Marine News from the Great Lakes


Published: Monday, April 10, 2017

Scott Smiles' 42' boat sank in 50 seconds, leaving him, a friend, and their two PFD-clad young sons clinging to a cooler and EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radiobeacon) — the only items he had time to grab. The harrowing experience inspired Smiles to develop Life Cell, a completely new approach to safety equipment storage.

Making its Miami International Boat Show debut, the innovative Life Cell from Life Cell Marine Safety is a self-contained, buoyant device that holds user-supplied safety and survival equipment. Best of all, it provides flotation assistance for up to eight adults, depending on the model.

The basic Life Cell, The Trailer Boat, is designed to assist 2–4 people. On most small craft, mandatory safety gear is stowed in compartments. If there is a ditch kit, it's often a nylon pack or small container, which fills with water and can become a hindrance rather than help.

Life Cell is simple to use, even for non-boaters. Easy to quickly access, it can be thrown or, should the boat sink, will float off its mounting bracket.

The high visibility Life Cell doesn't rely on its watertight compartment for buoyancy; its flotation is built in. Opened, users have immediate access to their VHF, flares, air horns, and other signaling devices. An EPIRB can be mounted externally for faster activation.

Staying together with a buoyancy aid is a big advantage. The Trailer Boat has a grab handle and webbing lanyards to keep people attached — especially important in high seas or when fatigue sets in.

While Life Cell models are sized for the number of people it will assist, at 15.7" L x 16.5" W x 6.6" D, The Trailer Boat was developed with small to mid-sized vessels in mind. SOLAS certified and endorsed by the Westpac Life Saver Helicopter Service, it’s fire, impact, and UV-resistant, and doesn't require expensive servicing. An optional stainless steel rail mounting bracket is ideal for sailboats.

The Trailer Boat Life Cell costs $299, has a two-year warranty, and is available in orange or white. Life Cell Marine Safety also offers The Yachtsman for four people, The Trawler man for six and The Crewman to assist eight. A video is at

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tags: Electronics, Safety

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