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Glad I found Sailnet
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Discussion Starter #1
It's time for my liferaft's periodic inspection. Does anyone know of a good place to have this done in the Long Island area? This is one of those things where I'd rather get a referral than choose a place out of the phone book, so to speak. (I searched on sailnet and didn't find anything on this topic.)

Also, any idea how much it will cost approximately? It's a 6-man life raft in a hard canister that sits on the deck just behind the mast. I haven't written down the manufacturer's name, but I did unsnap it to see how heavy it is. It must weigh 70 or 80 pounds.
 

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Telstar 28
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I'd second LRSE for the recert.
 

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Glad I found Sailnet
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Discussion Starter #5
Just curious. Who is it that requires the recertification? Insurance company, race committee, C.G.?
Not sure. I saw a date on it and it is past. So I figured that like fire extinguishers and other things, I needed it looked at. That, and I really want it to work when I need it. :)

Plus I don't know ANYTHING about it other than you pull on a cord after affixing it to a cleat. (There's a great thread here on Sailnet that described it to an author. Search on "liferaft inspection".) I'd like to be there when they open it up to inspect it, or whatever they do, to 1) know how it works, 2) get a better sense of how it works and 3) know what to expect when operating it. Maybe I'll even add a pack of waterproof playing cards to the contents.:)
 

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Just curious. Who is it that requires the recertification? Insurance company, race committee, C.G.?
USCG, there is a label on life rafts of date of manufacture and what year they need to re-certified. When they are re certified you get a new label attached to the life raft showing it's compliance. This being said it only applies to commercial vessels. However it is a very good idea for recreational boats also, look at like preventive maintenance.
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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Ray,
I would think all 3 would require the life raft to be re-certified. It is more than likely that this item made Bene505's insurance survey 'to-do' list. If Bene505 decides to do the Around LI Regatta (ALIR) then the RC will require it. If he is ever boarded/inspected by the CG they will be interested in this as well. I am not sure if the CG will fine you or just give you some time to remedy the situation as I have never been boarded.
I am also curious.
 

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the pointy end is the bow
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Cabin boy
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Maybe I'll even add a pack of waterproof playing cards to the contents.:)
After being trapped at a ski area for 3 days by an avalanche I added a survival pack to my car, including some reading material. The howling winds and hungry wolves of the Russian steppe in Pasternak's Dr Zhivago seemed to match the ambiance I'd expect waiting for rescue on a lonely highway. So for a liferaft, perhaps you'd want to add a copy of Bligh's journal. Anyone have another recommendation?
 

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Telstar 28
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After being trapped at a ski area for 3 days by an avalanche I added a survival pack to my car, including some reading material. The howling winds and hungry wolves of the Russian steppe in Pasternak's Dr Zhivago seemed to match the ambiance I'd expect waiting for rescue on a lonely highway. So for a liferaft, perhaps you'd want to add a copy of Bligh's journal. Anyone have another recommendation?
I think Steve Callahan's Adrift would be far more appropriate. :)
 

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Glad I found Sailnet
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Discussion Starter #12
I just talked with Brian Kinsella at Life Raft and Survival Equipment. He was very helpful and said a few interesting things:

1) I don't have to recertify it every year. Since she's not a commercial vessel, the coast guard will not treat it like it is out-of-date. There are two types of life raft: a) not-vacuum packed (1-year between inspections, generally rafts that were made before 2001) and b) vacuum packed (3-years between inspections).

2) I can go to RI and watch them inflate it. That would be in a different warehouse than the one they repack it in, but the service manager would go over the whole thing with me. I'd really like to see the real work done on it, the real tour.

3) They pickup and deliver at West Marines. It's $90 round trip. If I bring it to RI and get the tour of it, they'll deliver it back to a West Marine near me for $45, since it will take them a week to repack it, due to backlogs.

4) They do a test of the air (?) cylinder. It reminds me of the tests they do on SCUBA tanks.

5) Rough cost on average is $700 for the certification. That assumes there may be something that needs to be fixed or replaced.

This is, of course, all conversational and you are now getting it 2nd hand, so if you are concerned about your liferaft, call them.

It's a bit of a haul for me and I'd like to bring the whole family so they can see it all. So I'll probably find other reasons to go on such a long trip. They are 1 hour from Mystic (seaport and aquarium). That will help. There's also that nuclear sub somewhere up there.
 

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the pointy end is the bow
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erps, the cfr is for Commercial vessels. There is no USCG requirement for life rafts, EPIRB, Radar, Gumby suits, on recreational boats.
Thanks Bubb,

I was aware that they weren't required on recreational craft. I think I may have miss-interpreted a requirment to maintain "unapproved" safety equipment.
 

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Glad I found Sailnet
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Discussion Starter #14

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My boat is documented, which the tables say needs a liferaft offshore. Not sure about it all though since I didn't read the entire set of rules.
Bene, please read your certificate of documentation. You are either documented as a recreational boat or a commercial boat, it will say on your certificate. I bet you a boat ride your are recreational.
 

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Bene - My understanding is that unless required by your insurance carrier or if you are in an organized race or rally, the liferaft is your decision. I strongly endorse watching them unpack and seeing as much of the process as possible so you are as familiar as possible with the equipment should you ever need to use it under the inevitable stress that you will be experiencing. And - as noted elsewhere on this site (I think by SD) - only deploy it when you have to step up into it! Best wishes for prudent and wonderful offshore experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Jim, those are my sentiments exactly. I only wish I had the "how it's made" crew or the "dirty jobs" crew with me to videotape and show it all to you. I may bring my little camera and a blank 2 Gig chip in it, so I can get some video, albeit very rough video.

I've been thinking a lot of that as I go through this multi-threaded road to getting ready for some offshore sailing.

The current goal is to get the boat ready to go to Bermuda, even if I'm only going to coastal cruise. (No current plan to go to Bermuda, but do plan to go offshore once the boat and I are ready.)

Finally, regarding the lifeboat, I have small children so I'm thinking about putting some small dolls in there, something for their piece of mind should we ever have to use the liferaft.
 

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Telstar 28
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While I do advocate stepping up into a liferaft, there is only one situation where I can see stepping down into a life raft... and that is if the mothership is on fire and the fire can not be extinguished. You want to get the liferaft as far from the mothership so as to avoid having it catch on fire. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Bene, please read your certificate of documentation. You are either documented as a recreational boat or a commercial boat, it will say on your certificate. I bet you a boat ride your are recreational.
Recreational, yes.
 

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Tartan 37C
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I may bring my little camera and a blank 2 Gig chip in it, so I can get some video, albeit very rough video.
Please do, it would be good for all.
 
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