Last time I looked, service intervals for a valise were shorter.
I have yet to find a good above-deck cradle location for my existing canister on my new boat, sometimes I wish I had a valise. One common theme in written accounts of Force-10 type sailing disasters is the narrative that goes something like "the glass continued to drop, we broached over to 60 degree so I began to think about the liferaft, just then a big wave came along and ripped the cradle clean of the deck".
What are UK regs concerning pressure testing of the gas bottle? In France they have an iniquitous 5 year rule...with 3 year checks, this means that every second one is only good for 2 years...and the bottle change is several hundred Euros.
[ QUOTE ]
Last time I bought one (three weeks ago) service intervals twix valise and canister were I believe - same.
Both now tend to come vacuum packed - so provided you do not jump on a valise frequently both should last the same period of time.
Valise around 20% cheaper than canister - plus no need to purchase or build a cradle.
Cradle / canister does not take space in locker ot below deck - but as others have said, it could get washed away just when you might need it.
I had a canister - I now have a valise.
[/ QUOTE ]
If you can guarantee that the weakest member of crew can lift the valise out of whichever locker its stowed in and get it overboard single handed, then thats a reasonable option.
For most of us who sail with wives and girl friends its just not possible for them to move all the gear in the locker and lift the raft out - in that case the only safe position for a liferaft is a cradle - my own preference is for one on the pushpit where its out of the way but ready for immediate launching just by pulling a pin out.
I had a valise - now i have got a cannister
[ QUOTE ]
my own preference is for one on the pushpit where its out of the way but ready for immediate launching just by pulling a pin out.
[/ QUOTE ]
I agree, I've gone for a canister which I hope to mount on the pushpit in a cradle, as I reckon launching it from the foredeck could be a bit of an issue. They are a bit of a handfull, I imagine dragging it out of the locker single handed would be quite a job in the wrong conditions. I've heard stories about rafts been washed off the pushpit also, but I'm hoping not to be in those sort of (F10'ish conditions). There's no 'right' answer to this, that's why they make both options !
ps. Apparently there's no (safety) advantage in being be tempted to go for one that's bigger than you need - half-filled rafts are less stable than ones filled to capacity.
[ QUOTE ]
If you can guarantee that the weakest member of crew can lift the valise out of whichever locker its stowed in and get it overboard single handed
[/ QUOTE ]
I agree, just tried to lift a 4 person valise at the chandlery this week, but it was much heavier than I expected. The thought of my daughter digging that out of a trotter box or cockpit locker in a heavy sea, whilst I was trying to deal with whatever was sinking the ship! But the same therefore applies to canister rafts on the foredeck. They are heavier and in a flippin awkward position to get overboard.
We went for a canister on the foredeck because a) our lockers aren't big enough to squash a valise in b) no room on pushpit. We decided that I being the weaker party on board would send the Mayday etc and my partner would deal with the liferaft.
Our canister is unbelievably heavy - takes 2 of us to lift it although it might be in extremis one would find the strength to heave it overboard on one's own. It's also sited on the coachroof which although giving a good line over the guardrails can't be ideal for stability even on a heavy boat.
Our plan is to get a valise and place it just inside the companionway while under way but I shall be interested to see how heavy it is. I'm not keen on having one on the stern as we hope to have self steering there.
Interested to hear other views though - our raft is very old (probably 1981) and maybe the casing for later canisters is higher tech and therefore lighter ?
I can manage our Zodiac 6 man canister SOLAS equipped liferaft but wouldn't want to carry it along the deck to the transom if it was mounted on the foredeck. Very few ladies would be able to manage it. It launches very easily from the pushpit cradle.
We have a 4 man raft in valise which is stored adjacent to the companionway. Is actually tucked into its own space under a bunk so never gets wet, hot, crushed, etc so a very easy life for it - under which circumstances I think it is a waste of time getting it serviced every 1 or 2 years, we normally just service it when flares expire.
Is quite heavy but am quite confident one person would get it out in a matter of seconds with suitable "incentive" to do so. The few 6 man valise packed ones I have carried have always been with someone else helping so a handle each - I suspect they might be a bit marginal for one to lift up and out of a companionway of much height but again think would be done with a suitable "incentive" to do so.