Some of you have heard me state that I don’t think liferafts are super valuable for coastal cruising. You’re just as good hopping in the dinghy, unless conditions are really rough, since it’s probably been tested more recently. But, I’m planning on Hawaii next year. This means it could be days stuck on a dinghy, and conditions could get bad over the course of a few days. So, Jane’O will need one for this trip.

It comes down to deciding which one to get. Enter a comment to select the model you think I should get for a Hawaii crossing, or shoot me an email.

Choice 1: Viking RescYou 6 person liferaft -- $2,800.00

Choice 2: Viking RescYou Pro 6 person liferaft -- $3,199.00

Here is what the Pro version has over the regular one:

  • It’s “self-righting”. I guess that means if it flips upside down it will flip right side up again by itself, even if it’s fully loaded.
  • There are two entrances, instead of one, which supposedly allows for cross ventilation and easier boarding.
  • There is a boarding ladder on one side, a ramp on the other, compared to only a ramp for the standard version
  • The canopy is described as “spacious” whereas the standard one doesn’t talk about the canopy size.
  • It weights 88 instead of 77 pounds.

Here’s my thought process today:

  • $400 more money.
  • Probably never buy another one, so over 20 years this is a $20/year investment.
  • If I ever sell Jane’O, I won’t be able to recover my $400.
  • 11 more pounds is harder to move and ship and install.
  • I am unlikely to ever use it.
  • If things are so bad I’m stuck in a liferaft, I probably don’t care much about headroom. At least I think that today.
  • If things are so bad I’m stuck in a liferaft, and the seas flip me over, I’m not sure how much I’d care about being flipped upright, since I’m probably going to be flipped over again, and I’m going to be quite miserable anyway.

All that said, if I don’t spend the extra $400 and find that I’m actually in a situation that would have made the time in the liferaft so much better, I’ll be kicking myself.


There are no flares or anything else like that on this thing. Seems like you need to carry the EPIRB with you if you leave the boat. That’s probably because flares are considered a really obsolete and dangerous way to draw attention to yourself.

Lets hope flares disappear as a requirement on boats:

The Royal Yachting Association of Britain is pressing for their removal as a requirement for seafarers. They are insisting that no persuasive evidence that flares have search and rescue benefits that cannot be provided by modern technology. In today’s modern age there is no compelling case to support the mandatory requirement of flares as a practical and useful method of initiating a distress alert and location.

More reading here if you’re interested.