Friday, November 1, 2013

Life Raft (11-01-2013)

One of the essential pieces of safety equipment we felt we needed for off shore passage was a life raft.
As luck would have it while we were negotiating for the purchase of Velvet Sky we hit an impasse with the old owner and the brokerage offered a life raft as an inducement to make another offer.
The raft is manufactured by Zodiac and is rated for 4 people.
A life raft has to be re certified every 3 years; which means that a certified test facility pulls the rip cord and inflates the raft just as it would in an abandon ship situation.
We had Rollie at Westpac Marine in Tacoma complete the inspection.
There is limited real estate on the deck of Velvet Sky so we decided to mount the raft in the center of the cabin roof just ahead of the turtle top ( the dome that the companionway door slides into).

Blue tape is used to lay out the positioning of the through holes and ease of clean-up

The cradle was built custom at Port Townsend Rigging (thanks Josh)

Island Packet builds their yachts with a hard fiberglass headliner under the fiberglass reinforced deck, while it is a very clean look it presents a challenge or two to mounting anything on deck.
We discovered that there was a void between the inner liner and the deck on the starboard side of the install holes. I used some thickened epoxy to fill the void, then re-drilled the holes and used the same method as the stay'l track mounts to bed the fasteners.
For securing the raft we used nylon web belt straps and a quick release snap hook to complete the tie down.

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