liferafts

richardm

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Choice of liferafts in Western Australia seems to be limited to RFD, Zodiac and Roaring Forties, all of which, when I compare with prices advertised in YM seem to be a lot more than UK prices. I am going to Singapore shortly and wonder if any reader has knowledge of yacht gear prices over there. Any comments about the relative merits of the various makes would be appreciated. I'm looking at buying a four man raft either cannister or valise
 

PaulJ

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Richard, I haven't checked out the price of liferafts specifically but generally prices in the US are pretty low..... why don't you check out the possibility of mail order from West Marine? (www.westmarine.com)
 
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It is very important that the make of liferaft you buy has a servicing station nearby where you keep the yacht. There's nothing worse to find that you have to transport your liferaft 100 miles for its annual service.
 

roger

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In the UK there are two main markets for liferafts:-
a. required for racing - no interest in whether they work - cheap
b. for those who might need to use them

Look carefully at the spec.
lights - internal and external - controllable?
inflatable floor?
boarding pillow? It's not easy getting into a raft when wearing foul weather gear.
ease of righting - good lines on bottom and around sides.
Where are the safety outlets - which you have to put bungs in i in the dark and dreadful seas
and so on.
There are two schools of thought on size.
a. A 4 man liferaft is very tight for 4 men
b. Crew weight is an important part of stability - buy the smaller size.
Good luck
 

Mirelle

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Service Interval

Happened to ask at the Avon stand at the Boat Show; they now vacuum pack them and the service interval for an Avon raft is now three years, for the Modula range which they also sell (lighter, smaller canister or valise because they use the fabric that aircraft escape chutes are made from, but much more expensive) it is 4 years.

If you are some way from a service station, this could make a big difference.
 

BrianJ

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Richard... there is some good advise offered in the replies you have. I just wanted to add that I did the compulsory safety course for Syd/Hbt... Mel/ Hbt. in December. One of the tests was to right a raft and climb into it with ALL your wet weather gear on ( plus boots). bloody difficult.

Check out RFD... I like them, they will build into the raft what you want. Check the "boarding ladder" it should be deeper than the standard one. If there aare 4 of you sailing only get a 4 man raft etc etc.
Good luck
BrianJ
 

billmacfarlane

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Re: Service Interval

I had a look at the Modula as well. Liked the look of it and also liked the design of the pulpit cradle , easily the best I've seen. Despite the price and bearing in mind my Celtic blood I'm thinking of buying one.
 

bedouin

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Re: Modula Liferafts

I agree that they are very nice pieces of kit - but I wouldn't consider buying one unless my resources were almost limitless; and I had already invested in every other imaginable piece of safety and emergency equipment.

I was looking at liferafts at the show and finally chose the new Zodiac Zoom 4man (it was a toss-up between that and the Arimar with the entry ramp). This is a cheap model, but the money I've saved will go on a personal EPIRB (the beautiful McMurdo FastFind). In the sort of areas I sail, that should virtually guarantee being recovered within 8 hours; and almost any liferaft should keep me alive that long.
 

billmacfarlane

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Re: Modula Liferafts

I haven't totally made up my mind yet. Like you I think it's a helluva price to pay for a liferaft. I also liked its compactness but I'll look into a cheaper liferaft/EPIRB package as well.
 

bedouin

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Re: Modula Liferafts

I'ld be interested to know:

(i) How often liferafts are deployed by yachts in 'home waters'

(ii) If there is any evidence that the cheaper liferafts are less good at saving lives than the more expensive.

The only aspects of liferaft design I have heard seriously criticised are the ease of getting in from the sea, and the ease of righting once capsized. The first of these did make me seriously consider one of the ones with the boarding ramp (e.g. the Arimar RORC plus) but that has the downside of being bigger and heavier than the Zodiac.
 
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Re: liferafts and being PC

All the liferafts I have had dealings with over the last 20 years have had painted on their containers the number of PERSONS that they are designed to hold.
Where do you find a 4 MAN liferaft these days?
 

bedouin

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Re: I say \'cornishman\'

You're a fine one to talk about being PC - 'cornish' is definitely racist, and 'man' is sexist. Your name betrays your character :)

Me, I've been PC since I was born
 

billmacfarlane

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Re: Modula Liferafts

Sailing Today did a survey of liferafts last year.Might be worth having a look at it , as they criticised the quality of them , if you haven't already. From what I remember it was fairly uncomplimentary but one make was far superior to the rest. Can't remember which one.
 
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Re: I say \'cornishman\'

Look again! Cornish is nationalist - not racist. Celtic is racist. And while we are at it Bedouin is not squeaky clean either! Happy New Year to you, Arabic Person.
 

richardm

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Re: liferafts and being PC

Thanks Cornishman
I only sail with men so I guess I'll have to buy a six person liferaft
 
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