never in the way. Guess you have wheel steering so maybe you don't have such space available, but could you add a thwartships helmsman seat at aft end of cockpit and store it under there?

I would definitely put it in the cockpit, not below as others gave good reasons. Even if you have to step over it all the time, at sea not such a problem as you are hopefully steering with autopilot and still have visibility of chartplotter and instruments w/o being actually aft at the helm. Move it to cabin at anchor or dock to avoid theft.
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Old 25-04-2020, 10:33   #19
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Re: Liferaft Storage, no good choices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanibel sailor View Post
Picture of raft. Offshore, double floor, etc contribute to weight.

Did the US Sailing Safety at Sea course which includes getting into a raft from the water while in foulies, boots and inflated PFD. Eye opening. Likely impossible into a hard dinghy, very difficult into inflatable dink I bet.
You are exactly correct sir! I bet you also learned it's also very uncomfortable putting 4 adults into a 4-person life raft!

I know you don't want to change. But, after the safety at sea course I decided to go with the Winslow 6-person Super Light Offshore Plus in what they call a hard pack. Total weight just over 65 lbs. It is much smaller and more easily manageable compared to the Revere and Viking IMHO. The hard pack is not a fiberglass or heavy plastic valise, but a lightweight plastic similar to the Lifesling hardback. It's not meant to be stored permanently on deck. Underway I place my plastic encased life raft on the lazarette seat behind the binnacle, secure the release cord/pennant, and secure the pack with a quick release strap. I put a cushioned seat on top...and it's a great watch position. At anchor I remove the case and put it inside beside the companionway stairs to prevent theft. I also chose not to mount on deck for reasons previously stated.

Also, imho, the foredeck is the worse place to put a life raft....in a raging sea and sinking boat...nobody is running towards the bow.
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Old 25-04-2020, 10:44   #20
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Re: Liferaft Storage, no good choices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Discovery 15797 View Post
You are exactly correct sir! I bet you also learned it's also very uncomfortable putting 4 adults into a 4-person life raft!

I know you don't want to change. But, after the safety at sea course I decided to go with the Winslow 6-person Super Light Offshore Plus in what they call a hard pack. Total weight just over 65 lbs. It is much smaller and more easily manageable compared to the Revere and Viking IMHO. The hard pack is not a fiberglass or heavy plastic valise, but a lightweight plastic similar to the Lifesling hardback. It's not meant to be stored permanently on deck. Underway I place my plastic encased life raft on the lazarette seat behind the binnacle, secure the release cord/pennant, and secure the pack with a quick release strap. I put a cushioned seat on top...and it's a great watch position. At anchor I remove the case and put it inside beside the companionway stairs to prevent theft. I also chose not to mount on deck for reasons previously stated.

Also, imho, the foredeck is the worse place to put a life raft....in a raging sea and sinking boat...nobody is running towards the bow.
I'm using a Switlik, 4 person throwable life raft.
Fits nicely below in the Quarterberth, money spent on items that can save life, are the BEST investments
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Old 25-04-2020, 10:44   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanibel sailor View Post
I am trying to figure out the best storage location during passages for my 4 man valise liferaft. There seems to be no good place for it. Probably a common problem. I don't really want to spend the money on a different raft.
The valise would drive the decision towards down below or in a cockpit locker. It will not fit in the lazarette. There is no afterdeck. The thing is fairly heavy (85 lbs) and bulky (28 X 16 X 15 inches). I have considered swapping the steel tank for an aluminum scuba tank, but was told that the service people would not do that for certification reasons. It is a tight fit thru the cockpit locker lid and I imagine it would tend to get buried under other stuff in there. Between the weight and the tight fit, I am concerned about being able to pull it out quickly if needed on short notice. Only place down below would be in the quarter berth, which has less tight access but same issues with getting buried as well as now the weight needs to be brought up on deck. Additionally, it is adjacent to the galley and engine room, both likely fire locations which is a likely abandon ship cause. It could go in the V berth, but that would be a straight up free lift out the forward hatch which seems tough.

So I am looking for an on deck location despite the valise. There is no good location for a canister raft either. QaSDThere is no room aft of the mast due to vang, mainsheet traveler, deck hatch and companionway cover. No room forward of the mast either. It could conceivably be forward of the cabin trunk on the foredeck, but that seems a poor choice due to exposure to solid water coming aboard.
The last choice I see is in the cockpit footwell. Quite in the way, but it just fits, quickly accessible, and has the benefit of reducing cockpit volume. I do not have a bridge deck and the sill is low. Lowest washboard is to be secured in place. I would make a little rack to keep it a couple of inches off the floor so water could drain easily. It clears the engine access hatch in the floor. A Sunbrella cover would help keep rain and spray off it. Move it to the foredeck when anchored.
Final choice would be to ditch it, but I do not have a hard dinghy, nor good deck storage space for the dinghy when inflated and blowing up an inflatable on short notice is not a workable solution.

I would be interested in how others have solved this dilemma.
I have a Revere life raft that look's just like that. During coastal cruising it is normally kept in the quarter berth or secondly under the salon table, the latter location a bit in the way at every meal.

After positioning to the Washington coast at Neah Bay before launching on our roundtrip to Hawaii, my new crew spent a couple of hours discussing the life raft and where to put it. It ended up exactly where I have had it before, immediately in front of the dodger secured with lines to the handrails on both sides and immediately available. It does obstruct forward vision somewhat but when crossing an ocean there is little traffic and not much to see anyway. Once in place nothing was said about it for the entire trip.

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Old 25-04-2020, 10:45   #22
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Re: Liferaft Storage, no good choices.

Given the limitations you described and your photos, if it were my boat my top 2 choices would be-

1. Down below with ditch bag and immersion suits as close to the companionway as possible.

If you follow the statistics and stories of offshore recreational boat emergencies, sinking fast is rare. In many cases the boat was found floating and good shape after being abandoned. Given there is no perfect solution, planning for the least likely outcome doesn't make much sense to me.

2. It looks like you could install some padeyes/tie downs on your foredeck and lash it down there.

Ours is in a fiberglass clamshell case permanently secured in an aluminum frame that is mounted abaft the mast. This might work on your foredeck but it looks like it would have to be mounted pretty high between your dodger and mast to clear the lines.
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Old 25-04-2020, 10:51   #23
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Re: Liferaft Storage, no good choices.

I have used a stainless steel rack to store my life raft. It has worked well. I would suggest you buy or fabricate a rack to fit over the hatch that is just forward of the companionway. Through bolt the rack with backing plates. If it stood a few inches above the hatch, the hatch could still be used for light and ventilation. Secure the raft in the rack with wire rope and fittings similar to what is used on companionway gates on the life lines.
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Old 25-04-2020, 10:52   #24
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Re: LIFERAFT STORAGE, no good choices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatguy30 View Post

Maybe down on the cabin floor when underway and under a bunk in port?

I've encountered quite a few boats that have lost liferafts that were even in the hard packs on deck.
I'm skeptical of lashing a life raft on deck. Bolting a hard case on deck is probably OK, but as Boatguy said, even that can be ripped off by a heavy ocean wave. Storing it below is safest in that regard, but then you have the problem of hauling a heavy raft up on deck in rough seas. If you do that, be sure to think about securing the raft to the boat when you get it up to the cockpit, so that it will still be there when you are ready to inflate it.
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Old 25-04-2020, 11:02   #25
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Re: Liferaft Storage, no good choices.

Our valise lives in the cockpit locker. Its a 4 man but slightly lighter at 62lbs so can be lifted in and out with one hand if I am holding the pedestal.

Not keen on a valise on the rail, prefer it under cover away from the wind, spray and rain.

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Old 25-04-2020, 11:09   #26
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Re: LIFERAFT STORAGE, no good choices.

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Have you considered hanging it over the aft rail in a cradle?
Do you have a picture of the Life raft?
Here are a couple of pictures of a cradle. It is hinged at the bottom and has a quick release (QR) clasp at the top. To launch the liferaft you only need to access the QR clasp and pull. Raft drops into the water out of the canister and is secured to the stern by its painter, which inflates it as the line tensions.



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Old 25-04-2020, 11:24   #27
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Re: Liferaft Storage, no good choices.

We have no raft. If I was going to get one I would consider mounting it to the underside of our arch, under the solar panels. We have a pretty stout arch so that may not work for you. But it does solve a few problems. Itís out of the way, weíll protected, and in a place where it is easy to deploy. Iíve never seen this done, maybe for good reasons Iím not thinking of.
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Old 25-04-2020, 11:52   #28
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Re: Liferaft Storage, no good choices.

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We have no raft. If I was going to get one I would consider mounting it to the underside of our arch, under the solar panels. We have a pretty stout arch so that may not work for you. But it does solve a few problems. Itís out of the way, weíll protected, and in a place where it is easy to deploy. Iíve never seen this done, maybe for good reasons Iím not thinking of.
That location has a lot going for it as you note (protected, easy to deploy). Depending on its weight a possible issue would be difficulty in raising it/accessing it for service and replacing afterwards.
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Old 25-04-2020, 11:53   #29
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Re: Liferaft Storage, no good choices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanibel sailor View Post
I am trying to figure out the best storage location during passages for my 4 man valise liferaft. There seems to be no good place for it. Probably a common problem. I don't really want to spend the money on a different raft.

The last choice I see is in the cockpit footwell. Quite in the way, but it just fits, quickly accessible, and has the benefit of reducing cockpit volume. I do not have a bridge deck and the sill is low. Lowest washboard is to be secured in place. I would make a little rack to keep it a couple of inches off the floor so water could drain easily. It clears the engine access hatch in the floor. A Sunbrella cover would help keep rain and spray off it. Move it to the foredeck when anchored.

I would be interested in how others have solved this dilemma.
My solution was almost exactly what you are planning. I have a tiller. The raft fits in the well, just ahead of the rudder post, and I spaced it up off the deck, just a little, and made a removable decking that fits over the raft and upon which I can stand and see over the dodger. Wife made a sunbrella cover. Didn't buy the expensive "valise".
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Old 25-04-2020, 12:21   #30
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Re: Liferaft Storage, no good choices.

You are crossing oceans maybe 2% of the time. Keep it in the 1/4 berth unless you are crossing. Put it on the Lazarette lid or just inside the cockpit locker when crossing?
Mine was in the cockpit locker a lot. I figure if I really needed it out, adrenalin would get it out easily!
Personally I think that is better safety wise than in front of a dodger requiring you to go on deck to prep it for launch. Even in a cannister. Worse, if you've been rolled or overwhelmed by green water, your dodger frame may even be bent down over the raft.
So compare that with wrestling it out of the top of the locker!
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