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Old 01-11-2020, 03:06   #1
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Look what I bought for a pittance today!

I live in a lobster fishing town and when I was at the recycling depot I was offered a 4 man RFD life raft.

I didn't know anything about life rafts then so I rejected it when the canister printing said "coastal waters". But the other printing I noted was "Epirb".

When I got home I did some research and read that there are ISOs for life rafts and decided to buy it.

ISO 9650-1 Offshore waters
ISO 9650-2 Coastal waters
SOLAS Used on ships(?)

It was due for a check up in 2016 but It looks as though the canister is sealed (?). I think the epirb is worth the amount I paid. (They are $A2085 new) The local Volunteer Sea Rescue Association does free check-ups but I suppose they'd expect a donation.
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Old 01-11-2020, 03:13   #2
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Re: Look what I bought for a pittance today!

don't wish to rain on your parade, however if it was due for a service in 2016 there is a good chance the epirb battery is now flat and will need to be replaced

check the cost. think you will find it is seldom economic to replace battery in epirb

also is it a 406 epirb ? if not, the value is marginal...

cheers,
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Old 01-11-2020, 03:33   #3
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Re: Look what I bought for a pittance today!

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Originally Posted by chrisr View Post
don't wish to rain on your parade, however if it was due for a service in 2016 there is a good chance the epirb battery is now flat and will need to be replaced

check the cost. think you will find it is seldom economic to replace battery in epirb

also is it a 406 epirb ? if not, the value is marginal...

cheers,

Thanks for that.

It would have to be 406 because the first of these RFDs were manufactured in 2011. ( I would want to replace the battery anyway). But batteries cost $125 which is about half the cost of a new epirb. Mmmmm!
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Old 01-11-2020, 04:41   #4
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Re: Look what I bought for a pittance today!

https://www.practical-sailor.com/blo...n-requirements
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Old 01-11-2020, 04:50   #5
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Re: Look what I bought for a pittance today!

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I checked and apparently the Service Charge on a life raft is around $250. But the local Volunteer Sea Search Association does it for nothing (I suppose you'd feel pretty mean if you didn't give them a donation though)
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Old 01-11-2020, 05:37   #6
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Re: Look what I bought for a pittance today!

Coopec43 I have never heard of a free life raft service? So who pays for the new rations in the raft and gas cylinder for inflating it? Not to mention I would have thought they would have to be insured for doing the service? Otherwise every marine store could offer Life raft servicing?
The last free raft I had turned into a learning exercise for the kids and I in our dam. We spent a whole day mucking around with it, even capsizing it when zipped inside.
Cheers
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Old 01-11-2020, 06:05   #7
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Re: Look what I bought for a pittance today!

I have always heard recertifications cost around $1,000 if not more....... in the US that is. I passed on one as the cost brand new was slightly above the used cost plus recertification.

Good luck
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Old 01-11-2020, 06:16   #8
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Re: Look what I bought for a pittance today!

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Coopec43 I have never heard of a free life raft service? So who pays for the new rations in the raft and gas cylinder for inflating it? Not to mention I would have thought they would have to be insured for doing the service? Otherwise every marine store could offer Life raft servicing?
The last free raft I had turned into a learning exercise for the kids and I in our dam. We spent a whole day mucking around with it, even capsizing it when zipped inside.
Cheers

I assume you'd have to pay for consumables. I'm quite sure the Volunteer Sea Rescue Association would be well insured. There are lots and lots of people who service life rafts in Fremantle.



Great Circle's emergency food is heat sealed and vacuumed-packed concentrated food. Each portion provides essential survival nourishment while conserving natural body fluids. Each pack contains eight food portions for accurate rationing and provides a food value to a minimum of 10,000kj per each 500 gram pack. Unaffected by heat, cold or shock they are individually marked with the month and year of manufacture and have a shelf life of three years.
Great Circle Emergency Food rations are produced under ISO 9001-2000 manufacture and quality control directives and manufactured in strict accordance with SOLAS, IMO and MSC regulations.

SOLAS MSC. 218(82). Amendment to the LSA Code
E.C. Directive 98/83 DT. 03.11.98
ISO Standard 18813:2006

Ingredients:
Flour
Sugar
Palm oil
Peanut protein powder
Glucose
Food additives: ammonium hydrogen carbonate, sodium hydrogen carbonate.



Gas bottle?
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Old 01-11-2020, 06:57   #9
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Re: Look what I bought for a pittance today!

Gas bottles aren't cheap.
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Old 01-11-2020, 08:03   #10
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Re: Look what I bought for a pittance today!

Frequently the most expensive boat you will ever own is free (or cost a pittance). The important aspect is that this is a piece of life saving equipment to be deployed when all other options to save your life are exhausted. Sometimes you just have to pay the piper. Life rafts are a specialty item and very expensive to purchase and maintain. Each individual gets to decide if his life is worth the investment.
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:00   #11
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Re: Look what I bought for a pittance today!

Good luck with it. Who knows, you it may indeed work out well for you. Sometimes one does come across a good deal. Please keep us informed as you work out the details.
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:23   #12
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Re: Look what I bought for a pittance today!

Is the raft PVC or butyl rubber? If PVC from 2011, its at or very the end of its design life. If butyl, could have another 10 years or more. But you either learn how to service it yourself or pay a professional to do it. I have never heard of a free liferaft service - my 6 man Viking costs a fortune every 3 years but then again I'm worth it.. Aren't you?

Try finding a local pool or pond where you can inflate it for real, get in & see how it works. Then deflate it & get it properly serviced - you will need to refill the gas bottle but to me its worth having a look at the real thing you are carrying around as the LAST CHANCE to save your life (& your crew) when ALL ELSE HAS FAILED.
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:46   #13
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Re: Look what I bought for a pittance today!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYSail View Post
I have always heard recertifications cost around $1,000 if not more....... in the US that is. I passed on one as the cost brand new was slightly above the used cost plus recertification.

Good luck
In the last five years we have had our Zodiac 6 person life raft serviced in New Orleans and Portland, ME. Each service cost somewhere b/wn $500 to $600.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:31   #14
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Re: Look what I bought for a pittance today!

Why not pop down to the local RFD (now called Survitec) shop with a picture of your new raft's model details and have a chat? I've found the staff there are brilliant. In my experience they're geared for mostly large corporates and govt (especially military) and staff appreciate private individuals don't have the same budget. I'm sure they can give far better advice as to the cost and details of a service than keyboard warriors like us.

As an aside it's likely you have a very good quality raft OP. RFD rafts have a very good reputation, certainly far better than some cheap junk valises that are becoming more and more common.

OP mentioned he/she in Freemantle.
Survitec
24 Hines Road
OCONNOR
Fremantle 6163
T: +61 8 9331 4000
E: western.australia@survitecgroup.com
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:45   #15
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Exclamation Re: Look what I bought for a pittance today!

Quote:
Originally Posted by coopec43 View Post
I assume you'd have to pay for consumables. I'm quite sure the Volunteer Sea Rescue Association would be well insured. There are lots and lots of people who service life rafts in Fremantle.



Great Circle's emergency food is heat sealed and vacuumed-packed concentrated food. Each portion provides essential survival nourishment while conserving natural body fluids. Each pack contains eight food portions for accurate rationing and provides a food value to a minimum of 10,000kj per each 500 gram pack. Unaffected by heat, cold or shock they are individually marked with the month and year of manufacture and have a shelf life of three years.
Great Circle Emergency Food rations are produced under ISO 9001-2000 manufacture and quality control directives and manufactured in strict accordance with SOLAS, IMO and MSC regulations.

SOLAS MSC. 218(82). Amendment to the LSA Code
E.C. Directive 98/83 DT. 03.11.98
ISO Standard 18813:2006

Ingredients:
Flour
Sugar
Palm oil
Peanut protein powder
Glucose
Food additives: ammonium hydrogen carbonate, sodium hydrogen carbonate.



Gas bottle?
I was very interested to see the peanut protein powder. Someone very near and dear to me is allergic to peanut protein. Just imagine, you've got into the liferaft, and got so hungry as to want to feed, and one of the people goes into anaphylaxis!

Thank you for this life giving warning!

Ann
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