Chip-Chip has previously sailed as least as far as the Azores, and came with a lot of stuff when we bought her, including a life raft. Only problem was that the last service was carried out in 2000… We decided to put it to good use by inflating it so both we and the kids had a feel for how it works if we ever have to enter the life raft while at sea. Ideally we would have liked to do it while anchored so we could have tested climbing into the raft, but that just wasn’t practically possible, so we did it in the garden instead.
Once it was out we were very happy that we have chosen to not have it serviced anymore, one of the valves were leaking air, and it was just generally unpleasant to be close to. But Esben was brave and went inside, just to try.
The survival pack contained pretty much the things it is supposed to, like flares, a torch, a knife etc. But the flares were way out of date, the knife was in three pieces and we never got the torch to work – even though it came with extra batteries.
It was cool to see the raft inflating, and good for both us and the kids to experience. But after a couple of days we deflated it and sent it away with the trash. We are now planning to invest in a Viking Rescue Pro life raft. It’s really expensive, but since we have kids and sail with just two adults on board, we feel that the self-righting capacity is important. I guess I will get back to that in a later post.