Life Raft Rentals

Depending on the type of boating you do, you may want to consider a life raft as additional peace-of-mind. Some offshore fishing tournaments and sailing regattas require it. A life raft serves as a floating platform to keep you protected from the elements such as freezing cold water or scorching hot sun in the rare but serious event that you need to abandon your boat.

Exposure in open water is a dangerous thing. Most life rafts have a canopy. This provides minimal protection from exposure and can even collect and channel rain water for drinking. A life raft also serves as a larger visual target for rescuers to see, especially from the air.

Life rafts are carefully packed in a hard case (called a canister) or a soft case (called a valise) and are inflated by compressed gas, usually nitrogen and CO2 stored in a high pressure cylinder. Rafts come in several sizes, typically 4, 6 or 8 man capacity and range in price from around $2,000 to more than $10,000. They weigh anywhere from 20 lbs to 100 pounds.

For more on selecting a life raft, check out the West Advisor section on life rafts. Or, you may try one of the following places that rent them where you will likely have to pick one up. Due to the bulk of these units and the gas cylinders, you’re not likely to find affordable options to have one shipped to your location:

Life Raft Companies

Search for a Life Raft Company in your area by visiting:
United States Marine Safety Association — www.usmsa.org

California:
Avalon Rafts — Wilmington 310-549-9665
Coast Marine — San Francisco 415-673-1923
Hewett Industrial Supply — San Francisco 415-371-1054

Florida:
Viking Life Saving Equipment — Miami 305-614-5800
Lifeline Marine Safety Services — Cape Canaveral 321-209-7276 (no shipping)
Survival Products Inc. — Hollywood 954-966-7329 (shipping available)

New Jersey:
Sea Safety International — Secaucus 201-963-8493

Rhode Island:
Life Raft & Survival Equipment — Portsmouth 401-816-5400 www.lrse.com

Texas:
C&M Marine Aviation Services Inc. — Dallas 877-878-4835