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Old 07-09-2013, 11:11 PM   #1
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Life raft storage ?

What's the best way to store a life raft: in a hard canister or in a valise?

Does anyone have any experiences or thought about this?
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:43 PM   #2
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Our's is in a canister on the foredeck, hope I never find out.
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:43 PM   #3
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Mine is in a canister under the step on the foredeck so it is out of the way, but can be launched single-handed in a hurry.

I reckon that a valise stored inside or in a locker will inevitably have too much junk dumped on top of it when you need it.

Of course even though my canister is in a lockable frame, it's very convenient for the thieves.
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:55 PM   #4
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Is there any weather damage, inside or outside, when in a canister?
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:59 PM   #5
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No, a canister is designed to be exposed, so if properly packed and certified, it will be fine.
BTW be wary of heavy crew using it for a step, after a while the seal might break.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:11 AM   #6
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Good points about stacking of equipment on top of the valise and the heavy crew on the canister....

Which brings up the weight of a life raft and the location: A life raft weighs 70-100 lbs so the raft should be in a location where it is easy to deploy it.

This speaks for a raft type that can be located on the railing, roof or other easy deployable location. So basically - only a canister type will do this.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:49 AM   #7
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Not all liferafts weigh that much...the Switlik coastal rescue platform (which is all many of us really need)...weighs in at 15 pounds. So a valise in a locker is fine...store it out in the open on longer or scary passeges.

There is no right answer...the camp of "must be on deck hydrostaticallt released" obviously has never treaded water around a boat that refused to sink until it drifted far enough away that getting to the raft would be impossible...or one that sank in the Bay where the water wasn't deep enough to release it.

The other camp of valise carriers needs to remember that a truly BIG offshore raft is almost unmanageable by one person and that accidents can happen very quickly.

Me, until I cross the pond, a coastal raft in a valise is all I would ever own and store it out on a weather deck before things got ugly.

But till then...carrying survival suits, modifying my dingy to be extra stable, unsinkable, and quickly launchable is my current survival plan.

And finally...the really absolutely true first step of survival...even BEFORE most people's step 1 "Recognition" ....The first step I always teach.....1. "don't get into the survival situation to begin with!"

I know that sounds crazy but it involes some subtle issues. Remember...Joe from suburbia might be in a life threatening survival situation when instantly stranded in the wilderness even with an SUV full of camping gear....when Bubba or a Navy Seal might be quite at home out there with just a good sharp knife.
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:44 AM   #8
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Psneeld, I'll buy all those good arguments.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:40 AM   #9
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Not all liferafts weigh that much...the Switlik coastal rescue platform (which is all many of us really need)...weighs in at 15 pounds. So a valise in a locker is fine...store it out in the open on longer or scary passeges.
.
That's my approach!
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:38 AM   #10
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I would go with valise as its portable and more easier to move, if need be. The Eagle had a big canister life raft which I discarded as it required to have re check/certified and it cost too much. However we sill have the canister and use it as a storage which is between the pilot house and the mast, which we could use. But still valise as I like things portable, GPS, charts, VHF, cell phone, note pad etc.
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:58 AM   #11
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The canister life raft on the Sea Eagle is mounted on the rail of the boat deck, just in front of the bow of the 12' tender. It is placed there so it can easily be tossed into the front of the dingy if there is time and the dingy can be launched or floated free. In that scenario, you still have the dingy and the life raft.

If the proverbial sh*t hits the fan, you can just toss the 6 man canister raft over the side.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:05 PM   #12
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If the proverbial sh*t hits the fan, you can just toss the 6 man canister raft over the side.
Otherwise make sure it is mounted where it can float free without risk of entanglement in things like the mast fittings or a hard top.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:25 PM   #13
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If the proverbial sh*t hits the fan, you can just toss the 6 man canister raft over the side.
And watch it float away?
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:27 PM   #14
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And watch it float away?
The painter is attached to the trawler with a break away link (which can also be used for activation).
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:35 PM   #15
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Is there room for all of us?

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Old 07-10-2013, 12:49 PM   #16
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Is there room for all of us?

That is pretty funny. But it does remind me that it is VERY difficult to get into a life raft, from the water, when you are wearing one of those big, boxy life preservers or a Gumby Suit.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:57 PM   #17
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Is there room for all of us?
In rafts? At least 25 percent of the flock anyway.
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:29 PM   #18
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The painter is attached to the trawler with a break away link (which can also be used for activation).
I realize that but I was wondering how long the painter is. It appears to be a long way to the water from the boat deck on your Nordy 47.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:03 PM   #19
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I was wondering how long the painter is. It appears to be a long way to the water from the boat deck on your Nordy 47.
The painters on a zodiac 6 man raft are 100' long. Most painters on life rafts are very long and can cause momentary heart palpitations as you keep pulling and pulling and pulling while trying to inflate the raft.

Think how far the water is from the deck of a commercial ship or ferry, which is why they have lots of line.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:16 PM   #20
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Think how far the water is from the deck of a commercial ship or ferry, which is why they have lots of line.
Thank you, sir! I didn't know that.
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