Life Raft Test Part I: Choosing a Life Raft
Practical Sailor begins a three-part boating safety series on life rafts. Part I looks at new safety standards and what they mean to you. Part II will present the results of our weeklong in-water evaluation of eight rafts, and the final installment will delve into life raft survival packs.
Our life raft test is carried out against the backdrop of relatively new marine safety standards. New criteria for life rafts for recreational boats have been established by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and the International Standards Organization (IS0). The Practical Sailor comparison features an in-depth look at eight life rafts: the DSB ISAF raft, Elliot SOLAS raft, Switlik MD-3 raft, Switlik SAR-MKII raft, Viking RescYou (UKL), Viking RescYou Pro (USKL), Winslow Ocean Rescue, and the Zodiac Class Ocean ISAF raft. As far as standards go, SOLAS is clearly top notch.