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Old 06-23-2016, 11:50 AM   #1
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What type/brand of lifejackets should we buy?

I've been looking around online and the choices are just overwhelming.

We have the standard issue 2 packs of 4 for the boat but I'm looking for something for me and hubby.

For the type of boating we do...River/lake and coastal cruising what do we need?

Why are Mustang's so expensive and is it really necessary to pay that much or would one of the less expensive similar options work just as well?
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Old 06-23-2016, 12:46 PM   #2
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Our boating is pretty much like yours. We decided on two top of the line Mustang HIT (for us) and another four West Marine coastal auto inflatables. If you're patient, you can catch the WM on sale for $80. As I recall, we got a decent deal on the Mustang vests on Amazon.

We decided that PFDs are not where we wanted to save $$.

We also aded an automatic strobe to each one. $17 on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 06-23-2016, 12:46 PM   #3
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I buy the west marine inflatable when on sale, under 100 dollar. They also come in prettier colors.
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Old 06-23-2016, 12:54 PM   #4
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Our boating is pretty much like yours. We decided on two top of the line Mustang HIT (for us) and another four West Marine coastal auto inflatables. If you're patient, you can catch the WM on sale for $80. As I recall, we got a decent deal on the Mustang vests on Amazon.

We decided that PFDs are not where we wanted to save $$.

We also aded an automatic strobe to each one. $17 on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Thanks....I saw the WM coastal inflatables on sale not long ago at WM...maybe Memorial Day weekend. I prob should have picked up a couple of them then.

What is the difference between those and the Mustangs you bought?
I'm not trying to go cheap, just don't want to spend 2-3x the money if I don't need to.

Also are these types a one size fits all? Hubby is about 6' 240lbs and I'm like 5'2" 140 lbs.
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Old 06-23-2016, 12:57 PM   #5
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Someone just gifted me 6 Mustang vests! Bonus. I can now get rid of the cheap Kapock ones. I also have 2 WM Coastal inflatables that I picked up last year on a 2 for $120 deal...
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Old 06-23-2016, 01:02 PM   #6
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Someone just gifted me 6 Mustang vests! Bonus. I can now get rid of the cheap Kapock ones. I also have 2 WM Coastal inflatables that I picked up last year on a 2 for $120 deal...
Nice..on both the mustang's and the deal on the WM coastals!!!
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Old 06-23-2016, 01:02 PM   #7
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WEST MARINE Coastal Automatic Inflatable Life Jacket—Royal Blue/Dark Gray | West Marine
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Old 06-23-2016, 01:26 PM   #8
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We have four inflatables that we keep on the boat. These we brought over from our sail boats. My wife and I each have one that is adjusted for us, then another that is left adjusted for my skinny daughter. We wear the inflatables for most of our docking maneuvers or if we need to go to the bow for anything unless it is flat calm. They are kept out while under way so we can easily throw them on. All but one of the inflatables are from WM, 3 are the Coastal you linked to. Again, look for sales and they aren't too bad.

We also have a pack of 4 cheap PFDs (typical WM in a bag) that are kept under the PH bench seat with all the emergency gear. Those are never worn but we keep them so that we have a total of 8 PFDs on board. If we have more than that many folks on board, then we will bring some other older PFDs to the boat.

I am a huge fan of inflatables. They typically are not as "safe" as non-inflatable, but they are easy to put on, comfortable to wear, and not unnecessarily bulky. My thought is that a PFD that you wear is much better than any fantastic PFD that you won't.

One other point is it is a good idea to check the expiry on the CO2 cylinders. This is something that I am notoriously bad at doing. Now that I think about it, it is time that I did it again.
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Old 06-23-2016, 02:18 PM   #9
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Dave, not sure why you think inflatables aren't as safe?

You already hit the first biggie about wearing one....
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Old 06-23-2016, 03:15 PM   #10
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My wife and I wear our Mustang auto-inflates from the time we are getting ready to get under way, till the time we are docked and tied down. We also have a couple of the 6 packs on board to make the mandatory count for guests. We also have 2 offshore type jackets for really foul weather/seas.
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Old 06-23-2016, 03:21 PM   #11
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Dave, not sure why you think inflatables aren't as safe?

You already hit the first biggie about wearing one....
I am not convinced that they are always going to be as effective as a non-inflatable. I have no real evidence at all to support that impression however. I have happily used them for years and will continue to because I don't think any differences are that significance and pale in comparison to having something that is going to be regularly used.
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Old 06-23-2016, 06:15 PM   #12
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Scott can confirm, but I think inflatables only count, in the eyes of the Coast Guard, if they are worn. Draped over the helm seat or "close by" don't count.
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Old 06-23-2016, 06:59 PM   #13
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Actually, most inflatables have more buoyancy and are better designed to roll you face up and the extra buoyancy holds your face higher.

Some older inflatables had to be worn to count...not so anymore I believe.

The inside label says it all.

Mine are actually difficult to read....they have the lifting harness which makes them have a funny statement in the wearing/classification label...it says type II if used IAW the owners manual.

But I think many of the new ones are classified that they need not be worn....heck, they are easier to Don than the type Is and IIs.

The USCG was supposed to dump the old classification systemany time now.
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Old 06-23-2016, 08:39 PM   #14
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Thanks ps. Good info.

I had heard that the USCG was supposedly coming up with a new classification but don't know what happened to the.
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Old 06-23-2016, 09:36 PM   #15
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Scott can confirm, but I think inflatables only count, in the eyes of the Coast Guard, if they are worn. Draped over the helm seat or "close by" don't count.
Thats correct....we have two for Admural & Capt. I thought they wete OK if not worn but after investigating I couldn't find ANY that did not require to be worn. We just keep enough conventional aboard to be legal.
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Old 06-24-2016, 06:22 AM   #16
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This one is listed as a type II....but who knows what the label says.

Any with lift rings are usually not or conditional....
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Old 06-24-2016, 10:04 AM   #17
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Thats correct....we have two for Admural & Capt. I thought they wete OK if not worn but after investigating I couldn't find ANY that did not require to be worn. We just keep enough conventional aboard to be legal.
I couldn't find a reference that confirms this. Are you saying that for an inflatable to be considered as an approved PFD on the vessel that it actually has to be worn? I.e. As soon as you take it off it is no longer an approved PFD?
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Old 06-24-2016, 10:25 AM   #18
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I read that too in one source that I cannot find. On USCG site as of this am - http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg5214/pfdselection.asp
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Old 06-24-2016, 12:21 PM   #19
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I couldn't find a reference that confirms this. Are you saying that for an inflatable to be considered as an approved PFD on the vessel that it actually has to be worn? I.e. As soon as you take it off it is no longer an approved PFD?
No it is still approved, just doesn't get added to the number of required PFDs for the number of persons aboard.

Reading that link..... seems the USCG thinks there are a proved type I and II inflatables.

Here is another listed as a type II

https://www.amazon.com/Revere-Comfor..._1466785561701


About this item

Features

USCG approved for persons at least 16 years of age - Type II - 35lbs of buoyancyDual waist belt stainless steel adjusters, 2" waist strap and dual adjustable back strapsSOLAS-grade retro-reflective tape on inflatable bladder, includes whistleHeavy duty 420 denier nylon outer coverThe neck area has no Velcro or edge binding to cause chafing or abrasion for all-day comfort

Looks like the entire line of Revere Comfort max inflatables are type II or III approved except the ones with harnesses. They are like mine and actually you can argue they can be considered also as long as you read the manual.

https://www.fondriest.com › pdf › revere...
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Old 06-24-2016, 02:43 PM   #20
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We have four inflatables that we keep on the boat.
Auto or manual inflate?
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