Originally Posted by kwaltersmi
Good list CD. Well thought out.
How do you feel about life rafts?
I'm still not sold on radar as a necessity. I agree they are a nice luxury. However, they draw a lot of power when active. And the shipping lane example you gave about the ships bearing down on you and changing course at the last moment was because they were using radar, not because you were. So a radar REFLECTOR might be more valuable as a safety tool, though I've heard their effectiveness is debateable too.
I'm on the fence with EPIRB's too for circumnavigating and bluewater passagemaking. I believe that if you choose to circumnavigate and/or make a major bluewater passage you need to be fully confident in your sailing and survival skills and not rely one bit on rescue from others. If your EPIRB signal is being emitted, you've encountered a major problem and you're likely too far from help for it to matter in the immediate future. But I could be wrong. I'm a bit jaded about EPIRB's after having read Steve Callahan's book Adrift. His EPIRB didn't help and he was constantly rationing it's battery life.
Unless you have no value for your own life and do not care for the feelings of the family you leave behind, you have a responsibility to carry an EPIRB and take the basic precautions to preserve your life as you can. That is my philosophy. Other may differ, but I doubt few people that even go out without an EPIRB would not have pulled it when their ship went down. Keep that in mind.
Regarding the Liferaft, I will show you a pic:
I had it and hated lugging that thing around. It was a $5,000 pain in the but. But I have kids and I have a responsibility to them to do everything possible to be safe. If I wer eprimarily coastal, NO WAY I would buy it. THey are expensive, require lots of maintenance, are hard to see by, etc. Still, it is one of those things that you look back on and say, "Man am I glad I wasted $5,000 on that and never even used it." The alternative ain't so pretty.
Regarding the Radar Reflector, in my opinion, it should be required of EVERY boat that leave goes to sea, right along with life jackets. They are not expensive and can save multiple lives and property. I did not include everything in my list - but that was especially an oversight.