So we have opted not to have an inflatable life raft onboard Aquabat, and there are many reasons for this. We did not make this decision lightly and knew with Dingbat (the tender) being our back-up boat, essentially our liferaft, we would need to add some reinforcements to her to make her extra safe should her use as a liferaft become necessary.
The Kapten Boat Collar is essentially a life-ring that is attached to Dingbat, giving her lots of extra buoyancy and therefore making her very difficult to sink. The collar is made from multiple layers of different density foam that are attached by aluminium plates and screws. We had a little brainstorm of situations that we thought could possibly compromise Dingbat’s buoyancy and the ones we came up with were pretty extreme, but not impossible. For example, a crocodile tearing off all of the foam and then biting a hole in the boat! In this case, I guess it’s better that the croc gets the foam and not us!
We have not tested her in a situation like this (thankfully) and I hope we never have to but we have attempted to sink her (pulled out the bung and filled her up) and she stayed afloat with both Bryce and I onboard. In the event that we did need to abandon ship and were caught in rough weather, we would use this same technique (filling her with water) to lower her center of gravity.
Aside from it’s possible lifesaving capabilities, the Boat Collar has also improved our day to day life. A number of things have been made easier, or made possible by the addition of the boat collar. For example, standing up, boarding, moving around, climbing into the dinghy from the water without flipping it, carrying the boat, the list goes on.
It also keeps us dryer as the collar deflects much of the water spray from coming up and hitting us. It acts as an awesome fender between Dingbat & Aquabat, jetties, other boats or whatever else she may come into contact with. We are also that much closer to being able to get up on a plane with two of us on board. Our outboard is only 5 hp so once we upgrade (if we upgrade!) we should be cruising around no problems.
We have been really pleased with our Boat Collar and would highly recommend it.
Alissa and Bryce
Factory fitted Regular Collar on gunwale
3 metre TENDER
Sunshine Coast, Queensland