Life rafts are designed to provide shelter for crew members endangered from a capsized, burning or sinking boat. It can be the most important piece of safety equipment on your boat when you have the right raft for your needs. Some things to consider when selecting a raft is determining what type of cruising you are taking part in. Are you cruising offshore, sailing off on a voyage around the states, fishing a tournament offshore? If you said "yes" to any of those options then you are a candidate for needing protection offered from a liferaft.
Why Do You Need a Life Raft?
- To be prepared for worse-case situations. Create a standard operating procedures checklist and review with your crew so everyone is on the same page and is aware of safety items you have on the vessel. Last ditch effort would be gathering all crewmembers and launching your raft.
- A failed electrical system caused an onboard fire. You will need to get off the boat as quickly as possible.
- If it's too far to swim to shore and the water is colder than 32 degrees, it's time for a raft.
- You are farther than hours from any help.
Different Types of Rafts
Compact Rafts: This is perfect for inland use of 6 people or less. This is smallest and most inexpensive option if you are new to rafts and want a safe option for your family when cruising inshore, including locations up to 15 miles from shore. These rafts do not include a safety kit of items and excludes a canopy or cover from the enviroment but will do in a pinch. The compact size is perfect for easy stow away and deployment. If the time comes to use the raft, deployment is easy, give a hard pull on the painterline and the raft will inflate within 30 seconds.