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  #1  
Old 03-08-2013
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Life Raft Purchase

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
2. Your likely cruising areas are Northern Atlantic from Boston to Europe and from N30 to S30.
3. Self righting is important since you are likely to be alone or with just one crew.
4. You need and are willing to survive for a week in Hell before rescue. Toilet paper is not essential to you.

If you are spend the money to get a life raft now, which one will you buy? Please also share links for good reviews on Life Rafts, particular from Practical sailors. I have their subscription, but I can't recall one from them.
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Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Life Raft Purchase

I have a 6-man Avon valise.

From your other posts I think you have in mind sailing on other people's boats. How will you get the raft back and forth? You can't fly with it, and ground transportation considers it hazardous. Going to ship it by sea across the Atlantic?

You may be better off buying what you can find used and selling at the other end. Could be cheaper.
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Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Life Raft Purchase

I understand where you are coming from and I agree. However, since I don't have a yacht like everyone here, so I don't have a black hole in the ocean to throw the money away. In other words, I have more disposable income to buy some toys that I need which it may save lives.

I also have a few sailing buddies who have been spending lots money on their boat, but haven't have the money or desire for a life raft as yet. I thought i would buy a life raft and leave it on their boat when sailing off shore; I think it is fair. In the past two years, I offered money to cover some of their expenses, they always refused to take my money.

When I have my own boat in a few years, The raft is still there.
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Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Life Raft Purchase

A couple of thoughts about this. Liferafts are very heavy, take this into account. When we bought our boat it had an Avon 8-person that I could not move by myself. I think that there are quality differences but the price differences are immense. We decided on a Viking 6-person offshore in a canister that seemed to be a good combination of price and quality. We got it at the New York boat show for just slightly more than $2000 which was about 40% of the price of Givens. Lesson, if you can wait for a boat show might be time to go shopping. Final thought, if you are moving your raft from boat to boat probably best to get a valise so you can store inside. Heard of more than one raft getting swept off deck when not attached really well to the deck.
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Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Life Raft Purchase

Rockdawg, it has come to my attention that you, being a non-boat owner, have a certain amount of disposable income. Furthermore, I note that you have no presence out here on the Pacific. I can remedy that for you. My cruising grounds are from Victoria BC, down to Acapulco Mexico. If you wish to go to Hawaii, may I suggest the 2014 Pacific Cup. We can race this as a double hand (I will need a commitment and a deposit on expenses no later than fall, 2013). You can store your Viking RescYou Pro 4 man life raft (valise style) on my boat between sails. Let me know your interest and we will work out the details (heck, I’ll even go in half on the raft).
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Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Life Raft Purchase

We've looked into this on a number of occasions. Switlick seems to make good ones. One caveat with any raft - you want the right size for the number of people you expect might be in it. Two people in an 8-person raft may end up tossed around inside the raft by passing waves, resulting in broken bones. If the 8-man raft is full, people get pushed into one another by waves, but no one gets enough momentum up to really hurt themselves or others. For shipping, you should be able to detach the CO2 cannisters and send them airfreight, since finding the same cannisters to buy at your destination may be problematic due to the metric system and language issues.
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Re: Life Raft Purchase

Winslow in a valise. wife is 4'10". Wanted a raft she could deploy if I'm unable and I could deploy with one arm. Airplane folks know some stuff. Technology is excellent. I have dedicated raft locker at aft end of cockpit ( will store ditchbag in there as well). But on prior boat did not. Still had raft in valise that could keep under my feet in cockpit with blanket over it. When thought it necessary brought it up. With raft in valise ( Winslow will pack it to just about any shape you want) don't have to worry about theft ( in Caribbean especially), raft doesn't get overheated ( being in cannister all the time hard on the raft) and you can move it boat to boat. Only buy raft certified for open ocean use. Only have one life.IMHO
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Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Life Raft Purchase

I'm not a pro on laft rafts, but these folks are : Life Raft and Survival Equipment: Life Rafts, EPIRBS, PFDs, Safety Equipment

Give them a call, they are very helpful. I understand that self-righting is a bit of a fairy tale. Easy to right is more accurate.

We own a couple of different Winslows and I like them. You can customize for your needs. If you really want a raft that you can survive in for a week, you're going to literally need a dolly to move it. 100 lbs for sure, maybe more. You'll need a double insulated floor, ramp access, upgraded sea anchors, windows so you don't too sick, etc. Most important, you can't rely on retrieving your ditchbag, so you'll need a week's supplies pre-packed inside the raft, which they will do.
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Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Life Raft Purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
Rockdawg, it has come to my attention that you, being a non-boat owner, have a certain amount of disposable income. Furthermore, I note that you have no presence out here on the Pacific. I can remedy that for you. My cruising grounds are from Victoria BC, down to Acapulco Mexico. If you wish to go to Hawaii, may I suggest the 2014 Pacific Cup. We can race this as a double hand (I will need a commitment and a deposit on expenses no later than fall, 2013). You can store your Viking RescYou Pro 4 man life raft (valise style) on my boat between sails. Let me know your interest and we will work out the details (heck, Iíll even go in half on the raft).
Thanks George.

From SFO to HI in a heart beat. . I won't even mind to sail her back to Victoria, BC for you. Let me know the ballpark figure. I am with the old school, I watch every dollars I spend. If this is a go, I don't mind to fly to SFO to meet and sail with you to gauge our compatibility before the commitment date. I think a four-man crew in a boat is too many for off shore....LOL. Two is good.

Do you get bonus if you are a 2 man crew in the race?

I am easy going, funny as hell, very clean and organized. I don't need much of sleep and am a very good cook.

I will study the race websites. Let bring this off line.
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Re: Life Raft Purchase

second Minnie's opinion of LRSE. They have a bunch of rafts inflated and being serviced in their big back room. Really brings home what's what. On drive home kept saying to myself - ?What have I got myself into?
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