A life raft is not a piece of safety equipment that you ever want to use. It means that something catastrophic has happened and the boat is sinking. You do need to have one on board to save lives. Below are a few things to consider when seeking the right life raft for your boat.
How Many People Are Normally On Your Boat
The size of life raft needed will be greatly dependent on the number of people that will climb on board. They are designed to carry and provide emergency basic supplies for a specified number of people. Calculate the number of people and multiply that by two. This will give you plenty of room and supplies for a short period of time. If there are normally two people, you need a life raft designed for four people. Otherwise, you will feel cramped.
Water Temperatures and Roughness
There are two different types of heavy duty life raft. One is coastal and designed to sustain you in warmer, less rough seas and bodies of water. They are partially shaded from the sun, but the bottom is not insulated. Life rafts designed for rough, colder seas are termed offshore models. They are created to allow water to weigh them correctly and avoid tipping over. They are completely covered from the direct sunlight and the floors are insulated to avoid hypothermia.
These life rafts can be packed inside canisters or what is called a valise pack. Both are rugged and provide more than adequate protection for the raft and the contents of survival packs.
You will have to decide where the best locations are to store the life raft on your boat. There are specialized compartments on some boats, but others you will have to create a spot. You can actually secure a valise pack on the deck railing, which makes it easy to access when needed.
Cost and Location of Repacking
There will be a charge for repacking the life raft, which needs to be done once every three years. The entire raft will be inspected and the service performs any needed repairs. All of the survival foods and water are replaced at this time. Make sure the location you are heading to offers this service.
Contact boating safety experts like MMI Marine and find the cabin cruiser, sailboat, or yacht life raft you need today!