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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys:

Just in case I ever do catch a tuna and it sinks my boat, I'm planning on getting a good liferaft. I've searched the threads here and have looked at several types of them. I understand you need to factor in the cost of servicing. Can you guys give me any good advice on a good liferaft? I'm thinking about the Revere coastal elite. I want it to be for 4-6 people and I don't want to blow alot of $. Could I get a decent one of any brand for under $1,000?
 

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The Commander is a 20 mile life raft, not an offhsore life raft. You can get under $1,000 with the Revere Coastal Compact, but it is an open raft. For the same money as the Commander you could get into a Viking 6P, which I think is a little better raft. For tuna fishing I would be looking at the 20-50 mile or 50 plus rafts. Life Raft and Survival Equipment is a good company to deal with. And they can be very helpful suggesting what will fit your need. Spending $3000 on something you plan to never use really sucks, but if you ever actually need it you'll be happy.
 

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You are correct the Commander is a 20 mile raft. However after speaking with Revere and Vane brothers in Norfolk, for a recreational boater going offshore it would be safe and appropriate even though it is not classified as an offshore raft. This information was primarily based on Revere's info that it is more rugged than other coastal rafts and it has 2 tubes. Hope this will help. As mentioned it is hard to spend $ on something you pray you neve rhave to use.
 

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You can purchase the Coastal Commander 6 on line for around $1500 plus shipping at LandfallNavigation.com, JMSonline.net, marine-electronics-unlimited.com, or life-raft.com. That price includes the soft case(valise).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys. I just want a good "solid" liferaft that'll work once. It's painful spending that much money on "insurance", kind of like the EPIRB. At least with the EPIRB, it's a cool electronic device and you can show it off and tell all your friends about it.
 

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Stupid question #1924 in my life.......would a new raft come certified? If so is it from purchase date or manufacture date?
I think most places have them drop shipped from the manufacturer, so they are pretty newly certified when you get them. It might be worthwhile to ask before you buy one. The one I bought from LRSE was certified the month I purchased it. The certification period depends on the raft. I know some are good for 2 years and some are good for three. Not sure if there are any other lengths on a new cert.
 

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I think most places have them drop shipped from the manufacturer, so they are pretty newly certified when you get them. It might be worthwhile to ask before you buy one. The one I bought from LRSE was certified the month I purchased it. The certification period depends on the raft. I know some are good for 2 years and some are good for three. Not sure if there are any other lengths on a new cert.
Yeah the one I have now is a yearly certification and it's getting expensive for a 6 YO raft. It's cheaper for me to buy a new recreational one with a fresh three year certification. It will literally pay for it self before the next certifcation is due. Anyone know someone looking for a "to 20 mi" commercial zodiac raft for cheap? Let me know
 

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Sheez. How much does it cost to get one re-certified?
A yearly raft is between $600 and $1100 depending on the items that need to be replaced. I have been told the 3 year certs are about $1000 each time. They will give you a ticket if you have an out of date raft that is on the boat even though there is no requirement to have one....total BS but I called and talked to the CG boarding department.
 

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Sounds like you have a SOLAS A Bill? Some of them can be vacuum packed and it is my understanding that they are good for three years at a pop that way. Anyway you cut it, it is expensive when they do the total repack and inflate test. I've never understood how they can ticket you for having a piace of expired safety gear on board that is not required, but they will. I'm not so sure it would stand up in court, but it spells for a lot of wasted time and money any way you go.
 

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If your boat is under 30 feet- good chance it is foam filled and will not sink.It might turn over but at least you have something to hold onto.

Most of us fish when there are other boats around so help should be close by.Never hurts to fish with a "buddy boat" - just in case.

My reasons for not having a raft.I put the money into good bilge pumps,good VHF plus a waterproof hand held ;-).Plenty of flares and of course - two life jackets per crew member.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I didn't know I could get a ticket for an expired piece of equipment that's not even required. I'm not at all surprised though. Maybe I don't need a raft after all. My boat's a 2008 24 footer. It should float. Maybe I'll just keep my ditch bag, other safety gear and continue other safety measures.
 

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I think the Coastguard requirement for upright floatation only goes to 21 ft. Funny how Boston Whaler built a reputation by simply meeting a Coast Guard requirement. Anyway, it shouldn't take long to figure out if you have floatation or not. Plenty of boats over 21 feet don't. I know for a fact my Carolina Classic will sink like a rock.
 
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