Originally Posted by chef2sail
...I wasnt asking to prove a point. One of the things I am looking at is whether I should get a liferaft. We do travel in water on our trips of 50 degrees and you were right about the survuval times in that water. I know very few have life rafts. Do people have any special immersion suits etc?
The trouble with immersion suits is whether you will have time to get them on. I've worn my fair share and they are difficult to put on when standing ashore. I can't imagine it on a pitching deck, especially if there were a catastrophic event or if you had anything else to do at the same time.
The best way to mount a liferaft is either on top of the cabin, or on the stern rail, inside a box that auto deploys if underwater. In fact, I believe this is the only legal way to do so, if one is required aboard. You may end up in the water quicker than you expected, but since you're already wearing your PFD, you only need to survive long enough to swim to the deployed raft. No guarantee, but you should make it.
Admittedly, I have my raft in a raft locker between the two helms. It weighs roughly 80 pounds (6 place with canopy and pre-packaged survival equip), but I am absolutely assuming that during that crisis, just about anyone would find the strength to get it out, clip on the tether, toss her to leeward and pull the cord. Since someone has to be at the helm, even smashing into a container should allow enough time to do so. Nevertheless, auto deploy is better.
Rafts can be very expensive and are anywhere around a grand to recertify every three years. Its very common for people to let them go longer, especially if vacuum packaged and kept dry. These guys are excellent and sell recertified used rafts, if one is on a budget. They will be very honest with whether the raft is suitable for your needs and their opinion about its ongoing longevity.
Life Raft and Survival Equipment: Life Rafts, EPIRBS, PFDs, Safety Equipment