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post #61 of 68 Old 07-08-2019
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Re: How many boats carry liferafts?

They make rafts that have inflatable boarding ramps. If youve ever tried to climb a net, even in training, youd upgrade. It is taught to attempt to enter the raft directly from the boat. You dont have to get in the door, you can fall onto the canopy, which will collapse, and then find the opening. Once a few are aboard already, they can help.

Rafts, just like tents, only technically fit the number of people they claim. You would be jammed in like cordwood, knees to chest.

In anything more than 15 kts of wind and long fetch, its hard to get to the dinghy dock, without getting wet. Using one to cover miles of cold, open water seas, with higher winds is unrealistic. IMO. You get to make your own call.
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post #62 of 68 Old 07-08-2019
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Re: How many boats carry liferafts?

I did the life raft thing in the swimming pool.

50% chance of it being inverted, it is f******** hard to right it.

Without a ladder and a knotted rope to pull on it is f******* difficult to get in to it from the water. I was 40 pretty fit with good upper body strength but chunky and needed someone in the raft pulling to get me in. No rope to pull on. Several people failed with only one helper.

It is near f******* impossible to get into a liferaft wearing a lifejacket without two strong helpers.

If thinking of buying a liferaft I would want to see what it came with in the way of boarding ladder and things to pull on. .
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post #63 of 68 Old 07-08-2019
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Re: How many boats carry liferafts?

I carry one for inside cruising in the pacific northwest. Here the issue is the water temp. 40-50's. Don't last too long in that. A sturdy inflatable would also do but I already have a dinghy that I like. One issue with liferafts is that re-certification by a professional is expensive. I have a valise raft that I keep in a re-purposed container on deck. I think the principle hazard is responding to a fire when there's not much time.

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post #64 of 68 Old 07-08-2019
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Re: How many boats carry liferafts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillMoran View Post
This is a topic of interest to me, but I know very little about it.

What's more interesting, is I don't think anyone else knows much about it either.

Just spent some time searching and was unable to find:
- Any statistics about how often life rafts are deployed in real world situations
- Any statistics about accidents that could have been less severe if a life raft had been available
- Any statistics about accidents where the lack of a life raft had no impact

Quite frankly, I've been unable to find any data at all about real world life raft deployment and how effective they are.

Makes me wonder if life rafts are outdated technology just waiting for some enterprising inventor to come up with something better ... At the least, makes me wonder if anyone really knows if they're an effective tool.
Bill I spent a few years doing Racing drivers DE (drivers education) events with people using personal cars and basically pretending to be a Race car driver, when there was an incident they just went away and we never heard the inevitable horror stories about denied insurance coverage and such. Maybe this explains your lack of statistics on raft utility.
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post #65 of 68 Old 07-09-2019
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Re: How many boats carry liferafts?

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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
We carry a Revere Elite 4-man Ocean raft, together with a "Bail-Out Bag" in our starboard stern locker whenever we travel outside the limits of Tampa Bay and within during the winter months when the water is very cold. It is the heaviest raft my (much) better half can handle in an emergency in the event I am injured or otherwise unable to launch the raft myself and we/she needs to get off the boat. One of my greater fears has been the event of a fire aboard rather than a sinking in which case one must absolutely vacate the boat without delay. Our bail-out bag--attached to the raft via a long tether--is also equipped with an EPIRB and hand held VHF, just in case.

FWIW...
Further to my earlier post, above, a recent incident of a boat fire on the Gulf is reported here: Boat Fire 30 Miles Off Gulf Coast.

The couple and their dogs escaped the boat in a dinghy they were able to launch. Their "Survival Supplies" consisted of a bottle of water and a box of cereal. (No EPIRB, SPOT, SatPhone, VHF et al.) Lucky for them, the smoke from their burning boat was spotted by a Key West Express ferry boat several hours after the incident and they were picked up. Had the fire broken out two hours later, after dark, they'd have been SOL and, given the infrequency of traffic in the locale, in for a l-o-n-g w-a-i-t for help.

Being able to quickly launch a life raft and bail-out bag of supplies that includes an EPIRB and hand-held VHF can make the difference between life and the here-after. As a further precaution, the filing of a Float Plan and copy to one's emergency contacts is very wise and something we do routinely whenever headed beyond the Bay.

FWIW...
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post #66 of 68 Old 07-11-2019
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Re: How many boats carry liferafts?

A lot of posts talk about life rafts in a storm and whether they work. When I was equipping my first boat for cruising, I met a fellow in the marina who was "just getting ready to leave on his cruise." He was showing off all his equipment and preparations. When he finished, I asked him what kind of life raft he had.

Five years ago, I was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given six months to live. When I get out there in a Force 10 storm and 50 waves, when I go down I figure Im still ahead of the game."

"Well, Ive got a life raft. When I get out there in those big waves and Force 10 winds, Im probably going down anyway. But Id feel really stupid in the middle of a calm sea, with water up to my mustache, and thinking If Id just put another hose clamp on the bilge pump hose, I wouldnt be in this position."

Two weeks later, he invited me over for a couple of drinks and to show off his new life raft.
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post #67 of 68 Old 07-12-2019
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Re: How many boats carry liferafts?

Good point that Force 10 winds and high seas will make boarding a liferaft pretty difficult. However, I'll offer that a few members of the Bounty's crew made it into their raft, in gumby suits, in a hurricane. And the raft inflated just fine, at least from the looks of the video. Reportedly, that crew seemed fairly far from professional. I wonder how many ever practiced boarding a raft.

It's just anecdotal, of course, but I'd certainly prefer a shot at it, if the mother ship were going down or burning in any kind of weather. Just as the fella you met concluded. Hope he's still out there, given his condition.


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post #68 of 68 Old 07-12-2019
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Re: How many boats carry liferafts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
However, I'll offer that a few members of the Bounty's crew made it into their raft, in gumby suits, in a hurricane.
Au contraire!

Except for the 2 never seen (the Captain and the woman) they ALL made it into the life-raft.

As difficult as it might be I'll bet you and I could walk over the water to pad down in a nice dry comfy liferaft


BTW just saying that word Bounty sickens me with the thoughts of those good people sent sailing into a hurricane. May they not be having nightmares and may they still love the water and the small ships upon it.
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