It is incredible how many vessels have life rafts that are out of date. The ‘last resort’ certainly needs to be maintained in line with the manufacturers service book. Whatever your raft, be sure to check your service intervals. We would always recommend owners to buy a SOLAS life raft. These rafts will adhere to strict quality and safety controls. Be sure to have a life raft which is suitable for your boat classification, crew numbers and the seas that you will be in. BH Marine is able to give you a full safety appraisal of your vessel and advise you on the appropriate life raft for your needs. We also have a range of life rafts that can be found in our shop.
You also must think carefully where this is situated. There is no point having a life raft in a locker with a padlock, nor in high seas will you want to be on the foredeck. Ease of access in an emergency is crucial. Consider fitting an HRU (Hydrostatic Release Unit) just in case there is no time to actively release your raft. We will post again on HRUs but in essence this device will automatically deploy your life raft if your vessel sinks before you have a chance to deploy.