Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    454

    Default DIY Life raft service?

    In another thread, one respondent talked about DIY repackaging a life raft. Does anyone service their own life raft? The arguments for are, presumably: (1) You know what's been done and how well and (2) it's cheaper.

    What would be the arguments against, apart from not having a certificate?
    Jonathan / Aeolus

  2. #2
    JohnTH is offline Registered User
    Location : Dalgarven, Ayrshire
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    548

    Default

    Well, Aeolus, as far as I can see that is it, no certificate.

    DIY takes up a lot of space and outside on the lawn is not the place to be. Hire the scout hall etc if you have to.

    Take pictures, draw what looks to be difficult to re pack.

    The first aid kit is date stamped to time expire, no idea why other than marketing. Same story for the flare pack and water.

    I am still using the first aid kit that “died” five years ago.

    73s de

    Johnth

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,027

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Aeolus View Post
    In another thread, one respondent talked about DIY repackaging a life raft. Does anyone service their own life raft? The arguments for are, presumably: (1) You know what's been done and how well and (2) it's cheaper.

    What would be the arguments against, apart from not having a certificate?
    Most liferafts are vacuum packed in a new polythene(?) bag. Not sure how you would achieve a suitable vacuum.

    If you have a (cheap) solution for that, can you let me (and everyone else) know, please. I might then do my own service as I was less than impressed with the process employed by a local Portsmouth service centre when I observed a couple of years ago. I think they have since ceased trading.
    ------------------------------------
    Loves sailing, hates gardening

  4. #4
    PeterGibbs is offline Registered User
    Location : N London, and boat in Suffolk
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    2,114

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Aeolus View Post
    In another thread, one respondent talked about DIY repackaging a life raft. Does anyone service their own life raft? The arguments for are, presumably: (1) You know what's been done and how well and (2) it's cheaper.

    What would be the arguments against, apart from not having a certificate?
    Safety gear IMO is not the place where savings are to be had. Answering your question: should anything adverse happen I would want to be able to say that within reasonable limits I put my back into serious safety gear. Wouldn't you?

    Most life rafts have 3 year servicing which is a lot more than just blowing the thing up and replacing the torch batteries in the onboard safety gear. When repacked it has to last another 3 years - anything spotted during the service that might compromise the next 3 years' safe performance would be spotted. Can you or I do that?

    A service costs £150 /200 - ie 60 quid a year. Worth every penny.

    I rest my case.....I hope I persuaded you.

    PWG

  5. #5
    TradewindSailor is offline Registered User
    Location : East Coast Australia
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,037

    Default

    I doubt that you'd be able to repack the liferaft properly.

    I took a valise liferaft to Viking. They were a day late in returning the raft as they had great difficulty in getting it back into the valise. They only managed it when I tod them to put half the stores into a dry bag. No fault of theirs at all .... and I am only too happy to recommend them.

    There is an additional problem with canisters .... the metal bands that hold them together are designed to break when the raft is triggered to inflate. It is possible to work out other ways to secure the canister ..... but would you risk it?

    Are all liferafts vacuum packed now? They never used to be .... and I doubt if my Givens is.

  6. #6

    Default

    IIRC, the canister sealing tape is also of a special variety, designed to release quickly.

    Ordinary packing tape stretches too much.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    1,659

    Default

    The service people I've used carry out all the work in a dry atmosphere. They have a sealed room that is temperature and humidity controlled.

    To pack it into the plastic bag they used a normal henry hoover.
    quicKutter rope cutter, shaft and rudder bearings
    www.h4marine.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    25,718

    Default

    Vacuum Packing; you can get storage bags designed to be used with a vacuum cleaner to store bedding. I realise that this may not be the same quality as used on liferafts - but it might be a useful alternative to not vacuum packing at all.

    Only question might be whether it would burst easily enough on inflation.
    Boaty junk clogging up your shed or lockers? Chuck it in http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Marinaskip

    Want a used bike, spares or repairs in Staffordshire? Visit http://back2bikes.org.uk/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,027

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Searush View Post
    Vacuum Packing; you can get storage bags designed to be used with a vacuum cleaner to store bedding. I realise that this may not be the same quality as used on liferafts - but it might be a useful alternative to not vacuum packing at all.

    Only question might be whether it would burst easily enough on inflation.
    On the subject of vacuum packing, how do you seal the trigger rope entry to the bag? It has to enter the bag as the cylinder and firing mechanism are in there. Maybe it's not actually a proper vacuum, once the folded raft is back in the bag?
    ------------------------------------
    Loves sailing, hates gardening

  10. #10
    PeterGibbs is offline Registered User
    Location : N London, and boat in Suffolk
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    2,114

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Playtime View Post
    On the subject of vacuum packing, how do you seal the trigger rope entry to the bag? It has to enter the bag as the cylinder and firing mechanism are in there. Maybe it's not actually a proper vacuum, once the folded raft is back in the bag?
    You don't. The release rope is back-to-back with the trigger mechanism through the plastic container, so that the packaging is water and air tight. IME the container is not vacuum packed, just air extracted to keep the whole assembly as small as possible.

    Using a DIY container of whatever source, unless specified for this purpose, is inviting, shall we say, a measure of disappointment in the outcome when yanking on the release cord as the boat settles to its gunnels....

    Do it proper...you know it's the right thing!

    PWG

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •