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Old 04-18-2013, 02:08 PM   #1
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what's your take on PFD's?

We're getting older and I'm feeling like we should wear auto inflators while on the boat.

We looked at some and prefer the Revere one.

What's everyones take on the best model and the use of these PFDs
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:48 PM   #2
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We used to use Sospenders but a few years ago changed to Mustangs. Best PFDs of this type on the market in our opinions.
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:58 PM   #3
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I bought inflatables but they are not automatic. You have to pull a cord to inflate them. I thought it out and that's what I thought would work best for me.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:02 PM   #4
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We keep mustangs on board. We have also got into the habit of actually wearing them when underway! It's easy not to wear them but I'd feel awful silly if something unexpected were to happen and one of us went over the side. That's why they call them "accidents". We also communicate our movements when venturing outside the cabin when underway, for obvious reasons.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:04 PM   #5
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We used to use Sospenders but a few years ago changed to Mustangs. Best PFDs of this type on the market in our opinions.
Tried the Mustangs but they were tight around my neck and felt like they would chafe.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:04 PM   #6
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I bought inflatables but they are not automatic. You have to pull a cord to inflate them. I thought it out and that's what I thought would work best for me.
What if you hit your head and get knocked out?
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:06 PM   #7
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We keep mustangs on board. We have also got into the habit of actually wearing them when underway! It's easy not to wear them but I'd feel awful silly if something unexpected were to happen and one of us went over the side. That's why they call them "accidents". We also communicate our movements when venturing outside the cabin when underway, for obvious reasons.
So we aren't alone with our thoughts about wearing them.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:23 PM   #8
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We have Mustangs also. We wear them whenever we are underway and outside. Inside, they are within easy reach on the settee.

Note: the Coast Guard does not count them as PFD's unless you are wearing them. If you are stopped and inspected be sure to put them on.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:17 PM   #9
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Tried the Mustangs but they were tight around my neck and felt like they would chafe.
We've not experienced that. They are so comfortable we totally forget we have them on. We wear them inside and outside the boat when we're underway. They inflate automatically using water pressure (so they can't inflate just by getting wet like the Sospenders can) or by pulling the tab that fires the cylinder.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:27 PM   #10
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We have two self inflating Mustangs that we use when we are on deck and underway as well as two other Mustangs that are not automatic. We no longer use the ones that are self inflating when we are kayaking. This past year with the water levels so low, I was stepping into the kayak from our very high dock and lost my balance..... the kayak tipped and into the water I went. I found out that the self inflating Mustangs really do work when you hit the water - even if it is only two feet deep!
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:33 PM   #11
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We've not experienced that. They are so comfortable we totally forget we have them on. We wear them inside and outside the boat when we're underway. They inflate automatically using water pressure (so they can't inflate just by getting wet like the Sospenders can) or by pulling the tab that fires the cylinder.
I'll have to try them again. Aren't they worn by military pilots?
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:45 PM   #12
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I'll have to try them again. Aren't they worn by military pilots?
http://www.uscg.mil/directives/cim/1...M_13520_1C.pdf

LPU-27/PE SURVIVAL VEST.
1. Configuration. The LPU-27/PE survival vest (Figure 2-12) is designed for constant wear in rotor wing aircraft and is used only by aircrew memberstrained in their use. When worn correctly the design is sufficient to keep an aircrew member in a head back, airway open position in a moderate sea-state whether conscious or unconscious. The weight of the LPU-27/PE is 12.5pounds including equipment and provides 65 pounds of buoyancy. The LPU-27/PE survival vest consists of the following three assemblies:

LPU-26/P SURVIVAL VEST.
1. Configuration. The LPU-26/P survival vest (Figure 2-9) is designed for constant wear, and is used by fixed wing aircrew members. It weighsapproximately 5 pounds, including equipment, and provides a minimum of 22 pounds of buoyancy. The LPU-26/P survival vest consists of the following subassemblies:

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Old 04-18-2013, 04:48 PM   #13
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http://www.uscg.mil/directives/cim/1...M_13520_1C.pdf

LPU-27/PE SURVIVAL VEST.
1. Configuration. The LPU-27/PE survival vest (Figure 2-12) is designed for constant wear in rotor wing aircraft and is used only by aircrew memberstrained in their use. When worn correctly the design is sufficient to keep an aircrew member in a head back, airway open position in a moderate sea-state whether conscious or unconscious. The weight of the LPU-27/PE is 12.5pounds including equipment and provides 65 pounds of buoyancy. The LPU-27/PE survival vest consists of the following three assemblies:

LPU-26/P SURVIVAL VEST.
1. Configuration. The LPU-26/P survival vest (Figure 2-9) is designed for constant wear, and is used by fixed wing aircrew members. It weighsapproximately 5 pounds, including equipment, and provides a minimum of 22 pounds of buoyancy. The LPU-26/P survival vest consists of the following subassemblies:
Now you're confusing the crap out of me
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:52 PM   #14
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We picked up the West Marine coastal inflatables over the holidays. On sale they were around $90. Very comfortable. Some inflatables now meet the USCG requirements even when not being worn. Ours do, but the same version with the sailing harness built in only count when worn.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:05 PM   #15
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I have Mustangs on the boat. They are automatic, and as Marin noted are also manually inflatable either orally or by pulling the lanyard. I also have a pair of Stormy Seas float vests. These look like a coat vest, but have a CO2 cartridge that inflates when you pull off a velcroed patch on the front. They are not Coast Guard Approved, but provide weather protection in cold weather. I wear the mustangs on offshore passages, along with tethers and jacklines on the PNW coast.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:09 PM   #16
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I have Mustangs on the boat. They are automatic, and as Marin noted are also manually inflatable either orally or by pulling the lanyard. I also have a pair of Stormy Seas float vests. These look like a coat vest, but have a CO2 cartridge that inflates when you pull off a velcroed patch on the front. They are not Coast Guard Approved, but provide weather protection in cold weather. I wear the mustangs on offshore passages, along with tethers and jacklines on the PNW coast.
Thank you for telling me what we need.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:11 PM   #17
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We picked up the West Marine coastal inflatables over the holidays. On sale they were around $90. Very comfortable. Some inflatables now meet the USCG requirements even when not being worn. Ours do, but the same version with the sailing harness built in only count when worn.
So what rating is the vest, recreational – 26 lbs or off shore 35 lbs? We have the recreational, 26 lbs as they come in the prettier colors. However, we very seldom wear them, and we don’t wear them when we have other people with us as we do not have extra vests for them. Eliminated having to explain, “Why we have cool looking vests and they don’t?”

We do have the required number and type of vest per Coast Guard regulations. Sizes from new born to adults. Most states have a required mandatory boating class that goes over the regulations and the type of vest. Most summers when the grandchildren come we also but them shorty wet suits.

When we throw off the lines I want to buy some dry suits as the immersion suits are to bulky and ugly.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:38 PM   #18
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I have had a Mustang vest for about 10 years now, manual inflatable. I wear it religiously when making way. It is only 26lb buoyancy and I am old and not a strong swimmer so my wife and I decided this year to buy two new ones. We decided on the Spinlock Lite auto inflatable with 38 lbs of buoyancy, more than most of the others, is very comfortable and also comes with a crotch strap. They were on sale at the boat show and we believed them to be the most value and comfort for the money. Also keep in mind how often a recommended refit should be done and how much the kits cost as they vary greatly. Didn't buy the Spinlocks from WM but you can have a look at them at their link.

SPINLOCK Auto-Inflatable DeckVest® LITE, Blue at West Marine
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:05 PM   #19
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Very interesting considering the flack raised when mandatory wear comes into the discussion. First let me say that as Secretary of the Canadian Safe Boating Council, who have been advocating "best practice wear in open vessels 20 feet, what has been stated is very enlightening. Another point all Canadian manufacturers are members of the Council. An I wear one always in my dingy or when on deck or sailing alone.
Lets look at the device, manual or automatic. The automatic has its good side and will inflate when you go over concious or unconcious. It is a PFD even though is will turn you over and will float you face up.
US Boat and the National Safe Boating Council conducted a number of man over board drills a few years ago. The issue is getting back on board. If you haven't tried it do so it might be very enlightening. The vest when inflated is a real issue when trying to climb a ladder. Just try and deflate one using the little tub especially when you are in cold water which is another issue. The other aspect is that the device creates such a large chest that most folk cannot get arms around it to climb the ladder. A member of the US boating fraternity felt that in order to mount the ladder you had to deflate therefore the only device suitable was a sharp knife as to deflate using the tube was too difficult. Now you have cut the bladder and you no longer have the support of life saving device. Should you end up back in the water you do not have any additional floatation support. As a result in the US a hybrid has been developed.
Are the devices useful, you bet. Do you need to fully understand the pro's and con's you bet. Any device needs education and the inflatable family needs somewhat more than others. On some occasions I wear a normal PFD and an inflatable over it especially when I am in the dingy in tough sea conditions. I go over and the inherent device provides me support and I can crawl back into the dingy. Should I need more support I pull the cord.
This net has some wonderfully knowledgeable members and the comments all seem to come from many years at sea. You never stop learning and the life jacket industry, Mustang, and all the others would like to hear your comments. There Email addresses are on every product. By the way all RCAF pilots, SAR persons and even those who go into space wear a Mustang product and there comfort has improved greatly over the years. Bill.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:09 PM   #20
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I'll have to try them again. Aren't they worn by military pilots?
While Mustang may make flotation devices for military use I have never heard that the civilian boater ones we have are also used by the military. I would think the military would have requirements that resulted in a considerably different device.
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