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Old 11-27-2013, 12:03 AM   #1
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Lifejackets in Top Ten Rules

A question folks,

While enjoying the thread on Top Ten Rules, I noted a few times the reference to Lifejackets on the Flying Bridge. I have followed the Forum for a couple years now, took a few Power Squadron courses and try to keep abreast of good safety practices, but never heard this mentioned so much. Is there a "rule-of-thumb" or tradition to keeping PDFs on the Bridge?

When I bought Satori some 3 years ago, several quite old and most discusting rotted lifejackets were found in the Bridge lockers. The lockers were similarly quite gross and took a couple of hours to clean out with thick rubber gloves, and are still not somewhere I would ever store PFDs. I am sure if the CG had asked and ever seen them, they would reject them as valid on the vessel. The Bridge was previously mostly uncovered in Alameda and exposed to weather year around.

I understand that space in the cabin is a premium, and I struggle with this all the time, but I find space to keep my PFDs, LifeSling and Tackle, as well as all other safety gear well protected (some in plastic bags) in cabin lockers. The several regulation PFDs that I bought with the boat still look like new; granted they have never been over-board either.

Is there a Seaman's Logic that I am missing here; or just making more of it that it is?
Are the PFDs kept on the Bridge for most reliable access as the boat is sinking? Safer there than behind the flames coming up from the ER?

Where do you store your PFDs and Rescue Lines?

Thanks.
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:24 AM   #2
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No flybridge but our pfd's are stowed beneath the dinette at the berth. When the boat is underway pfd's are in the cockpit with the passengers. Seems kinda pointless to me for anyone to search for one in an emergency.
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:34 AM   #3
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Keep our PFDs under the starboard settee in the saloon. Even if I had a flying bridge, that location doesn't sound ideal unless everyone rides there all the time. Children are required to wear them whenever on deck.

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Old 11-27-2013, 12:36 AM   #4
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We keep our lifejackets (easily) accessable in a locker under a seat at the back of the saloon, right by the door to the cockpit. New people are shown where they are on arrival.

Not sure of the flybridge question as we do not have one. That said, if things are going wrong, I doubt that the flybridge would be a good choice for storage/access.

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Old 11-27-2013, 01:16 AM   #5
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The locker should be accessible, and prominently labelled/signed.
Offshore we always have a life ring in the cockpit, ready to throw.
The way our Maritime Authority is going, anyone getting in eye contact with water will soon be required to wear one at all times.
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Old 11-27-2013, 01:31 AM   #6
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OK no fly bridge.
Life jackets are stored in a labelled locker in the focscle and at least 3 inflatable PFDs in the ditch bag.
Everyone is instructed on where they are stowed and what to do in an emergency.
If they want to wear one at sea they can (no body has done that in the last 18 years) but hey I don't wear a parachute when I am flying either.
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:54 AM   #7
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Accesible is what both the USCG and common sense requires.

Where would you normally be in an abandon ship situation? Where would you go by if jumping ship?

If my boat is going down or on fire...good chance that I'm somewhere's near the bilge. Can someone else find and passout the PFD's while I try to save the boat?

Even different crews may demand rethinking how you store them and certainlt weather may make you pull them prior to an emergeny...which is what many recommend...no matter where you store them for most of their life..when underway...pile them up where they are REALLY accessible...so close that they can be grabbed literally as you are rolling over.

Your boat...you probably have the best long tern/short term solution.
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:43 AM   #8
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Suggest you consider putting PFDs in both places. Generally you need more than two PFDs on a boat for when you have company. But usually it is just a couple on board. So at least two PFDs at the lower helm (if you have one) and two PFDs at the upper helm (if you have one).

This is what we do on Bay Pelican where we have both a pilot house (two inflatables) and an upper deck with a life raft and two good offshore vests in a dock box.

Remember the US and Canadian rule that you have a PFD for each person on board. My guess is that is also true in Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain.

Placement is important, you do not want to search for a PFD when you need it.

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Old 11-27-2013, 08:13 AM   #9
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we keep our life jackets in a box on the flybridge also.
That is where we spend our time when travelling. Also I like jackets outside and easily accessible. Theoretically, the flybridge will be the last to go down. In theory only, of course. If boat sinks, the life jackets will float out.
Never a good idea to put on or wear a PFD inside, but nice to have them available there, Inside is where we keep the 2 inflatable jackets. Our Ditch-kit is also on the flybridge.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:48 AM   #10
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I always require the correct attire and of course life jackets while aboard....

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Old 11-27-2013, 10:14 AM   #11
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We keep a couple in the saloon, some on the FB, and some in a dock box on the aft cabin top.
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:40 AM   #12
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One of the habits that we picked up while running dive charters for years is that crew always wear inflatable life vests anytime they are working on deck. We still wear them any time we are handling lines, anchoring, docking or using one of the tenders. That also sets a good example for the guests.

We store our type 1 PFD's on the Flybridge, near the liferaft and tenders.
Type 2 PFD's are stored in the staterooms and we have six vests available in the wet locker in the pilothouse, where they are very easy to get to.
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:48 AM   #13
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Isn't it true that the inflatable style only counts towards the required number if they're worn? In other words, if you're stopped by the CG and there are two of you on board, if you only have the inflatable type, you have to be wearing them or you could be cited, true?
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loafs and fishes View Post
Isn't it true that the inflatable style only counts towards the required number if they're worn? In other words, if you're stopped by the CG and there are two of you on board, if you only have the inflatable type, you have to be wearing them or you could be cited, true?

That is true. Inflatables have to be worn to count.
However, we have about 12 Type 2 PFD's and 6 Type 1 PFD's on board. The inflatables are just nice to have for working on deck and running in the tenders.
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Old 11-27-2013, 05:14 PM   #15
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We keep our 2 inflatable Type 5 PFDs accessible below in the fwd stateroom unless we're cruising, then they're in the salon where we can easily don them when on the deck while underway. The Type 2 PFDs remain in a well-marked cabinet on the FB and an additional 6 or 7 in a vinyl bag on the FB.

I figure they'll be easier to find for the guests in the open and have a chance to float free if we sink. I used to split them and keep some down below in the fwd stateroom, but they took up too much storage space and became obscured by fishing gear and other frequently accessed items.
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Old 11-27-2013, 05:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loafs and fishes View Post
Isn't it true that the inflatable style only counts towards the required number if they're worn? In other words, if you're stopped by the CG and there are two of you on board, if you only have the inflatable type, you have to be wearing them or you could be cited, true?
I believe there are inflatables that do count even if not worn...I believe they are rated type II instead of the type IV that need to be worn...not positive but it should say on the label when you look when shopping for one...also some I've come across on the internet clain in their literature to "count" without being worn.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:30 PM   #17
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The rule is that the auto-inflate count towards your total aboard, however the manual inflate have to be worn. At least that's my understanding.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:40 PM   #18
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Lifejackets

When my Capt and I are running our boat from the upper station we always have 2 PDF's there. Otherwise - our PFD's are located in the main cabin when running close to the ditch bag
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:56 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by janice142 View Post
The rule is that the auto-inflate count towards your total aboard, however the manual inflate have to be worn. At least that's my understanding.
Not quite right...some auto inflates...most of the older ones were all type V pfds and did/do not count unless worn...it's only been recently that some inflatables are approved type II and III and count even if not worn but the same pfds are classified type V for commercial purposes and therefore have to be worn.

all that said...I'll be danged if I can find a simplistic explanation...but that's what I get from reading through all the literature from manufacturers and USCG.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:10 PM   #20
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We wear our PFD's while underway; Mustang inflatables; pax PFDs' are stored in the salon. All on board are advised of the locations & given the option of wearing one while underway. Most decline
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