Hi, I'm curious how many sailboats carry extra survival equipment such as liferafts, survival suits and EPIRBS. I'm in the process of trying to find space for mine and I guess I'm going to have to be creative.
We are sailing a 42' yacht primarily cruising the southwest coast of Florida, the Keys and the Bahamas. We carry an ACR GPIRB aboard the yacht and a second in the "day-bag" that we carry in the dinghy whenever out and about in that. The day-bag also includes a hand-held VHF, flares, and water packets in case we get stuck somewhere or blown away from the yacht/anchorage (which we have seen happen). We also have inflatable PFD's for each crew-member, each fitted with whistles, small mirror reflectors, "Pencil Flares", and an ACR PLB 375 ResQLink, just in case someone goes over the side. We also carry a 4-man "Coastal" life raft as virtually all of our cruising is within 100 miles of shore making rescue, if needed, a relatively near term proposition and because the compact size and relatively light weight of the equipment ensures that even my (much) better half can deploy it, if necessary. Our "ditch bag" includes the usual compliment of safety/signaling gear and is attached to the raft with a tether so that it can be separately deployed but remains attached to the raft. Some argue that the raft is unnecessary for the Gulf but, having had more than one visit by curious black-tip and hammerhead sharks while we waited out windless lulls, I would not want anyone to be floating around in that water for any time if it can be avoided. We do not carry "survival" or "Gumby" suites as we simply don't traverse cold water nor ever intend to.Hi, I'm curious how many sailboats carry extra survival equipment such as liferafts, survival suits and EPIRBS. I'm in the process of trying to find space for mine and I guess I'm going to have to be creative.
I beg to differ with Capta on this one. Those who sail offshore where the most likely abandon ship scenario might involve high winds and big (possibly breaking) seas should think very carefully about substituting an inflatable dinghy for a life raft. Launching a dinghy in a survival situation is very problematic. Like Capta, we store our dinghy on deck -- but the engine is on the aft rail and the gas can and related gear needed to operate it is stowed below. The only scenario that I can imagine in which we would be able to launch the dinghy safely is in a relatively flat sea and little wind. (I have a hard enough time launching it in a windy anchorage.) If the dinghy is stowed on davits it's it would be easier, but with even a 5-6 ft sea running it would not be a simple matter. While it would never be easy, life rafts are engineered for emergency deployment in survival conditions.Though we do carry a liferaft, I consider my 11' Zodiac a much better vehicle for the purpose. A couple of oars and a sail would suffice as a sun cover, but the ability to run 30+ miles at 20 plus knots sure beats sitting there watching a ship pass within easy reach.
Obviously, the combination of the two is the best of both worlds, but a proper inflatable dink will considerably outlast any liferaft and is easier to keep inflated, more resistant to holes and abuse, which is why our inflatable travels well secured to the foredeck (with the motor attached) with easily cut lines.
I think this is easier to say (although I still don't support it), when you're in Caribbean waters. You would float immersed for a day or two before succumbing to hyopthermia, if you flip a dinghy. Unlike the minutes to hours in Maine.Though we do carry a liferaft, I consider my 11' Zodiac a much better vehicle for the purpose. A couple of oars and a sail would suffice as a sun cover, but the ability to run 30+ miles at 20 plus knots sure beats sitting there watching a ship pass within easy reach........