Thoughts on liferaft installation and accessability


Author
Message
Dick
Dick
Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 932, Visits: 1.3K
Hi all,
Thoughts on liferaft installation/accessibility.
Largely written for another venue, but may be of interest and written for blue water passage making boats.
I know of 2 boats who have lost their rafts in knock-downs (one a roll-over that “cleared the decks”). One of the boats used a tiller and kept their raft on the cockpit floor from then on when on passage and did so for years and many passages.
I have looked at a lot of raft installations over the years and have had major reservation with regard to many of them. Some skippers had their rigger or boatyard do the install and did not know if the raft cradle was thru-bolted with backing plates or just screwed in place. Occasional further exploration, when easy, often revealed problems: the cradle merely screwed on or bolted on but without backing plates, or bolted on but not (in cored decks) having the drilled hole reefed and back-filled with epoxy slurry and then re-drilled: all necessary ingredients, to my way of thinking, for an on-deck install.
Sometimes the cradle itself looked flimsy or the design had limitations.
We wished to get our raft off the deck, but not below where access might be an issue and storage a headache. Our solution:
Winslow, already our first choice of rafts, will custom pack a raft to any reasonable shape and shrink wrap it for a 3-year life before servicing is called for.
We had our Winslow raft made in a valise style and custom packed, long and narrow, so that it fit just kissing the lid when sitting on the floor in the deepest part of the starboard sail locker in the cockpit (keeping it secure from ever getting “buried” in the locker). (Additionally, it was more secure from the elements, from UV and from theft). This positioning allowed it to be quickly lifted straight out from the locker and placed on the cockpit floor ready for deployment, and also safely behind the dodger. Crew also would not have to wrestle with a raft on deck forward of the dodger where they would be far more exposed: working in the cockpit, the crew were situated in the safest part of the boat.
We considered this locker our emergency locker: it not only held the raft, but it held our “grab” bag, flares in a waterproof river rafting bag, high intensity spotlight, and other safety related items. All items had lines attached so they could quickly be tied together.
We thought about heat from a fire that might damage a raft (I consider fire the most likely cause of abandoning a boat). This locker was not right next to the engine room, but not far away either, but we considered that our smoke detector in the engine room would give us ample warning before any heat got near to the locker. Also, the plan was, in a fire, for one to fight the fire (if possible and wise) while the other got the raft etc. out and made preparations to abandon ship.
In addition, all lifelines are lashed in place at both ends (replacing the turnbuckles) which then quickly allows them to be dropped to the deck for ease of raft deployment) and the grab bag has a serrated dive knife tied to the outside of the bag.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

Simon Currin
Simon Currin
Forum Expert (615 reputation)Forum Expert (615 reputation)Forum Expert (615 reputation)Forum Expert (615 reputation)Forum Expert (615 reputation)Forum Expert (615 reputation)Forum Expert (615 reputation)Forum Expert (615 reputation)Forum Expert (615 reputation)
Group: Administrators
Posts: 957, Visits: 86
Dick - 20 Jun 2023
Hi all,
Thoughts on liferaft installation/accessibility.
Largely written for another venue, but may be of interest and written for blue water passage making boats.
I know of 2 boats who have lost their rafts in knock-downs (one a roll-over that “cleared the decks”). One of the boats used a tiller and kept their raft on the cockpit floor from then on when on passage and did so for years and many passages.
I have looked at a lot of raft installations over the years and have had major reservation with regard to many of them. Some skippers had their rigger or boatyard do the install and did not know if the raft cradle was thru-bolted with backing plates or just screwed in place. Occasional further exploration, when easy, often revealed problems: the cradle merely screwed on or bolted on but without backing plates, or bolted on but not (in cored decks) having the drilled hole reefed and back-filled with epoxy slurry and then re-drilled: all necessary ingredients, to my way of thinking, for an on-deck install.
Sometimes the cradle itself looked flimsy or the design had limitations.
We wished to get our raft off the deck, but not below where access might be an issue and storage a headache. Our solution:
Winslow, already our first choice of rafts, will custom pack a raft to any reasonable shape and shrink wrap it for a 3-year life before servicing is called for.
We had our Winslow raft made in a valise style and custom packed, long and narrow, so that it fit just kissing the lid when sitting on the floor in the deepest part of the starboard sail locker in the cockpit (keeping it secure from ever getting “buried” in the locker). (Additionally, it was more secure from the elements, from UV and from theft). This positioning allowed it to be quickly lifted straight out from the locker and placed on the cockpit floor ready for deployment, and also safely behind the dodger. Crew also would not have to wrestle with a raft on deck forward of the dodger where they would be far more exposed: working in the cockpit, the crew were situated in the safest part of the boat.
We considered this locker our emergency locker: it not only held the raft, but it held our “grab” bag, flares in a waterproof river rafting bag, high intensity spotlight, and other safety related items. All items had lines attached so they could quickly be tied together.
We thought about heat from a fire that might damage a raft (I consider fire the most likely cause of abandoning a boat). This locker was not right next to the engine room, but not far away either, but we considered that our smoke detector in the engine room would give us ample warning before any heat got near to the locker. Also, the plan was, in a fire, for one to fight the fire (if possible and wise) while the other got the raft etc. out and made preparations to abandon ship.
In addition, all lifelines are lashed in place at both ends (replacing the turnbuckles) which then quickly allows them to be dropped to the deck for ease of raft deployment) and the grab bag has a serrated dive knife tied to the outside of the bag.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

Dick
Our life raft has its own space under the cockpit sole which opens directly onto the sugar scoop stern. It should be easy to access in virtually any situation - fingers crossed!
Simon

Dick
Dick
Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 932, Visits: 1.3K
Simon Currin - 22 Jun 2023
Dick - 20 Jun 2023
Hi all,
Thoughts on liferaft installation/accessibility.
Largely written for another venue, but may be of interest and written for blue water passage making boats.
I know of 2 boats who have lost their rafts in knock-downs (one a roll-over that “cleared the decks”). One of the boats used a tiller and kept their raft on the cockpit floor from then on when on passage and did so for years and many passages.
I have looked at a lot of raft installations over the years and have had major reservation with regard to many of them. Some skippers had their rigger or boatyard do the install and did not know if the raft cradle was thru-bolted with backing plates or just screwed in place. Occasional further exploration, when easy, often revealed problems: the cradle merely screwed on or bolted on but without backing plates, or bolted on but not (in cored decks) having the drilled hole reefed and back-filled with epoxy slurry and then re-drilled: all necessary ingredients, to my way of thinking, for an on-deck install.
Sometimes the cradle itself looked flimsy or the design had limitations.
We wished to get our raft off the deck, but not below where access might be an issue and storage a headache. Our solution:
Winslow, already our first choice of rafts, will custom pack a raft to any reasonable shape and shrink wrap it for a 3-year life before servicing is called for.
We had our Winslow raft made in a valise style and custom packed, long and narrow, so that it fit just kissing the lid when sitting on the floor in the deepest part of the starboard sail locker in the cockpit (keeping it secure from ever getting “buried” in the locker). (Additionally, it was more secure from the elements, from UV and from theft). This positioning allowed it to be quickly lifted straight out from the locker and placed on the cockpit floor ready for deployment, and also safely behind the dodger. Crew also would not have to wrestle with a raft on deck forward of the dodger where they would be far more exposed: working in the cockpit, the crew were situated in the safest part of the boat.
We considered this locker our emergency locker: it not only held the raft, but it held our “grab” bag, flares in a waterproof river rafting bag, high intensity spotlight, and other safety related items. All items had lines attached so they could quickly be tied together.
We thought about heat from a fire that might damage a raft (I consider fire the most likely cause of abandoning a boat). This locker was not right next to the engine room, but not far away either, but we considered that our smoke detector in the engine room would give us ample warning before any heat got near to the locker. Also, the plan was, in a fire, for one to fight the fire (if possible and wise) while the other got the raft etc. out and made preparations to abandon ship.
In addition, all lifelines are lashed in place at both ends (replacing the turnbuckles) which then quickly allows them to be dropped to the deck for ease of raft deployment) and the grab bag has a serrated dive knife tied to the outside of the bag.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

Dick
Our life raft has its own space under the cockpit sole which opens directly onto the sugar scoop stern. It should be easy to access in virtually any situation - fingers crossed!
Simon

Hi Simon,
The last couple of decades have seen a rise in the wise decision to design from scratch such blue water necessities as raft storage. Some of those are better than others, but they are all a good step in the right direction. I think the vast majority of us are on our own still when it comes to raft installation and accessibility.
Was your raft cubby designed for a particular raft manufacturer and/or size raft?
And yes, I join you in hoping that its existence is like carrying an umbrella during a foreboding day in expectation of doing so will ward off rain.
My best, Dick

Simon Currin
Simon Currin
Forum Expert (615 reputation)Forum Expert (615 reputation)Forum Expert (615 reputation)Forum Expert (615 reputation)Forum Expert (615 reputation)Forum Expert (615 reputation)Forum Expert (615 reputation)Forum Expert (615 reputation)Forum Expert (615 reputation)
Group: Administrators
Posts: 957, Visits: 86
Dick,
It comfortably accommodates an 8 man canister raft. We only have four man raft so use the additional space for water and other nice-to-haves.
Simon

Dick - 22 Jun 2023
Simon Currin - 22 Jun 2023
Dick - 20 Jun 2023
Hi all,
Thoughts on liferaft installation/accessibility.
Largely written for another venue, but may be of interest and written for blue water passage making boats.
I know of 2 boats who have lost their rafts in knock-downs (one a roll-over that “cleared the decks”). One of the boats used a tiller and kept their raft on the cockpit floor from then on when on passage and did so for years and many passages.
I have looked at a lot of raft installations over the years and have had major reservation with regard to many of them. Some skippers had their rigger or boatyard do the install and did not know if the raft cradle was thru-bolted with backing plates or just screwed in place. Occasional further exploration, when easy, often revealed problems: the cradle merely screwed on or bolted on but without backing plates, or bolted on but not (in cored decks) having the drilled hole reefed and back-filled with epoxy slurry and then re-drilled: all necessary ingredients, to my way of thinking, for an on-deck install.
Sometimes the cradle itself looked flimsy or the design had limitations.
We wished to get our raft off the deck, but not below where access might be an issue and storage a headache. Our solution:
Winslow, already our first choice of rafts, will custom pack a raft to any reasonable shape and shrink wrap it for a 3-year life before servicing is called for.
We had our Winslow raft made in a valise style and custom packed, long and narrow, so that it fit just kissing the lid when sitting on the floor in the deepest part of the starboard sail locker in the cockpit (keeping it secure from ever getting “buried” in the locker). (Additionally, it was more secure from the elements, from UV and from theft). This positioning allowed it to be quickly lifted straight out from the locker and placed on the cockpit floor ready for deployment, and also safely behind the dodger. Crew also would not have to wrestle with a raft on deck forward of the dodger where they would be far more exposed: working in the cockpit, the crew were situated in the safest part of the boat.
We considered this locker our emergency locker: it not only held the raft, but it held our “grab” bag, flares in a waterproof river rafting bag, high intensity spotlight, and other safety related items. All items had lines attached so they could quickly be tied together.
We thought about heat from a fire that might damage a raft (I consider fire the most likely cause of abandoning a boat). This locker was not right next to the engine room, but not far away either, but we considered that our smoke detector in the engine room would give us ample warning before any heat got near to the locker. Also, the plan was, in a fire, for one to fight the fire (if possible and wise) while the other got the raft etc. out and made preparations to abandon ship.
In addition, all lifelines are lashed in place at both ends (replacing the turnbuckles) which then quickly allows them to be dropped to the deck for ease of raft deployment) and the grab bag has a serrated dive knife tied to the outside of the bag.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

Dick
Our life raft has its own space under the cockpit sole which opens directly onto the sugar scoop stern. It should be easy to access in virtually any situation - fingers crossed!
Simon

Hi Simon,
The last couple of decades have seen a rise in the wise decision to design from scratch such blue water necessities as raft storage. Some of those are better than others, but they are all a good step in the right direction. I think the vast majority of us are on our own still when it comes to raft installation and accessibility.
Was your raft cubby designed for a particular raft manufacturer and/or size raft?
And yes, I join you in hoping that its existence is like carrying an umbrella during a foreboding day in expectation of doing so will ward off rain.
My best, Dick



Dick
Dick
Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)Forum Expert (899 reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 932, Visits: 1.3K
Simon Currin - 22 Jun 2023
Dick,
It comfortably accommodates an 8 man canister raft. We only have four man raft so use the additional space for water and other nice-to-haves.
Simon

Dick - 22 Jun 2023
Simon Currin - 22 Jun 2023
Dick - 20 Jun 2023
Hi all,
Thoughts on liferaft installation/accessibility.
Largely written for another venue, but may be of interest and written for blue water passage making boats.
I know of 2 boats who have lost their rafts in knock-downs (one a roll-over that “cleared the decks”). One of the boats used a tiller and kept their raft on the cockpit floor from then on when on passage and did so for years and many passages.
I have looked at a lot of raft installations over the years and have had major reservation with regard to many of them. Some skippers had their rigger or boatyard do the install and did not know if the raft cradle was thru-bolted with backing plates or just screwed in place. Occasional further exploration, when easy, often revealed problems: the cradle merely screwed on or bolted on but without backing plates, or bolted on but not (in cored decks) having the drilled hole reefed and back-filled with epoxy slurry and then re-drilled: all necessary ingredients, to my way of thinking, for an on-deck install.
Sometimes the cradle itself looked flimsy or the design had limitations.
We wished to get our raft off the deck, but not below where access might be an issue and storage a headache. Our solution:
Winslow, already our first choice of rafts, will custom pack a raft to any reasonable shape and shrink wrap it for a 3-year life before servicing is called for.
We had our Winslow raft made in a valise style and custom packed, long and narrow, so that it fit just kissing the lid when sitting on the floor in the deepest part of the starboard sail locker in the cockpit (keeping it secure from ever getting “buried” in the locker). (Additionally, it was more secure from the elements, from UV and from theft). This positioning allowed it to be quickly lifted straight out from the locker and placed on the cockpit floor ready for deployment, and also safely behind the dodger. Crew also would not have to wrestle with a raft on deck forward of the dodger where they would be far more exposed: working in the cockpit, the crew were situated in the safest part of the boat.
We considered this locker our emergency locker: it not only held the raft, but it held our “grab” bag, flares in a waterproof river rafting bag, high intensity spotlight, and other safety related items. All items had lines attached so they could quickly be tied together.
We thought about heat from a fire that might damage a raft (I consider fire the most likely cause of abandoning a boat). This locker was not right next to the engine room, but not far away either, but we considered that our smoke detector in the engine room would give us ample warning before any heat got near to the locker. Also, the plan was, in a fire, for one to fight the fire (if possible and wise) while the other got the raft etc. out and made preparations to abandon ship.
In addition, all lifelines are lashed in place at both ends (replacing the turnbuckles) which then quickly allows them to be dropped to the deck for ease of raft deployment) and the grab bag has a serrated dive knife tied to the outside of the bag.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

Dick
Our life raft has its own space under the cockpit sole which opens directly onto the sugar scoop stern. It should be easy to access in virtually any situation - fingers crossed!
Simon

Hi Simon,
The last couple of decades have seen a rise in the wise decision to design from scratch such blue water necessities as raft storage. Some of those are better than others, but they are all a good step in the right direction. I think the vast majority of us are on our own still when it comes to raft installation and accessibility.
Was your raft cubby designed for a particular raft manufacturer and/or size raft?
And yes, I join you in hoping that its existence is like carrying an umbrella during a foreboding day in expectation of doing so will ward off rain.
My best, Dick



Nice, D
GO

Merge Selected

Merge into selected topic...



Merge into merge target...



Merge into a specific topic ID...




Login

Search