Originally Posted by tommays
If there going to repack and give you a Certificate for 3 more years whos standard would they be working to ?
The manufacturer's standard. You should pick a re-packer who has been certified by your raft manufacturer.
See the USCG "GUIDE FOR INSPECTION & REPAIR OF
LIFESAVING EQUIPMENT" at http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvic/pdf/1960s/n2-63.pdf
The relevant paragraph from pages 19 and 20 is below:
II. LIFE RAFTS
A. Rigid Types
B. Inflatable Types
1. Except for external examination of the container and stowage of the equipment, this type of raft should be inspected and tested only at one of the inflatable life raft manufacturer's approved servicing facilities. The inspector assigned to witness servicing of inflatable life rafts at a servicing facility should use the manufacturer’s Coast Guard approved servicing manual to evaluate the repairs, conduct tests, and approve the servicing and repacking of the rafts. Each manufacturer's servicing manual contains a listing of the minor repairs that can be accomplished at a. servicing facility. Also contained in this manual is a listing of the major repairs which require the return of a raft to the manufacturer. Cognizant OCMI's should be provided with an office copy of the manufacturer's service manual to facilitate the inspection of inflatable life rafts.
My guess is that the reference to the "inspector assigned to witness servicing of inflatable life rafts at the servicing facility" may be that for which the inspector wants to charge the $90, so maybe he's not ripping anyone off, he's just confused as to what type of boat the raft is going on. Bottom line is -- if the USCG doesn't require a raft on your boat, you don't need to follow their guidelines in inspecting it, and you won't need a USCG certificate from the inspector. That said, you should only use a repacker who's been certified by your manufacturer.
I'd recommend that you witness the repacking if at all possible. You'll learn a lot about your raft and be able to see all the gear that goes inside.