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Old 10-22-2012, 11:02 PM   #21
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It's interesting to read the various 'policies' above for lifejackets. In the UK, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has only one mantra - 'wear it - it's useless if it's not worn'.

For us, we use auto-inflate jackets (Seago Yachting Catalogue see page 4) which are comfy to wear, non-intrusive, and have the extras you need - crotch straps, spray-hood and light.

As I've said, we don them before we cast off and only take them off once Play d'eau is fully moored up.

Having been involved in man overboard training and tests, I can vouch how hard it is to recover someone. let alone the issues with boat manoeuvering and being careful not to chop legs off with props, made all the harder if they are not wearing a jacket and therefore trying to stay afloat by swimming and panicking. Nightmare. So if you are in anything like an emotional sea, well, it really doesn't bear thinking about.

The issue is that if something's going to happen' it will happen quickly - will you have time to think 'Aha, I must go and get my jacket on before I fall over...'

Enough of my preaching - please forgive me. I just hate reading reports that so and so drowned but for a lifejacket.

The RNLI's webiste is full of stories - RNLI sea safety advice

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Old 10-22-2012, 11:21 PM   #22
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We do not wear them while underway. There is just no need on a large boat.

We do wear them when on the swim platform or the skiff.

We also keep full survival suits stored under the settee in the pilot house
--------------------------------------------------
I suppose a PFD is less than desirable for your cold Alaska water temps!!

We spend a lot of time fishing on deck and leaning over the rails netting and landing fish. In your area I would probably opt for Mustang full cold water gear.

Here in the PNW, while fishing on deck, we wear Type III full flotation Mustang four pocket vests. They have foam flotation with a double really tough covering. But they allow a full range of motion and clean up nicely.

We tried the inflatables, but they don't stand up to the wear and tear of fishing. Had to toss the two we had after being used and gotten wet a couple of seasons. Both had slow leaks and wouldn't hold pressure and upon closer examination there was also corrosion around the CO2 charge and firing mechanism. I see a lot of fisherman wearing them, but they need to be inflated and checked for leaks every year.

LB
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:43 PM   #23
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Gotta lifesling, for whatever that's worth. Need to get the overboard person retrieved within 10 minutes unless in tropical waters?

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Old 10-23-2012, 07:33 AM   #24
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I found the above views interesting, as it surprised me that so many of you who live in a country where a lot of you still don't even wear seat belts in your cars because it is not legislated in many states yet, (or so I understand), where there is no argument that there is no time to put one on when an accident happens, yet will put up with the discomfort (albeit minor if inflatable types), of wearing a life jacket where something that might make it good to be wearing one would, in all probability, unfold quite slowly. Falling overboard from most of our types of vessels would be very rare I would think, and at the speed we go things happen pretty slowly, so time to don one is not normally an issue.
I have to admit we don't as a rule, but we would if crossing a bar, or if we ventured out of the relatively sheltered waters of our rather large bay in anything but calm weather. We do make children wear them when out with us, but even so, the sides of our gunwales are so high they would have to work hard to fall overboard. I insist an adult is with them at all times, however. Seat belt wearing in all states here in Australia, but life jackets must be carried, worn crossing bars in all boats, but not mandatory in vessels over 4.8m but guided by the following recommendations....
When to wear life jackets

PFDs are a key safety feature in recreational boating. An National Marine Safety Committee (NMSC) study* found that people who survived a boating incident were more than two times more likely to have been wearing a PFD compared to those who died and concluded that if PFD usage increased to 50%, 2-3 lives could be saved nationally each year. Besides wearing them in emergencies, you also enhance safety if you wear life jackets in the following circumstances:
  • at the first sign of bad weather;
  • between sunset and sunrise or during restricted visibility;
  • when operating in unfamiliar waters;
  • when operating with a following sea;
  • when boating alone (this is especially recommended);
  • at all times on children under 10 years; or
  • if you are a poor swimmer.
The regulations for Queensland are summed up as follows....
The other states differ only in small details.
QUEENSLAND
All recreational boats with an engine or auxiliary of 4hp (3kW) or more are considered 'registrable boats' and are required to carry one appropriately-fitting PFD per occupant.
Though not compulsory, life jackets are strongly recommended for all occupants in non-registrable boats.
If the vessel is engaged in diving activities, an inflatable diver jacket is an acceptable alternative to a PFD.
Life jackets must be worn in the following situations…
Crossing a bar
Life jackets are compulsory when crossing a designated coastal bar in an open boat that is less than 4.8m in length.
Children under 12
A properly-fitting PFD must be worn by all children under 12 when in an open boat under 4.8m while it is underway, not at anchor, made fast to the shore or aground ('underway' includes drifting). This applies to commercial, fishing and recreational boats.
Infants under 12 months should not travel on boats unless necessary. When they do, they must be held securely by a responsible adult.
Required PFD levels
Smooth Waters
A minimum Level 50S (Type 3) life jacket per occupant must be on board all registrable vessels and PWCs operating in smooth waters. In non-registrable vessels, a minimum Level 50S (Type 3) life jacket is recommended.
Exception 1: A PFD is not necessary on board vessels in a river, creek or stream, or waters contained within breakwaters or revetments if the boat has positive flotation, grab handles, lines or a secure hold for each person on board.
Exception 2: A PFD is not required for a registrable tender to a recreational boat if used within 1km of the primary boat and has a positive flotation statement in the approved form.
Partially Smooth Waters
A minimum Level 50 (Type 2) life jacket per occupant must be on board all registrable vessels and PWCs operating in smooth waters. In non-registrable vessels, a minimum Level 50 (Type 2) life jacket is recommended.
Exception 1: PFDs must be worn when crossing designated coastal bars in open boats under 4.8m.
Exception 2: A PFD is not required for a registrable tender to a recreational boat if it is used within 1km of the primary boat and has a positive flotation statement in the approved form.
Beyond Smooth and Partially Smooth Waters
A minimum Level 100 (Type 1) life jacket per occupant must be on board all registrable vessels operating in smooth waters. In non-registrable vessels, a minimum Level 100 (Type 1) life jacket is recommended. For all PWCs, a minimum Level 50 (Type 2) life jacket is required.
Exception 1: PFDs must be worn when crossing designated coastal bars in open boats under 4.8m.
Exception 2: A PFD is not required for a tender to a recreational boat if it is used within 500m of the primary boat and has a positive flotation statement in the approved form.
Exception 3: For skiers or people being towed, a minimum Level 50 or 50S (Type 2 or 3) or wetsuit with in-built flotation approved as a minimum Level 50S (Type 3) is required in smooth waters. A minimum Level 50 (Type 2) is required in partially smooth waters.
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:28 AM   #25
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The rule is the same one used for reefing sails.

You should put on your PFD when the thought first occurs to you.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:30 PM   #26
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When we are moving, our Mustang inflatables are on the settee and within easy reach. We don't wear them inside, but do whenever we are out on deck. We always wear them when we are moving around in a marina, anchoring, going through the locks, or any other close quarters situations where we might have to move around quickly. That's when the possibility of an accident increases. Everyone wears a life jacket in dingy.

We have a video camera on the mast that looks backward. Whenever the boat is moving and one of us is back there messing around with fenders, lines, and so on, the other is watching the video on the chartplotter at the helm.

We have two additional inflatables for the rare occasion we have guests and eight type II's under the settee. I hope we never have that many people on the boat, but we are prepared.

Here is a link to some sobering information.

http://www.usps.org/seattle/images/l...-mob-cases.pdf
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:45 PM   #27
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We have a video camera on the mast that looks backward. Whenever the boat is moving and one of us is back there messing around with fenders, lines, and so on, the other is watching the video on the chartplotter.
Great idea. We have a backup camera kit we've never installed. Just didn't see the need for it. But, out on open water with people moving around the boat ..... yeah.
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:26 PM   #28
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Yep, on Moonstruck we are all very comfortable in our life jackets.

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Old 10-23-2012, 06:35 PM   #29
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I wear the inflatables most of the time. As an added benefit wearing them keeps the Coast Guard and state agencies from boarding you and completing random inspections. Prior to wearing them boardings were at least several times a year. Since wearing them I think I have been boarded once in the last 10 years. If they see that you are wearing a life jacket they move on to another vessel where they are not being worn.
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:50 PM   #30
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I found the above views interesting, as it surprised me that so many of you who live in a country where a lot of you still don't even wear seat belts in your cars because it is not legislated in many states yet, (or so I understand), .
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Only one US state left:
  • New Hampshire - has enacted neither a primary nor a secondary seat belt law for adults, although the state does have a primary child passenger safety law that covers all drivers and passengers under 18.

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Old 10-24-2012, 12:31 AM   #31
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Only one US state left:
  • New Hampshire - has enacted neither a primary nor a secondary seat belt law for adults, although the state does have a primary child passenger safety law that covers all drivers and passengers under 18.Larry B
  • Australia has had compulsory seat belts since the late 1960s/early1970s. They go with laminated windscreens; unrestrained you risk punching a hole in the screen with your head and cutting your throat on the hole.It was very successful generally limiting injuries.
  • It is now compulsory in my state of NSW to wear a lifejacket (amongst other sensible occasions,- inter alia for the lawyers) when rowing alone to/from shore and boat. But, if my partner, who can`t swim, is with me, I don`t have to. Huh? A nuisance, but we have had a number of drownings from people falling out of dinghies and bumping themselves unconscious on the way, and others just plain drunk at night. BruceK
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:10 AM   #32
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Only one US state left:
  • New Hampshire - has enacted neither a primary nor a secondary seat belt law for adults, although the state does have a primary child passenger safety law that covers all drivers and passengers under 18.
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That's funny when New Hampshire, 1 of only 2 states that require PFDs be worn all of the time by everyone while boating.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:45 PM   #33
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That's funny when New Hampshire, 1 of only 2 states that require PFDs be worn all of the time by everyone while boating.
On all boats regardless of size? How about on a ferry or tour boat? Cruise ship? Only when underway or while anchored as well?
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:44 PM   #34
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That's funny when New Hampshire, 1 of only 2 states that require PFDs be worn all of the time by everyone while boating.
Oh?

New Hampshire PFD Requirements

Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)

  • The New Hampshire Marine Patrol (NHMP) requires at least one U.S. Coast Guard approved Type IV PFD (ring buoy OR seat cushion) on all recreational boats in excess of 16 feet in length, in ADDITION to the wearable PFD required for each person onboard all boats. Exceptions to this requirement include the following:
    • Canoes and kayaks
    • Inflatable rafts
    • Sailboards
  • Someone being towed behind a vessel is considered to be onboard.
  • All PWC occupants must be wearing their PFD while underway.
  • Inflatable PFDs are not approved for children nor are they approved for use during high impact sports such as water skiing or operating a PWC.


Children: All boaters or passengers 12 years of age and younger must be wearing their PFD at all times while on any vessel, unless a guard rail is in place that is a minimum of 3 feet in height which will prevent the child from falling overboard.
.......

Sturdy, high railings were on my "must" list.

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Old 10-24-2012, 05:18 PM   #35
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Oh?

New Hampshire PFD Requirements

Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)

  • The New Hampshire Marine Patrol (NHMP) requires at least one U.S. Coast Guard approved Type IV PFD (ring buoy OR seat cushion) on all recreational boats in excess of 16 feet in length, in ADDITION to the wearable PFD required for each person onboard all boats. Exceptions to this requirement include the following:
    • Canoes and kayaks
    • Inflatable rafts
    • Sailboards
  • Someone being towed behind a vessel is considered to be onboard.
  • All PWC occupants must be wearing their PFD while underway.
  • Inflatable PFDs are not approved for children nor are they approved for use during high impact sports such as water skiing or operating a PWC.

Children: All boaters or passengers 12 years of age and younger must be wearing their PFD at all times while on any vessel, unless a guard rail is in place that is a minimum of 3 feet in height which will prevent the child from falling overboard.
.......

Sturdy, high railings were on my "must" list.
That's not at all what Larry implied in his post. It pretty much mirrors the other state requirements I have seem.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:37 PM   #36
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I was wrong. I was reading an article on marine fatalities and it referenced this site.

Causes of Boating Fatalities | BoatTEST.com

Three times NH was referenced. I need to do a better job of qualifying my sources.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:33 PM   #37
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couldn't find it quick enough...doesn't the USCG have out for public review a possible law making mandatory wear of PFDs for ALL boaters?
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:24 PM   #38
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It would be a bit strange if so, especially in a country where if what you guys say is right, no state has any kind of mandatory boat test and licensing requirement.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:31 AM   #39
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Shouldn't we all just bear in mind the following? All coast guard agencies and lifeboat institutions...
  • recommend us to wear lifejackets at all times
  • retrieve more drowned people who haven't been wearing their life jackets, that those who have
Is there a clue here?

On our side of the Atlantic (UK), PFDs are bulky, uncomfy, get in the way, and do not turn you the right way up in the water whereas life jackets (auto or manual inflation) are fine to wear, and should get you the right way up in case you are unconscious.

One other thought before I wind my trunk in (!). It's difficult enough to get a like jacket on and crotch straps properly fastened when not under pressure. I just wonder how many would be donned incorrectly when something is happening.

Enough of my preaching - I'm going back to bed.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:30 AM   #40
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It would be a bit strange if so, especially in a country where if what you guys say is right, no state has any kind of mandatory boat test and licensing requirement.
Most US coastal states now have a mandatory Safe Boating certification...though it is not a very stringent course in most places...
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