by Adrian on June 7, 2014

Whilst in the Southampton area and in preparation for leaving the UK, we took our liferaft down to the manufacturer’s to be serviced.

Liferaft 5

We were fortunate to find them not very busy, so they unpacked it and inflated it in front of us. Fortunately it all worked and it gave us the opportunity to jump inside, open the emergency kits (which would be replaced), look at the supplies and generally get familiar with the inside of what we hope we will never ever use or see again.

It is only two years old, but given the hassle it can be when in foreign lands to perform this job (on our last boat we sailed especially to the location of the service centre in Sicily only to find the whole life-raft had to be shipped 800 miles North to Trieste instead) we decided to get it done now so it has as long a service life as possible.

Firstly, it is a bloody good liferaft (at £2000 it should be). It is designed to self-right, is very strong and is of a good sturdy construction. The technician showed us the torches, the water ration packs, the rain water collector, the flares etc. We’ve also seen what is inside, so can now equip our grab bag appropriately.

Inflating the liferaft.

Note, when deployed and inflated properly from its own gas canister, this whole process takes about 3 seconds. In the factory they inflate it slowly from the factory air compressor.

The canister and whats inside:

  • Liferaft Canister

  • Liferaft in protective silver bag

  • Out of the bag with the gas canister showing

  • Inside the liferaft

  • Inflated

Whilst being serviced, they leave the liferaft fully inflated for 48 hours to test the seams and ensure it doesn’t leak (quite important) and replace all the batteries, bulbs, flares, water and other items in the emergency kits. They then deflate it properly, check the gas cylinder and repack it fully in its waterproof container.

On a warehouse floor it was quite interesting. At sea after leaving our sinking boat it would be a horrible place to be.

The liferaft is a 6 man Viking RescYou Pro

Viking liferafts

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