The liferaft is an important piece of our safety equipment and we just complete the final installation.
It all started with a fair bit a market research about a year ago. Ulf and I searched the web for options. There were different vendors, materials, design, prices, sizes etc.
At the end of the day, we decided to buy the RescYou model made by Viking (made in Denmark, good design, great material, global service network at an attractive price. They also sell the self righting RescYou Pro, but after some research, we determined that is was highly unlikely that a raft would inflate in a capsized position).
As we store it on deck it had to come in a container. The largest number of crew for our planned offshore trips we 7. We therefore needed an 8 person raft.
We waited for the boatshow in Newport, got a good deal and had the raft drop-shipped from Florida to Dan’s company address.
Peter and I went through numerous iterations of where and how to store the raft. The container is fairly large and pretty heavy and it needs to be relatively easy to get it over the rail. We finally agree to store it under the vang, forward of the cabintop hatch. We designed tie down brackets (stainless steel) and were very lucky that Dan could get them manufactured for us. Ulf found some heavy duty straps with stainless steel buckles at CustomTieDowns.com and were almost ready to go.
The bolts we bought for the tie downs turned out to not be trustworthy. We had to buy larger ones, redrill all the holes in the tie-downs as well as the boat and try again. Now everything fit together, but due to the weight and tension of the tie downs, the hatch cover bend and blocked the hatch.
We took the entire cover apart, sanded some of the hatch, added foam pads on the side of the raft to lift it up and were finally ready to go.
What seemed like a relatively simple exercise, ended up taking us a fair bit of effort to put together.
Hopefully, we’ll never have to touch the raft again…