Originally Posted by svHyLyte
With regard to your diagrams, I don't understand keeping your ditch-bag below and away from the life-raft. In the even of catastrophic flooding and or a fire, having to go below to grab the ditch-bag may be difficult or impossible. I'd want it (keep ours) right next to the life-raft for immediate deployment. Non?
In principle I would agree, but given the layout of the aft lazarette (where the life raft is stowed) it would be hard to fit it amonst all the other gear that needs a home in that space (stuff that I use almost every day and which needs to be accessable). It would probably take no more than 30 seconds to move the ditch kit from it's location at the nav station to the cockpit. BR's hull is steel and so I can't imagine a flooding situation that would progress so rapidly that we couldn't get the kit to the raft. A fire is another matter -- it can be sudden and catastropic -- and if that were to occur we'd have to leave the boat without the gear in the kit and make do with what's packed in the raft.
That said.....so much of sail boating is managing trade-offs. Keeping the ditch kit below and out of the way, yet readily accessible vs. having it right under the life raft is a trade-off. The quotation, "The perfect is the enemy of the good," applies.