You may recall my liferaft feature comparison spreadsheet I posted a few days ago. That little research project helped narrow my focus on a really open ended problem which makes it much more manageable for me to deal with.
After that I setup an EBay search and an RSS subscription on Craigslist for liferafts. It took about 2 days for a 6 person Revere Offshore Elite in a valise to pop-up on my RADAR.
The raft was purchased in February of this year (verified via the SN with Revere directly) and we got a deal I’m very happy with. I was originally only targeting 4 person liferafts because I didn’t think Dawn could lift and deploy a 6 person, however the Revere Offshore Elites weigh less than other rafts at the same capacity rating and that allowed us to take advantage of this deal and get a slightly larger raft in the process.
I’m happy to have another thing checked off the list and hoping to never have to use this.
I’m starting to do some long-term research on liferafts and part one of that process for me is to survey what’s out there and what the features are. My basic criteria to even make it into my list are:
- 4 Person
- Valise packed
My checkmark of features is pretty loosey goosey just going by what I see in the marketing brochures which sometimes don’t make it 100% clear what’s extra and what’s in “plus” versions of that raft. My general feeling is all the liferafts have the basics covered. The decision points to me look like:
- Usability – Do they actually work well. Need to look at Practical Sailor for that
- Survival Goodies. Do I want them to be supplied by the manufacturer or do I want to pack in some minimal items and also have a ditch bag.
- Servicing – What is the required service interval? (3 years seems the norm) and where do they have service centers?
- Double Floors and Walls – Do I plan on being in this thing in the cold for days?
- Price – At some point the price just ends up going beyond our budget.
No thoughts yes as to what I‘m going to buy, but here’s the raw spreadsheet.
There is also the possibility of looking into used and factory refurbished models. I’ve not looked into that all yet.