Liferaft Question

Irish Rover

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My boat which I bought 18 months ago came with a Plastimo Transocean 6 Liferaft which bears a manufacture date of 02/2003. It was last serviced by Ionian Marine Safety in December 2016 and shows next service (now overdue) 31 Dec 2018. I'm now not sure what to do with it. Do I need a liferaft? I do all my boating in the Aegean and I motor by day only. I have a tender with 10HP Honda o/b on davits on the stern and usual safety gear like life jackets, DSC VHF, epirb, led flare etc. Is it worth my while servicing again? Is it worth keeping without servicing? Does it have any monetary value? All advice appreciated.
 

pvb

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I think it's probably past its death date, and it has no real value. Only you can decide whether you need the reassurance of a liferaft; if you do, put the money you would have spent on servicing it towards a new one.
 

pagoda

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I think it's probably past its death date, and it has no real value. Only you can decide whether you need the reassurance of a liferaft; if you do, put the money you would have spent on servicing it towards a new one.

Once a raft gets to "service every year " phase - the costs of doing so rapidly eat into the cost of a new one with 9 years of 3-year service intervals. I think if you get to 9 years maybe it's time for a new one - unless you are comfortable doing it yourself.
 

greeny

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Even if you service it yourself, you're still relying on a raft made out of 16 year old materials. I'd scrap it.

I'd use it as a grandkids play den in the back garden. After inflating it in the pool and doing some survival training with them of course. Could be fun.
 

KompetentKrew

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I recently emailed Plastimo and a number of their service centres about a liferaft that was on a boat I agreed to buy. The boat subsequently failed survey and the sale fell through, but nothing to do with the liferaft.

It was Plastimo Cruiser 4 ORC and, upon receiving the serial number, Plastimo told me it was manufactured in 2003.

James at universalsafety.co.uk told me "You can expect the price to be around £350 + vat for a standard service and £440 + vat if the cylinder needs doing. All the parts for the those rafts are still available and you can even buy them new for £1,050 + vat! It’s worth servicing!"

The £300 - £500 price range for servicing was typical - I got several similar quotes. The Dutch start at €200 inc VAT, but the price comes out about the same after all the consumables.

Plastimo told me, "Servicing intervals depend on national legislation. In France, services must be carried out every three years. In other countries, rafts must be serviced according to the boat's flag or country of registration. Where there are no rules, services must be carried out at least every three years."

I'd expect you'd get a couple of hundred quid for it on the Facebook groups or eBay - I've seen a number of similar listings.
 

rszemeti

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Just service it yourself and put it back on. Our (ancient) raft is still strong and leak free. Better made than a lot of modern rubbish, and I know it is serviced correctly, unlike having it done by someone else (it is signed off as having flares and first aid kit, they were missing when we opened it)
 

William_H

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Just service it yourself and put it back on. Our (ancient) raft is still strong and leak free. Better made than a lot of modern rubbish, and I know it is serviced correctly, unlike having it done by someone else (it is signed off as having flares and first aid kit, they were missing when we opened it)

+1
 

Resolution

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Just service it yourself and put it back on. Our (ancient) raft is still strong and leak free. Better made than a lot of modern rubbish, and I know it is serviced correctly, unlike having it done by someone else (it is signed off as having flares and first aid kit, they were missing when we opened it)
On a point of order, can you support this statement? Have you actually compared the structure of your present raft with a number of rafts in current production? And are the designs effectively the same? Just asking, because you gave very specific advice on which some of us might act , and in the unlikely event of having to bail out into a raft it might make a crucial difference.
(My liferaft is overdue for a service and I have booked it in for one next month, in Turkey, so the subject has been on my mind. Like Irish Rover, I wondered whether we need one at all.)
 

Irish Rover

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On a point of order, can you support this statement? Have you actually compared the structure of your present raft with a number of rafts in current production? And are the designs effectively the same? Just asking, because you gave very specific advice on which some of us might act , and in the unlikely event of having to bail out into a raft it might make a crucial difference.
(My liferaft is overdue for a service and I have booked it in for one next month, in Turkey, so the subject has been on my mind. Like Irish Rover, I wondered whether we need one at all.)
Do you mind me asking which company you're dealing with and how much they're charging for the service? PM if you don't want to post publicly. I have to say I'm inclined to dispense with the liferaft altogether especially as I have a good tender which is fast and easy to deploy. I definitely won't be doing a service myself - I get frustrated trying to fold a jumper to put in a suitcase.
 

Graham376

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Just service it yourself and put it back on. Our (ancient) raft is still strong and leak free. Better made than a lot of modern rubbish, and I know it is serviced correctly, unlike having it done by someone else (it is signed off as having flares and first aid kit, they were missing when we opened it)

The modern "rubbish" is made to specific standards with deeper ballast pockets because many old rafts were found to be not fit for purpose. Old rafts are condemned fro a reason but feel free to use yours.
 

ithet

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Post 6 is very close to my experience. Our current boat came with a 2004 Plastimo Cruiser that was out of service date so I took it to Universal Safety expecting it to be written off. However as per the previous post I was told that the Plastimo (Cruiser at least) can be given 3 year service intervals indefinitely due to the materials used. The cost effectiveness then depended on the cylinder test certificate date, in my case this had been done at the last service, and would still be valid for another two 3 year periods. I therefore had it serviced but to reduce costs had the on-board pack downgraded to not include any flares (we carry a maintained grab bag). I saw the raft inflated and it appeared good quality.
 

Bouba

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Do I need a liferaft? .
I started a similar thread in the motorboat forum. The opinion of the forum on whether you need one is mixed. But one thing is certain and that’s the law in your cruising country (or your flag). For example in France it’s compulsory if going more than 6 nautical miles from a place of safety, in Italy (with thanks to MapisM) it’s more than six miles from land. However, in France there is another classification and that’s between 6 nm and 60 nm where a life raft is still compulsory but you can buy a cheaper one for this purpose (but only about €100 cheaper).
Best advice is to check the law of the land and also how it affects your boating (how far you go to sea) and if it affects your boat (if it’s foreign flagged)
P.s. if you are going to buy a new one, the consensus is to go for self righting (about €200 more). And apparently ones with just rope ladders are harder to get into, look for an inflatable step
 

affinite

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If you service it I think you will only get a 2 year certificate.
(That's what I got when I last serviced my 11 year old raft in Kos)
My understanding is that the applicable regulations regarding safety equipment are those of the flag country (except in Portugal where they apply local regulations) so if you are under 13.7m and UK flagged you don't have to have a liferaft or flares or fire extinguishers but in Greece any safety equipment carried must be "in date".
There have been tales of overzealous coastguard officials in Thassos doing quite thorough safety equipment inspections and refusing to let boats sail until they have replaced any out of date flares. Ive not heard any such stories about liferafts but as you sail the Aegean it might be worth remembering

With my out of date liferaft, flares and (in May) extinguishers Im giving Thasos a wide berth at present but Im also wrestling with the same question as you To replace, Service or ditch the liferaft altogether. Current thinking is to replace it if I can find a supplier :)
 

Resolution

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Do you mind me asking which company you're dealing with and how much they're charging for the service? PM if you don't want to post publicly. I have to say I'm inclined to dispense with the liferaft altogether especially as I have a good tender which is fast and easy to deploy. I definitely won't be doing a service myself - I get frustrated trying to fold a jumper to put in a suitcase.

The boat is being serviced by Sea Star Yachting at Turgutreis and they have said they will send it off to a specialist but have not said whom. Sea Star have been very decent to me over the last five years, doing a good job at a fair price, so I have not asked for a quote in advance. I will ask them where they plan to send it and let you know.
Peter
 

Resolution

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The modern "rubbish" is made to specific standards with deeper ballast pockets because many old rafts were found to be not fit for purpose. Old rafts are condemned fro a reason but feel free to use yours.

I was trying to reach the same point but less directly! From my sea survival course nearly ten years ago it was very obvious that getting into a liferaft from the water would be extremely difficult, so the modern inflatable step would be a real advantage.
Still keen to know if the poster, rszmeti, has done a proper, scientific comparison. Any reply rszmeti?
 

Irish Rover

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The boat is being serviced by Sea Star Yachting at Turgutreis and they have said they will send it off to a specialist but have not said whom. Sea Star have been very decent to me over the last five years, doing a good job at a fair price, so I have not asked for a quote in advance. I will ask them where they plan to send it and let you know.
Peter
Much appreciated. Thank you.
 
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