My post had no intent to belittle. My apologies if you felt that.
Your original topic's title made this almost mandatory reading, so I entered the hallowed halls of SN, cap in hand as a newbie on this forum
. I see an extravagant claim that essentially says don't use liferafts, they will kill you. I read on ... seeing many sing your praises and hardly a person had commented on your damning and inaccurate generalization.
You are right... it's a very sobering and serious issue and given that, I was more focused more on calling out the dangerous, and incorrect generalization than perhaps thinking too much about how it might be received.
When it comes to issues like this, perhaps I can be a little abrupt. My intent is to offer facts. However, my first post had no scathing criticism and simply focused on stating some other facts that rafts can be righted. I also posted a non-controversial post showing some real-world examples of rafts that do what you claim they can't.
Later posters rallied to your "defense" criticizing attempts by anyone to correct you on the death trap claim. I found it bizarre on a subject that's about saving lives, that posters were more concerned about taking a "thin blue line" stance than possibly seeing any merit in opposing views. Most of those responses were pretty pompous and dismissive (including one of yours) by implying that opponents clearly didn't have a clue, were wet behind the ears, and should post some real world experience i.e. any criticism can't possibly be real world !! My obviously useless input must have come from sitting on the couch reading sailing magazines or using Google.
That's why I posted an admittedly sarcastic summary of this entire topic. It was cynical because it does come across as a dramatic sea rescue of an empty raft, a non life threatening situation, yet received by the SN disciples as "sobering" and heroic. The serious point you raised of self righting, was virtually ignored. That revelation of the thin blue line was more sobering !!
Standing back from it, you must surely see this unhealthy pack behavior on this important topic? Even proponents of the Pudgy seemed blinded by product loyalty than seeing all the flaws with that solution as a viable alternative to a raft.
It's too important to be glib with inaccuracies
and it's more important to get input from sources that have something to contribute. Sorry if you feel bruised, but in a way, you brought criticism on yourself. Contrary to your post, I don't get off on "lashing" as you put it, and frankly see your point on that as a bit of dramatic defensiveness. I am more motivated by reality and accuracy.
Going forward, I'll probably resort to more lurking and less posting if the thin blue line is more important in SN than more tolerance of opposing and experienced views.
You know my posts from other places... hopefully you can see through my sarcasm on mine in this topic.
That was a very nice post. Thank you for the clarification.
First, if I have in any way painted that Liferafts are dangerous or will kill you, then I have poorly presented my point of view. That was in no way my intention - at all. I wanted to make clear that not all rafts are created equal. A raft is not a raft. In the example we saw, that raft could not have been righted unless done so by a freak accident of mother nature. I suspect any raft of similar design would face the same challenge. It was obvious from what we saw that no one was crawling up on that raft. The fact that it was also partially deflated was another damning. Anyonje who might have trusted their lives in that product (or God forbid left their not yet sunk vessel for that raft) were in for a terrible realization. My other point that I wanted to make was that even a few hours later, with an exact fix and drift, only a few hours from the USCG station, the coast guard could not find that raft. More than anything, that was sobering.
Does it mean that anyone died in that raft? No. Most likely not. I never said that. Whether there was or was not someone in there I believe is not the point. The point was a more generalized discussion about rafts and what I saw in the real world, versus the really nice pictures you see when going through the internet or any marketing propaganda. This is not, once again, to say that all rafts have problems. However, I think there may be some inherent short comings worth discussing. In all things there are tradeoffs, but the point of all of this is a hard lined view at what might make a good raft, a bad raft, or even options outside of a raft and where it might be acceptable (or not). The 'Pudgy-type', as I discussed in a previous post, has many short comings too and is not the right thing for everyone. However, I do not think it should be dismissed out of hand.
With the exception of the raft I saw, please do not missunderstand my criticism of a product as me not liking the product. I criticize my C400 - but would not hesitiate to buy it again depending on some factors. I also criticize Valiants - a boat I love and know well. Would I buy one? You betcha, depending on the use and some factors. Tradoffs. Everything has them. Rafts are no different.
But this discussion is about safety. Safety has to take a higher ground in my opinion. You see something you dissagree with - TELL ME! This is serious stuff. I take it very serious. Everyone should. And what I saw, again in my opinion, was very important. It was the basis of a very good discussion and and some opposing views. And I hope that, nieve or not, someone might actually read this thread and consider it when deciding on what raft to purchase to potentially save their families/crew. How big are the balalsts? How is it deployed? It is theoretically 'rightable', but will that happen in teh real world? Can the 'self-rightable' really work in teh real world, and what has to happen for it to be righted? Maybe they make an informed decision to buy a raft-boat instead? Maybe they do neither. But it at least is a more informed decision.
Paul commented earlier about me (and excuse as I do not have the exact quote) refining my opinion more in line with the point you and he were talking about. He called it a Internet miracle. Well Paul & WHL, I have never had a problem doing that. I have had some darned good debates on here before which really did end up changing my point of view. I am not here to win any arguments. If I feeel strongly about something, I may stay my ground. But I have always tried to stand back and see alternative point of view. I have also managed to get through to a few people and change them.
I believe the failure of the internet is that you cannot inflect tone, that people will do and say things that they would not do in person (God forbid), and that some people pretend to know stuff but have only discovered it via the web which can have biased information, if accurate at all. There also seems to be this pride on the internet of winning the argument, through whatever means necessary, and geting in the last word. I don't buy that - though I am as guilty as anyone of letting some commetns get under my skin. I'm still human!
I hope you will not restrict yourself to browsing. Not here. That is not what this place is about. We try to have a more friendly and gentlemanly discussion, but that does not always work. I will say that the atmosphere here is different than SA which is why I participate here and not SA. The atmosphere here is generally very friendly. I have met many people here and call them on the phone from time to time to say hello. We joke around, but more family-friendly than other places.
Get to know us and me. Don;t let a very contentious debate shadow your view on the whole. And do not be afraid to tell me I am wrong if you feel I am! I am not perfect - just a guy cruising with his kids again and enjoying a little blessing and fortune that we have been given. You cruised with your family. I bet you know what I mean!
All the best to you and Paul and thank you for your participation and first hand input.