Features May 2007 Issue

Six-Man Life Raft Survival Equipment

In part two of our test of 6-man life rafts, Practical Sailor examines the survival equipment that the five major manufacturers in our test included in their life rafts. Testers compare the quality and quantity of such items as emergency flares (hand held and parachute), signaling mirrors, bailers, drogues, paddles, flashlights and more.

For Practical Sailorís six-man life raft test, the examiners looked at eight life rafts suitable for a cruising sailboat with far horizons: the DSB 6-ISAF, the Elliot 6-SOLAS, the Switlik MD-3, the Switlik SAR-6 MKII, the Viking Rescyou, the Viking Rescyou Pro, the Winslow Ocean Rescue, the Zodiac Class Ocean ISAF. A close look at the survival gear that each life raft manufacturer provides reveals that its generally left up to the owner to provide the gear that is more likely to expedite rescue (like a 406-EPIRB) or keep him alive (like a Katadyn hand-operated wate maker).

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