The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Liferafts For Cruisers—Positioning and Mounting

So far in this series we have covered why Phyllis and I carry a liferaft and our recommendations for types and brands.

Now let’s look at liferaft positioning and mounting:


By far the best answer is a purpose-made locker in a place that makes deployment relatively straightforward. Great to say, but if our boat did not come to us so equipped, and most don’t, hard to do.

For the rest of us, where to mount a liferaft is one of those annoying problems with no perfect answer, since pretty much every option has drawbacks.

The Worst Position

For example, on most boats the easiest position to deploy from is the cabin top, since the raft can just be skidded over the side without lifting it, but that’s also the most vulnerable position to being washed overboard, and on most boats results in a hit to visibility from the cockpit.

Given those two problems, Phyllis and I would not stow a raft on the cabin top. After all, it would be upsetting to end up in the liferaft because our boat was sunk by a collision due to the blind spot caused by the liferaft!

The Best Position

So with the cabin top rejected, what’s left?

More Articles From Liferaft and Survival Equipment:

  1. Liferafts For Cruisers—Purchase Criteria
  2. Liferafts For Cruisers—40 Years of Real-World Experience
  3. Liferafts For Cruisers—Positioning and Mounting
  4. Q&A: Portland Pudgy Tender And Liferaft Combo