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      Hi All…. I am looking at doing some offshore sailing later in the year with the family and possibly friends – cross Channel / Channel islands etc.
      Can anyone recommend a sensible liferaft… probabaly a 4 or 6 man unit and again probably in a valise?

      Given the weight of a canister, is the pushpit on a 32 Cruiser up to the job of having a cradle fitted with a 6 man raft?




        There was some discussion on the Forum last year I believe on the suitability of fitting cannister liferafts on the pushpit, with varying degrees of success but I recall that the general consensus of opinion was that the pushpit is probably not man enough for the job, certainly not for a 6 man.
        The majority of Bavarias I have seen have them mounted on the coach roof, which is where I have mine and unless I need to deploy it in the event of a fire in the saloon I am pretty confident I can get it overboard and inflated without too much trouble.
        I have a 6 man raft as we sometimes sail with 6 or 8 on board but often only 4 or 5 and I now wish I had bought the 4 man as a 4 man will squeeze 6 in but a 6 man with only 4 in can be quite unstable so I have subsequently learnt on the sea survival course.
        Again my preferance was to have the cannister as the painter is permenantly tied on. With my memory if I had a valise in the locker I’d forget to tie the painter off and just chuck the whole thing overboard and watch it drift away.
        The other alternative is to hire them as and when which could well work out cheaper.
        I have a Seago Liferaft, just had is serviced at £180 for the 3 year service which isn’t too bad and as far as I know it will do what it says on the tin. Anway it looks good in the can but I haven’t a clue what the inside looks like, and hopefully will never have the opportunity.
        No doubt someone else will be along soon with different ideas but at the end of the day it’s what you think will work best for you.


          I’ve got a 4 man Zodiac – a bit more expensive than some but, if you ever need it . . . . ? However, if you are only contemplating the occasional trip ‘overseas’ then hiring might be the cheaper/easier option. I hired for a number of years before more holiday time (and a new boat) prompted me to purchase. Servicing every 3 years is a significant expense, though – usually £200 plus.

          I mounted mine on the pushpit, albeit on a 38 Ocean. However, I don’t think my pushpit is actually any stronger than on a 32. If you can arrange for the weight to be taken by the deck, and the pushpit is an L shape, you should be OK. It’s then out of the way and launches straight into the sea without any lifting.

          I didn’t want to mount mine on the coachroof. It would be more difficult to launch in a seaway and severely restricts vision forward, especially when seated.

          As Rick says, though, it’s what works for you.



            My vote is for a 4-man Ocean Safety, mounted on the coachroof. I’ve had one on my B32 since new 8 years ago and am very happy with OS’s standard of service although it’s a bit pricey (£350 ish every three years). Mounting on the coach roof makes the raft instantly accessible; even though the canister is a bit heavy I would have no problem lobbing it over the side if the need arose and as Rick says, it’s already tied on (or should be!!). I wouldn’t contemplate mounting it on the pushpit, I don’t think the mountings are strong enough to support a raft, especially if you inadvertently bang it on something when manoevring in a confined space….

            Hope this helps

            Ian Culley/Another Fantasy


              We have a 4 man liferaft mounted on the pushpit of our B39. No problems in 5 seasons and as others have said it’s ready to deploy instantly. If ours was on the coach roof it would severly restrict vision forward.



                The pushpit on the 32 is far smaller than that of a 39, so space to fit a liferaft is at a premium. It’s impossible to fit a raft anywhere on the pushpit without serious overhang problems: I know because I’ve tried.

                I’ve not experienced any visibilty problems with the raft located on the coachroof.

                Ian Culley


                  I think Ian and I must be taller than the rest of you then as I don’t have a problem with forward visibility either and again on the 36 the pushpit is not big enough on it’s own to take a 6 man canister.
                  Perhaps we have both mounted ours on the coachroof as we both have to transit Chichester Marina lock on frequent occassion and may have had more near misses with bits fixed to the pushpit rail than most. I won’t mention the broken ensign staff, the broken dan buoy, the broken horseshoe buoy etc,etc.
                  I blame it on the mobo’s for making us pull the stern in so tight just so they can squeeze in!
                  And apologies for the thread drift and for any mobo members please don’t take my comments too seriously!


                    Thanks all so far… it looks like my ideal situation of having a canister on the pushpit is either not practical or even possible on the 32.

                    Having sailed on a few larger boats with the canister on the coachroof, I agree it is probably the most sensible however the visibility piece is an issue if not for me, certainly some of my “smaller crew”!

                    Given that then, does anyone have any experience or advice on using a valise? (Given and accepted the most valuable… tie the damn thing on before deploying!!)

                    Is there a practical solution to dragging the lumbering beast up from deep in the confines of the port locker?



                      Hi Steve,
                      We have a 4 man Seago valise which we bought because it is difficult to hire them since the prices came down. I keep it under the port bunk in our B33 when in the Solent and when venturing cross-channel put it on the port side deck, behind a stanchion, attached to the midship cleat. This seems to be a good compromise and does not affect visibility.
                      Best regards,


                        Our 4 man Ocean Safety canister was fitted to our Bav 30 pushpit rails with no issues at all. The overhang was within the swim platform so I never really worried about catching it on anything.

                        Having sprayhoods fitted to your lifejackets means you have a pillow when you fancy 40 winks as demonstrated in the photo by Charlotte.


                          Looking at the picture the pushpit rail on the 30 is much wider than on the 36.
                          I suspect that when the newer range of boats came out circa 2005 ish they all had wider pushpits to make them more functional and safer so I expect that the OP’s original post asking about a Bav 32 also has the narrower pushpit.


                            Small by comparison I think…

                            Do you think that it would fit Port side behind the backstay adjuster?

                            I know that there will be a overhang though….


                              I can see no reason why it shouldn’t fit. I did move ours further outboard than shown in the photo to put more weight on the corner rather than the end and as our backstay adjuster exited between the rails to the attachment point near the waterline I had to leave a gap between the bottom of the frame and the pushpit. It looks like you could get yours fitted closer and carry the weight better.

                              Somewhere I have some photos of the frame and brackets I made when I moved it further out to the corner, if I find where I have stored them I will try and remember to bring them to the Reading bash on Saturday.



                                Had a new small RFD about 10 years ago. At the first service the liferaft had come apart! Now got a 2007 Plastimo cruiser liferaft and at the first service at 3 years no faults found.

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