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Safe boating tips for a fun Fourth on the water

by Switlik on 30. Jun, 2017 in Marine, Life Rafts, safety

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is urging all boaters to use extra caution while boating during the upcoming July 4th holiday.

Life Rafts 101: A Buyers Guide for Responsible Offshore Anglers

by Ryan Taffet on 02. May, 2017 in Marine, Life Rafts

Looking beyond the “box” and “bag”

As much as it pains me to do so, I will admit that when shopping for a life raft, to the untrained eye they all essentially look the same. When looking at life rafts you will typically find a quality/performance/features versus price “value matrix”. Simply put, you get what you pay for.

Life Raft Inflation: Air vs. CO2

by S Switlik on 23. Jan, 2015 in Marine, Life Rafts, safety

What things do people consider when picking a life raft? The list typically includes capacity, service interval, equipment, etc. One item that hasn’t been on the list—but should be—is the inflation system. CO2 has historically been the only inflation system option for marine life rafts…until now.  Now consumers have the option to choose between a raft inflated with Air or CO2.

What’s the advantage of using Air instead of CO2? There’s several. First and foremost is that air isn’t affected by temperature.  When you compress CO2 into a cylinder, the pressure changes based on temperature. This can affect the speed of inflation—at low temperatures, the gas compresses (which lowers the pressure), and your life raft will inflate slowly. In some cases the CO2 will even solidify into dry ice which slows inflation even more. Air, on the other hand, is not affected by temperature. Your raft will inflate with greater speed than CO2, regardless of the temperature. 

Life Rafts: Determining your capacity needs

by S Switlik on 29. Jan, 2014 in Life Rafts

Looking at life rafts and trying to determine what the capacity is can be confusing. There are several questions that you could ask. Is it simply based on passengers:  6-man, 8-man? Is it about the total weight of the passengers? Does it change depending on what type of trip you take? The short answer is, yes, to all of those questions. There is no one universal method of rating life raft capacities.

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