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Life raft recertification

 
 
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Life raft recertification

I have a Evovinil 6 man life raft that was due for recertification in 2008. I opened up the bag today and it seems in perfect condition but again i didn't auto inflate so i really dont know. Is there any reason why i cant just purchase a new compressed bottle from the manufacture and change it out myself? I would of course inflate with the old bottle to make sure it holds air etc. What is so complicated about it that everyone "sends it in" for repair? How much does it generally cost for a 6 man raft?

I know this probably doesn't meet coast guard regulation but my boat is used for family trips only.

Your input is appreciated.
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi,
First, I'm pretty sure that you wouldn't be able to buy, from the manufacturer, a refill bottle.
Secondly, I believe that packing a raft is a lot like packing a parachute; it needs to be done by a professional. But at least in this case you won't bounce.

Recertification runs about $800+.

As Bill Cosby asked, "How long can you tread water?"

Plus it's your family...
10 years ago I took my brother out once and for 3 days we stared death in it's face. I look back at that now and thank God that I didn't nearly wipe out a chunk of my family.

I don't mean any offense, but safety is not the area to skimp on.

Best Regards,
Ozzie
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I know this probably doesn't meet coast guard regulation but my boat is used for family trips only.
I hope your family doesn't read this.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I appreciate you comments and no offense taken at all. my family is obviously the most important thing to me and i didn't mean that way. Repacking the life raft and adding a new bottle seems very simple and i just wanted to know why i couldn't do it myself from a technical stand point. I mentioned the coast guard because i didn't want that to be a reason in itself why i couldn't do it. If there was something i overlooked then obviously i would send it in.

If you can give more information other then "leave it to the professionals," i would appreciate it. I have been told that many times from retuning my Detroits, to working on my HVAC units and each time i did it myself.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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As long as the liferaft is not a required piece of equipment for your boat and its operation, you can do whatever you want with it, you don't even have to have it onboard. If you do repack it yourself it would be a good idea to have another form of emergency flotation as a backup.

Statistically, it appears that even professionally packed rafts are not all that dependable so it seems to be a crapshoot no matter what you do. One raft might be better than none but more than one might give you what you need, no guarantees though.
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As Marmot say, there are bad shops out there. And you can repack it yourself I guess. But I'd find a good shop and have them pack it and certify it.

I would also try and be there when they open it so you can see the condition it's in when they inflate it.
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I spoke with the authorized eurovinil service shop in San Diego and he wont really quote me a price. He hinted it could be over $1,000. Apparently i wont be able to get any parts unless it is through a authorized service technician and they wont sell me anything so doing this myself is really out the window.

Thanks for all your help.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Having observed a life raft service I can say it is not a simple process and should not be carried out by untrained people.

But basically the raft is unpacked and all equipment removed, everything is visually inspected. The raft is inflated to a specified test pressure and hooked up to gauges for a predetermined time. This is all done in a climate controlled clean room. Once the raft has been repaired and passed all tests it is repacked which in itself is not a simple task.

Spend the money it is a good insurance policy
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi,

At that sort of price you might be as well off buying a new one and keeping the oldie for a spare.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ya i found a local Viking dealer that wants around $400 which is reasonable but they wont work on any life rafts other then Viking. I will probably just purchase a new raft before next season.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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As long as the liferaft is not a required piece of equipment for your boat and its operation, you can do whatever you want with it, you don't even have to have it onboard. If you do repack it yourself it would be a good idea to have another form of emergency flotation as a backup.

Statistically, it appears that even professionally packed rafts are not all that dependable so it seems to be a crapshoot no matter what you do. One raft might be better than none but more than one might give you what you need, no guarantees though.
It doesn't need to be on his boat. However, I've heard that according to USCG rules if the life raft is installed on the boat it needs to be certified and current.

I would highly recommend having it recertified by an authorized recertification facility and not by yourself.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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However, I've heard that according to USCG rules if the life raft is installed on the boat it needs to be certified and current.
C'mon now Cap, if you want to claim the title you ought to be able to quote the rule if you want to include it in a post.

"I've heard" doesn't really hold much water in the regulatory world we all live in these days. Take a day or so and find that rule you heard about, looking for it will be a good exercise for a Son of Magellan and posting the results of your search will benefit all the rest of us as well.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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C'mon now Cap, if you want to claim the title you ought to be able to quote the rule if you want to include it in a post.

"I've heard" doesn't really hold much water in the regulatory world we all live in these days. Take a day or so and find that rule you heard about, looking for it will be a good exercise for a Son of Magellan and posting the results of your search will benefit all the rest of us as well.
I know it's there, I think in the CFR's, but I was hoping I didn't have to go through the time and trouble of looking it up.....
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Capt J

Got a couple of Givens 10 man rafts that are due for certification, who's your favorite shop in Lauderdale?

Appreciate it,

Bo
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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That would be 46 CFR 28.120 (requirements) - 28.140 (readiness,maintenance & inspection).
Sorry, don't mean to overstep my bounds as a noob here!
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