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Old 10-11-2015, 01:55 AM   #1
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He says inflateable PFDs suck

What do you say?
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Old 10-11-2015, 02:37 AM   #2
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Ok, I'll buy that, although I have inflatables. As long as you actually wear the big one.
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:30 AM   #3
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I would agree with the video. The inflatables are for people who otherwise wouldn't wear one. Certainly can see having both on the boat and a passenger picking the inflatable in some situations and being requested to wear the non inflatable in others situations.

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Old 10-11-2015, 08:42 AM   #4
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He's never worked a foredeck on a sailboat in crappy conditions when your glad to have D rings and a tether.
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:58 AM   #5
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His points are valid but the phrase " the right tool for the right job" comes to mind.
There are times when quite frankly i only want the inflatable. Like when I'm in the dink.
We keep both styles on board and use as appropriate. If we were in a heavy weather or sinking situation i would never grab the inflatables.
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:02 AM   #6
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His points are valid but the phrase " the right tool for the right job" comes to mind.
Anytime I go out on deck to check something or prepare the anchor for dropping while underway I put on an inflatable. If the boat were going down I would grab and wear the offshore unit.
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:12 AM   #7
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This might be good impetus for an entire PFD topic. Do you use Type I? Are they SOLAS and USCG?

Then what about coats or immersion suits? Where do they fit? Is there anything that might have saved the El Faro crew once they went overboard?
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Old 10-11-2015, 02:25 PM   #8
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We use inflatables when we're in the Whalers and when we're on Beachcomber going through a lock. They're comfortable to wear and provide protection against drowning if you fall overboard.


One big point I think he missed is that with inflatables they only count as a PFD if you're wearing them. In the dinghy, for example, they're not counted as a PFD if they're sitting on a seat not being worn.


No way we would wear a neoprene vest all day in our extreme heat. Yeah, the inflatable is a bit warm on a hot day but at least we have them on.


Like Marty mentioned, if the boat were going down I would not don an inflatable.
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Old 10-11-2015, 03:49 PM   #9
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One big point I think he missed is that with inflatables they only count as a PFD if you're wearing them. In the dinghy, for example, they're not counted as a PFD if they're sitting on a seat not being worn.

Absolutely.
Had a situation on Labor Day weekend where guests were coming on our 21'CC . I asked them to bring Jackets as I didn't have enough for them as well as the other guests.
No problem. They show up with inflatables and toss them on the seat.
I'm sorry Mr. & Mrs. Guest but you'll have to wear them while we're under way. Of the 30 or so people that were club hopping with us (multiple boats) maybe 8 knew the requirement to wear it for it to count.
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Old 10-11-2015, 04:05 PM   #10
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Old 10-11-2015, 04:12 PM   #11
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One big point I think he missed is that with inflatables they only count as a PFD if you're wearing them. In the dinghy, for example, they're not counted as a PFD if they're sitting on a seat not being worn.
A point I was not aware of.
2 weeks ago I was in a chandlery scoping PFDs and no mention was made of this fact, even though I asked if many people relied solely on the inflatables.
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Old 10-11-2015, 04:47 PM   #12
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Wifey B: Ok, first confession. I hate wearing any type PFD. They're all uncomfortable, and I think even more so to a woman than a man. Think about it. How comfy would it be for you men if it was worn just below the waist instead of the chest?

Now, I've tried a lot of PFD's. With the inflatables I've tried, basically for floating it seems to me, not doing anything simultaneously.

Ok, so when and for what? Well, here's the way I figure it. If it's calm and I'm just riding along, I'm not going to wear anything. Well, you know what I meant. But then....oh my. No PFD.

So when I wear one and require others to do so is going to be out at sea and rough conditions. At that point then, seems to me that the best possible is what I want. That's not a Type III or even Type II. It's Type 1, Solas and USCG approved.

Now, if I was a bass fisher or other things maybe I'd have a need to wear the inflatables. I looked at the USCG Types and what they're designed for.

Type I PFD - Off-Shore Life Jacket
This life jacket provides the most buoyancy and floats the best. It is reversible, easy to put on and designed to turn most people who are unconscious in the water from the face-down position to an upright and slightly backward position. It is effective in all types of water, especially where rescue is delayed.

Type II PFD - Near-Shore Buoyancy Vest
This life jacket is intended for calm, inland water or where a quick rescue is possible. Will turn some unconscious wearers to a face-up position in the water although the turning is not as definite as with a Type I PFD. This life jacket comes in several comfortable sizes and styles.

Type III PFD - Flotation Aid
Good for conscious wearers in calm, inland water or where a quick rescue is possible. Type III foam life vest offers same minimum buoyancy as Type II PFD, comes in many colors and sizes, and is most comfortable for continuous wear.


So, really type III's are just to help someone who goes overboard float till you can turn around and retrieve them. Type II's "will turn some unconscious wearers to a face-up position". Darn, double darn. Some? I don't want to be in the some group playing Russian roulette with a life jacket. No no no no no.
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Old 10-11-2015, 06:48 PM   #13
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What do you say?
I say that everyone has an opinion, and they're entitled to it :-) He makes a living on his opinions, so I'd expect it. Nothing here you can't find on Google.

A complete list of USCG PFD types:

http://www.pfdma.org/choosing/types.aspx

I have a type I, III, Special Use type V, and an inflatable. I wear whats appropriate for the conditions/operation.

If I'm on the airboat for fun, I'm in generally in an inflatable.

If we're on a mission, training or otherwise, I'm in a special use type V tactical. I'll be happy to show him what "we" put in our pockets and why lol.

If you've ever been launched off a platform at speed to come to rest against whatever breaks your momentum, then the tactical versions benefits are obvious. Add to that kevlar panels and you're good to go!

When I'm U/W on anything else, it's conditions appropriate attire, or none at all, although the latter version doesn't work as well lol.

OTOH, anytime we're on or near the water, including the dock,, my precious 9 year old granddaughter is "always" stylishly adorned in a high visibility lime green Mustang type II, with (literally) all the bells, well ok, hydrostatic strobes, mirrors and whistles!!

I refuse to take a chance with her safety!

Bottom line is, as an adult, you're responsible for your own safety. If you don't wear something, it won't work. If the inflatable gets people to put something on, then I'm fine with it.

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Old 10-11-2015, 07:06 PM   #14
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My understanding is that an inflatable is only useful to have you floating long enough so 'they' can find your body floating. It's a whole lot easier to find a floating body as opposed to a sunk one!

But in all reality, wearing an inflatable is preferable to wearing none.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:13 PM   #15
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My understanding is that an inflatable is only useful to have you floating long enough so 'they' can find your body floating. It's a whole lot easier to find a floating body as opposed to a sunk one!

But in all reality, wearing an inflatable is preferable to wearing none.
Cappy, I'm not sure where you heard that, but I doubt it's true. We own 6 inflatables, two on each boat. When we're on our Sea Ray we only wear them when we have to go through a lock. I will say that they are so comfortable that I've (unknowingly) kept it on for a couple of hours after leaving the lock. Would that happen with a neoprene vest? No way.
They're too bulky, too hot, just too damned uncomfortable.

Would I rely on an inflatable if I was going offshore? No way. I'd have a good quality offshore PFD that would hold my head up, keep my body heat in. That setting is not what inflatables were designed for.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:36 PM   #16
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...Would I rely on an inflatable if I was going offshore? No way. I'd have a good quality offshore PFD that would hold my head up, keep my body heat in. That setting is not what inflatables were designed for.
Agreed.
Right tools for the right job.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:37 PM   #17
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Wifey B: Fall off the bow of your boat into icy cold water, (shivering from the thought) and an inflatable may very well save your life and allow someone to assist you out. Out fishing alone, and you're one of those peeing over the side types, you better have one on. Many struggle getting back in a boat after an unplanned dip. Those are things inflatables are good for. Cruising in rough seas, not.
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:14 PM   #18
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My Son single hands his 25' sailboat all the time.
When he started doing this I bought him a good inflatable as I knew he'd never wear a type 1 PFD.
He wears it every time he goes out.
And I sleep well.
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:48 PM   #19
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I spend much of my time on the water alone. If the boat is in gear I ALWAYS have a Life-Tag on my person that will shut the engine down should I go overboard. I wear an inflatable if the seas are more than calm when out of the wheelhouse. I wear a neoprene vest if its snotty. Like others have indicated, wearing a neoprene vest on a 80 degree day would defeat the purpose of being out on the water. ( I don't have a neck like a tree stump) so my inflatable does not choke me.
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Old 10-12-2015, 08:25 PM   #20
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Our crew, wife & I, are the only ones in our marina that routinely wear PFD's. Realistically, at our ages (70's), things can happen that we may not be able to react to quickly enough. Hence the auto inflatables. Too many folks, of all ages, drown with the PFD still in the boat.
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