Author Topic: What type PFD?  (Read 578 times)

Offline PrudenceCP23

  • Rigger
  • ****
  • Posts: 32
  • Karma: 0
What type PFD?
« on: February 19, 2017, 04:50:39 PM »
My life jacket is getting a bit tired (had it since the 70s) and I'm looking for a replacement.  My question is what are the pros and cons of the "new" self-inflating ones, especially as compared to the more traditional type III.  I've looked at them at West Marine and got their sales pitch, but I'm wondering what the opinions of CPYOA members are.  Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
1985 Compac 23/II #333
s/v Prudence

Offline HeaveToo

  • Commodore
  • ******
  • Posts: 1030
  • Karma: 21
Re: What type PFD?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2017, 06:38:53 PM »
PFDs are a personal call.  It depends on if you wear them all of the time, some of the time, or very little.  The self inflating ones are good but they have to be worn to count.  I have seen a self inflating PFD with a harness and that may be good for sailing in bad conditions.

I carry PFDs aboard but never really dawn them.  I would if the situation dictated it but I haven't found one yet that does.
Døyr fe, døyr frender
Døyr sjølv det sama
men ordet om deg aldreg døyr
vinn du et gjetord gjevt

Offline Wes

  • Commodore
  • ******
  • Posts: 777
  • Karma: 36
Re: What type PFD?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2017, 07:29:18 AM »
Self inflating is the only way to go. They are much smaller and less bulky than the traditional kind, so they are more likely to be worn. Personally I refuse to be a walking advertisement for Worst Marine, so I buy the Mustang Survival PFDs from Defender. Very high quality at lower cost. On my boat, everyone wears a PFD while underway, no exceptions.

HeaveToo is correct that if you are stopped by the Coasties, the inflatable PFDs will only count if they are being worn. If they are in the locker you will not be in compliance.

Wes
"Bella", 1988 CP 19/3 #453
Washington, North Carolina

Offline jdklaser

  • Rigger
  • ****
  • Posts: 35
  • Karma: 0
Re: What type PFD?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2017, 09:39:09 AM »

Offline Gerry

  • 2nd Watch Helmsman
  • *****
  • Posts: 126
  • Karma: 2
Re: What type PFD?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2017, 10:29:52 AM »
Shop all sites online.  West Marine is expensive compared to some.  I use Amazon Prime.  There are two types of inflatable PFDs.  The type that will inflate automatically when you hit the water.  A little pill dissolves and inflates the jacket.  Sailors like this type because if you get knock unconscious by the boom; it will inflate.  The drawback is it will inflate anytime it gets wet. The other type has a pull cord.  Great if your are conscious.  I have the pull cord because I power boat as well as sail.  I wear it all of the time because it's comfortable.  Buy one that's red, yellow or orange to be seen in the water and don't forget to include a whistle.
WYATTC: CP-16; 1981

Offline Wes

  • Commodore
  • ******
  • Posts: 777
  • Karma: 36
Re: What type PFD?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2017, 06:54:30 PM »
Gerry - not exactly correct; most modern automatic inflatables respond to hydrostatic pressure, not to getting wet. They have to be submerged about 4-6" under water before the inflator fires. They will save your life if you fall overboard unconscious but will not inflate in a rainstorm.

Wes
"Bella", 1988 CP 19/3 #453
Washington, North Carolina

Offline HeaveToo

  • Commodore
  • ******
  • Posts: 1030
  • Karma: 21
Re: What type PFD?
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2017, 10:03:57 PM »
https://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-marine--offshore-automatic-inflatable-life-vest-with-harness--13928551

That would be a good one since it doubles as a harness.  This would be good if you have jacklines for bad weather.  I have a harness but not one with self inflating (I made my jacklines and harness).

Of course West Marine has advice on life jackets:  https://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvisor/Selecting-a-Life-Vest
Døyr fe, døyr frender
Døyr sjølv det sama
men ordet om deg aldreg døyr
vinn du et gjetord gjevt

Offline relamb

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 306
  • Karma: 11
Re: What type PFD?
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2017, 05:42:14 PM »
Self inflating is the way to go, because you're more apt to wear it because it is much more comfortable.
I carry a full set of standard life jackets on the boat for visitors, but when going out solo (I've singlehanded my CP23 across Lake Michigan and back, 65 miles each way) I ALWAYS wear the inflatable and tether to jacklines when alone.  The life jacket has a whistle and a strobe, but when I'm alone I also carry a waterproof DeLorme satellite tracker and a waterproof handheld VHF radio on  lanyards around my neck or zipped in my jacket pockets. And a knife to cut rigging or sails if I were to get tangled up.   This year I had the experience of taking my CP27 100 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, singlehanded.  Of course I took all the same equipment.
Why?  Well, you might not survive falling off the boat that far from land, but if they don't find the body, there's no definite proof of death, and your family will not be able to collect on your life insurance until they are convinced you just didn't disappear!
Rick
CP16 CP23 CP27
Zionsville, IN

Offline PrudenceCP23

  • Rigger
  • ****
  • Posts: 32
  • Karma: 0
Re: What type PFD?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2017, 09:34:44 AM »
I appreciate all the advice, thank you!  West Marine has a couple of models on sale this weekend, the Inshore model for $54 and their Coastal model for $99.  I'll try them on and see which is most comfortable and has the best features for my needs.  Once again, thank you for the help :-)
1985 Compac 23/II #333
s/v Prudence

Offline Ken J

  • Deck Hand
  • ***
  • Posts: 22
  • Karma: 0
Re: What type PFD?
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2017, 09:47:10 AM »
Just another point of view - we wear a kayak type of jacket - I read a bunch as well before buying and for me I did not want to have to depend on something inflating when I hit the water - but that's me :-) the jacket is very comfortable and I forget I'm wearing it

Offline K3v1n

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 421
  • Karma: 11
  • CP23 'S/V TETRA'
    • Empty Nest Sailing (CP 23 S\V Tetra)
Re: What type PFD?
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2017, 12:43:40 PM »
All great info! We are looking at upgrading our life jackets this year and have been looking at the inflatable ones. I do like the 'Kayak' type as well, no need to worry about inflation and re-arming.

Stohlquist Edge Life Jacket
1985 Cape Dory 26 #30 s/v 'Dorothea'
1983 Com-Pac 23 #219 s/v 'Tetra' FOR SALE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Empty Nest Sailing------Panacea SailBlog


It's not about the size, it's how you use it!

Offline kahp ho

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 231
  • Karma: 9
Re: What type PFD?
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2017, 01:14:08 PM »
One more late reply...

I like the non-inflatable kind. Being in the Northwest I can sometimes use all the insulation I can get!  :)
'07 Legacy "Amphibian"

Offline Ken J

  • Deck Hand
  • ***
  • Posts: 22
  • Karma: 0
Re: What type PFD?
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2017, 05:36:40 PM »
One other reason for getting the kayak type for me is that there is no maintence - again not trying to say they are better - just my thought process when I went through the same decision :-)

Ken J

Offline Potcake boy

  • Commodore
  • ******
  • Posts: 546
  • Karma: 15
Re: What type PFD?
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2017, 10:30:44 AM »
FOR OFFSHORE SOLO, I also carry a PLB, a handheld VHF, and a waist belt like hikers use with two water bottles and a pocket for some emergency nutrition. Drinking water will extend your survival time by a few days if you are in warm water. If you're in cold water without a survival suit, don't worry about the life jacket, just leave a note in a bottle.
Ron
Pilot House 23 - GladRags
Punta Gorda Florida

A mouse around the house - but much hotter on the water

Offline Bilgemaster

  • Tactician
  • *****
  • Posts: 85
  • Karma: 3
Re: What type PFD?
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2017, 11:08:59 AM »
Just to chime in, I bought one of those 4-packs of standard puffy Type III PFDs from Gander Mountain while they were on sale for just 30-something bucks, just to be in compliance. They come in a handy and reasonably rugged rectangular zippered plastic tote bag thing.  To each I've attached a whistle and a little waterproof flashlight doodad, but mostly they just sit in the bag.  For myself and the wife, I also got a pair of Onyx M-24 Manual Inflatable Life Jackets, since they're just so comfortable you don't even know you're wearing them, and to risk belaboring the obvious point: they won't save your life unless you're wearing them. I think they were about $80 a pop plus shipping.  If I were buying them again, I might go for the fully-automatic instead of manual model, which requires that one pull a little rip cord thing to inflate it...just in case one gets a "gyby" boom in one's ear and hits the water out cold.  At least for the Admiral.  Me?  I'm quite sure that I am FAR more likely to inflate the thing by falling off the boat while still at the dock. 

I'm not usually a big fan of We$t Marin€ (Motto: "You'll think our prices are in some wA¢k¥ foreign currency!"), but it turns out that just now they have a very highly user-reviewed fully-automatic inflatable on sale for just $54.99.  Frankly, it's the first time I recall ever seeing anything like a bargain from We$t Marin€, so in semi-shock I just grabbed one for store delivery--chiefly for the wife. After all, we don't need the Admiral clawing around in the drink for some ripcord, do we? It's undignified, and she ain't exactly Getrude Ederle.

Lastly, someone mentioned liking non-inflatables for the warmth they afford.  It's sort of the opposite down here in Virginia.  I'd sail in a thong if it didn't scare the fish and alarm the wildlife on shore.  Still, I got one of these Chinese "New Outdoor Unisex Adult Life Jacket Fishing Safety Life Vest For Water Sports Drifting Boating Sailing Kayak Survival Swimwear" jobs somewhere online for like $6 delivered as a bit of potential foul weather gear.  It's even got a little hood tucked into a zippered compartment, reasonably sturdy dual tabs for attaching a harness, lots of pockets, and it zippers up instead of clipping.  For the price of a 6 pack of Yuengling Lager it's a remarkably nice piece of gear, in easy-to-spot-at-night dayglo yellow with even bits of reflective material here and there.  If it's suddenly a dark, cold and stormy night brewing up out there, this is what's going on:

« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 12:36:18 PM by Bilgemaster »