Emergency equipment??

The friendliest place on the web for anyone who enjoys boating.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
1,167
Location
USA
Vessel Name
Slow Lane
Vessel Make
2005 Silverton 35 Motoryacht
Im going crazy trying to decide on several different options for my emergency equipment. I'm in the process of buying a Camano 31.

These are the 2 items I need advice on. I have all the other emergency items covered from my previous boat.

1. Life raft

2. EPIRB or PLB


Im definitely gonna buy a life raft but Im not sure which one. I'll be doing mostly coastal cruising from Boston to New York. I would like the smallest one available since my boat is small and space will be at a premium. This will be in addition to my dinghy, thats why i want something small.

EPIRB vs PLB--- Im leaning towards the EPIRB because i like the fact that they will send a signal automatically if submerged. The PLBs are still a manual device right? What are most using??

This is the site that Im shopping from. They are local to me. I may go to factory actually.


https://www.lrse.com/collections/epirbs-plbs
 
Survival is a preplanned process for a series of events that mau or may not happen.

Whete are ypur boating geographical limitations and are you one to take risks with weather? While easy to say no, some do and some dont, matters for survival equipment.

For fair weather, east coast US sailors with a readily available dingy or floating object, a life raft may be considered over kill.

A rescue platform would be more than enough.

Also 2 PLBs might be more usefull than an EPIRB.

Waterproof handhelds and good portable lights can be important too.

Its a plan more than a guess...but like they say, the plan goes to hell at the first unexpected issue. But a plan is where to start.
 
I agree, for coastal cruising...I would call a life raft "suspenders" if you have a dinghy (the belt)
 
Certainly the lines of survival are blurred by marketing.

Even a trip to the Bahamas only involves being 30 or so miles "offshore".

On the East Coast of the US and western Bahamas, as long as you travel in decent weather, you generally are within just hours of rescue, not days or weeks.

Better to spread out dollars spent on survival gear that can be redundant than overkill on a few items that are suitable for crossing oceans.

Not to say all of the best equipment isnt great, but most of us budget boating and dollars should first be spent on a safe mothership, then apportioned for things that will work just fine for where you boat and are redundant.
 
Last edited:
If you are fishing 100 miles offshore I would have a life raft. For ICW or near shore in my opinion it's overkill if you have a dinghy.
 
Life rafts have to be regularly serviced/inspected as well, expensive. Plus, the smallest raft, if you ever have to use it, will be a floating torture chamber.
 
Servicing is a good idea but its not as frequent for recreational cradt in the US, in fact servicing isnt even required on private vessels.

For coastal cruising, a single tube float is not as expensive and has more roon depending on model than an expensive offshore raft.

Get gear that is apooropriate, not necessarily top dollar or performance.
 
Another option would be to rent a well-maintained life raft when you need one; like that trip 100 miles offshore hmason suggests above.
 
Last edited:
I would go with 2 PLBs each attached to your PFD.
 
If you are forced off your sinking boat and your EPIRB goes off and goes down with the boat. Now you have a rescue team looking for your sunken boat. Who cares if they find the boat. You want them to find you. If you keep a PLB in your ditch bag or attached to your PFD, now they can find you.
 
Perhaps a survival suit would be a compromise that increases your odds of survival if the boat does go down, but doesn't take up as much space as a liferaft ?
 
These are the 2 items I need advice on. I have all the other emergency items covered from my previous boat.

1. Life raft

2. EPIRB or PLB


Im definitely gonna buy a life raft but Im not sure which one.

EPIRB vs PLB--- Im leaning towards the EPIRB because i like the fact that they will send a signal automatically if submerged.
I also do a little coastal cruising (no more than 30 miles offshore.) and I agree with your choices. A dinghy is not a life boat and is no where as stable in an angry sea as a raft is! Whether you are 5 miles offshore or 50 miles, a life raft is safer. I also like the EPIRB if only one signaling device is purchased. It's working (When activated) and the rest of the signaling devices (flares, etc) should be in your abandon ship bag.

http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/landfallnav/RevereCoastalCommander2015.pdf

Abandon Ship / Grab Bag Checklist
 

Attachments

  • Enlarged Sandpiper.jpg
    Enlarged Sandpiper.jpg
    138.9 KB · Views: 174
Depending on water temp. A survival suit can be much better than a life raft for hypothwrmia protection.

Both is best, but you can freeze to death in a liferaft pretty quickly.
 
Plus, the smallest raft, if you ever have to use it, will be a floating torture chamber.
True enough, but then I think the operative word in that sentence is "floating." :)

Personally, for the kind of cruising the OP describes, I would not buy a life raft. I would go with good PFDs, with a PLB attached to each, and an EPIRB for the boat.

The EPIRB should be attached either where it can float free in case of a sinking, or at least where it can be very easily released by someone who is in the process of abandoning the boat.
 
I know from another thread you are planning to carry an inflated dinghy on your swim step. My opinion is that is adequate as an emergency raft for coastal cruising. Spend your money on electronics to call for help. An Epirb in a float free bracket and a PLB in a ditch bag with plenty of flares or one of the new electric flares, or both. I'd also have a hand held vhf in the bag and keep your cell phone in a waterproof case. A zip lock bag works well for this.
 
cruising in new england, I think psneed has it with a survival suit. that cold water is a killer. epirb/plb is great - you want them to find you. It's better if they find you alive. look up the hypothermia tables and compare them to your water temps, especially in the spring.
 
I also carry a handheld aviation radio (similar to marine) with the thought that I may be able to talk with an airplane on the emergency channel (121.5) when I can't get another boat on a VHF while in a secluded, mountainous anchorage.
 
Carrying an handheld aviation radio for transmitting on 121.5 is a great idea. There is essentially an airplane overhead everywhere in the world and they monitor 121.5.
 
I agree with the above post - a dinghy is not a life raft.


Life rafts are designed to stay oriented and protect you in rough seas without propulsion.


We have a nice dinghy - but I would hate to think about being in it without power. In this situation, how long can I keep the motor running with the gas on board. Even with power - I cant imagine 6 ft seas on it.


Dinghy is secured to the swim platform. Would take several minutes with me being on the swim platform to separate it from the boat. Imagine the boat being with out power, turned by the seas so it is rolling with beam on waves - how would I even be able to stay on the swim platform to get the dinghy undone.


I think another factor is the area in which you typically boat. The further north you are, the colder the water. It would be one thing if you are off the coast of South Florida versus off the coast of Maine.


We do not currently have a life raft - but it is on the list.


Mark
 
true a dingy is not a liferaft...

no more than most of our boats are bluewater cruisers.

For most of us, 99 percent of most of our cruising is fair weather, warmer weather....and withinn quick reach of rescue resources..

If you cruise the Inside Passage to Alaska or the beyonds of Maine or well past Puerto Rico...your survival skills and plan need to be notched up.

But for most of us, if we need to abandon ship, as long as we havent ventured into the eye of a storm and have an EPIRB or PLB, a dingy will suffice till rescue...the same concept of a survival coastal platform versus a full blown world traveller life raft. This is assuming launching the dingy is easy enough....and the reason mine can be in seconds.

Think this through before throwing money at the wrong end of survival.
 
Last edited:
Traveled from Cape May NJ to NYC and the Wx went south...... just my Capt and me. After that trip, I decided to purchase a canister life raft (6 person) mounted on the fly bridge. If buying a LF, do your homework - a 2 or 4 person can get real small and might not have an adequate "ladder" to get from the water to the LR.
Also, our ditch bag with handheld VHF, EPRIB, etc is always at the saloon door when traveling.
Good Luck
 
sometimes buying education in picking weather windows may be better money spent than on a liferaft that does not guarantee survival by any means.

not trying to be harsh but after 28 years of maritime rescue and many more seeing average boaters sold a bill of goods.... survival is not as cut and dry as most mag and internet articles would have you believe. NEVER solely take info from a seller of liferafts, like at a boatshow as gospel.
 
Last edited:
sometimes buying education in picking weather windows may be better money spent than on a liferaft that does not guarantee survival by any means.

not trying to be harsh but after 28 years of maritime rescue and many more seeing average boaters sold a bill of goods.... survival is not as cut and dry as most mag and internet articles would have you believe. NEVER solely take info from a seller of liferafts, like at a boatshow as gospel.

There is a lot of wisdom in that statement.
 
"Perhaps a survival suit would be a compromise that increases your odds of survival if the boat does go down, but doesn't take up as much space as a liferaft ?

And does not require expensive periodic inspections .

Our choice for offshore was to increase the flotation (fenders lashed under seats) on our 9 ft Grumman sailing dink ,compass ,signal mirror , survival suits ,an EPRB and real flairs..

Sailing in 100+ miles might not be fun , just very uncomfortable.
 
Hi

Good life rafts can be rescue, but cheap life rafts are a curse.

A good life rafts has a blown big entrance level that makes it easier to get up. I have been training with the high waves Ascent of different types of life rafts and some of them were almost useless, unless you have a big hand muscles. In poor life rafts are just underneath the mouth of the fabric made of the level!
Watch the video and mouth hole on the underside, this is a great life rafts

NBs
 
Last edited:
yes..... but survival coastal platforms have their place.... for those that dont need 180 day lasting offshore rafts that survive hurricanes.

For 90 percent of tbe rescues I have done on tbe East US Coast, an inflated kiddie pool would have been fine....or a decent dingy, or gumby suits, or anything that would keep you afloat and warm enough for 24 hours in mild to choppy conditions.
 
Last edited:
true a dingy is not a liferaft...

no more than most of our boats are bluewater cruisers.

For most of us, 99 percent of most of our cruising is fair weather, warmer weather....and withinn quick reach of rescue resources..

If you cruise the Inside Passage to Alaska or the beyonds of Maine or well past Puerto Rico...your survival skills and plan need to be notched up.

Well since I cruise in the "beyonds of Maine" I have to say that your are almost never out of sight of a lobster boat and a VHF call for help will bring one within 5 minutes 99+% of the time. Lobster boats do thin out after about 4 PM, and on Sunday, but any other time of day they are there. No where in Maine is really "out there". Also no one boats at night in Maine unless they have a cage around their props. Your chance of fouling your running gear on lobster gear is very close to 100% if you run for more than a mile at night.
 
8ut water temperatures in Maine steer survival options a huge amount.

Survival plans are like buying insurance...what are your risks vesus what will it take to mitigate them to acceptable levels.

As far as being out there, I have seem serious injuries in populated areas take nearly an hour to coordinate rescue....once away from a dock anywhere...you are in the wilds.

So survival education, plans, and execution on any boat can be a huge difference in survival.
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Back
Top Bottom