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  #1  
Old 02-16-2011
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Liferaft mount

I'm trying to decide on where (and how) to attach my liferaft. The options are:

1. On deck in front of the companionway
+ Nice safe place and out of the way
- Smaller helmsmen won't be able to see directly ahead

2. On the pushpit - inside or outside
+ Easy to launch when in need
- Could get damaged more easily?

Besides the location I'm wondering if one really needs one of those rather expensive liferaft holders. Or is it ok to strap the container down with just a strong strap/belt?

How did you mount your life raft?
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Old 02-16-2011
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If it won't be in the way I would suggest inside the pushpit. A stainless tubing mount would be the best way to keep it in place. They sell one here Liferaft Cradle
but if you incorporate your existing metalwork it need not be as complicated as the one in the link.
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Old 02-16-2011
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In many cases expensive liferaft holders are equipped with hydrostatic releases, which will release the raft automatically if the boat sinks. Mounting it in the cockpit, not on the pushpit rails or forward of the companionway, is probably the best place for it. If it is on the pushpit rails, it can be damaged or torn loose, as is the case if it is on deck. In the cockpit, it won't block the view of the helmsman either.

It would help a lot if you said what kind of boat you had, since someone here may own one and have suggestions for liferaft canister placement.
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Old 02-17-2011
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I haven't planned on getting a hydrostatic release. Yet. Maybe worth thinking about...

The boat is a Bavaria Cruiser 32. See attached photo. On the inside of the pushpit might work, towards the front end, away from the backstays. Or on the outside, aft, port side (my first thought).
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Liferaft mount-dscn8625.jpg  
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Old 02-17-2011
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I wouldn't put it outside - too prone to damage either at sea or in harbor. With the opening transom and the lack of rail across the stern your options are limited. I think my first choice would be forward in the cockpit well and second choice on the cabin top ahead of the dodger. Below is a pic from Bavaria's site and one of a liferaft on the cabin top of a Bavaria.
Attached Thumbnails
Liferaft mount-3.jpg   Liferaft mount-2.jpg  
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Old 02-17-2011
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The problem with the cabintop location IMHO is that it is vulnerable to damage there.
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Old 02-17-2011
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Regarding mounting: Be aware that you need your raft in "survival conditions." Its attachment to the boat must be such that it will not be carried away. Similarly, it is important for the crew to be able to get to and launch the raft immediately under the worst possible circumstances.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hwlovett View Post
Regarding mounting: Be aware that you need your raft in "survival conditions." Its attachment to the boat must be such that it will not be carried away. Similarly, it is important for the crew to be able to get to and launch the raft immediately under the worst possible circumstances.
Which is why I'm recommending it be mounted in the cockpit. Going forward to the cabintop is probably a less than good idea in those conditions, as is having it mounted on the stern rail—especially outside the railing.
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That boat doesn't leave many options. On a different boat with a full stern rail and the wheel farther forward it could be mounted inside the aft section of the rail. On this boat the cockpit well forward is the best choice I think.
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Old 02-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
In many cases expensive liferaft holders are equipped with hydrostatic releases, which will release the raft automatically if the boat sinks.
I've always sort of wondered how these things work.

Does the hydrostatic device have to be submerged to work? In which case do you have to wait for the boat to sink before the liferaft releases? And what if it doesn't work? No device is foolproof.

Or does it release when it gets wet? So the first wave that breaks over the back of your boat sets the liferaft free. And if it is tethered does it then automatically deploy?

When we got knocked down at sea, the cockpit filled with water. Three spare auto-inflate life preservers deployed in their locker before the cockpit drained. I prefer the old-fashioned knife made fast to the liferaft frame. At least it happens when I want it to happen.

And I think the spot ahead on the companionway is the best one, contrary to other opinion, I believe this to be the spot on my boat where there is least chance of damage. Nothing ever happens in this area on my boat. YMMV
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