Dawn & Patrick -

We're looking for the trash fence

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
  • Offshore
  • 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.