Life Raft

Stephen Davis

We have an old 6 man Winslow raft packed in a Pelican case on Aloha. They are great rafts, and lighter than most of them by a substantial margin. Unfortunately, ours was way overdue for repacking, and we discovered it would be at least $1100, for a Winslow certified station to do the the re-pack, and that would only be good for a year. Problem 2...If you are not in the USA, good luck on finding a certified re-packing station. We were in the Caribbean, and would of had to backtrack to St Thomas, USVI to get ours packed. The next available place after the Caribbean for us was New Zealand. Bottom line, it is very difficult to get a Winslow raft re-packed if you are traveling around the globe.

We decided to purchase a top of the line Plastimo 6 person in a valise pack while in St Maarten for 1680 euros. The same raft in West Marine is $3400.00. For us, this choice was a no brainer, and the certification on the new raft is good for 3 years. While obtaining a raft in St Maarten is not likely to happen, I believe Martinique has similar prices.

The old Winslow still looks like new since it was stored in the air tight Pelican case, and we intend to pop it in Shelter Bay Marina, Panama in January prior to our canal transit. We thought we could gather all the cruisers interested, and have an in the water life raft training day. If anyone plans to be there in that time frame, you are invited.

Steve Davis
Aloha SM 72
Santa Marta, Columbia

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