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Old 08-16-2019, 11:35 AM   #1
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Life raft for a Swift 44

Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere, but I'd appreciate owners views on life raft selection and stowage. I'm in the process of buying a 2012 ST 44 and it does not have a life raft. I plan to use the boat in the English Channel, going to France and the Channel Islands and will be in busy shipping lanes and up to 50 miles from dry land. I think is is prudent to have a six person life raft on board.

Does anyone have views on whether to use a canister or valise version? If you opt for a valise, is it practical to store it in the lazarette or would it be too heavy to lift out in an emergency?

If I opt for a canister, where would you suggest I mount it?

I'd appreciate any ideas that you ST elders might have!
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:25 PM   #2
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Had a valise years ago it gets beat up on the exterior, but I tested it and it worked as it should.


Not ez to move around, heavy



On you aft bridge deck you should have 4 pad eyes made exactly for a canister behind the hatch
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:04 PM   #3
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I have a valise model, but it is in a deck box in my aft cockpit, which also includes the other things I think are essential to survival. life jackets, PLB, more water, med kit, more flares, etc.

The deployment cord is anchored to the box.
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lipets View Post
Had a valise years ago it gets beat up on the exterior, but I tested it and it worked as it should.


Not ez to move around, heavy



On you aft bridge deck you should have 4 pad eyes made exactly for a canister behind the hatch
Yes, I saw the pad eyes for the canister, and while it's nicely out of the way, I'm not sure how easy it would be to launch in an emergency - say fire or a major collision.
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:55 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by AlaskaProf View Post
I have a valise model, but it is in a deck box in my aft cockpit, which also includes the other things I think are essential to survival. life jackets, PLB, more water, med kit, more flares, etc.

The deployment cord is anchored to the box.
Do you secure the deck box to the deck?
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:00 AM   #6
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The ST44 specifically has an area designated for a life raft. Its listed in the manual. That said there are many places to keep a life raft on the boat. There are different types of life rafts and different sizes of life rafts. My recommendation would be to look at ones for the right # of people and types of water that you will be navigating. If you are going off-shore, some times folks recommend a size larger. For example, if you are only 4 people max, get the 6 person. Once you see available options, I'd see about mounting options but best spot is indeed likely the designated ST44 life raft area behind the fly bridge door aft on the fly bridge deck even if you have to fabricate something. I highly recommend a canister / hard case type and not the bag type.
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:15 AM   #7
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With our cruising area together with EPIRB, PLB, VHF, mobile phones, etc, I wouldn't expect to be in a life raft for more than four hours. We cruise mainly as a couple plus two small dogs. Occasionally another couple. So I think a six person raft should be good enough.

Re the standard location for the canister, I'm concerned about the ease of launching in an emergency.
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:55 PM   #8
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The way I see it, there are 2 reasons to abandon ship. Well maybe 3, depending on who you are boating with Sinking, fire or nasty spouse. With that said, if there was a fire, is it feasible to drop the dinghy overboard from the fly bridge? If yes, sounds like a good spot. Unless of course the flybridge is on fire. If the boat was sinking, I would think the fly bridge would be a good place to be, assuming the boat does not roll. There’s an old saying, “Step up into the life raft,” implying that you should not launch your life raft prematurely in an emergency. In other words, if the boat is still floating, stay on the boat until you have to get off.
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Old 08-17-2019, 02:53 PM   #9
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I definitely would not put it down inside the lazarette because in an emergency it may be difficult to get out. When the adrenaline is pumping things happen like the bag catching on a latch or hinge. The last thing you want is it getting caught and not be able to lift it out.
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dani-lu View Post
The way I see it, there are 2 reasons to abandon ship. Well maybe 3, depending on who you are boating with Sinking, fire or nasty spouse. With that said, if there was a fire, is it feasible to drop the dinghy overboard from the fly bridge? If yes, sounds like a good spot. Unless of course the flybridge is on fire. If the boat was sinking, I would think the fly bridge would be a good place to be, assuming the boat does not roll. There’s an old saying, “Step up into the life raft,” implying that you should not launch your life raft prematurely in an emergency. In other words, if the boat is still floating, stay on the boat until you have to get off.
Somewhat agree; we primarily have relied upon dinghies as some extra comfort that we can possibly get into it if the boat is sinking or on fire. However, dinghies are not necessary stable in bad sea conditions, offer no protection from elements, can generally only hold 4 or so people comfortably, do not have emergency rations, and generally need to be launched which can be tricky if there is loss of power (to use the crane/boom/lift/etc). For coastal cruising where you are not too far offshore or rarely offshore, perhaps a dinghy is suitable but for regular offshore cruising, cruising in cold / hot temps, etc, I'd want a life raft. I actually sold my life raft since it was almost expiring, was in a bag (not hard canister type), and we knew we would be near shore this summer in comparison to last summer. I may add a life raft next season and will likely select a hard canister type, permanently mounted, so it doesn't get in the way.
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JeremyK View Post
Do you secure the deck box to the deck?
Yes.
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by AlaskaProf View Post
I have a valise model, but it is in a deck box in my aft cockpit, which also includes the other things I think are essential to survival. life jackets, PLB, more water, med kit, more flares, etc.

The deployment cord is anchored to the box.
can you please post some pics of your setup? thanks
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Old 08-17-2019, 07:47 PM   #13
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I think you should search U tube to see how it works


  • Check that one end of the painter of the raft is well secured to a strong point on ship’s deck or structure.
  • Remove the lashing from the container of the raft and open the way to portable rail if available.
  • Check the ship side where the raft to be launched is clear.
  • Two people should lift the container from both sides horizontally and throw the container.
  • Make sure the painter is still fixed at a strong point so that the raft should not be waved away by waters.
  • Pull the painter with a hard jerk to fire the gas bottle to inflate the raft.
  • The life raft will take 20-30 sec to inflate.
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:20 PM   #14
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Installed a REVERE coastal 6 person w/cradle on the fly bridge location rails.


If needed, I would lower to the swim platform with a separate line a then use the painter line
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:24 PM   #15
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that can take extra time?


Just toss it over the painter will inflate it
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:42 PM   #16
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raft

Thoughts were to control the painter/raft from the swim platform.


But real world might dictate a heaveho!!
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