Ideal for coastal boaters, the
Revere Coastal Compact™
liferaft bridges the gap
between the lifejacket and a
full-feature liferaft. Starting
at $999.00, the lightweight, compact and afford-ably priced Revere Coastal
Compact fits and fills an important need. This high-visibility yellow polyurethane coated nylon liferaft adds
ballast pockets for stability, a water activated locator light,
a sea anchor and a top-off pump. The CO2 inflation
system quickly deploys the raft with pull-ring ease in
about 25 seconds.
Since the point of this article is to consider whether or
not you should invest in a liferaft, I’ll concentrate on
coastal and small vessels rafts. If you are planning an offshore passage and aren’t absolutely certain you need a liferaft, I’d suggest you just stay at home.
HOW FAR CAN YOU SWIM?
IN COLD WATER?
On September 4th of this year, hurricane Earl made landfall near Halifax; there was one fatality. A marine business
owner having secured a boat on its mooring decided to
swim the short distance to shore. The water was choppy
but not particularly cold (at least by Nova Scotia standards), yet after a short time he was seen from shore to be
experiencing difficulty and sadly drowned before anyone
could get to him. In this case he shared some aspects typical of people who suffer “swimming failure”: he was
healthy, a good swimmer and close to shore.
The waters of the Great Lakes, particularly the popular
boating areas of Lake Huron and Lake Ontario warm up
to reasonable temperatures during the summer months,
but at the beginning of the season, while the air may be
warm and inviting, the water is still very cold. In spite of
the risk, people confidently venture into deep water in
small craft, often without even a dinghy on board.
According to Transport Canada (1), a lightly dressed person will last one hour in 5°C, two hours in 10°C and six
hours in 15°C and that’s assuming you can stay afloat.
Long thought to be the “just a requirement of offshore
sailors”, a modern liferaft is really a basic piece of safety
The technology of liferaft design and construction is
constantly evolving and there are a number of places to
review the relative merits of different designs vis à vis ballast, drogues, etc. However, the main consideration for a
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