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Old 06-20-2011, 11:56 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 19

There sure are a lot of numbers and letters out there for life rafts, ISO 9650-1 or -2, S.O.L.A.S, all the different numbers and material types are confusing as to which will last the longest. is E.M.C. good? I never plan on using the thing and I don't want to buy another one. I had to let my Avon 4 man go with the boat I sold. We need a raft for our new boat. I don't think I can get the same deal I got back in 06. I want to buy a used Switlik MD 2 for under a grand but it's a 2000 year manufactured. How long are these things good for? I'll have to spend 900-1300 for the repack and 400 for the valise to canister swap. I'll have about 2700 in it. A new one goes for 5 grand. Or, I could get the Zodiac ISO 9659 offshore for 3 grand counting shipping but it doesn'n come with much food and water, none of them seem to these days. Ya gotta grab the ditch bag or you'll starve or die of thirst out there. We'll be doing offshore. It seems not many come with a good ramp for a mid 50's half cripple to climb up to get inside either, unless you get the 6 grand raft. That just bugs me, that's some solar panels or a watermaker or something useful for the boat. Whay do you guys think? I like that Revere Rescue Racer XT.

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Old 06-21-2011, 02:28 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 27


I went the used raft route, with my "eyes wide open". That was a mistake. It wasn't the age of the raft, it was the inflation cylinder was rusted and release valve wouldn't hold pressure after the bottle was replaced.

My intention was to do my own repack, with the guidance of an experience of a fellow who had worked as a repacker in his father shop. All went well and was not all that difficult and offered the opportunity to get familiar with the raft and gear. Adding as I went. I was doing all of this while the cylinder was off to the shop for the required hydro. To begin with the steel cylinder was rusted and rejected. They replaced the cylinder but had to use my original release valve and it was defective and they couldn't repair it. It's been over 10 years, but it seems the only way to get replacement valve was to go through one of the repack shops. Or some such reason. I could tell this shop didn't want to proceed further.

It was a Givens, however I doubt that has anything to do with my problems. It came off of Shannon 50 that had been in a charter fleet and the raft was professionally repack at the required intervals. I purchased it from the new owner of the Shannon who was doing a complete refit and wanted a new and larger raft.

I ended up just giving up on the raft and canister still sits in my back yard as a reminder.

If you get a used raft, I'd recommend that the sale is contingent on a full repack with cylinder service and hydro it it is due.


Ingrid 38 (buider/owner), Huckins 53 ('61)
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Old 06-21-2011, 01:18 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 19

Thanks for the post on your experience Steve. I suspect I should buy a new raft.
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