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Offshore Life Raft Questions

Old 03-01-2018, 03:56 PM
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Default Offshore Life Raft Questions

I have a 25 foot Center Console and I fish offshore a lot and I am thinking about buying a life raft to have on the boat. I am looking for any input on brands, issues, and places to buy. Thanks for the help for those that have info.
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Old 03-01-2018, 04:12 PM
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I have a Viking Rescue Coastal 6 man, bought from LRSE. Designed for rescue within 24 hours. Weights 55 lbs. go to LRSE web site they have an information video.
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Old 03-01-2018, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by gundog61 View Post
I have a Viking Rescue Costal 6 man, bought from LRSE.

Same......look for boat show discounts.....
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Old 03-01-2018, 04:19 PM
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Make sure to check the routine inspection requirements and cost. Some require annual inspection and could be costly. Just some information to be aware of in your selection process.
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Old 03-01-2018, 04:29 PM
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I take off shore security very seriously. Not sure one brand makes that much of a difference over another. A few things I would keep in mind. Make sure it is designed to handle the maximum number of people you will have aboard. Keep its certification up to date. My thought was always if I needed it and it failed because I did not get it repacked, was that a good decision? Finally, if there is any way you can install one that will automatically deploy and inflate, do it. You will probably not want to be reading the instructions while your boat is sinking. All that said, I was offshore many times without one. And I am still here to say I was stupid.

PS - Do not ever eat the enclosed crackers except as an absolute final solution!

Last edited by finatic1; 03-01-2018 at 04:31 PM. Reason: Added PS
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Old 03-01-2018, 04:37 PM
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one thing to keep in mind is these thing are pretty pricey to ship, i would see if i could find a good deal online on one that west marine sells, then get them to price match it and send it to their store for you to pick up to save shipping
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Old 03-01-2018, 05:20 PM
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BOE usually has a great sale on rafts in April or May, check with them.
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Old 03-01-2018, 05:25 PM
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What happens to it after 24 hours that they can not guarantee it longer ?
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Old 03-01-2018, 05:42 PM
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In regards to the automatic deployment, keep in mind most of the newer boats, unless it is a catastrophic failure, will not sink deep enough for the raft to deploy.
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Old 03-01-2018, 06:19 PM
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Finatic1, this is what will be on my 28 foot WhiteWater that I will be crossing to the Bahamas in. Amazon has a highly rated and seemingly very durable recreactional 4 person raft, it is the Intex Marine Mariner 4, four person raft for $229.oo. It comes with paddles and a pump. I will have two of these on my boat. I plan to stuff it in a five gallon home depot bucket with the cap on it. In another bucket I will have a flare kit, personal locater beacon, strobe light, rescue whistle, hand held VHF radio, Sea Rescue banner, one gallon Clorox jug 2/3 filled with water and a package of energy bars. Both capped five gallon buckets will be attached to a grab rope, stored inside the console. I will have two of these complete above listed ditch kits stored in the console. The reason I want to keep each ditch kit stored in two five gallon buckets is that they also can be used as emergency flotation. PFD's will be stored in the console as well to be taken into the water as well. In my opinion to rely on one raft, or one of anything else for life saving purposes is highly risky. For 26 years I was a Firefighter/ Paramedic, so I am used to planning for the worst. With the above two ditch kits, I expect to be in the inflatables for no more than four hours. Being that I will be the captain of my boat, I take the responsibility of everyone's lives very seriously.






Charlie
"I should be in the Bahamas"
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Old 03-01-2018, 06:57 PM
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^ Oh Boy
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Old 03-01-2018, 07:07 PM
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Take a sea survival course - one thing having a good liferaft, another thing knowing how to use it and having experience of doing so might make a big difference if it's ever needed - e.g. experience of righting it if it deploys in an inverted position. Not a bad idea to do it before settling on a choice of liferaft so you can decide on what features you would need - e.g. you could see how easy or not it is to get in with a ladder and decide whether a ramp to enter to raft is a good thing of not.
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Old 03-01-2018, 07:17 PM
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Do you plan on inflating that raft over several minutes w a hand pump while your boat sinks in bad seas? No sure how that will work out. Most offshore rafts have ballasts to prevent flipping. Not sure this raft would stay upright long in rough seas. I'm all about redundancy but that doesn't make much sense to me. I'd save my $229 x2. The rest of your survival kit sounds great.
Originally Posted by Cool Change1 View Post
Finatic1, this is what will be on my 28 foot WhiteWater that I will be crossing to the Bahamas in. Amazon has a highly rated and seemingly very durable recreactional 4 person raft, it is the Intex Marine Mariner 4, four person raft for $229.oo. It comes with paddles and a pump. I will have two of these on my boat. I plan to stuff it in a five gallon home depot bucket with the cap on it. In another bucket I will have a flare kit, personal locater beacon, strobe light, rescue whistle, hand held VHF radio, Sea Rescue banner, one gallon Clorox jug 2/3 filled with water and a package of energy bars. Both capped five gallon buckets will be attached to a grab rope, stored inside the console. I will have two of these complete above listed ditch kits stored in the console. The reason I want to keep each ditch kit stored in two five gallon buckets is that they also can be used as emergency flotation. PFD's will be stored in the console as well to be taken into the water as well. In my opinion to rely on one raft, or one of anything else for life saving purposes is highly risky. For 26 years I was a Firefighter/ Paramedic, so I am used to planning for the worst. With the above two ditch kits, I expect to be in the inflatables for no more than four hours. Being that I will be the captain of my boat, I take the responsibility of everyone's lives very seriously.






Charlie
"I should be in the Bahamas"
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Old 03-02-2018, 05:39 AM
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Fish same area as you do. Bought a Viking coastal. Expensive to repack but they do it in Va. beach so you can save shipping costs.
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Old 03-02-2018, 05:50 AM
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Life rafts fall into two main categories, commercial and recreational. If you don't plan on having a commercial fishing permit, a recreational raft is all you need, you probably don't need a SOLAS raft either. The inspectin requirements on the different rafts are completely different. I would get a "valise" style for a
Center console. Easier to store and self launch. Watch a video on launching one and getting in, It's pretty easy.

This IBA is probably all you need.

https://www.survivalatsea.com/produc...MaAhntEALw_wcB
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Old 03-02-2018, 05:59 AM
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For recreational use, Viking is one of the most expensive liferafts on the market to service. Zodiac Nautic has one of the cheapest to service. Everyone else is somewhere in between.

If you're operating under 25 miles offshore, a Coastal spec raft is fine. If you're over 25 miles, I'd recommend an offshore. Also keep in mind, coastal rafts don't usually have insulated floors.

Since you're in the Carolinas, I'd recommend giving Charleston Air Sea Safety a call.
https://airseasafety.net/
Air-Sea Safety & Survival
120 Williman St.
Charleston, SC 29403
843.723.2722

Talk to Derrick or Raymond, tell them Richard sent you to talk about a liferaft.
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Old 03-02-2018, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Cool Change1 View Post
Finatic1, this is what will be on my 28 foot WhiteWater that I will be crossing to the Bahamas in. Amazon has a highly rated and seemingly very durable recreactional 4 person raft, it is the Intex Marine Mariner 4, four person raft for $229.oo. It comes with paddles and a pump. I will have two of these on my boat. I plan to stuff it in a five gallon home depot bucket with the cap on it. In another bucket I will have a flare kit, personal locater beacon, strobe light, rescue whistle, hand held VHF radio, Sea Rescue banner, one gallon Clorox jug 2/3 filled with water and a package of energy bars. Both capped five gallon buckets will be attached to a grab rope, stored inside the console. I will have two of these complete above listed ditch kits stored in the console. The reason I want to keep each ditch kit stored in two five gallon buckets is that they also can be used as emergency flotation. PFD's will be stored in the console as well to be taken into the water as well. In my opinion to rely on one raft, or one of anything else for life saving purposes is highly risky. For 26 years I was a Firefighter/ Paramedic, so I am used to planning for the worst. With the above two ditch kits, I expect to be in the inflatables for no more than four hours. Being that I will be the captain of my boat, I take the responsibility of everyone's lives very seriously.






Charlie
"I should be in the Bahamas"

serious question here (although I kind of wanted to ask what no crack pipe)

in addition to the already ask question of how you will inflate the rafts and keep them upright why are you putting water in Clorox jugs and why only 3/4 full

they make jugs that are specific for water and many of them actually come with water in them instead of bleach and are you worried about freezing or something and that is why you are not filling them full......you are going to the BAHAMAS

why not fill 2 liter BEVERAGE bottles or just buy water or even some cases of water and just drink it every trip

other than that I will give you credit for having many more supplies than many people that cross to the Bahamas have even if your overall choices leave some questions

one other thing I would PACK the rafts in the buckets not STUFF them I doubt those rafts are made to be stuffed in a bucket that is getting hot in a boat while they are all stuffed and creased up and STUFFED up and you might consider one other bucket with some type of sun shade in it even if it is something to just drape over you

that is one thing about a life raft for me it would have the top so I do not bake away in the sun for the buzzards to find me roasted to bits
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Old 03-02-2018, 06:01 AM
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I have. 26'cc and purchased a Revere 6 man coastal commander from BOE Marine.
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Old 03-02-2018, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Cool Change1 View Post
Finatic1, this is what will be on my 28 foot WhiteWater that I will be crossing to the Bahamas in. Amazon has a highly rated and seemingly very durable recreactional 4 person raft, it is the Intex Marine Mariner 4, four person raft for $229.oo. It comes with paddles and a pump. I will have two of these on my boat. I plan to stuff it in a five gallon home depot bucket with the cap on it. In another bucket I will have a flare kit, personal locater beacon, strobe light, rescue whistle, hand held VHF radio, Sea Rescue banner, one gallon Clorox jug 2/3 filled with water and a package of energy bars. Both capped five gallon buckets will be attached to a grab rope, stored inside the console. I will have two of these complete above listed ditch kits stored in the console. The reason I want to keep each ditch kit stored in two five gallon buckets is that they also can be used as emergency flotation. PFD's will be stored in the console as well to be taken into the water as well. In my opinion to rely on one raft, or one of anything else for life saving purposes is highly risky. For 26 years I was a Firefighter/ Paramedic, so I am used to planning for the worst. With the above two ditch kits, I expect to be in the inflatables for no more than four hours. Being that I will be the captain of my boat, I take the responsibility of everyone's lives very seriously.






Charlie
"I should be in the Bahamas"
I would practice inflating one and time yourself. Than think about what will be required to exit a burning boat. If you are not prepared to get your raft inflated and all your shit off the boat in 1 minute you have a problem.



Last edited by gundog61; 03-02-2018 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 03-02-2018, 06:58 AM
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If you have an EPIRB, PLB, handheld VHF, handheld GPS, sat phone etc etc.....how long do you plan on being in the raft?


Might be a silly question to some but not others...


A high quality coastal raft made the most sense to me. Number one it was much cheaper to purchase and number 2 it is much cheaper to service. Consider it.
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