Choosing a life raft - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 38 Old 03-16-2007
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Rigging the life-raft container on the stern, where it can just be dropped or rolled off seems the ideal choice.
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post #32 of 38 Old 03-16-2007
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"Rigging the life-raft container on the stern,"
I'd call that the worst possible place to put it.

First, you've got 75 lbs. of weight at the far end of the boat so you will increase pitching motions.

Second, you've now got the cannister someplace where it is extremely easy for collision or green water to rip it off the boat. Much worse, in every way, than a midships cannister mount. Which is pretty much agreed to be vulnerable to being carried away by green water anyway.
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post #33 of 38 Old 03-16-2007
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I rig mine in the cockpit. It is easy to get to, safe from being washed overboard and it reduces the volume in the cockpit. I store it on the cabin top while in harbor but offshore the cockpit is its home. It is lashed down and I also have a knife duct taped to the fiberglass canister so you can cut it free even if you come up from the cabin naked in the middle of the night.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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post #34 of 38 Old 03-16-2007
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I would recommend the in-cockpit location as well.

It is generally easier to get the liferaft deployed if the canister is in the cockpit. There is generally someone in the cockpit most of the time, unlike the deck, and if stored in the forward end of the cockpit, it will not significantly increase the pitching of the boat, or be exposed to green water very often.

As Robert has pointed out, it also has the benefit of reducing the volume of water the cockpit can hold in case the boat is pooped.

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post #35 of 38 Old 03-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
"Rigging the life-raft container on the stern,"
I'd call that the worst possible place to put it.
It rather depends on the shape of your stern. Lots of cockpits pretty well include the stern, especially the swim deck variety. However, if you find lifting 75lbs out of a locker in a seaway or having another ankle biter cluttering a small cockpit, go ahead. As for green water, it gets pretty well anywhere when it wants to, usually at the time you are struggling with that 75 lbs canister. Pitching movement, yes, 75lbs is the equivalent of a small crew member sitting astern. I don't think I would notice the additional effect. Then there is the awkward issue of getting into it, once deployed, some places are easier to start from. I agree forward of the cockpit is not a good choice.
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post #36 of 38 Old 03-16-2007
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I have a very old Switlik raft. I bought it used and have had it for about 15 years. I get it regularly repacked, which involves replacing all the batteries and other "consumables". I worried about the age and asked the guy that repacks them. He said that they had never failed a Switlik because of fabric failure. Every 5 years you have to pay for pressure tests on the CO2 cartridge and other things. But a good raft has a long lifetime.
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post #37 of 38 Old 03-16-2007 Thread Starter
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Hey thanks again everyone for the thoughtful input. I'll keep looking for a 2 or 3 year old used raft that has been well maintained. I like the idea of it being in the cockpit and will find a suitable place for it. I assume a cockpit location dictates a canister not a valise?
Tom
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post #38 of 38 Old 03-16-2007
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The question of canister or valise is something that I thought was so obvious that I didnít even consider it a real question. If you have the liferaft stored below and you drop the rig you may find something laying on the companionway that blocks you from getting the raft up on deck. It is after all a large bulky heavy awkward object. Thatís just one example and I can think of others but the point is, keep the raft somewhere where you have the best chance of getting it launched. Donít put it under something on in a locker.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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