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Liferaft

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Steve H View Drop Down
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    Posted: 02 March 2022 at 10:31
Fellow Hanse 320 enthusiasts,

I bought my (2008) 320 last year and having spent most of last season kitting it out for open water sailing (it had been on on an inshore lake for its entire life and didn't even have a compass!) and enjoying some cracking sailing within the confines of the Solent, I'm now hoping to push further afield this season.

I'm therefore taking a good look at my safety equipment - but when it comes to a life raft, and in particular its positioning, I'm a little stumped... 

Although I rarely sail with more than 4, especially when going any distance, I plan to buy a 6-person life raft - otherwise I know the one time I'll need it is the one time I have more people on board! But thinking through the options:
- I'm not particularly keen on mounting a canister life raft on deck fwd of the sprayhood, noting the garage roof isn't particularly robust and it might therefore be ripped off if enough water comes over the deck.
- The port aft locker is where I thought a valise life raft could go but having checked the measurements, whilst the locker is just about big enough for a 4-person I don't think a 6-person will fit.
The pushpit doesn't seem big enough to attach a canister to on either side.
- I've got an open transom and am concerned that if I take it out of a locker elsewhere and put it there whilst sailing, it might get 'deployed' accidentally by a helmsman's foot... plus it would block the gas lockers too.
- The main port-side lazarette therefore seems the only option - but with that comes the risk that it gets buried under fenders etc at the wrong moment, hindering its timely deployment...

Has anyone got any other good ideas or advice as to where they've positioned their life raft?


Steve

The sea is where worse things happen...
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pdc78 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pdc78 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 March 2022 at 11:59
Steve, only you can assess the probability and potential for 6 people needing to take to a liferaft from your boat.  It is an event which none of us want to contemplate.  Therefore any skipper advising another on capacity requirements of their safety equipment is never a good idea.  Nonetheless, I recall my sea survival training practice boarding and righting a liferaft, and the expert advice that having a liferaft which is too big for the number of passengers is as dangerous as having one which is too small.  They are very difficult to right in any kind of bad weather / rough sea, and an under loaded raft will be very uncomfortable for its occupants.  
If you judge that you really do need six person capacity, you might want to consider carrying two separate liferafts (such as a 4 and a 2 person liferaft) which might also solve your storage challenges.
Regards, Paul
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Steve H View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steve H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 March 2022 at 10:45
Paul, thanks for your reply and itís a really fair point - although with a fair amount of sea survival training and experience of righting liferafts up to 25-person Iím pretty confident on that point. 

Iím firmly of the belief that I should carry sufficient liferaft capacity to at least match my max crew, but your idea of two separate 4- and 2-person liferafts is an interesting one, not least because I anticipate the 4-person being entirely adequate most of the timeÖ so I suspect I could probably sail with the 4-person routinely and bring the 2-person for additional capacity should it be necessary. I guess thereís an extent to which it also provides an element of redundancy should one be damaged. Definitely one to ponderÖ

Thanks again! 
Steve

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cptgood View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cptgood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 March 2022 at 12:56
I keep my Coastal 6 person in the cockpit floor between helm pedestal and mainsheet control line. No problems to handle and no problems to crew.




Edited by cptgood - 05 March 2022 at 10:26
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samuel View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote samuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 March 2022 at 09:06
I think that if one is going to keep a liferaft in a locker one needs to consider how to keep the locker lid open when the boat might be rolling & stop it from crashing down & chopping one's fingers off. Then if one will be able to lift the very heavy bag through the void. Note that one might be getting it out "in case" & there will be a big open hole ready for a big breaking wave just as one is doing this.
I only have an early 311 & keep my 4 man LR under the traveller. I have to step over the traveller to move about so stepping over the LR is no big deal.
I do not know about the layout of the later 320s but if one can place the LR so one can just push it rather than do lots of lifting to get it over the stern that might be best. It might be the the lady on the boat doing it, not the male.




Edited by samuel - 04 March 2022 at 18:31
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Steve H View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steve H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 March 2022 at 14:04
thanks guys - under the main sheet traveller is indeed a location I hadnít considered, but makes sense!
Steve

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Docjames122 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Docjames122 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 March 2022 at 15:30
hi Steve,

I have a 6 man canister that sits on coach roof. Itís out of date for a service and I am going to replace it with a valise 4 man.

We sail on Clyde and so my view is that we wonít be spending too long in a raft.  Think I will put it either in port aft locker, or temporarily secure to coach roof or by main sheet.

I just have a single floor eye for the main sheet not a traveller - how is yours set up? Would be useful to have a traveller - have you any photos?

J
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Steve H View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steve H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 March 2022 at 21:09
I have a traveller and that did look a good option but having looked at the measurements, a canister would have to lie flat so would protrude a fair way into the cockpit (must somehow be set up differently to the ones in the pics aboveÖ

However, Iíve done some more digging and found waypoint life rafts; more pricey than other comparable valise rafts (but probably comparable to a canister by the time you add the cost of the bracket) - their rafts are still ISO compliant but pack much smaller and are much lighter due to different materials - really good and been really impressed with the rationale they put into their raft design (insulated floors, big water pockets for stability, SOLAS rated inflation systemÖ). Their 6-person will fit in the port aft locker with room to spare! Plus of course being lighter than usual is a good thing should it come to deploying it.

So I think this is going to be the answer for me - albeit as an extra precaution Iím probably going to drill out the hinge pins on the locker lid and replace with removable pins so that in an emergency scenario the whole lid could be removed, easing removal and deployment of the raft.
Steve

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