Canister solution for valise life raft?

yodave

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I'm thinking about making better use of space on board my motorsailer.

I have a 4-man Plastimo liferaft in a soft blue plastic valise. Ideally, I'm thinking that I would like to have this on deck in a canister mounted in a cradle ...to free up space below deck, and make it easier to deploy should it ever be required.

Do I have to throw-out/sell-on my existing liferaft and start again, or is it possible to buy a canister to stow my life raft in, and mount this in a cradle?

Any thoughts?

Thanks
 

pvb

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Do I have to throw-out/sell-on my existing liferaft and start again, or is it possible to buy a canister to stow my life raft in, and mount this in a cradle?

No, you can keep the liferaft, just take it to a servicing station and ask them to pack it in a canister for you.
 

john_morris_uk

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We had our six man Plastimo Valise Liferaft (which we bought new a few years ago) re-packed into the correct Plastimo container by a Plastimo agent. they even ordered all the correct stickers and upgraded it at its next service to the higher spec model. (Same liferaft - more eqipment: flares, torch, sea sick tables etc etc) It wasn't even very expensive if I recall.
 

awol

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A wee word of warning. When I bought my boat in Portugal the liferaft that came with it failed its service with a perished blow-off valve. The service station had a second-hand raft ( the make I can't remember - Dunlop I think) that I wanted in a valise and so it was packed in a blue Plastimo bag. I was very pleased with the service station - I was there when they tested the old one, saw the new (2nd hand) one inflated and packed with its contents and was a lot happier than if I'd had to get a new one.
The problem came a year later when I took it for service and Cosalt refused to touch the ******* mix of makes as they claimed they could not certify it, neither could they procure (or perhaps they didn't want to) either a compliant canister or valise. It was 5 years old, just out of its service from Portugal and so I flogged it on eBay with the full story and bought another one.
 

Ubergeekian

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Do I have to throw-out/sell-on my existing liferaft and start again, or is it possible to buy a canister to stow my life raft in, and mount this in a cradle?

I'm having my Seago packed from valise to canister by Cosalt in Edinburgh. Likely cost seems to be £150 on top of the usual service for canister, harness and labels. A stainless bracket would add a wodge more but I'm going to make a removable wooden rack to go between the grab rails instead.
 
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ctva

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I'm having my Seago packed from valise to canister by Cosalt in Edinburgh. Likely cost seems to be £150 on top of the usual service for canister, harness and labels. A stainless bracket would add a wodge more but I'm going to make a removable wooden rack to go between the grab rails instead.

I'd be interested to see your design.
 

yodave

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Thanks for all your replies.

Good news. So it sounds like I should be able to get it re-packed in a canister [by a company like Cosalt] without too much hassle. I'll look into that.

I think that the stainless steel brackets are around £150 or so.

Thanks again for your help!
 

Icarus39

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I'm having my Seago packed from valise to canister by Cosalt in Edinburgh. Likely cost seems to be £150 on top of the usual service for canister, harness and labels. A stainless bracket would add a wodge more but I'm going to make a removable wooden rack to go between the grab rails instead.

Hi, can you remember what you paid Cosalt for a service on your Seago raft ? I have a Seago 6 man offshore valise which I may take to Cosalt in Grimsby later in the year. I guess the 150 for was for the new cannister ?

Thanks
 

Twister_Ken

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Thanks for all your replies.

Good news. So it sounds like I should be able to get it re-packed in a canister [by a company like Cosalt] without too much hassle. I'll look into that.

I think that the stainless steel brackets are around £150 or so.

Thanks again for your help!

Does seem the s/s cradles are a rip off - I wonder what a bit of custom fabrication would cost?
 

charles_reed

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Stainless cradle, I had made from 304 locally for £44.

Repacking a Plastimo in a canister would be easier than many other makes - cost of canister is £140-£180 depending on size.

You may be better-off in pure economic terms to flog your existing raft and buy new (Plastimo liferafts have a pretty dire reputation)
 

Ubergeekian

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I'd be interested to see your design.

So would I - I haven't done it yet. I suspect it will start with a couple of three or four loop teak grabrails to provide intermediate support pads. I'm not even going to start on it until I get the repacked liferaft and it's in the queue for late March at Cosalt ... if they can get a canister by then ...
 

Ubergeekian

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Hi, can you remember what you paid Cosalt for a service on your Seago raft ? I have a Seago 6 man offshore valise which I may take to Cosalt in Grimsby later in the year. I guess the 150 for was for the new cannister ?

They haven't done it yet, but their estimate is £250. Seago quoted about £180, but since I'd have to pay for a carrier each way as well there wasn't really much in it.
 

yodave

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Thanks to all contributors.

I think Charles Reed's point above [also touched on by other contributors]; that in pure economic terms I might be better starting again is valid.

My liferaft is six months beyond it's service date, so by the time I get it serviced and re-packed in a canister the tab will be mounting up. So it might well be better just to buy a replacement.

Better go have a look then.

Thanks again!
 

john_morris_uk

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Which particular model of Plastimo and what specific problems or, is it just rumour?
I nearly responded to that allegation as well. We have a Plastimo Liferaft and its serviced and now has the full ORC kit, in a Cannister and we are happy with it. I too wonder what this 'pretty dire' reputation was. I have looked at the tests, and whilst it doesn't come out top, its OK. I have done liferaft drills in really cold water and I appreciate the difficulty of getting into a liferaft from the sea whilst wearing an inflated lifejacket. I have looked at our Plastimo raft and don't see any real issues etc.
 

snowleopard

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If you haven't had a canister raft before and are thinking of changing to one, be aware how awkward the things are to handle. Smooth rounded surfaces with nowhere to get a grip on them. I have a hell of a job shifting mine (8-man) from boat to car to shed without dropping it. How one is supposed to pick it up and toss it into the sea with the boat leaping about and everything wet I don't know.

Why can't the manufacturers put handles on them?
 

FishyInverness

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I was also intrigued about the Plastimo comments. Given the amount of R&D testing that Plastimo put into their rafts, I would doubt the validity of the "pretty dire" claim very much. I have heard nothing but very positive comments about them from customers.

Incidentally, Gael Force (who yes, I do work for, just providing the information, not urging you to buy! ;)) are offering good prices on new Wetline Liferafts with a Stainless Cradle Deal at the moment, if it's of interest to the OP.
 

GrahamM376

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new Wetline Liferafts with a Stainless Cradle Deal at the moment, if it's of interest to the OP.

So, who make Wetline and how many service agents do they have outside the UK? Seago for instance have two service agents in France and one in Spain - not much use if you're elsewhere. At least, Plastimo are well represented and my "offshore" hasn't been found to have problems after 15 years of re-packs.
 
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