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The Life Raft Experiment – Adventure 19

Will an expired liferaft float? What’s inside of these things? How do they work?

These things aren’t cheap so it was discussed whether we could trust our old one and just have it repacked or get a new one. We ended up choosing to get a new one. There are many options to decide from. Some of our decisions were practical. Ben wanted to be able to sit up. We needed a small one as most of the time its just the two of us aboard. Other than that we found one that was from a trustworthy company and pulled the trigger. Ahem not the pull cord.

With the new one installed, we had to decide what to do with our old one. Since we weren’t comfortable using it ourselves, we couldn’t in good conscious sell it. We have been lugging around an extra raft for just around 7000 nautical miles. Finally we found the right day and place to give the old one a spin.

This experiment comes to you while a 46 foot catamaran, mere hours from our current location, has been lost to a reef. The story of Tanda Malaika (link below) is a tragic one and brings to light the biggest hazard to boats: Land.

We bought a liferaft for the “worst case scenario” yet it’s thought provoking to think that a life raft does you no good when you are slammed upon a reef miles from land.


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