Life Vests / Rafts for purchase in FL?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Freefalling, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. Freefalling

    Freefalling Pre-Flight

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    We are about to undertake an epic trip from Colorado to Puerto Rico and need to purchase survival gear along our route. Since I live in PR, water crossings are going to happen from time to time, so I want to go ahead and purchase a raft rather than renting one. I also need to buy life jackets, as the plane we're flying has spent its entire life in Colorado, and has never needed life jackets.

    So, is there a place I can stop along the way to get high quality survival equipment? I really like the Stearns SOSpender style life jackets, but I'm having a hard time finding an actual seller of them - Plenty of places will ship them, but I'd rather just pick them up before we leave the states. My google-fu is failing me today, so I'm turning to you guys.

    Is there a store somewhere in FL where I can stop in, look at survival rafts, and purchase one right then? And then bonus, does that store also sell Stearns SOSpender life jackets (Or equivalent?)
     
  2. jbrrapa

    jbrrapa Filing Flight Plan

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    Banyan Pilot Shop at FXE in Fort Lauderdale usually has a good selection on display.
     
  3. Bell206

    Bell206 Pattern Altitude

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    Any part of your over-water part considered "for hire" ? As to high quality most aircraft type TSO gear is top quality and used by Part 135 ops but is expensive.
     
  4. Freefalling

    Freefalling Pre-Flight

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    No, nothing for hire. Just personal flights for weekend adventuring.

    Thanks for the Banyan Pilot Shop recommendation. I'll give them a call.
     
  5. Bell206

    Bell206 Pattern Altitude

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    If going the aircraft TSO gear route there a number of them in FL. You might even be able to pick up some used stuff at a good price. Try searching "aircraft survival equipment Florida" .
     
  6. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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    I’d been looking into this for a trip into the Bahamas. We have some single cell vests already but no raft. New rafts are very pricey, there are places that will rent them which is he route I expect to take. Best I’ve found so far is this at $35/day. Others may know a better option/rate.

    https://www.banyanair.com/flying-your-plane-to-the-bahamas/
     
  7. Freefalling

    Freefalling Pre-Flight

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    $35/day? Where did you find that price? I found $75/day and $60/day, but then I've got to pay to ship them back to FL, which is sure to cost a few hundred. New rafts are pricey, but I'm not sure how easily I can find them to rent here on the island. Maybe I will rent for this trip, then investigate purchasing later.

    Either way I'm going to need to buy life vests. Seems incredibly likely that Banyan will have just what I need.
     
  8. Freefalling

    Freefalling Pre-Flight

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    Doh. Just saw that Banyan has them for $35. That's a good price!
     
  9. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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    I've been told somewhere at KFPR rents for 125/week but I haven't seen it listed on any website. Might have to call the FBOs to find out if that's the case.