Switlik Coastal Passage Raft
The Coastal Passage Raft (CPR) is Switlik's next generation inflatable life raft having features no other raft offers. It uses compressed air for inflation which provides excellent cold weather performance and the ability to have a gauge so that you can check the pressure. This feature allows Switlik to recommend a five (5) year service interval, the longest in the industry. Time sensitive survival equipment is packed in an external pocket allowing for updating without servicing the actual life raft.
When this raft was designed, proper, right side up inflation was part of the criterion. Most manufacturers of recreational life rafts just hope that their raft inflates in the proper orientation but Switlik designs this in to the product. Once inflated the CPR has large ballast pockets to keep the raft upright and stable.
Boarding a life raft has always been an issue and the CPR makes it as easy as possible with four (4) boarding stations. When the raft inflates, the canopy is furled making it possible to board from above (the deck of your boat) without interference. After you get into the raft, the canopy arches are easily and quickly inflated with their individual CO2 inflation systems. Being able to furl the canopy also provides better access for helicopter rescue.
Switlik is also revolutionizing the industry by not saying what the capacity of the raft is in "people" (i.e. 6 person raft). There is a buoyancy rating, in the case of the CPR it is 1140 pounds, but Switlik's theory is "life raft capacity is determined not just by numbers, but by how long you will be in the raft. The longer you might be in it, the smaller it gets". You get to decide if this raft will meet your needs, looking at who would be on the boat and where it would be operating. This really helps when considering families with large weight differences between adults and children.
The CPR appears to be a single tube life raft but it has full redundancy using Switlik's internal sleeve design first seen in their US Coast Guard approved 6 person raft the CLR-6. You end up with the best of several features: full redundancy, low freeboard for boarding and ease of repair should the raft puncture.
Buoyancy tube material is nylon that is coated with urethane both inside and out provide a tough, abrasion resistant barrier between you and the elements. Having the urethane on both sides of the nylon base fabric also allows Switlik to weld the seams in a "lapped" manner.
- Total buoyancy in salt water: 1140 pounds
- Recommended service interval: 5 years (the most offered by other brands is a 3 year interval). Switlik has a worldwide service network.
- Boarding: 4 boarding stations with ladders (most rafts have 1 or 2 places to board). Furled canopy on inflation allows easy boarding from your vessel.
- Painter length: 25 feet
- Inflatable/Insulated floor: optional
- Operating temperature range: -22°F to +160°F
- Country of origin: United States of America
Rollie's Raft Rating (1-5 ★'s with 5 being the best)
Pack size: ★★★★★
Ease of boarding: ★★★★★
Cost, initial: ★
Cost, over life of the raft: ★★★
Rollie's Raft Rating is based against other products Westpac offers. I do not rate offshore rafts higher than coastal models but look at how they fit in to their intended uses. Westpac does not offer life rafts (or other products) that I would not use my self so even a 1 ★ rating in a category might be great compared to what other companies have to offer. If you have questions, please feel free to give me a call.