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 Post subject: Life Jacket
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 2:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 11:08 am
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Location: Rochester NY
I currently have two, one for me and one for my daughter. They are the typical jacket that are sort of bulky to wear. I noticed when I was shopping for her jacket that there was a jacket that seemed devoid of floatable material, it was almost like a windbreaker. There was a tab that said pull to inflate, so it was like an inflate on demand life jacket. The benefit there is that it is like NOT wearing a life jacket.

That got me thinking, what are you guys using for life jackets? How about for your kids/wives?


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 Post subject: Re: Life Jacket
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 4:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:58 am
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Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
While there is much debate regarding inflatable vs. foam-filled life-jackets, I reckon the inflatables are by far the best for Islands. As you say, they are very comfortable, which makes them far more likely to be worn without protest. You can get ones made for children as well as adults.

Don't get automatic ones though, as the wet ride on Islands could cause them to "go off" unexpectedly due to spray! There is nothing like the expression on the face of someone whose inflatable lifejacket inflated when they were not expecting it. :D :D :D

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Tony Stott
2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


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 Post subject: Re: Life Jacket
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 5:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
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Location: South Florida
I frequently sail solo. I do occasional solo, multi-day AI camping trips in the Everglades. It is frequently hot here in south Florida. The inflatables are very tempting for their convenience and comfort--I used an inflatable for years when sea kayaking. Still, at the end of the day, I've decided that inflatable is not smart. You may be debilitated and/or unconscious if you have an accident or fall ill and are thrown in the water. In that event, I want a standard positive floatation vest to keep my head above water. I use an NRS c-vest http://www.nrs.com/product/2157/nrs-cvest-mesh-back-pfd The other nice thing about a pfd like the c-vest is that it holds a lot of gear in the pockets--most of which can be tethered to the tie-off loops on the vest. People I know keep safety gear in those pockets--VHF radio, Leatherman tool, SPOT messaging device, personal locating beacon device (PLB), etc.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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 Post subject: Re: Life Jacket
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 7:08 pm 
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Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
Keith, I think I found a pretty good compromise, which I didn't mention, as I am unsure if such an item is available elsewhere.

An Australian company produces a huge range of lifejackets, including industrial ones (for ship pilots, oil rig workers, round the world sailors etc). The one I got is called a Stormy Lite, and is different from the norm in that it has 7 pockets as well as 8 external tags for attaching equipment. In addition, the bladder inflates >inside< the vest, so the vest needs to be quite loose (eg very comfortable), as well as have thigh straps to prevent the user slipping out of the jacket. I have also added shoulder straps to wear my VHF and PLB in deployable positions.

While I appreciate the advantage of a foam-filled lifejacket in the case of the user losing consciousness, it is also possible to partially inflate a jacket to provide some permanent buoyancy for when conditions start to look dodgy. I believe that just falling out of an Island is not a huge probability, but that is just my take.
http://www.stormylifejackets.com.au/
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Tony Stott
2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


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 Post subject: Re: Life Jacket
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 4:32 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 1900
Location: South Florida
I like to say, "accidents happen when least expected and they happen fast." Yes, it is unlikely that you will fall out of your AI/TI, especially if you have tramps or hakas. Still, a friend Steve Sanders fell off his tandem--he was solo fishing. Terry Wilson, rest her soul, was knocked off her Adventure (kayak mode) by a jumping sting ray which struck her in the head. Yes, it is unlikely, but it happens. I have yet to find a simple way to pee as I am doing a 20 mile sail to my next camp. If I have my paddle pants on, I'm pretty much stuck with standing up--at that point you are vulnerable to falling out. People who have a dry suit usually have a relief zipper and use a small bottle while seated--quite creative. Of course, people who like to hike out on their hakas in heavy winds are vulnerable.

Bottom line: about the time you think you can't fall off an AI/TI, you are going to fall off. Count on it.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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 Post subject: Re: Life Jacket
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:43 am
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Location: Long Island NY
Since this thread has asked for opinions, I'll gladly give mine - and it comes from years of being a lifeguard/water safetly instructor/scuba diver/ ... basically a life long water rat.

I TOTALLY agree with Keith about having a foam PFD on and properly adjusted at all times ESPECIALLY for those under adult age.

There really isn't that much to prevent us from just simply loosing our balance and falling overboard, never mind all the nasty things we can think of that can happen. In that instant when you hit the water unexpectedly, it is very easy to injest enough water to cause sever caughing etc. until you catch your breath properly (nevermind the cold water zing ..). In that breif time of distress, you are NOT going to be able to inflate your vest ...

... Hey, plenty of people ride motorcycles withthout helmets in states that allow it. I rode for 14 years .. only once without a helmet to see what it was like.

We all manage risks on a daily basis - wearing a PFD when out on the water to me is a no brainer

If you are going to prceed with this type of vest for your daughter (or yourself/anyone else) I HIGHLY suggest that you practice, practice, PRACTICE - a pool is a good setting- the technique of finding the inflation hose and properly inflating it.

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Alan W.
'07 Hobie Adventure Island #1
'07 Hobie Adventure Island #2 Golden Papaya AI LadyJane
'06? Hobie Outback SUV


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 Post subject: Re: Life Jacket
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 2:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 3:19 pm
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Location: Chattanooga, TN
In my water adventures around larger watercraft -- particularly idiots on JetSkis -- I always think about what would happen if some clueless teenager doesn't see my boat and plows right into me. Hit by a JetSki and unconscious, I would prefer a PFD that doesn't need inflating.


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 Post subject: Re: Life Jacket
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 4:37 pm 
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Location: Rochester NY
All good suggestions. I currently have two PFDs that do not need inflation. Those are the two I am going to go with, I just wanted to get your take on the inflatable vs non. After thinking about it, I agree, if some unforeseen incident happens, you will not be able to inflate on demand if you are unconscious.


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 Post subject: Re: Life Jacket
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 6:37 am 
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Location: Long Island NY
one more thing I'd like to add since we are talking about your daughters' safety - for a life jacket (and I much prefer that name to Personal Floatation Device or PFD) to be effective, it must be sized properly AND for the straps adjusted correctly .. an improperly sized and/or adjusted life vest will easily ride up once in the water and although it is much better than not wearing one, it is very difficult to adjust when it is providing floatation.

There are many different types of life vests or PFD's - the ones specifically for kayaking have the majority of floatation in the front and away from the sides of the arms - they prove to be much more comfortable and less cumbersome than a full body vest while providing adequate floatation.

I don't want to sound like I'm harping on this - it is a personal choice, but, over the years I've been involved in quite a few rescue incidents .. most that didn't have good outcomes could have gone the other way with the simple and correct use of a life vest

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Alan W.
'07 Hobie Adventure Island #1
'07 Hobie Adventure Island #2 Golden Papaya AI LadyJane
'06? Hobie Outback SUV


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 Post subject: Re: Life Jacket
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 7:02 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:55 am
Posts: 81
Location: Riverside, S. California, USA
I have always, even before the decision was mine, lived with the rule that anyone on a small boat will be wearing a pfd. It astonishes me to see people out paddling their SUPS in the ocean with a pfd on the boat, but not on them. The boat doesn't need one! And I have helped to bring to the banks people rafting in thin plastic single chambered rafts, who could not control their boat, were not wearing a pfd, and told me they could not swim. What are people thinking when they fail to think? How does the planet manage to be heavily populated with such people?
I wear the same vest as Chekika, which I chose for its radio pocket, but I really enjoy all the other pockets. Its bulky and a bit inconvenient at times, but I'm quite used to it.
I've never fallen in sailing, but i may have had my life saved by a particularly high floatation (read bulky) pfd I was wearing when sucked under in Lava Falls while kayaking the Grand Canyon. I was thinking "I'd better surface soon, or this won't go well" No harm done, but with less buoyancy, who knows?

Water tragedies happen unexpectedly, and FAST. "Passengers: please don't don't be alarmed. You have now drowned."


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 Post subject: Re: Life Jacket
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 10:04 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:58 am
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Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
Chekika wrote:
SNIP
I have yet to find a simple way to pee as I am doing a 20 mile sail to my next camp. If I have my paddle pants on, I'm pretty much stuck with standing up--at that point you are vulnerable to falling out. People who have a dry suit usually have a relief zipper and use a small bottle while seated--quite creative.
SNIP

Keith
As an aside Keith, one unexpected advantage of my raised "skipper seat" is that I do not have to stand to pee. I have even successfully removed PFD and jacket, and partly removed breathable waders and shorts to take advantage of the Miragedrive slot. Of course I furled the sail first as I was offshore at the time...

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Tony Stott
2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


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 Post subject: Re: Life Jacket
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 11:15 am 
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Location: South Florida
Yes, I think a skipper's seat could be pretty useful in that respect. I've also thought hakas could be used in a similar fashion, but on my trips, my hakas are pretty loaded, not a lot of room to sit.

Keith

_________________
I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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 Post subject: Re: Life Jacket
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 1:01 am 
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 5:06 am
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Location: Lake Macquarie NSW AUSTRALIA
[quote="tonystott"]I have yet to find a simple way to pee as I am doing a 20 mile sail to my next camp. If I have my paddle pants on, I'm pretty much stuck with standing up--at that point you are vulnerable to falling out. People who have a dry suit usually have a relief zipper and use a small bottle while seated--quite creative.
SNIP

I've thought of going one step furtherTony. If you strategically place a 6" dia. hole in the centre, you don't have to go anywhere for anything. :roll:

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Don't take life too seriously................it ain't permanent.


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 Post subject: Re: Life Jacket
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 1:59 am 
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Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
What? And clog my one-way seat scupper valves? :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Tony Stott
2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


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 Post subject: Re: Life Jacket
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 10:27 am 
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Concur with tonystott regarding the auto inflatable life vests. I had mine 'go off' while doing some wet sailing...the erodible pill had just enough water to trigger!!! Scared the crap out me!!! I have rearmed it without the automatic feature. Needless to say, there is some risk here in that if you are knocked unconscious you can't pull your vest! However, given the AI/TI is boomless the chances of this are low. I keep a ski type vest in my front hatch, a harness inflatable and a belt inflatable. For comfort, I normally wear the belt inflatable. For safety purposes, it is a good ideal to always have your cell phone with you in a waterproof container and a hand held submersible VHF attached to you in the event you get 'tossed' off the boat. A typical sailboat that is not on autopilot will 'round up' into the wind if not steered. However, the AI/TI will keep going for a long ways! Better to have a few means of communication with you! However, don't get worried....as a big boat sailor and a TI sailor...I find the TI as being much more safer!!!!


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