Our life raft needed to be serviced and during this discussion and getting the yacht registered with SAMSA, Sue and I realized that our existing life raft was too small. We had a 4-6 man Avon life raft and this means that we cannot have more than 6 people on the boat at any time. In the past, we had more than 6 passengers on Revelations but all this red tape with SAMSA made us realize the legal implications and the risks we took.
We therefor had to get a new life raft and we were looking for at least an 8 man life raft. It was only during this buying process and the information gathered that we realized how ignorant, procarious and ill prepared one is for the possibility of abandoning ship and having to resort to a life raft. The word life raft gives one a false sense of security and we were absolutely amazed at the contents of these life rafts. Our old Avon life raft had 6 x 500 ml water sachets, 3 handheld flares and 1 smoke generator - that's it! Where was the food? How long would 3 liters of water last? Life rafts hardly have any survival equipment, no food (or almost nothing) and extremely little water. You will have a terrible time or most likely die if not found within 4 to 5 days!
After checking what was available in Cape Town, South Africa we finally opted for a 8 man Viking life raft. In addition, we bought a whole range of extra survival equipment in the event we have to abandon ship one day. We now have 4 x 30 liter grab bags stuffed with all sorts of stuff - extra flares, flare rockets, VHF handheld radio, space blankets, smoke generators, handheld satellite phone, laser rescue flare, EPRIB, PLB's, 450 x 40 gram energy (8 people for 30 days), 60 liters of water, medical kit, lures and fishing lines, knives and a bunch of other smaller stuff.