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  #121  
Old 04-25-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
But here is another sobering fact - a friend bought a brand new life raft and did one trip 3/4 of the way around the world (eight months). When the raft was just 2 years old, it was opened for servicing and was immediately condemned. Prolonged water ingress into the canister on deck had rendered the liferaft useless. Lucky he didn't need to use it.
Wow!!!!

Would that be considered a failure of the design? One would reasonably expect the canister to be water tight unless he damaged it.
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  #122  
Old 04-25-2010
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Arch - I gotta know...are you really advocating freakin' balloons? I thought you were kidding until I read back through this. Surely you have a modicum of...I don't know....smarts?

WunHung - here's what I see as the very interesting dichotomy in this thread and your post...

What you're saying is 100% right. No doubt.

BUT, it's from a racer's perspective. In other words, serious racers prepare for everything because they HAVE to (per the regs) and because they have the crew (number of "able" bodies) to deal with nuclear conditions. That's their jobs as racers. And, honestly, I would say that in many cases (true off-shore racing notwithstanding) it's easier - because it's a somewhat "controlled" environment.

What you're seeing here is the "cruiser view". From what I've seen hanging out here and SA, most cruisers go shorthanded. And most cruisers go beyond the bounds of the "controlled environment" for obvious reasons. We are either doing this all over the sea with a single playmate, or with a wife and a couple of kids. Or, worse, we are doing this singlehanded (if nobody likes us).

Add into this mix the lack of safety REQUIREMENTS on cruising - and you only have human nature left. Cheap. Willing to risk it to some degree. Etc.

Now - in light of these facts - think through the life raft scenario. Will a cruising family - or a singlehander - be able to right a 4 person raft (or whatever it is based on the occupancy of the boat)? That's what CD was thinking through I think (totally projecting here). Like me, he has a wife and 2 young kids aboard. If they go down in the piss and the LR turtles...they are all done. That 4-6 man LR is not coming back up - especially if it's up to mom and the kids.

Think about that. That's reality. It's saying nothing about LR design. But it's saying everything about how cruising is done. You really have to understand that perspective.

It all comes down to man-power. Equipment is secondary. If you think of designing a LR for my family...a dad, a mom, and two kids under 11...it becomes a very, very complicated affair...especially if dad is gone. That LR sure as hell better not EVER flip - or at least it better self right....period. Because THAT'S who's being saved.

Does that necessitate a change in the "cruising view"? Does that mean we shouldn't be going out at all? Or does it require a complete rethinking of safety?

THOSE are the most important questions in my mind.
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Last edited by smackdaddy; 04-25-2010 at 10:23 PM.
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  #123  
Old 04-25-2010
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Balloons:
Honest, just ask a licensed balloonist if there's gonna be any concern about launching a balloon during a gale.

Oh, and have a camera ready to take a picture of the look on their face, OK? I wanna see that.
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  #124  
Old 04-26-2010
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Liferafts and short-handed

Smackdaddy.
I admit to spending most of my time on the water racing inshore and offshore. (Mea Culpa - hangs head in shame ). However, when I'm not, I'm probably doing a short-handed delivery (no different than cruising). A number of deliveries have been well offshore. I have also cruised with family (spouse, 2 kids) mainly coastal, but some in rough conditions.

I can't comment on your post where you said something to the affect that cruisers equip themselves cheaply and have no regs to follow (other than basic coastguard local rules).

I use the ISAF Offshore Special Regs for guidance even when cruising because they have been compiled by very credible sailors over years of refinement from tragic events like the Fastnet and Syd-Hobart. They make good sense so I wouldn't want to reinvent the wheel.

With respect to righting a raft, there is a technique that works even for people of smaller stature and weight. It may not be easy for some, but it is possible (probably not for a single kid younger than late teens). As I mentioned, I have righted a big commercial raft single handed (and I ain't no spring chicken either LOL). It was definitely not a cakewalk but it can be done. Most of the energy was consumed getting onto the upturned raft and not the actual righting of it. A raft with an integral boarding ramp would have made that easier, but this one only had the evil webbing ladder.

All the offshore and most coastal rafts are designed and equipped to be righted. A small 4 or 6 person raft for a shorthanded crew will be easier. In terms of choice of raft, starting with one that is self-righting and has an inflatable boarding ramp would be a bonus !!

Re: self-rescue... I was reflecting on days of windsurfing.... now there's a non-sinkable craft that can sail in heavy air and surf, and coupled with a drysuit and a back-pack grab bag of survival gear, self-rescue might even be fun !!! Don't a lot of cruisers have sailboards???

hmmmm (thinks...4 person folding sailboard....... leaves heading for the drawing board)....>>>>

Last edited by wunhunglo; 04-26-2010 at 03:52 AM.
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  #125  
Old 04-26-2010
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Okay - so maybe I sensationalized a bit. But it sounded good. BTW - did I say "cheap"? I meant "thrifty".

I like your approach however; mom, dad, chuck, and mookie rockin' it back to shore:

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  #126  
Old 04-26-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Balloons:
Honest, just ask a licensed balloonist if there's gonna be any concern about launching a balloon during a gale.

Oh, and have a camera ready to take a picture of the look on their face, OK? I wanna see that.
HS,

I'm beginning to wonder if you are taking those balloon comments seriously?

Strictly for comic relief.
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  #127  
Old 04-26-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post

Originally Posted by Omatako
But here is another sobering fact - a friend bought a brand new life raft and did one trip 3/4 of the way around the world (eight months). When the raft was just 2 years old, it was opened for servicing and was immediately condemned. Prolonged water ingress into the canister on deck had rendered the liferaft useless. Lucky he didn't need to use it.

Wow!!!!

Would that be considered a failure of the design? One would reasonably expect the canister to be water tight unless he damaged it.
I have missed that and I am glad that you have brought it to our atention.

I have an important advice for the ones that carry the canister on deck:

Don't seat or let anyone sit on the canister. If you read the life-raft instructions you will see that this prohibition will be there.

I say that it is important because I see lots of people sitting on canisters (not on my boat ), sometimes two people at the same time. I know that the canister seems pretty solid and they are just on the right place to sit, but this case shows the importance of the complete integrity of the canister and why manufacturers prohibit sitting there.

I am not saying that it was that (sitting) the reason that lead to the water ingress or if the canister was compromised in any other way or if it had a manufacturing defect. If it was a design failure we would have heard about it, because hundreds or thousands of life-rafts would have to be called for reparation and similar cases would have been known.

Regards

Paulo

Last edited by PCP; 04-26-2010 at 10:33 AM.
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  #128  
Old 04-26-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wunhunglo View Post
So... for a topic that was billed as as very important, it seems to have deteriorated into the following sequence of events:

- a boat owner with a dramatic tale of an empty life raft that would possibly make the core of an episode of CSI.
- a declaration that life rafts are non-righting death traps, with no realistic consideration of current raft design
- an objection by a minority of readers that have some accurate information and call him out on the overstatement
- a rally of the OP's disciples who praise his omnipotence while dismissing the valid criticism of the "death trap" claim,
- and speaking of drowning, all the valid contributions from a few posters on current liferaft specifications seem to have been drowned by the disciples songs of praise, and the noise of Architeuthis' incomprehensible sermons from his pulpit.

A Classic Internet Moment and a topic lost in partisan dogma !!!


Moving right along >>>>>>>> nothing more to add here.
That was uncalled for. Did I wrong you somewhere that I did not know about? SOme other thread maybe? Some other forum? is there some reason you felt compelled to say that?

I have tried to put together some first hand accounts of what I have seen and open a discussion on the matter, which you caustically picked apart with cynicism. You dissagree with it? Fine. Let's discuss it. But don't belittle me, SN, and the other posters with your sarcasm and tacky comments. Other posters will read your comments and decide to themselves that there is NO WAY they will post their experiences and opinions in fear of getting a good lashing from you or other posters that know it all already. It's not what you say, it is how you say it.

Moving right along in an effort to make this thread a reasonable source of information again-

Please discuss the type of 12 person raft that you flipped. Mfg and type would be appreciated. What was the sea state? What was the sea temperature? What safety gear were you wearing? How long had you been in the water? Night or day? Was it fully inflated? How do you flip a raft with people inside and how were they breathing?

I am not saying that a life raft cannot be flipped, I am saying that in reality, it will be difficult at best. For example, how in the world are you supposed to climb up on a raft in a 4 foot sea? 8 foot? 12+ foot? As much sailing as you have done, you certainly can apprecaite the reality of doing that. The sea spray on that would make it very slick. Getting the straps, getting on top of the raft, keeping from slipping and falling over while you try to stand up, in cold water your ability to function will be quickly deteriorating, the weight of the water in the canopy acting against you - is it realistic to assume this can be done by the typical yachty with a typical Yachties Life raft? I am not talking about a commercial Life Pod.

Please unsderstand that my Ford Pickup is designed to get 22 mpg. It never has. The reality of it doing that is not what can be achieved in the real world. I have no doubt that there are people that have flipped their life rafts. Perhaps the newer ones? Perhaps some of the older ones. But how many conditions were met in order for them to do it? Could the typical cruiser do it in those conditions? Shouldn't a buying decisino be based upon its ability to not flip over in the first place? Has the real-world difficulty of one man (or woman) flipping a life raft in real world survival conditions been fully explored and has the typical purcahser considered his/her ability to flip X-raft as one of the most important criteria before they buy?

This is what I was trying to get across. I was trying to make people think about real-world scenarios. If this thread does nothing else, I hope it makes people think. What I saw is what I saw. I am not stating what a raft 'can do', I am telling you what I saw one of them do in real life. No sugar coating. And I suspect that if you had been there, some of your opinions on this would be different. Some would not. No problem. But at least grant me the courtesy of a gentleman's response and appreciate the fact that I am taking a lot of time away from my family and the gazillions of things we have to do before our next leg to relay our experiences and opinions. It is all in the interest of helping others here and giving back to the community. Otherwise, why participate in a forum at all?

Brian
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  #129  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wunhunglo View Post
...
- and speaking of drowning, all the valid contributions from a few posters on current liferaft specifications seem to have been drowned by the disciples songs of praise, and the noise of Architeuthis' incomprehensible sermons from his pulpit.

A Classic Internet Moment and a topic lost in partisan dogma !!!
....
- Surviving is a lot more than buying a liferaft. It's a laminate of many layers of defining needs, equipment selection, preparation, maintenance, training, more training, use, and individual mental and physical stamina.

Moving right along >>>>>>>> nothing more to add here.
One hung,
Well put. Not sure what it is about Sailnet that there seems to be more importance put on we-are-in-the-club-and-all-in-agreement, than on getting the facts right. All boards suffer from this at times, but SN seems to lead when it comes to sailing boards I visit. Somehow you are called out as a cynic, while posting floating balloons is cheered as a liferaft alternative. Weird.

Your last comment about prep and training is certainly true. And in a small way, this thread probably added to a few peoples prep, training and understanding.

Paul L
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  #130  
Old 04-26-2010
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One hung,
Well put. Not sure what it is about Sailnet that there seems to be more importance put on we-are-in-the-club-and-all-in-agreement, than on getting the facts right. All boards suffer from this at times, but SN seems to lead when it comes to sailing boards I visit. Somehow you are called out as a cynic, while posting floating balloons is cheered as a liferaft alternative. Weird.

Your last comment about prep and training is certainly true. And in a small way, this thread probably added to a few peoples prep, training and understanding.

Paul L
Paul - most of my history here on SN has been dealing with this "we-are-in-the-club-and-all-in-agreement" issue in one way or another (FightClub, BFS, LFS, AFOC, etc.). On the one hand, you're right, there has been a lot of this kind of stuff in the past from what I've seen. But I honestly don't see it here in this thread.

Personally, I like CD a lot - though I've never met him. He's been one of the most stand-up guys that this forum has ever had (even when banning me) and was willing call out the "club mentality", even on the club, when it got too whacky. That said I don't consider myself his "disciple" - just one who's willing to hear his side of things based on his history here.

I understand, appreciate and agree with the basic premise of what he's saying. That is when thinking about this whole thing as a cruising family with young kids, or as a singlehander, current LR design has some serious holes and poses some serious risks that should be thought about and discussed.

And to me, there are two sides to that discussion - 1) LR design and reality of use, and 2) cruiser mentality and approach and where that in itself becomes "dangerous".

CD already admitted that he generalized too much with his categorical statement about a flipped LR - but I understand why he made it based on the above.

So maybe your beef is still with the icon and title. Or maybe your beef is something else entirely. But you have to admit, it's been a great discussion thus far.
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