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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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4,526 Posts
Just finished liferaft shopping ...

I get the impression that there are two tiers of offshore liferafts: at the top are the really expensive, American-made brands (Switlik and Givens); below them are a number of European-made (and one Canadian) brands that are much cheaper. Included in this group are DSB, Zodiac, West Marine (made by Zodiac), Viking and others. The expensive ones have some very nice features but are often twice the price of the others. If money was no object I would certainly buy one of the expensive ones but money certainly is an object so I decided to go with a second tier raft and have $3000 or $4000 more to spend on other needs.

I was reasonably impressed by DSB and certainly might have bought it at the right price. I ended up getting a Viking 6-person in a cansister. A major reason was the price - $2250 at the New York Boat Show. If price matters you could contact them and see whether this price is still available or will be available at another show.
 

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moderate?
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Zodiac IS a premium bran of rafts as is Viking. They sell different levels of raft for different needs. I felt my Zodiac was the best value for the money in a totally safe and well built raft back in year 2000. At repacking in 2004 it popped right up perfectly with no deterioration. Given the changes in exchange rates it may no longer be a great deal but I certainly would not class it below Switlik or Givens. I don't know anything about the quality of DSB.
 
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