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post #2 of Old 07-15-2002
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Help Us Test Life Rafts

For those of you reading Doug''s invitation, thinking about the cost of flying into Phoenix to jump in a wave pool, and wondering about the worth of the event, I can tell you that my wife and I found it extraordinarily valuable when we did this in 2000 - our need to pick a life raft for our boat & some offshore sailing aside. When we weren''t battling waves to try and board the damn things (you can''t believe how dysfunctionally designed some rafts are...), we were trying to capsize and then right them. Doug''s team was perverse, tenacious and thorough; the experience was exhausting but eye-opening in the extreme. We now know *exactly* what to expect when launching, boarding & using our raft. When we weren''t testing rafts, we were rubbing shoulders with USCG rescue instructors, 406 Epirb experts, USAF "Egress Instructors" (they''re the ones that train the pilots in what to do after the flame dies and they land in the drink) and other similarly talented folks who ''dropped by''. We paid our own way there, got far more value than money spent (as did another cruising wanna-be couple who also flew in at their own expense) and neither my wife nor I remember a damn thing from about 8 p.m. each evening until 6 a.m. the next morning...but boy, did we have fun!

Highly recommended...

Jack Tyler
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