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Life Raft Preservation/Display

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Hello all,


I'm working with a small museum this summer, and the curator would like to display a life raft suspended above the search and rescue display. He would also like the raft filled with something, so its shape is filled (based on the question, I would assume air will not work). So we need something that will be fairly lightweight, and will not damage the raft. Does anybody have any suggestions? Thank you!


Best regards and God Bless,




Always looking for items from these men (family members):
Even if not to buy, to know where they are would be great.
Cornelius Doherty - 108th Field Artillery, Pennsylvania NG, WWI Joseph A. Doherty - 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd ID. KIA March 3, 1944.
Harry Riley - 62nd Armored Field Artillery Bn, Died August 13, 1944. Robert Lester Mahler - I/3/24, 4th Marine Div. WIA March 8, 1945.
Thomas R. Riley - USAAF Joshua L. Doherty - With a Seabee Unit, I believe.
Ens. Alex A. Gorski, USNR - Died as a POW, January 28, 1945. Capt. Henry Gorski, USN (ret.)
Remembering their service and sacrifice.

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In the for what it is worth department. I use a 12 man commercial liferaft for show and tell in an abandon ship class. The liferafts SHOULD have, on both tubes, a screw cap valve so that the raft can be inflated with the emergency hand pump.. For speed, I use a small shop vac with the hose reversed to supply air for inflation. Works fine for a static display. To deflate, the fill valve has a one way flapper in the fill pipe to keep air in. Depress the flapper with small straight wire and suck the raft flat with the vacuum. It will then be able to roll it up into a tight package for storage..

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I wish I had an answer for you, but I don't. It has been my personal experience that even small rafts that are 70+ years old, lose their fill rather quickly. It might be a better idea to have the raft where is can be easily reached for re-inflation. Best of luck! Hope someone else has a better idea for you.

Regards, Paul


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