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  #21  
Old 03-09-2013
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Re: Life Raft Purchase

I Buying in England you can have the raft re-rubberized within the factor.
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  #22  
Old 03-10-2013
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Re: Life Raft Purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post

1. If they make the canopy top with a spherical dome, supported by the light weight alum7000 post (camping tent). It will right itself every time.
I think the problem is getting the aluminum post to self deploy. It would have to be longer than a folded raft. Then chafing would seem like a concern too. See next comment.

Quote:
2. The life raft should be user serviceable, the gas cartridge can be replaced without repacking.
While losing gas is a failure point, the number one reason that you re-certify is the rubber. Moisture, in particular, leads to degradation. Chafing, failing seam glue, etc, could all cause a raft to fail.

As I think about it, moving a raft around continuously is probably bad for it. It may be in and out of the rain when transporting, but more likely it will get bumped and bruised continuously. The tightly folded raft starts to subtly wear at the folds and seams. That will cause premature failure.
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  #23  
Old 03-10-2013
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Re: Life Raft Purchase

A few years back I joined a STCW course for the life raft and survival suit drill in a heated indoor swimming pool. I had a 6 man raft on my boat at the time and was wondering what it would be like to use this and the survival suits.

In a heated indoor pool, without waves, wind or anything to bother us it was not easy. The survival suits are very restrictive. The ladder to enter the life raft slips beneath the raft when you try to enter. It's hard to climb in. And we were in the easiest conditions possible. We inverted the raft in the pool and then tried to right it. We did it after struggle, again not easy in perfect conditions.

I'd recommend to anyone contemplating this safety gear to practice with it. Also agree that dealing with a knowledgable supplier local to you like LRSE in RI is a good idea. You'll need someone who can do inspections and repacks periodically for any of the inflatable stuff (rafts, MOMs, etc).
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Re: Life Raft Purchase

Another things to consider is the cost of continually re-certifying a raft that one is transporting from boat to boat.

Generally, if your raft is vacuum packed, the manufacturers recommend re-certifying every 3 years. If not, then every year. However, all offshore races that I'm familiar with require a 12 month re-certification, regardless. Not to mention that you have a properly equipped raft in the first place, not just a single tube with no canopy, for example.

Re-certification for a 6 place raft, with essentially nothing wrong, is approx $1,000. If seems or rubber has failed, it will be more.

If you're going to haul one half way around kingdom come, there is no doubt that you will have to budget an annual inspection at dollars like this.
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  #25  
Old 03-10-2013
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Re: Life Raft Purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
Here are the parameters:
1. You don't want to rent one just like you never lease a car, You like to keep it until you die
They don't last that long. 15, maybe 20 years tops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
After taking the safety at sea course and played with the life raft, I walked away with a feeling that the current design need lot of improvement, just poor engineering, inadequate testing and rush to market. Unfortunately, without much competition, this will continue.

1. If they make the canopy top with a spherical dome, supported by the light weight alum7000 post (camping tent). It will right itself every time.

2. The life raft should be user serviceable, the gas cartridge can be replaced without repacking.
What expertise do you have to reach this judgment?

From my perspective as a degreed naval architect and marine engineer with over three decades of marine experience of various sorts but only incidental contact with SOLAS and life-saving equipment the aluminum post idea would result in cascading issues with chafe and puncture. The air bladders in canopies are quite simple and elegant. Leaks can be repaired while deployed with the included kit.

You can service your own life raft. If you want it certified afterward you have to get the required training from the manufacturer. The gas cartridge is the least worrisome part of inspection, repack, and recertification. I'm a very DIY guy with a lot of applicable skills and education. I have professionals care for my life raft.

Have you repacked an inflatable PFD? Do you realize how many people accidentally inflate the PFD trying to fit a new bobbin and gas cartridge?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Re-certification for a 6 place raft, with essentially nothing wrong, is approx $1,000. If seems or rubber has failed, it will be more.
Vane Brothers in MD is doing mine, including scheduling inflation so I can watch, for $400US plus any replacement flares, water, and food. No shipping cost since I'm delivering and picking up. Easily $100 in gas driving to and fro.
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Re: Life Raft Purchase

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
.....Vane Brothers in MD is doing mine, including scheduling inflation so I can watch, for $400US plus any replacement flares, water, and food. No shipping cost since I'm delivering and picking up. Easily $100 in gas driving to and fro.
Now that you mention it, the grand that I recall was from shipping to/from the the Winslow factory itself, including repacked supplies.

Still, your deal of $500 to $600, all in, sounds pretty good. I think LRSE will recert for about $800, under normal conditions. You are always welcome to view the inflation with them too.
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  #27  
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Re: Life Raft Purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Now that you mention it, the grand that I recall was from shipping to/from the the Winslow factory itself, including repacked supplies.

Still, your deal of $500 to $600, all in, sounds pretty good. I think LRSE will recert for about $800, under normal conditions. You are always welcome to view the inflation with them too.
This will be my first experience with Vane Brothers. I'll report back.
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  #28  
Old 03-10-2013
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Re: Life Raft Purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
This will be my first experience with Vane Brothers. I'll report back.
Dave -
Please ask whether they will service and / or certify Winslow rafts. My experience is that Winslow won't authorize anyone else to certify or pack their rafts -- consequently no one else will touch them. Winslow charges $1000 and up for re-certification and packing and only works from a few locations (meaning watching is difficult and additional expense for shipping is to be expected).

Winslow told me that at 10 y/o about 10% of the rafts are no longer servicable with the failure rate increasing from thereon. I think about 20 years would be *max life* with the predictable life span significantly less.

Bottom line, I think that anyone (in this case RockDawg) buying a raft without a boat is -- while perhaps well intentioned -- ridiculous. Better ideas: get licensed and travel with a 2 meter HAM radio; buy and travel with a couple of PLBs for the crew; heck, even buying a couple of survival suits seems more appropriate if "into the water" is really the scenario driving this issue. Of course, there are raft rentals out there too (when / if necessary).

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Old 03-10-2013
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Re: Life Raft Purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
They don't last that long. 15, maybe 20 years tops.
Geezzz... that is not my point. I meant I am committed to buy one, and not rent one. Have a sense of humor and don't be so constipated. Come down from your high horse, you may get more respect.

I may die in 5 years, we care. If it is last for 15 years, so it is what it is.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post

What expertise do you have to reach this judgment?
With my common sense and as a "Rocket Scientist". I am sure I can make a judgment on any item that I am interested in buying.

[quote=SVAuspicious;1000670]
From my perspective as a degreed naval architect and marine engineer with over three decades of marine experience of various sorts but only incidental contact with SOLAS and life-saving equipment the aluminum post idea would result in cascading issues with chafe and puncture. The air bladders in canopies are quite simple and elegant. Leaks can be repaired while deployed with the included kit.[quote]
Don't be so narrow minded. IF the current system works so well, why would the crews on Sean Seamour II had some much hard time righting their raft. Why would so many thing failed on them.... but that is another topics.

Quote:
You can service your own life raft. If you want it certified afterward you have to get the required training from the manufacturer. The gas cartridge is the least worrisome part of inspection, repack, and recertification. I'm a very DIY guy with a lot of applicable skills and education. I have professionals care for my life raft.
Why would I need to certify my raft? It is my raft and my life.
I am also a very DIY person with a lot of applicable skills, have learned the highest formal education. It is great that you want others care for your raft, to rely on the weather router, or whatever, but it does NOT imply that we must need to follow you. I prefer self-reliance. If the professionals/others have learned it, I am sure I can learn as well. Whatever flows your boat!!! It is a gloried hobby, although it is passionate one.

Quote:
Have you repacked an inflatable PFD? Do you realize how many people accidentally inflate the PFD trying to fit a new bobbin and gas cartridge?
Again just because you accidentally inflated your PFD, it does not mean I will. Again, what is so big deal your inflated the PFD, it is not the end of the world.

In the future, please don't let your hatred tainted in your answers or comments. Let's raise above it with your wisdom. Don't get piss when others choose their own way.
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Re: Life Raft Purchase

I'm not sure where you are coming from rockDAWG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
Geezzz... that is not my point. I meant I am committed to buy one, and not rent one. Have a sense of humor and don't be so constipated. Come down from your high horse, you may get more respect.

I may die in 5 years, we care. If it is last for 15 years, so it is what it is.
No horse here. I take your words at face value. You said you wanted a raft to last you the rest of your life. I accepted that statement as indicating your intent and told you that you shouldn't expect that kind of service life. What does humor have to do with it? I'm confused. Educate me.

I get plenty of respect from people I care about and respect in return. Respect isn't my motivation here. Sharing information and knowledge and leaving a clean wake is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
With my common sense and as a "Rocket Scientist". I am sure I can make a judgment on any item that I am interested in buying.
Rocket science isn't complicated. The pointy end goes first and the fire comes out the back. How is that relevant?

If that offends you, please read your counsel on humor.

I'm pretty sure I'm not constipated.

The biggest issue with those of us with great expertise in one area is that we have to be careful not to assume our expertise applies outside of that area. Politicians seem to be the most significant exemplars - generally no skills and think they are experts on everything. *grin*

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
Don't be so narrow minded. IF the current system works so well, why would the crews on Sean Seamour II had some much hard time righting their raft. Why would so many thing failed on them.... but that is another topics.
I did not say conventional life raft design was perfect. I did imply that your ideas were not productive. There are some really smart people at IMO writing specs for life safety equipment, good folks working on design certification, and some good people building them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
It is great that you want others care for your raft, to rely on the weather router, or whatever, but it does NOT imply that we must need to follow you. I prefer self-reliance. If the professionals/others have learned it, I am sure I can learn as well. Whatever flows your boat!!! It is a gloried hobby, although it is passionate one.
As it happens I don't rely on weather routers. I encourage people to learn enough to do their own routing. That works well for me. I'm a huge advocate of self-sufficiency. Repacking life-rafts simply isn't in that category for me. If it is for you and you get training that's fine. If you drag a life-raft onto the grass and fiddle with it then I hope you share that bit of information with people that sail with you. They deserve to know that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
Again just because you accidentally inflated your PFD, it does not mean I will. Again, what is so big deal your inflated the PFD, it is not the end of the world.
I'm concerned that you don't understand the implications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
In the future, please don't let your hatred tainted in your answers or comments. Let's raise above it with your wisdom. Don't get piss when others choose their own way.
Okey dokey. That's easy. I'll put you on ignore so I won't be moved to share with you. I'm mildly curious on what you consider hatred tainted, but not enough to read any more of your posts. I don't get "pissed" when people don't agree with me.

I started posting at SailNet again at the express request of some of the moderators. I remember now why I faded away.
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Last edited by SVAuspicious; 03-10-2013 at 04:29 PM.
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