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post #1 of 8 Old 02-15-2013 Thread Starter
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life raft

Looking for a life raft and they are expensive to buy is there some places to buy some second hand??
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-15-2013
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Re: life raft

Rigs,

You can find used life rafts, but you need to be very careful when buying them. Often they are past their certification date, which means you'll need to lay out the money to have them inspected and re-certified (and that ain't gonna be cheap.)


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post #3 of 8 Old 02-15-2013
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My wife and I scoured eBay for months and checked out some sites that sold second hand liferafts. We looked reviews in magazines, watched youtube videos of tests and read reviews. I even read "Adrift" and bought a Viking maintenance trainer I met at a marina bar a few drinks to pick his brains. In the end we came to the conclusion a new liferaft was the best deal. The cost of inspecting and repacking a used liferaft can easily be $700 and the prices of new liferafts have come down substantially.

We just ordered a brand new 6 person offshore liferaft from Defender for $1599 plus $100 shipping. We simply could not afford a high end life raft and figure with a little help from our EPIRB, sat phone and handheld VHF we should not need to be in it more than a few days if our boat sinks beneath us. Fingers crossed.

We ordered a valise model to keep in a cockpit locker after reading a few stories where people died because they could not get to forward mounted container models deployed.

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post #4 of 8 Old 02-15-2013
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Re: life raft

I view liferafts like I look at Seatbelts in cars, emergancy chutes on skydivers, and a pony bottle when diving. I do not want to use them, but I want them to work when I do wind up needing them. As such, new is the only way to go.

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post #5 of 8 Old 02-16-2013
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Re: life raft

Becareful of buying one that's 10 or more years old because it's at about that point that the gas bottle needs hydrostatic testing. By the time you've done that and paid for a re-certification you're amost to the point where you could have bought a new raft. I would not buy one unless the raft had recently been re-certified by an approved service center.
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-16-2013
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Re: life raft

We just learned a lot talking to salesmen at the (Seattle) boat show-once you buy one, the 3-year clock starts ticking to when it needs recertification.

So the Winslow salesman suggested ordering one with a planned pickup/delivery date, so the clock starts ticking when we get it. So that'll be several years into the future.

But after learning they mostly have 13 year life spans, I think when the time comes I'll go new. It'll be expensive, but not a place where I want to cut expenses to take chances. (Maybe if I found one ready for its first 3 year certification a lot cheaper, I might consider it, but first I'd check the cost of the recertification.)
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-17-2013
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Re: life raft

Doesn't Boat US rent them out? Don't know what their timelines are, but if you can manage with only having a raft for for your long-haul passages, and then return it while you continue with coastwise cruising, that might be a viable alternative.
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-17-2013
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Re: life raft

Just take some swimming classes. They sale those orange life-vest used for a few bucks and a whistle couldn't hurt.



You can rent them for trips which is a cheaper option and plus you dont have to store them and they are maintained by a company.

You could buy a new one for atleast $1200

You could buy a used one... (Better get that inspected...) and then still pay 800-1200 but atleast get a much more rugged model then you would spending 1500 at westmarine. Lol, i feel bad for people who shop there...
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