Q: How far out to sea can I go with my particular
A: That depends on the emergency pack
MSA NZ C - Inshore sailing - within 12 miles
MSA NZ B/SOLAS B - within 200 miles
YNZ CAT III/ORC - within 60 miles
YNZ CAT I - International waters
ISAF - International waters
SOLAS A - International waters
Q: What's the difference between YNZ CAT I and YNZ CAT III
A: CAT I packs have the following items which
the CAT III pack doesn't: leak stoppers (3), water (500ml per
person), rations (500g per person), survival manual, torch,
parachute flares (2), rescue line and quoit.
Q: What's in my raft?
A: This depends on the type of raft and whether
it's SOLAS or non-SOLAS but some generic components include:
b. Repair kit
c. Rescue signal card
e. Red hand flares
f. Anti seasick tables
g. Sea anchor
You may also have a survival manual, water and rations,
parachute flares, buoyant smoke, whistle, sponge, first aid kit,
TPAs (Thermal Protective Aids), radar reflector, torch, heliograph
and so on.
Q: How does my raft work?
A: Every raft is fitted with a gas cylinder
(usually CO2/Nitrogen mix) that is packed inside the
container/valise with the liferaft. The painter line is connected
to the operating head on the cylinder and a length of it is
external to the raft. When you are ready to inflate you raft, bring
the raft to the side of the boat and attach the painter line to a
hard point. Pull 3 metres of the painter line and throw the raft
overboard. Pull the remaining 7 metres of painter line and then
give it a sharp tug. The liferaft will inflate. Take in the slack
and board the raft. Cut the painter line and activate the
EPIRB/PLB/SART. Await the SAR team and fire off any flares as
Q: How much will my raft service cost?
A: The cost of the service comes down to the
type of raft and emergency pack fitted and how well the raft has
been maintained. We cannot give an estimate until we inspect the
raft to see what condition it's in. If the lifed items need to be
replaced, this will add to the cost of the service.
Q: What is my raft made of?
A: This depends on the type of raft. The most
common fabrics used in liferaft manufacture are PU-coated nylon,
butyl, PVC and natural rubber.
Q: Why does my raft need to be serviced at all?
A: There are lifed items such as flares, food
and water that need to be replaced from time to time. Also, there
are metal parts on the liferaft such as operating heads, cylinders,
inflation hoses, etc. that are subject to corrosion in the marine
The regulatory bodies for marine and aviation - MSA NZ and CAA -
determine the time between service depending on the raft type. This
servicing must be carried out in order to keep your vessel/craft in
Q: How long does it take to service my liferaft?
A: Generally, if there are no major repairs to
be carried out, a raft service will take between 4-6 hours. We
recommend that you book your raft in for service well in time
before you plan to set off so that you are not delayed.
Q: Why don't you fire the liferaft during the service so that
you know it works?
A: We inflate the liferafts via compressor and
they are pressure checked to ensure everything is working
correctly. We don't fire the raft by the painter line since
it puts unnecessary stress on the materials and would also add to
the service cost since we would have to refill the cylinder.
Q: How long will my liferaft last?
A: There's no hard and fast rule regarding this
and it depends on how the raft is stowed, whether it is a wet boat,
whether the vessel been operating for long periods in high
humidity, whether the raft been correctly maintained and so on.
Q: What liferaft sizes are available?
A: Our non-SOLAS marine liferafts range is as
- 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16 and 25-person sizes for canopied
- 30 and 65-person sizes for open reversible liferafts.
For SOLAS liferafts we have:
- 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20 and 25-person sizes
- We also have 35 person, 50 person and 100 person (2 x 50 in the
same container) available.
Aviation liferafts are different:
- Aerolite model in 4, 6, 10, 30 and 46-person sizes
- Heliraft model in 7, 14 and 18-person sizes.
Q: Do you supply lifejackets for newborn babies?
A: No. Our infant/child lifejacket sizing is as
- Child Extra Small - 10-15kg
- Child Small - 12-25kg
- Child Medium - 22-40kg.
Q: Can flares be sent by overnight freight?
A: No because they are classed as dangerous
goods. Given this, it generally takes between 2 and 5 days
depending on your location.
Q: If I am wearing an automatic inflatable lifejacket and it's
raining, or I get splashed by a wave, will it inflate?
A: No, your lifejacket needs to be submerged in
water in order to activate the bobbin.
Q: Can I take my inflatable lifejacket on a plane?
A: Generally speaking the cylinder on your
lifejacket will show up during X-ray and you will be queried about
it and, in most cases, you will be informed that it has to be
removed before boarding the plane.
Q: What should I do with my expired flares?
A: Return them to your local RFD branch for
disposal. In some cases your local retailer will accept them.
Q: What's the difference between lifejackets and buoyancy
A: A lifejacket has more buoyancy than a
buoyancy aid and is designed to keep the head upright in the water.
Whereas a buoyancy aid doesn't have a collar, has less buoyancy and
is more closely fitting for watersports but will not keep you
upright in the water.
Q: How many lifejackets should I carry on board?
A: You need a lifejacket to fit (most
importantly) every person on your vessel.
Q: Can I come in, order a liferaft and take it away?
A: No, but you can have a pre-sale survey
carried out. It is better that you speak to us first. We can then
give you a quote you and place an order so that it arrives before a
particular deadline. This product is not an 'off-the-shelf'
Q: I've bought a lifebuoy light but it doesn't seem to
A: Have you unscrewed the lens cap and taken
the plastic spacer out from underneath the bulb? You need to do
this for the light to work.