DO YOU HAVE TECHNICAL SERVICE?
Yes, we have a technical service, send us your inquiry by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, providing the brand, model, photos plus a brief explanation on the subject in question.
DO YOU DELIVER ON BOARD MATERIAL?
We deliver on board in Mallorca, but we must check the availability in the distribution agenda specifying the marina / club and mooring number and we will inform you about the service.
I can't find an item of the brands you have in the web store, could I get it?
Of course, please send us a photo or detail of the spare part you need to email@example.com and we will provide you with a price and delivery time.
Do you ship to the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla?
Yes, we can ship to these areas, but by having a different customs regime you must request the collection of the shipment through your transport agency.
If you have any questions, CONTACT US.
Is it possible to pay cash on delivery?
No, but you can pay in cash, card (Visa, Maestro and Matercard) through transfer or PayPal.
CAN THE MATERIAL BE RETURNED?
Yes you can. Before making a prior consultation to the logistics department, which will tell you how to proceed with the return of the material, providing a return number and a previous form that must be completed.
How to send in your equipment for service and repair?
- Please include your contact details and a brief description of the fault(s).
- Ship equipment to Repairs, DAHLBERG S.A. Gremi Passamaners,8 Nave 12. 07009 Palma de Mallorca. Spain.
- We suggest using an insured courier such as UPS. TNT, FEDEX, DHL.
- We will contact you to confirm receipt of the equipment.
- IMPORTANT NOTE FOR CUSTOMERS OUTSIDE THE EU (INCLUDING CANARY ISL. CEUTA, MELILLA, CHANNEL ISLANDS AND GIBRALTAR):
Please DO NOT declare new replacement values for customs purposes for repairs. You must give to the courier or attach to outside of box in clear document wallet. A commercial invoice for cosmos purpose. Please do not hide invoice inside box!, then please use Harmonised Commodity Code ‘85177090 00 – Electrical parts for use in a wired or wireless network’. Since the declared value for customs is subjective on faulty second hand equipment, please enter a value of 15€ or less and mark as RETURNING FOR REPAIR– NO COMMERCIAL VALUE. Please add zero value for freight costs and insurance, since you are paying these and not charging them to us. Please tick ‘sender pays all taxes and duties’ on waybill. Please note that unfortunately we may charge duty and administration charges if these instructions are not adhered to. Do however declare the replacement value as the insured value.
How repairs are charged?
Our procedure will depend of the mark of the equipment but in general is as follow:
- You will receive a quotation once your equipment has been assessed.
- Please note that all goods returned for repair will be subject to a one hour (€75.00 + VAT) minimum charge to cover inspection and administration costs. This minimum charge has only to be paid if you decide not to proceed with the repair.
- If you decide to buy a new equipment from us instead of repairing it. If you have already paid the minimum charge, this amount will be deducted from the purchase. (note only during a maximum of 60 days from the day of the invoice)
- Payment must be made before the collection of any repaired goods.
Which systems are the new A+T MFD’s compatible with?
The new A + T Multi-Function Displays are compatible with existing B & G systems (H2000, H3000 & WTP) and have future-proof interface and software design to allow for upgrades to new standards and systems.
MY B&G/SIMRAD EQUIPMENT IS UNDER WARRANTY. WHO SHOULD I CONTACT IF I HAVE A PROBLEM?
If you need technical service for your B&G/Simrad system that is under warranty, you can write an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org explaining the problem and indicating the brand, model and serial number of your equipment.
WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE THE VISIBILITY ON THE SCREEN OF MY DEPTH SOUNDER?
The low visibility can be due to plankton, sea weed or high speed of the vessel, which all can cause noise or false echoes on the screen of your depth sounder. To improve the view, we recommend that you adjust the sensibility of the sounder.
WHAT DIFFERENCES ARE THERE BETWEEN NMEA 2000 AND NMEA 0183?
A NMEA 2000 network is based on a completely different cable than what is used in NMEA 0183. It is bidirectional which allows for multi-transmission of serial data, being thus self-configurable.
The network in NMEA 2000 or N2K is formed by a central cable, also called Backbone which powers each instrument and relays data between them through T-connectors.
The NMEA 2000 is a whole lot faster than NMEA 0183, and any instrument can be eliminated or connected to the network without having to reset all the rest of the connected instruments.
It also allows prioritisation of messages in the network depending on their importance.
CAN DIGITAL MAPPING GET UPDATED?
Yes, it is possible. Depending on the equipment/brand/model the updates are carried out in different ways. We recommend you consult with us by getting in touch through e-mail to email@example.com
DO YOU HAVE SPARE PARTS FOR MHU 213?
Yes, we normally carry stocks of the most demanded spare parts for this legendary wind vane.
CAN YOU ADVISE WHICH SENSOR/TRANSDUCER IS BEST FOR OUR DEPTH SOUNDER?
Yes of course. We just need to know the brand and model of your sounder and its technical specifications for compatibility and performance comparisons.
Depth showing flashing bar or incorrect depth reading
The most likely cause is a damaged cable or faulty transducer. Replace with a known working one to check this. Also check for being painted over or marine growth on the transducer.
Paddle wheel speed not working
Firstly ascertain if there is a single paddle wheel or two selected with a gravity change-over switch.
a) Single paddle wheel. Remove from the hull housing and spin manually to check the sensor both electronically and mechanically. Measure the voltage with the black probe of a multimeter on the black wire and the red probe on the red. If this is not between 5 and 12 Volts (system dependant), the control unit is faulty. Now put the red probe on the green wire and turn the paddle very slowly. As the magnet passes the sensor the voltage reading should change from 5 Volts (+/- 1.5V) to 0 Volts (+/- 1.5V) and back again. If not, the paddle sensor is faulty.
b) Dual paddle wheel. In our experience a good proportion of twin paddle wheel issues are caused by faulty switches. These can be checked by manual selection or direct wiring until the issue is found. We can supply replacement gravity change-over switches which can be found here.
True wind direction is very erratic
First determine if the apparent wind angle is working properly. Check this ties up with the Windex at a good variety of relative headings to the wind and all around the clock. If there is one wire broken in the mast cable then the wind angle changes, but does not follow all around the clock, but ‘doubles back’ as the relative heading changes. This can also be caused by faulty wind sensor or wind board (in the processor). If the apparent wind angle is working properly then the culprits must be either the compass or speed log. Check these are working properly.
True wind speed and direction broadly OK, but change tack to tack and gybe to gybe
The answer is calibration. It is not that difficult if you follow the procedures set out in the system manuals. Even getting some rough estimates or corrections in the True Wind Angle table will start to improve this quickly. Don’t be afraid to put in corrections up to 10 degrees into these tables in some circumstances. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need our advice. We also can sail with you to do the calibration. Contact us for a quote.
I have a compass error
Apart from large yachts that take the compass heading from a north seeking gyro, most systems use a magnetic sensor for heading. Before looking anywhere else, locate the compass mounting and ensure that no magnetic or magnetically susceptible material has been placed close to it (typically tins of beans, spanners, tools, spare parts, hand bearing compass).
Having checked this, ensure that the calibration ‘turns’ have been done recently in the yachts current broad geographical location. The methods for doing this are different in different systems, see individual handbooks for this.
Finally set in the heading offset needed to get the electronic compass to agree with a recently swung traditional compass or hand-bearer or by taking bearing to a distance point.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO CHANGE THE VENT FILTER?
Sealand/Dometic recommends to change the anti-odour Eco vent filter every season, but obviously by occasional use when you start detecting odours outside after using the toilet, the time has come to change the filter.
Find all the necessary information in the following link:
WHAT SHOULD I TAKE INTO ACCOUNT IF I INSTALL A TOILET BELOW THE WATERLINE?
The inlet and outlet hoses of the Sealand and Sanimarin toilets should have an anti-siphon loop (swan neck) above the water line. If the toilet is above the water line it needs an elbow with a siphon only in the outlet hose.
HOW DOES A VACUFLUSH SYSTEM WORK?
The Vacuflush toilets by Sealand work through vacuum generated by a pump/generator. It uses the energy accumulated in the vacuum to empty the toilet bowl and to push the waste to a holding tank. Consequently it uses very Little water (1/2 l per flush), very little electricity (between 6 and 8 amp), it doesn´t get blocked nor produce odours.
You can find more information in the following link:
HOW TO CONTROL THE LEVEL IN THE GREY/BLACK WATER TANK?
Check if your tank has a level sensor installed. If not, we can recommend the Sealand/Dometic monitoring system, which has various types of sensors from the ones that mark when the last quarter of the tank capacity is reached (DTM01) to others that indicate the level continuously (DTM04). Not having any level sensor, apart from being against the regulations, can result in overfilling the tank and a lot of trouble during your holidays.If your tank capacity is small, and you have an electrical or vacuum toilet, we recommend you to install a relay with closure and a small panel with red light in the toilet, telling “Full tank” or “Don´t use” to avoid overfilling the tank.
CAN I INSTALL THE TOILET MYSELF?
An electrical toilet system like the ones from Sanimarin and Sealand/Dometic are very easy to install. We recommend you to watch the following video:
A Vacuflush system is not complicated to install, but as it works with vacuum there are some issues to consider when electing the most suitable vacuum system for the boat.
DO I NEED AN AUXILIARY WATER PUMP FOR THE TOILET?
If an electrical toilet doesn´t have a built in pump, it will need an auxiliary water pump to supply the toilet with water. In case the marine toilet – whether an electric or vacuum – works with fresh water, a pump is not needed. An electrovalve is sufficient, and most models have this valve built in.
DOES VACUFLUSH SYSTEM WORK WITH FRESH WATER OR SEA WATER?
The vacuum system of Sealand Vacuflush is recommended for use with fresh water only. Salt cristals would prevent the system from staying hermetic, causing a constant loss of vacuum.
CAN MY BOAT SUPPLY THE NECESSARY ELECTRICAL POWER?
The motors of the Sanimarin and Sealand toilets use very Little electricity per cistern. At 12 V, the motor absorbs 20 A during a very short time (10 s in economy mode), which means that the consumption is only 0,02 A/h. Calculating 24 h use for 4 persons (approximately 16 flushes of the cistern), the consumption is only 0,32 A/h. For a boat of 11 meters, this means about 0,16% of the daily electricity balance. (A fridge represents 22% if it is on 12 h per day, an autopilot 15% for a use of approximately 10 h per day).
HOW MANY FLUSHES CAN MY HOLDING TANK TAKE?
Overfilling the holding tank causes a lot of problems onboard. If you are curious about this and want to have a peace of mind, add the data as requested in this table:
WHAT ADVANTAGES DOES AN ELECTRICAL TOILET HAVE?
The macerating pump is an integral part of the toilet, there are no additional components, which saves space. The new generation of electrical toilets are silent, use very little water and won´t get blocked.
WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED WINTERIZING PROCESS FOR THE SYSTEM?
As this is an extensive issue, see our blog:
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO CHANGE THE SANITATION HOSES?
DOES A VACUFLUSH SYSTEM REQUIRE A LOT OF MAINTENANCE?
The toilets and vacuum systems of Vacuflush from Sealand require a mínimum amount of valves and joints to keep the watertightness of the system.
HOW DOES A MANUAL TOILET WORK?
A small manual pump allows sea water to enter the toilet and afterwards discharges the waste in the sea or in a holding tank. The intake of sea water is nothing more than a hose connected to a seacock with the other end leading to the toilet.
WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE AN ELECTRICAL INSTEAD OF A MANUAL TOILET?
The range of marine toilets by Sealand and Sanimarin are the most user friendly, they don´t get blocked and are powerful enough to push the residue up to 15-30 m distance, which means that the holding tank installation is not a problem.
You can find an extensive range of compact toilets to replace the manual WC. DAHLBERG S.A specializes in the new range of Dometic Low-Cost toilets, to find out more click on the following link:
HOW DOES A MACERATING TOILET WORK?
An electric toilet pulverizes the residue in a macerating turbine with 18 blades that revolves up tp 2500 rpm, liquefying the waste and thus avoiding obstructions in the discharge hoses. The toilet pushes the liquified waste to a holding tank that can be situated up to 30 m of distance. At the end of every cycle, the water is replaced in the toilet bowl to avoid any risk of bad smells. In the brands Sealand and Sanimarin that we distribute the motor/macerator combination is housed in the toilet structure. A wall mounted control panel allows the activation of the cistern in economy or normal mode.
IS IT BETTER TO USE FRESH WATER OR SEA WATER?
An electrical toilet can work both with fresh water and sea water, but if you have good storage capacity of fresh water or a desalinator onboard, or an access to frequent water supply, it is preferable to use fresh water. The low consumption of water in the types of toilets we distribute justify that. Fresh water doesn´t cause bad smells and simplifies the maintenance of the system. If sea water is used, you only need to remember to rinse the system with fresh water before winterizing it, in order to avoid any problems. In both cases it is important to use biodegrable cleaning products that respect the environment.
WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS OF A VACUFLUSH SYSTEM?
A Vacuflush system consists of a vacuum toilet and a vacuum generator in every toilet.
In centralized systems there is an M type pump and up to eight vacuum toilets with their respective vacuum tanks and and non-return valves.
HOW DO I BENEFIT FROM INSTALLING A VACUFLUSH SYSTEM?
The Vacuflush system by Sealand uses very little water (approximately ½ l per flush), thus not reducing the capacity of potable water onboard but increasing the capacity of the holding tank up to 300%. It consumes very Little electricity (between 6 and 8 amp.), it doesn´t get blocked nor produce bad smells.
It is a lot easier to service in case of maintenance or malfunction, as the vacuum generator can be installed up 15 m away from the toilet, which means it can be located somewhere with a easy access.
Find out more about the benefits of the Vacuflush toilets in the following link:
WHY SHOULD I USE DEODORIZERS?
Deodorizers are designed to inhibit the growth of anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that can survive in environments without oxygen), and thus stop the production of bad smelling gases, or alternatively chemically bind themselves to the molecules of the bad smelling gases and prevent them from spreading into the atmosphere. However, we need to look after the environment and avoid using liquids with aggressive chemicals that cause contamination. The range of biodegradable Adinet products are among the best on the market, consult the full catalogue in the following link:
WHAT DIFFERENCE IS THERE BETWEEN NORMAL TOILET PAPER AND SPECIAL TOILET PAPER FOR MARINE TOILETS?
Many of the domestic toilet papers contain adhesives (to bind together the fibres of the paper), which dissolve without problems in the larger diameter discharge tubes in the households, where also larger quantities of water is used for flushing. In a boat however this type of paper can rapidly block the system because of the reduced volume of flushing water and narrower tubes. Special toilet paper for marine use is made of 100% recycled paper, which is biodegradable and dissolves quickly. We recommend ultradissolvent paper from Dometic.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO HAVE ONBOARD TO COMPLY WITH THE WASTE WATER REGULATIONS?
Basically you need a retention system for black water, in order to avoid discharging in the sea in restricted areas. The holding tank has to comply with the ISO8099 requirements.
The boat needs to have an outlet on the deck, to allow the extraction of the waste in port.
All the tanks and equipment from the brand Sealand/Dometic comply with the requirements.
WHAT DOES THE ISO8099 STANDARD SAY?
This standard regulates the waste retention systems of the sanitary installations of recreational vessels and other small craft up to 24 m. Holding tanks for black water are obligatory in some European countries, increasingly so, and the requirements are as follows:
- Level indicator to control the level in the tank.
- Access to the holding tank, larger tan 75 mm
- Existence of a siphon
- Diameter of the air connection larger tan 20 mm
- Identification of the holding tank (ISO compliance, manufacturer, model, capacity etc.)
WHICH PARTS DOES A WASTE RETENTION SYSTEM CONSIST OF?
Sealand recommends to have the following elements for an efficient waste retention system:
- Holding tank
- Level indicator
- Ventilation filter
- Discharge pump
- Ventilation hose
- Sanitary hose Odorsafe 38 mm
- Discharge outlet on deck
- Through-hull ventilation
WHAT MATERIAL IS MY HOLDING TANK MADE OF?
The tanks are normally made of the following materials:
- Flexible plastic
- Stainless steel
- Polyethylene (various thicknesses)
To find out more, please consult our blog:
CAPACITY CALCULATION OF THE SEPTIC TANK
Overfilling the tank causes a lot of problems onboard. If you are curious about this and want to have a peace of mind, add the data requested in this table.
WHICH DISCHARGE PUMP IS THE MOST ADECUATE FOR EMPTYING THE GREY WATER TANK?
Puede usarse la misma que para vaciar un tanque de aguas negras, pero cambiando las válvulas de retención por las que están fabricadas en nitrilo, porque resisten a los liquidos oleosos y que contengan detergentes.
You can use the same pump as for emptying the black water tank, but change the no-return valves to ones made of nitrile, because they resist smelly liquids and detergents.
We recommend a T model pump by Sealand/Dometic and a set of nitrile valves.
WHY SHOULD I INSTALL AN ANTI-ODOUR HOSE?
The anti-odour hoses are made of thermoplastic material with a special anti-odour treatment and strengthened with a polyester spiral. If you install a hose that is not adequate for the purpose, the smell of waste permeates the hose and the whole boat will end up smelling bad.
We recommend you the Sealand range of hoses:
WHY IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED TO INSTALL FITTINGS OF POTABLE WATER WATER IN A BLACK WATER SYSTEM?
The curve radius in fresh water fittings is more closed and can cause blockages when installed in a black water system.
HOW TO CHECK HOW EFFICIENTLY TOILET PAPER DISSOLVES?
Put a piece of toilet paper in a glass of water and stir for 5 seconds. IF the paper dissolves it is ideal. If not, bear in mind that this will cause you problems in the form of blockages, most likely during your holidays or when you are otherwise using your boat.
How to calculate the ideal temperature for my a/c?
The ambient temperature felt by the body can be different from the real, measured temperature. Our thermal sensation can vary from warm or hot to pleasant and cold. We all want to be comfortable, and humidity plays a decisive role in this. When the humidity is low, we tolerate hotter temperatures despite sweating a lot, as the dry heat causes the sweat to evaporate quickly from the skin which creates a refreshing effect.
However, this does not happen in hot and humid climes. When the humidity is high, the perspiration diminishes and consequently also the cooling effect. As a result we feel even hotter. The air feels humid and sticky, which can cause circulation problems and insomnia. Knowing all this, it is obvious what is expected from a good a/c system – to cool down is not sufficient, also the humidity need to be reduced in order to obtain a comfortable room temperature.
Illustration of the effects of temperature/humidity combinations for comfort
Can i convert my crx fridge into a freezer?
Yes, it is possible. You only need to take out the freezer compartment from the fridge and in the control panel choose the function you wish, either turn the whole space into a freezer, or alternatively into a fridge without a freezer compartment.
Do you have fridge models with drag door or are they all with conventional hinged doors?
Dometic has a range of fridges with drag doors, namely the models CRD50 and CRX65D, as well as compressor drawer fridges Coolmatic CD of 20 l and 30 l, with front panels in black, white or stainless steel. Dometic has boat fridges with variable door hinges and locks (right or left) offer convenient access.
Do safe deposit boxes come in other colors than black?
Dometic gives an option to change the finish between white, black and stainless steel in some of the models. For more information and prices, please get in touch with us.
Can portable coolboxes be secured down so that they don´t slide around?
There is a fixing kit available for some coolbox models, with two very resistant straps with low-profile fixing points, also a kit for installation in vehicles for the models CF/CDF/FK.
Available in our online store.
Can you modify which side the door opens on the built-in fridges?
In some models the hinges can be built on either side of the fridge, but this must be specified with the factory prior to ordering.
WHEN IS IT OBLIGATORY TO CARRY A LIFE RAFT ONBOARD?
All recreational craft that are authorised to navigate further than 12 miles from the coast are required by law to carry a liferaft.
HOW MANY PERSON LIFERAFT SHOULD I SELECT?
The liferafts currently available on the market are the following sizes: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20, 25, 30, 50 and 65 persons. Depending on how many people the boat is registered for, the same amount of places in liferafts should be provided for.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ISO AND SOLAS?
The difference is in the homologation of the liferaft and its contents. The recreational crafts authorised to navigate from 12 to 60 nm from the coast should carry a liferaft with a homologation ISO9650, which contains a pack SOLAS B (without water or food). Outside 60 nm the liferaft should have homologation SOLAS A (double amount of pyrotechnics, survival equipment, water and food). Professional fishing vessels authorised to navigate up to 10 nm from the coast have to carry a liferaft with a homologation ISO9650. Rest of the vessels should have a liferaft with homologation SOLAS B up 60 nm, and SOLAS A in the rest of the navigation zones.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIFERAFTS IN A CONTAINER AND IN A BAG IN ISO QUALIFICATION?
There is no other differences except their conservation and ease of stowage. A container is a package of rigid fibre while the bag is made of canvas. The election between the two is usually made based on the available space onboard.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PACK A AND PACK B IN SOLAS QUALIFIED LIFERAFTS?
These define the homologation of the liferaft. The pack SOLAS B includes: 3 hand flares, 2 normal flares and a smoke canister, no water nor food. From 60 nm the liferaft should have homologation SOLAS A, including: double amount of pyrotechnics, survival equipment, water and food.
WHAT IS THE BEST LOCATION ONBOARD FOR THE LIFERAFT?
On the deck of the boat, in a location with easy access, and without any obstacles around that can make it difficult to reach the liferaft and slow down its deployment.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD THE LIFERAFT GET REVISED?
All liferafts regardless of the type should get revised and inflated annually, and the gas cylinder should get pressure tested every five years. Even if a liferaft, well packed in its container and stowed correctly, can be operational for several years, the lifespan of the materials can reduce with the passing of time and exposure to the elements. Many of the contents of the liferaft expire, specially the contents of the medical kit, the batteries and pyrotechnical material.
HOW TO DEPLOY A LIFERAFT IN AN EMERGENCY?
The painter of the liferaft should be attached firmly to a cleat on deck before launching it to water. The painter is usually a flat webbing about 14 m of length with two extra metres for attaching it to the cleat. Not doing this means losing the liferaft overboard. You should not pull on the painter while the liferaft is still onboard, the webbing unrolls when the liferaft is thrown in the water. You don’t need to cut the attachment straps of the container either, the pressure at inflation will break them automatically. Once the liferaft is in the water, pull energetically on the painter so that a striker perforates a membrane in the gas cylinder and the liferaft inflates automatically in less than a minute. Once the liferaft is inflated, pull by the painter to bring the liferaft alongside the boat to facilitate the boarding. When all the crew members are onboard, push the liferaft away from the boat and cut the painter with the knife that you find in a pocket inside the float. In case the liferaft inflates upside down, there is no alternative but to get in the water to turn it over. All liferafts have a rope underneath for this purpose. To carry out the manouver, find the gas bottle in the bottom of the raft, support a foot on the bottle for leverage and pull on the rope that is usually on the opposite side of the gas bottle. Placing yourself downwind makes turning of the raft easier.
WHAT CAN BREAK AND HOW TO FIX IT?
If it becomes necessary to re-inflate the floats because of a leak, inside the life raft you will find a manual pump. The valves for inflation are on the inside of the raft. There is also a repair kit, although the materials don’t work well when wet. We recommend taking along additional kits for rapid drying and working in wet. Onboard the life raft there are also very useful plastic plugs of different sizes. On the inside of the raft, right by the entrance, there is a small diameter life ring, which can be used if a crew member needs to approach the life raft swimming.
WHAT EQUIPMENT TO TAKE ALONG IN AN EMERGENCY?
In an emergency we should take along the following equipment: the radio beacon of the boat, as this emits the position continuosly, portable VHF radio which will be of great help when being rescued or for communicating with other boats in the vicinity. It is also convenient to have one or two bags stand by filled with emergency materials, in an easily accessible location. In these bags we can have things that will come handy when having to abandon the boat: tinned food and an opener, batteries and above all water. It is important also to take along the life jackets.
WHAT IS A RADIO BEACON AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
Radio beacon is an alarm system for emergency situations that has a built in GPS transmitting an exact location of the device via satellite. It can be activated manually, but activates also automatically when it comes in contact with water and its metallic parts submerge. The device will stay afloat and start transmitting an alarm with the detais of its location and identity; name of the boat, registration number and a contact telephone number for emergencies. The radio beacon needs to be installed in a location known by all crew members where it can be accessed and activated easily, or can open automatically without obstructions or risk of getting trapped. It should be maintained in good condition, inspected regularly and parts changed when necessary – the release every two years and the battery every four years. The radio beacon should be kept away from the motor exhaust, heat sources and areas where chemicals and oils are stored. To use the beacon correctly in an emergency it should get attached to the shipwrecked, either in the liferaft (never in the container) or in the lifejacket. It should be activated as soon as possible, either manually or automatically when reaching water. It is not obligatory to carry a radio beacon on boats that navigate less than 25 nm from the coast, but it is good to remember that it can save lives. It is important to learn how to use it and carry out regular drills, specially prior to setting out to sea.
HOW SOON DOES THE RELEASE MECHANISM EXPIRE?
The hydrostatic release unit is the trigger capsule of the radio beacon and expires every two years, when it by law has to be changed. Remember that also the battery should get changed every four years.
WHAT MATERIAL IS THE LIFERAFT EQUIPPED WITH?
Depending on the homologation, the liferaft contains different amounts of equipment. In case of SOLAS A, which is the most complete set up, we’ll find: floating rope, floating knife, manual bilge pump, inflating pump, sponges, sea anchor, paddles, medical kit, whistle, sparkling flares, parachute flares, floating smoke signals, electrical torch, thermal blankets, radar reflector, mirror and signal tables, fishing equipment, food rations, water, stainless cup, life ring, sea sickness bags, repair kit, batteries, plugs and bellows.
WHAT MEDICINE CAN I FIND IN THE MEDICAL KIT?
Antihemorrhagic (helps with the blood coagulation), antiemetic (prevents vomiting), painkillers, antipyretics (for reducing fever), antiinflammatories, sea sickness pills and antiseptics (for cleaning of microbes). Also other medical material like mouth to mouth resuscitation cannula, bandages, gauzes, cotton wool, surgical tape, gloves, dressings, scissors and adhesive stitches.
WHAT IS A TPA?
TPA (Thermal Protective Aid) provides thermal stability during darkness and at night, or in adverse meteorological conditions, thus avoiding hypothermia. It is an aluminized sack that refracts the heat irradiated by the body. It should be in perfect condition to be able to comply with its function.
WHAT MATERIAL IS THE LIFERAFT MADE OF?
In fabrication of the life raft a strong and flexible material is of utmost importance in order to secure a perfect inflation and durability until the rescue. Even if the life raft is made of the best natural rubber, it still has to be inflated at least once a year to confirm that due to temperature changes and being folded tight in a vacuum there are no wrinkles in the material that can convert into cracks and holes. These can result fatal in the delicate moment of inflation of life raft in an emergency.
WHAT IS THE FRESH WATER COLLECTION SYSTEM?
It is a system that allows collection of rain water and dew that run off the waterproof canopy of the raft into a channel and through a hole into a container in the interior. The container is extractable facilitating drinking when necessary.
WHAT IS A RADAR REFLECTOR?
It is a key element for our localization. It doesn’t require any other action than unfolding, inflating and attaching it with a rope to the life raft. A metallic radar reflector is cleverly inserted inside a watertight rubber, thus freeing us from worrying about its deterioration or sinking, and allowing us to be traceable in all meteorological conditions.
WHAT IS THE LIGHT IN YOUR LIFERAFT?
It is a strong, twinkling LED light that facilitates the visibility and localization of the life raft
WHAT IS IN THE REPAIR KIT?
The repair kit inside the life raft can provide a solution for some small damages to the life raft while we are onboard it. The kit contains patches, cones to cover holes, plugs, sealants, glue, blunt-ended scissors, spatulas, paint brushes and instruction manuals, among other things.
WHY IS THERE KNIFE IN THE LIFERAFT?
A knife is the first equipment we encounter when entering the life raft, and it will also be the first tool we use as the inflated life raft has to be separated from the boat. The stainless steel knife has a floating handle and blunt end in order not to cause punctures or other damage in the life raft. The sharp blade is protected with a non-elastic plastic cover. The knife is attached to the life raft with a thin rope, so that it doesn’t get lost overboard and can reach to any point of the life raft, as necessary.
WHAT IS A SEA ANCHOR?
A sea anchor consists of a long halyard, attached at one end on four points to a rigid ring of the anchor. This ring supports also a resistant fabric sewn into a shape of a cone, which provides sufficient drag to reduce the movement and drifting of the raft away from the last emitted position, thus facilitating the search and rescue of the shipwrecked. Thanks to the sea anchor an uncontrollable drifting is avoided, it also helps the stabilizers under the raft to keep the raft in its position and ride out the storm.
WHAT IS AN OPERATING HEAD?
It is the system in charge of triggering the inflation of the life raft. The adjustment and condition of the trigger should be optimal so that when pulling at the painter (connected to the cable and pin/striker) it perforates the membrane of the gas cylinder and allows the gas the inflate and give shape to the life raft.
HOW TO USE DIFFERENT PYROTECHNICAL EQUIPMENT CORRECTLY?
We can find the following types of pyrotechnic equipment in the life raft: hand flares, parachute flares and smoke canisters. These devices should be inspected annually, to make sure they are in perfect condition. They should be deployed downwind following the instructions by the manufacturer. The smoke canisters are for daytime use while the flares are more visible during the night.
KEY ELEMENTS OF SURVIVAL
Please consult the following article in our blog ”Key Elements of Survival” (spanish)
MARITIME RESCUE SERVICES
Maritime rescue services in Spain have 20 centres of rescue coordination and 87 units integrated in their aerial and maritime fleet, ready to assist in case of an emergency. Remember to always have the following contact details handy onboard:
- Channel 16 on the VHF Marine Band Radio and 2.187 kHz in medium wave.
- Channel 70 and frequency 2.187 kHz in MW in DSC (Digital Selective Calling).
- Telephone for maritime emergencies: 900 202 202.