The chief boarding officer for Sector Delaware Bay told me that OUPV's with 6 or fewer passengers do not require a raft. They do recommend it, though. I have an inflatable raft and an EPIRB. Cheap insurance in case of problems! :thumbsup:
The real question is what if you are a documented 6 pack charter
One of my friends who have run charters locally for over 25 years told me Wednesday morning he was at the meeting and he came away with all 6 pack uninspected charter boats that are documentated need a raft now. The issues at hand it seems is some 6 pack charter boats do not even carry any kind of raft at all, if they do it is outdated and does not meet the manufactures inspection dates or it is certified for less passengers than the boat carriers for hire. All valid points in my mind if you take 6 people on your boat and charge them money to go fishing especially offshore or run a lot at night. What I am not sure about now after what others have posted is this pertain only to documentated vessel with a coastwise endorsement or did my friend misinterpret the new rules on life rafts for 6 pack charter boats. I am aware of recent changes for inspected boats so possible there was some confusion.
This does not affect us on the Hooked Up II as we had to meet the General Category regulations which are far more stringent than 6 pack charter boats since we commercially fished for Giant Bluefins down in North Carolina in the winter months. We carry 3 ERIB’s, survival suits and have a top of the line Viking 8 person raft on board that we get inspected on a regular basis.
We carry one along with an EPIRB. Unispected 6 pack (OUPV) does not require a life raft and never did. Foolish not to carry one. We went with a valise offshore raft since you don't need to repack it or get the hydrostatic replaced every few years.