If you own a yacht, having a life raft is as important as having a spare tire for your car. While you might not need it always, it becomes a literal lifesaver when it is needed. As a result, keeping this piece of safety equipment in good condition is very essential.
Given that it is not frequently used while you enjoy the cruise across the sea, it is possible to overlook its maintenance. However, this is not a wise practice. Therefore, in this article, we’ll discuss why it is important to service your yacht’s life raft. Furthermore, we’ll look at the process involved in the servicing of this equipment.
Importance of Life Raft Servicing
Your raft is like any other equipment that needs to be serviced and maintained regularly. In this section, we’ll reveal why it is important to service your life raft. This should spur you to contact a service company immediately.
Increases the Lifespan of Your Life Raft
In the same way proper care of your body helps you stay fit and live longer, so does proper servicing increase your life raft’s life expectancy. Most lifeboats are designed to last for a period of 10 to 15 years. However, this lifespan can be cut short if the equipment is not properly taken care of. Therefore, service your life raft.
Saves You Money
Lifeboats are considered a requirement if you must sail into the open seas. You can check here to find out the requirements of this equipment for different shipping vessels. As a result, most vessels have it stashed somewhere.
However, some consider servicing this equipment a waste of money. After all, why spend on something you might never use? We strongly advise that you don’t think this way.
When you service your float, you get to save money on the cost of replacement. Moreover, doing this prevents you from being fined. Certain areas have strict regulations regarding the use and condition of shipping equipment. Therefore, if your raft fails to meet the required standard during inspection, you might end up being fined.
Saves Your Life
There is a reason why it is called a life raft; it is literally designed to save your life. If you skimp on proper servicing, you might inadvertently be saying goodbye to your life. A float boat that is not well maintained might not work properly when it is called into action during emergencies.
For instance, the material might have worn out or the inflation system might be faulty. Generally, any issue with the equipment can be fatal during emergencies. Therefore, if you love your life, then take care of your life raft by giving it the proper servicing it deserves.
Liferaft Servicing Process
Now that you know why it is important to service your yacht’s float boat, it’s time to discuss the servicing process. The process varies depending on the type of emergency boat you have. Visit universalsafety.co.uk for more details about specific lifeboat servicing. Nevertheless, the following is a general overview of what to expect:
- The exterior cover of the emergency float will be properly examined. The professionals will check for leaks and wear. After that, the raft itself will be inspected.
- The next thing they’ll inspect is the inflation pressure. They’ll assess if it still meets its required inflation capacity. This is important to ensure the lifeboat can support the weight of the passengers. The stitches and the material of the float will be checked and recorded.
- The gadgets and instrumentations kept in the lifeboat will be checked for their expiry date. Chief among these that will be checked are the inflating gas cylinders. If the expiry date of any gadget or instrumentation is exceeded, the affected gadget or instrumentation will be replaced.
- During the inspection, as you might have guessed, the raft is usually inflated. Once the inspection and monitoring are complete, the float will be refolded by the professionals. This is usually done following the standard manufacturer protocol. This is one of the reasons why you need to ensure you hire the right professionals for the job.
- The professionals will then issue to necessary certifications to you as the owner as proof that the equipment has been serviced. Furthermore, the records they took during the process are maintained and stored by the company you hired. This is done to ensure complete transparency. Therefore, before hiring a servicing company or professional, confirm that they will ensure transparency and careful record-keeping during and after the whole process.
Note: After ten years of service, your raft must undergo inspection according to SOLAS and USCG standards. This is done to ensure that the equipment can still be used. Furthermore, the overall gas inflation system is also inspected and serviced every five years.
Your life raft is literally a lifesaver during emergencies. Therefore, taking care of it even when it’s not in frequent use of vital. In the article above, we’ve discussed the reasons why servicing is important, and the process involved.
Featured image source.