The Plastimo 6 person LifeRaft that came with the boat was due for inspection in June 2018. We bought the boat in March and sailed down the Atlantic Coast figuring that it would likely be just fine. In June we sent the life raft off to be inspected by a local company here in South East Florida. The company came highly recommended and as a dealer in the local Dania Beach, Fort Lauderdale area we just dropped the canister off and they took care of trucking it to the inspection facility.
A week later I got a phone call that went to voicemail, and email, and then repeated phone calls. Apparently the heat of the tropics had done a number on the life raft. When they inflated the life raft for inspection the floor came apart from the tubes and the tube delaminated from each other. If we had needed the life raft we would have been in trouble.
I was going to replace the life raft with Plastimo again and measured the carrier. The problem was the newer version was just slightly wider than my Plastimo branded case holder. We went back and forth several times on the measurements and then we hit on an idea.
We chose to go with Zodiac instead. The rating on the Zodiac ISO 9650 6 person Life Raft is actually higher than what we could have put into the case holder from Plastimo and it worked just perfectly. We have a strap that ties it into place, but plan on putting a white cover over the entire thing to try and keep the tropical sun from directly shining on the case.
The company I bought the Zodiac Life Raft gave me the Plastimo inspection and disposal for free. They also gave me a boat show price on the Zodiac, provided to the boat delivery, and helped get it onto the boat and into the case holder. The didn’t actually charge me until after it was on the boat and we were sure it would work. I don’t get a kick back, sponsorship, cash, or any other kind of special compensation for naming companies. The company I used has main offices in Miami and is LifeLine Inflatable Services. The approximate cost on this was $3100.