Liferaft policy and practice

sarabande

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Somehow I have ended up with a 4 person LR as well as a 6 person one.

I rarely sail with more than 2+1 persons on board, so my 4 person liferaft should be OK. But I have had 5+1 persons on a few occasions for day sails, and that makes me wonder if I should swap the 4 for my 6 person liferaft for those days.

It is a bit of a fuss changing one for 'tother, but I am told that a couple of people in the big 6 man, are going to be thrown around more than in the small one.


Is this an angels on a pinhead question, or ore there any clear advantages one way or the other ?


Oh yes, both need servicing this year... I suppose I could always buy a new one instead.
 
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Go for the odds. Sell the 6 person one, keep the 4 person one and have it serviced. I think you are overthinking it.
 

AntarcticPilot

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On our sea survival course, they reckoned it was safer to have a liferaft that was too small rather than too large - a liferaft is designed to have bouyancy for considerably more than it's rated number of people (I think I've heard twice the rated number). but an under-loaded liferaft would be unstable with significantly fewer people than its rated load, and could potentially get rolled in a big sea or high wind. So the reasoning goes that a 4 person liferaft is better for two people than a 6 person but will still (in an emergency) take 6 people, though it might be pretty cosy!

Of course, that's assuming UK waters where rescue would be expected in hours rather than days - the equation might be different if you were looking at having to survive for days in a liferaft.
 

Spirit (of Glenans)

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The OP implies that his boat is largely used for daysailing, hence, in the popular wisdom, as has been mentioned on here previously, he doesn't really need a liferaft.
In coastal waters, VHF, and even telephone contact with the Coastguard, etc., is generally reliable, and rescue takes a relatively short time. Liferafts should be carried for offshore voyages and are legally required for commercially coded vessels.
To answer the substantive question, sell the 6-man LR and keep the 4-man. An LR this size with six people on board might be a little claustrophobic, but not for long.
 
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dunedin

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We are in a similar position - boat came with an 8 man liferaft, but most sailing and all offshore trips less than3 on board.
So we plan to swap the 8 man for a new 4 man at next service. Concern is particularly we would not have weight and muscle to right an inverted 8 man raft.

The slight issue is if country regulations or coding require a certain size of liferaft. Our boat was inially French flagged and a came with a lot of apparently required safety kit, all still in polythene bags. I was told the large liferaft was also needed for the same reason (though as we reflagged, I didn’t check the French rules)
 

ashtead

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Keep the 4 man one on board and leave the six man one in your loft if you must. Personally I would be looking at the weight of the valise and I suspect 4 man might be more user friendly? We generally only on board our raft prior to channel crossings as usage on south coast might be limited but would be looking to on board if going through owners or such like.
 

ltcom

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Keep the 4 man one on board and leave the six man one in your loft if you must. Personally I would be looking at the weight of the valise and I suspect 4 man might be more user friendly? We generally only on board our raft prior to channel crossings as usage on south coast might be limited but would be looking to on board if going through owners or such like.

Or store it on the boat. Better than in the loft.
 

Major_Clanger

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Sell the 6-man and that will part-pay for the service for the 4-man. A 4-man raft should keep its structural integrity for longer plus the fact that if you're normally going out with 6 aboard just for the day, then a/. you won't be that far from help and b/. if you did have to take to the raft then, whilst cramped, it shouldn't be for too long.
 
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