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)