Liferaft Size?

awol

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My old raft failed to make it past the re-certification process - so I sold it on Ebay (with the full story!). I am hiring a 6-man raft for the SIPR (sort of Round the Islands with a bit of mountain climbing thrown in) 'cos I will have 5 bods on board and the rules say we should have one. The rest of the time I sail single-handed or with one or two others.
The perceived wisdom is that the raft should be smaller rather than larger than the number of persons - thus a 4-man is too big for most of my sailing. What, if any, is the solution?
 

Stingo

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Hmm. I am sure I will get shot down in flames for this.

IMHO, you are more likely to need a liferaft in reasonable weather eg fire aboard or you've clobbered something that converts your boat into a collandar. With some luck, you'll have a few minutes to load a liferaft with everything that you can lay your hands on - which will add weight to the liferaft (stops it capsizing in rough weather) and everything that you toss into it can only help with your survival; hence my stance on the bigger the better. I have an 8 man for single-handing.

In rough weather, the very last thing you want to do is jump into a liferaft. Just don't do it because it is likely that your boat will be found happily floating along without you.
 

Stingo

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p.s. The impression I get from all the articles I've read on longer term (more than a few days) survival in a liferaft, is that space is a problem and cramps and staying dry are real issues. The only reason to go for a small liferaft is when you are sailing in a cooler climate where hypothermia is an issue.
 

Fr J Hackett

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I think the size issue relates in its stabillity in rough conditions ie a large raft with less than full compliment is likely to get rolled the occupants are said to add to stabillity. however taking Stingos logic of loading it up you should be OK. Having got into a raft with a full compliment it was claustrophobic and uncomfortable to say the least with no room to move and no room to accomodate things taken from the boat so my preferance would be for next size up.
 

awol

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I can't really think of an awful lot that I would take from the sinking boat, certainly not enough to equate to the weight of a single person, never mind the 7 that Stingo has room for. Clothes, water, food, flares and various electronics (HH VHF, GPS, & EPIRB) to supplement the stores already on the raft - (the bible and the works of shalkespeare will be on the island when I reach it).
Anyone heard of a 2-man raft?
 

jb2006

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You should go for the smaller raft if you are often shorthanded - stability is the issue not comfort. The time you need it you may not have time to load it with kit. Even people who had a vested interest in selling us a larger more expensive raft told us to buy a smaller one. You are unlikely to spend much time in a raft in relatively protected watersand in unprotected waters stability is the critical issue. I have righted an eight man raft by myself and it isnt too difficult if you turn it into wind and get the cylinder on the low side and for a short spell in an exercise an eight man raft with eight people in wasnt too uncomfortable in a swell (better than the 50 man rig lifeboat) with 20 people in it.
 

Cornishman

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Get an RNLI Safety Equipment Adviser visit (Free!) who will advise on your requirements in detail.
A small point you might care to note: liferaft sizes are now x persons , not x man!
 

HoratioHB

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Couldn't agree more about size - when I was flying with the RN we did lots of survival training and rigthing a capsized liferaft that is too big is impossible. Even with water pockets the wind can catch them at the top of a wave and flip them if they are not nice and heavy. As aircrew we had individual rafts and even these could fall over. Mind you my initial survival course started off with 12 of us in a 10 man raft for the night - bloody uncomfortable especially if you are the guy whose feet are at the bottom of the pile!! Conclusion - try and optimise the size of the raft for the number of people on board - if possible.
 

Sans Bateau

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[ QUOTE ]
SIPR (sort of Round the Islands with a bit of mountain climbing thrown in)

[/ QUOTE ]

Scotish Islands Peaks Race?
 
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