1. Home
  2. Q & A
 Life Raft Store is an Authorized distributor for all products listed and sells both Aviation and Marine life rafts and Marine safety equipment. Aviation and Marine life raft rentals are also available and can be rented on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

At Life Raft Store, our staff takes a personal interest in helping each and every person with their questions and orders. When it comes to purchases and rentals our company will go above and beyond any other competitor with customer service and Price. Shop our wide selection for top brands including WINSLOW, SWITLIK, REVERE, VIKING and EASTERN AERO MARINE. Our staff has extensive product knowledge so feel free to contact our store if you have any further questions.   

Q. - What is easier to Launch on a Ship; Lifeboat or a Life Raft?
A. - In comparison to Lifeboats in an emergency situation, Life Rafts are easier to launch. Weight and bulk will play in the launch. Self Inflation rafts with a Hydostat will activate and launch on their own once the raft has sunk below 8 feet.  All rafts are self inflating once the painters line has been pulled.

Q. - Is it better to Buy or Rent a Raft
A. - There are two options available to a person when deciding on a raft and that is to Buy or Rent. The most cost-effective reason for purchasing a raft instead of renting would be for example, a 90 day excursion. Buying a raft in that case would be the most cost-effective decision. Renting a raft is the way to go if you are going to do a weekend trip. It is important to do the math accordingly. After 90 days, you would own the raft. * In the decision to Buy or Rent make sure you work with a respected company and the raft of choice is from a trusted supplier. 

Q. - What are some of the safety features on a Life Raft
A. - There are 3 main safety features on a Life Raft. The features are a pressure relief valve, stabilizing Ballast pockets, and lastly for protection against hypothermia is an insulated or inflated floor with two layers. 

Q. - On the Life Raft Canister or Valise, what are some of the important markings provided
A. - Some important markings on a Life Raft Container include the following: Manufacture name and trademark, Serial number, Name of certifying authority, Number of persons carried, SOLAS emergency pack enclosed, Date of the last service, Stowage Maximum height, and Instructions for Launching.

Q. - Do all life rafts have Reflective panels, food and water?
A. - NO.  Marine rafts will generally have a survival kit.  SOLAS rafts are separated in two classes.  SOLAS A and SOLAS B.  Depending on which one, you can use up to 50 Miles, or beyond.  SOLAS A rafts will carry more rations than a SOLAS B raft.  Recreational rafts are for personal use and will carry a smaller Survival kit than that of a Commercial SOLAS rated raft.  Generally ALL rafts will have reflective panels on the canopy or the body of the raft.

Aviation rafts can have Survival gear to include food and Water, but many customers purchase without due to the weight that food and water will add to the raft.  TSO'd rafts will generally carry a survival kit.

Q. - When should Life Rafts be Serviced
A. - The most common service interval is every three (3) years and may differ in recommended maintenance based on the manufacturer of your Life Raft. Switlik uses a 5 year interval, Winslow and others use a 3 year.  Solas and IBA rafts are one year.

All parts, adhesives and materials will differ depending on the brand of Life Raft. It is hard for one company to represent every Life Raft Brand due to the cost of parts and training required to properly service each brand of raft. Select a facility approved by your raft Manufacturer for service and trained accordingly to the specific brand of raft .

Q. - Which raft do I need in my Airplane?
A. - The type of raft needed in aviation is determined by the Aircraft weight, and the type of operation the aircraft is used for. 12,500 lbs is the magic number where the decision is mandated for the type of raft. If under 12,500 and used under Part 91, you can use a recreation raft. 

Over 12,500 the aircraft has to have a TSO'd raft and rated for the operation such as part 91, 121 or 135.  However, if the aircraft is less than 12,500 and used for commercial use, then you will need to use either a type 1 or type 11 TSO'd raft.  Helicopters are generally always type 11 TSO unless the weight is in excess of the 12,500 rule.

* Simple Rule.  If your passenger is paying to be flown, your commercial Part 135!  If you own an airplane that is over 12,500, you are TSO! However, it is TSO'd and 135 if you are over 12,500 with a paying passenger. 

If your a General aviation aircraft under 12,500 and its you, and your friends, or family, your part 91 and can use a recreational raft.

LIFE RAFT STORE


If you have any questions or concerns regarding any information, do not hesitate to visit our store or call our office to speak to one of our trained professionals here at the Life Raft Store. It will be our pleasure to work with you and help guide you in the right direction as to what you will need to stay within the rules. 

LIFE RAFT STORE - Renting Process

Daily, weekly and monthly rentals are available on short notice or with reservations (Recommended).  We can deliver overnight to your location within the United States, or you can take advantage of our unique rental program. Other companies will charge you the day the raft leaves their store, not us. We only charge the possession time you actually have the raft in your hands.  How do we do this? We carry over 60 rafts at any given time allowing us to ship to your location using Fed Ex ground based on your reservation needs.


We package the raft in a Pelican Hard Case, which we will ship to you via Fed Ex Ground. Once your life raft is at your location, simply remove the raft, place in your aircraft or boat and go on your flight with the peace of mind knowing you will be safe in the event of an emergency knowing you’ve rented a high-quality aviation raft.  We carry both TSO'd for air crafts over 12,500 lbs and the recreational Part 91 raft.

All our rafts are certified by the factory, dated to current specifications and service and come to you as a Valise Covered Raft. 


LIFE RAFT STORE - Purchasing A Life Raft

We also sell rafts to the general public and offer a unique service as well.  Life rafts generally take about 7 to 14 days to purchase. Why is this? Because if you buy a raft off the shelf, chances are that the date of service is not three years but less.  When you buy a raft, you will want either the full three years or five years depending on the raft. At Life Raft store, we will rent you one of our rentals for half price with a purchase.  All you pay is the shipping back and forth. You can do your unexpected trip with our raft and when you return, your new raft should be ready to be delivered.