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Need for a Life Raft?

Old 08-30-2019, 05:06 AM
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Default Need for a Life Raft?

I fish in the GOM usually nearshore but as fishing continues to decline we find ourselves running 35 - 40 miles offshore. I have always been very safety conscious and carry a EPIRB, PLB and Rapid Ditch Bag with backup VHF, GPS, flare gun etc. In addition while underway we always wear Mustang inflatable PFD's. Boat is a 28' CC with twin F250's and although the boat is 15 years old the engines are brand new F250's and the boat is in pristine condition. So my question is about the need to carry a life raft. I really don't have the space for it and the last thing I need is to make an already expensive hobby even more so. And lastly, we fish in SWFL in the months of Jan. and Feb. when it is not uncommon for water temps to get into the 50's. Opinions?
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Old 08-30-2019, 05:24 AM
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Here are the survival times in cold water, you decide

Water TemperatureExhaustion or Unconsciousness inExpected Survival Time

70–80° F (21–27° C)3–12 hours3 hours – indefinitely

60–70° F (16–21° C)2–7 hours2–40 hours

50–60° F (10–16° C)1–2 hours1–6 hours

40–50° F (4–10° C)30–60 minutes1–3 hours

32.5–40° F (0–4° C)15–30 minutes30–90 minutes

<32° F (<0° C)Under 15 minutesUnder 15–45 minutes

Cold Water Survival
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Old 08-30-2019, 05:27 AM
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Life raft would be good for you . . .
Old 08-30-2019, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by tarpononecharter View Post
I really don't have the space for it
I bet you have space for a beer cooler though.
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Old 08-30-2019, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by JAGSARE1 View Post
I bet you have space for a beer cooler though.
Never been a beer on the boat. Fish hard, have fun and have a drink at the end of the day.
Not bragging but try to stay 100% focused while on the water. And even then some things go wrong.
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Old 08-30-2019, 06:14 AM
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No question yes. My reasoning is this: You'll never be sorry you have it. We have no issue dropping $3,000 on a TV but triple think spending it on a life raft.
Old 08-30-2019, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by richinct View Post
Here are the survival times in cold water, you decide

Water TemperatureExhaustion or Unconsciousness inExpected Survival Time

70–80° F (21–27° C)3–12 hours3 hours – indefinitely

60–70° F (16–21° C)2–7 hours2–40 hours

50–60° F (10–16° C)1–2 hours1–6 hours

40–50° F (4–10° C)30–60 minutes1–3 hours

32.5–40° F (0–4° C)15–30 minutes30–90 minutes

<32° F (<0° C)Under 15 minutesUnder 15–45 minutes

Cold Water Survival
This is my concern in a nutshell. What I don't know is rescue times after EPIRB activation.
Old 08-30-2019, 06:22 AM
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Skip 2 or 3 trips and take the $ and invest it in a raft.... in the big scheme of things they really arent that expensive.... $1k +/- for one that will suffice if you have EPIRB ....

If you have "regulars" that you fish with.... I'd almost bet they'd chip in for the peace of mind.
Old 08-30-2019, 06:23 AM
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30-40 miles out... 100% should have one. Frankly if you can't swing to shore you should have one. Local guy here in town just stepped away from a long career at Revere to start his own company. Better product, less expensive... https://superiorlifesaving.com

I have one of his packs in my truck as we speak to check on fitment, its the side of a carry on suitcase.
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Old 08-30-2019, 06:31 AM
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https://www.boemarine.com/ocean-stan...-liferaft.html
Old 08-30-2019, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by tarpononecharter View Post
This is my concern in a nutshell. What I don't know is rescue times after EPIRB activation.
What if the weather is not flyable? Line of thunderstorms between you and closest SAR aircraft..

what if the asset (helicopter) that would normally fly your case is on another case? and so on and on?

what if the helicopter assigned to your case has a mechanical issue in flight and has to turn around?

What if you then have to wait for a boat? Ship? Etc...

Im pretty sure you can figure out that means more time floating for you and your crew. You decide.
Old 08-30-2019, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by dadriva View Post


What if the weather is not flyable? Line of thunderstorms between you and closest SAR aircraft..

what if the asset (helicopter) that would normally fly your case is on another case? and so on and on?

what if the helicopter assigned to your case has a mechanical issue in flight and has to turn around?

What if you then have to wait for a boat? Ship? Etc...

Im pretty sure you can figure out that means more time floating for you and your crew. You decide.
Bingo.

And others have said, you spend $$$ on other things (toys) but are thinking twice about spending $$ on safety gear when fishing off-shore regularly?

A little bit of common sense goes a long way...
Old 08-30-2019, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mystery View Post
Bingo.

And others have said, you spend $$$ on other things (toys) but are thinking twice about spending $$ on safety gear when fishing off-shore regularly?

A little bit of common sense goes a long way...
I appreciate your comment, I think, but long before two guys were lost in the ocean I had more safety equipment than most guys ever knew existed.
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Old 08-30-2019, 06:49 AM
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If you are going that far offshore in the dead of winter I would have one. Much less concern during the summer when the water is warm.
Old 08-30-2019, 06:55 AM
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Specs on a 4 man raft, 27" Length x 10 1/2" Width x 17 1/2" Height, if you cant find a place for that in a 28 CC, you are carrying too much junk. I have a 27 onslow and I carry a 100lb 8 man raft in the bottom floor of my console. For that matter, make some rig to attach to your ttop.
Old 08-30-2019, 06:55 AM
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Up to you. But 30 miles in the gulf is an average trip for me. I usually go solo and don't have one. Of course I dont have an EPIRB, PLB, ditch bag, or backup VHF. I realize some here will find that unacceptable.
Old 08-30-2019, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by tg View Post
Up to you. But 30 miles in the gulf is an average trip for me. I usually go solo and don't have one.
There you go...you don't need one
Old 08-30-2019, 07:02 AM
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You answered your own question as soon as you said "I go out in winter with 50° temps. I'm not throwing stones from my glass house either brother, I did it for a couple of years, until I wrapped my mind around sitting my skinny ass in that cold water.
Old 08-30-2019, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by richinct View Post
There you go...you don't need one
I never said he didn't need one. Everyone has to decide their risk tolerance and act accordingly. Honestly, reading what some people write about what other people need makes me wonder how some people ever leave the house.
Old 08-30-2019, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by tg View Post
Up to you. But 30 miles in the gulf is an average trip for me. I usually go solo and don't have one. Of course I dont have an EPIRB, PLB, ditch bag, or backup VHF. I realize some here will find that unacceptable.

Obviously that’s your opinion and solely your decision. However, as a prior SAR guy and for the love of all that is holy please consider the folks that are going to be increasing the risk profiles in THEIR lives to come look for you. It’s actually very similar to suicide, the ones left behind are effected the most.


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