Is an old liferaft usable?

HappyHunter

Member
Joined
3 Mar 2002
Messages
58
My father in law has offered us a Beaufort 6 man valise liferaft, manufactured in 1979, purchased solely to comply with racing rules, and taken to sea rarely. The rest of its time has been spent in a dry attic.

Does anyone know whether a professional check and refurbishment would be (a) viable and (b) cost effective for this piece of kit. If no, is it still likely to work!!
 

mickp

New member
Joined
30 May 2001
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130
Location
Hampshire
I recently took a 21 year old Avon Valaise Liferaft to a service agent for an assessment of whether it was worth servicing. It had only been serviced twice in its time. The Liferaft was inflated with a view to having it condemened, however it was in very good condition and i was informed it would be good for another 7 - 9 years if kept dry etc. So its worth the effort and a darn site cheaper than buying a new one.
 

johna

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Joined
12 Aug 2001
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538
Location
Poole
I was given a similar liferaft not serviced for 10 years. Tested OK and serviced with replacement cylinder for £190 in Poole.
 

yoda

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Joined
12 Dec 2001
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2,457
Location
Tamar river, Devon
From all the things I've seen on this subject and also from the man who serviced mine some years ago the critical thing seems to be keeping the raft dry. Since it has been stored in the attic for most of it's life you could be onto a winner. Well worth getting it checked out at a recommended service centre. Dond be afraid to carefully open the valise and check the condition of the gas bottle this will give you a quick idea as to any water contamination it may have suffered. Hope that helps.

Yoda
 

AndrewB

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7 Jun 2001
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5,848
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Dover/Corfu
If it is OK, the cost of this first service is going to be high, £200+. And it will need to be serviced, at a lower level, annually thereafter. If you reckon there is normally perhaps about 12 years of active life in a £1,200 liferaft, that gives some indication of its likely value now.

But those old Beauforts were good. Have it checked, preferably with youself present, but I would make quite clear it wasn't to be serviced unless it looks good for at least another 3-4 years.

You have to be very confident to do this yourself. A 50% reliable liferaft isn't going to give any peace of mind.
 

Apetts

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Joined
25 Sep 2001
Messages
73
I had a 18 year old Avon with no service history. I enquired about servicing and was told that it would not be worth while so I took it home and pulled the cord. It inflated immediateley and maintained its pressure for at least 24 hours. However close inspection revealed that the rubber coating had worn away, presumably due to movement in the cannister, in many places revealinf the canvas and I would not have been confident of its viability if needed in rough conditions. It went to the local tip.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Iwhen I bought my boat it had an Avon 4 man which had not been serviced since 1985 as the boat had
been on the river. It cost £300 for complete service. Now works fine (I hope)

cneighbour
 
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