On the liferaft bit,I havent done my reserch yet besides a bit of shuftying around at last yrs Southampton boatshow.
For commercial stuff I liked the Zodiac raft with double floor and inflatable shelter. You can get it in different specs dependant what cruising you are doing.It was lighter than the Avon.Avon had two offshore models on show the one that I looked at was real nice was made out of very strong fabric or there was the std rubber one with double floor. The costs were real high for the stronger fabric 3.5k for a 6 man but was used in aircrafts.
If I had to jump now and cost was important as well as spec then I would be happy with the Zodiac commercial solas spec double floor raft with heat reflective floor. It was around £1400 for a 6 man from there comercial dealers who were based in preston lancs.
I kept there card and am over at eurocraft on saturday morn,if I can find it and its helpful pm me for there details as they were prone to negotiating.
I would do the deal at southampton boat show where you will get aprox 33% off if your a negotiater.
You can view all the rafts there and the spec there and compare.
Good luck and lets hope you dont have to thank me cos it works ok.