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Old 10-21-2012, 11:23 PM   #1
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Life Jackets

How do you store your Life Jackets?

For the first year we had them stuffed or hung in several closets. Not very handy in an emergency and guests would have no idea where to look for them if needed.

My sister came up with the idea of bagging them. She sewed together two canvas bags from left over Sunbrella scraps. The bags are held together by velcro which can be easily torn open and the jackets spilled out. They also have simple rope handles on three sides for carrying. Each holds 5 life jackets.

(Sorry for the picture quality, the flash wouldn't work.)
Larry B
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:21 AM   #2
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We keep ours in storage nets on either side of the forward cabin. Out of the way but easy to get to. Underway we alwys wear them. Mustang auto/manual inflatables.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edelweiss View Post
How do you store your Life Jackets?

For the first year we had them stuffed or hung in several closets. Not very handy in an emergency and guests would have no idea where to look for them if needed.

Larry B
Call me old fashioned, but I insist on everyone wearning lifejackets whilst underway. Even when cruising rivers. So keeping them 'to hand' doesn't apply.

However, when not in use, we store them in a dedicated safety kit drawer.

Piers and Lin
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:25 AM   #4
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4 of mine are in a bag similar to the one shown, I bought it somewhere in the late 80s
it is always nearby for easy access. others are stored under a bench on the flying bridge also easy to get to.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:52 AM   #5
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Laid in netting up in Pilot House .Hard pull for a dozen.

There is still almost 7 ft of headroom with a dozen in place.

These are std offshore units nothing special, just aboard for the Fed Marine Police when we take neighbors out for a river ride , or to see fireworks.

We have 2 far better grade offshore units for us when in transit..

We take the good units with us when going for a ride on other folks boats.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:11 AM   #6
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We have 2 Type V inflatables in the pilot house and 2 Type III vest style on the fly bridge. Both are readily accessible. There are 6 Type II in a case like Larry B made, for when we have guests. These have a tendency to get buried. Fortunately, we don't have guests very often.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:57 AM   #7
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Stuffed into 2 bags, like Larry's. I really need to purchase a couple inflatables that we'll actually wear. Especially as I sometimes single-hand Moon Dance.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:58 AM   #8
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My two inflatables are stored in zip lock bags in a bin in the cockpit similar to this one (not my actual boat). Several others are in zip lock bags stored in the lazarette and are brought out when guests are on board.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:10 AM   #9
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Call me old fashioned,..........
OK, You're "old fashioned"!

The risk, and the chance of needing a PFD goes down as the size of the boat goes up (in general) and the speed goes down. We don't see people wearing PFDs on ocean liners or even smaller cruise boats.

On the other hand, people should really be wearing PFDs on a 20' CC in the open ocean. In between those extremes, it's a matter of risk management and personal comfort.

With the size and speed of my boat and my typical cruising grounds (AICW), I don't feel unsafe not wearing a PFD. In a storm, I might put one on. On the other hand, in a storm, I would probably be operating from the lower helm and wearing a conventional PFD could make it difficult to excape in the event of capsizing or sinking. I guess my manual inflatables are an advantage in that situation. Get out of the boat, then pull the cord.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:54 AM   #10
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We keep ours hanging on coat hooks in the salon.

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
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:05 PM   #11
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A very good friend of ours in Petersburg never wore his lifejacket on his 42' boat for the reasons given in the posts above. One day going down Wrangell Narrows in dead flat water his brother was at the helm and our friend went out on deck to do something. It is believed that his shoe caught on a cleat, he stumbled, went over the rail, and hit his head on something on the way down. It is assumed that he went into the water unconscious or semi-conscious and so could make no effort to stay afloat or call for help. Other boats in the narrows saw it happen but he went under the water almost immediately and I don't believe his body was ever recovered.

This was before we bought our GB. Needless to say, we wear our Mustangs at all times on the boat, even inside since one never knows when they might need to go outside. They are totally comfortable to wear and in fact we are totally unware of their presence once they're on.

Wearing Type IIs or other bulky vests would be a pain, I agree, and if that was all that was available we'd probably be reluctant to wear them all the time, too. But we started with a pair of SOSpender auto-inflatables from West Marine on the Arima back in the mid 80s and then when we got the GB we got the much better Mustangs.

While most accidents have to do with people falling or being thrown out of smaller boats, there are enough incidents around here in the Sound and in the lakes of people going over without lifejackets on and their bodies are recovered later to keep us aware that bad things never happen until they happen. Like our former friend in Petersburg, once you're in the water without it, no matter how compelling the reason was not to wear it or whatever the reason was that you went over, it's too late to climb back aboard and put it on.

So we simply eliminate the chance of it happening altogether.
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:21 PM   #12
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The inflatables are hanging in the vee berth and are worn when conditions warrant. Not that often in the delta. The kayak vests we use in the dinghy and the big orange PFDs are stored under the bench seat on the flybridge, along with the extra throwables.
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:59 PM   #13
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Single handing, piddling around on deck, barefoot, shorts & t-shirt, waving to the crowd .... yeah, one of these days something bad will happen. I think I see a couple Mustangs on the Christmas list.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:26 PM   #14
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Ours are stored in a locker under the dinette and first time guests are given a safety briefing, including the jackets' location and how to use them, before leaving the marina. The Admiral does the briefing in the manner of an airline stewardess and includes how to use the head etc. We also encourage guests to speak up if they see or hear anything that doesn't seem right.
On longer passages, we have the required number of life jackets out of the locker and close to hand in the wheelhouse. Although we have had some rough uncomfortable passages, we haven't yet seen the need to wear them. However, inflatables would make a difference and are on the Christmas shopping list along with replacement flares, new bait board, seat for the dingy....
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:33 PM   #15
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Marin, do yours inflate by themselves when they get wet?
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:09 PM   #16
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The SOSpenders do. They have an asprin-like tablet that dissolves in water and allows the firing pin to release to puncture the top of the CO2 cartridge.

The Mustangs we wear on the GB are newer and use a pressure sensor to trigger the firing mechanism. So if you go in the water this thing senses the tiny increase in pressure when you go under and fires the CO2 cartridge. Just getting them wet doesn't do anything.

Both types can also have their CO2 cartridges fired manually by pulling the tab.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:51 PM   #17
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Interesting discussion. Mine are located in a row under an open front bench in the wheelhouse. All are type 1 with a light on the shoulder. I run a charter boat so the type is required by regulation.

I never wear a PFD inside the boat. If I were to venture outside and feel the need, such as operating the boat solo, I would wear a type 1 or maybe a type 3 that wasn't inflatable. While I guess an inflatable version is better than nothing, if I perceive there is a risk that merits wearing a PFD, why would I want to take even the smallest chance that the inflation system might not work?

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Old 10-22-2012, 07:08 PM   #18
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If conditions were really bad---- very rough water, dark, etc---- we would be inclined to wear the Type IIs that we also have on the boat if we had to go do something on deck. But for daytime running under the conditions we encounter 99 percent of the time around here we feel that the Mustangs are a great way to go because they encourage you to wear them as they are so comfortable and non-interfering.

Going in the water here is not a good proposition no matter what kind of life preserver one has. Unless you can get out, or be taken out, of the water within 15 or 20 minutes the average older person typical of most cruising boat owners has a very good chance of not surviving the MOB. And help--- be it another boat or helicopter--- is very often much more than 15 or 20 minutes away.

We have an MOB procedure on our boat that involves the use of the Lifesling and the mast and boom. It is such that my wife could get me out of the water and visa versa IF the conditions were relatively benign. In a storm the person in the water would most likely be bashed to death by the boat before they could be gotten out of the water. In that case the person on board would drop the swimstep dinghy into the water and release it in the hopes that the person in the water could get to it and in or up on it if it flipped over. Ideally the person on the boat would have the presence of mind to attach a long line we have for the purpose to the dinghy before shoving it off.

So we see the main advantage of a life preserver in these waters as something to keep you afloat for the first few minutes after going overboard. And it can't do that unless you're wearing it. And since you generally don't know you're going to go overboard until you already have, it seems to make the most sense to wear the PFD all the time when underway including going out in the dinghy. So we do.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:35 PM   #19
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We keep basic orange PFDs in locker thru the boat for guest use. When we were younger & more invincible, we had life jackets on board the sailboats, but didnt use them unless it was really rough. Some years later we bought our Californian 34. Now older (wiser?) we started wearing the pull type jackets all the time. After a year, and one really nasty weather experience, we realized that the auto type would be the better choice. At older ages there is a high percentage that going overboard will be from a slip/fall incident or loss of consciousness. MOB drills are conducted on a surprise basis several times a season; lots of chuckles, but a lot of what could we do better thinking as well.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:36 PM   #20
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Marin you make some good points.

I grew up around water with thinking of having a PFD nearby was all I needed. I have been in the middle of a lake in Labrador just after Spring break-up in a small canoe solo with waves that a 20' boat would have issues with. God forbid but if I fell over I wouldn't have lasted a minute and oh ya I had a PFD in the boat. I have been in many similar situations and never ever wore one..mainly cause I always found them too bulky and uncomfortable. Similar on the Ocean Breeze if for whatever reason I went over in the North Atlantic the survival time would be slim to none if my PDF was on the boat. Yes, I need to be slapped.

I had looked at the Mustangs but haven't gotten around to buying one. I believe it will be on my list of things to purchase soon and wear going forward.

Thanks for this topic..

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