Originally Posted by psneeld
I'm not sure what many USCG barding officers or USCGAux guys would think if I argued that my inflatable was OK on the bunk and not worn.
It's clear to me but until this morning I always thought it was one of those "had to be worn to count models".
Even in the thick of instructing boating safety and being shoulder to shoulder with the USCG and marine Police...I think I was incorrect and I'll bet many of them think exactly the way I used to.
But after a couple hours of research, I think the last few years of transition in the inflatable PFD world...it's not clear to many, both recreational or official.
I'd be careful of believing just any USCG safety inspection (which most of the time are USCGAux members)
i think you are exactly right. When the inflatables first came out all were the "must be worn" type. But over the years, many models have been certified as regular vests. Some only for recreational use, but otherwise just like a foam vest. This has definitely been changing over the past few years. When I bought mine about 3-4 years ago it was the first time I had seen any model that was straight-out Type II rates with no "must be worn" restriction. Looking at Mustang's web site today, I see a whole bunch of models that are normal Type II or Type II rated, so it's spreading.
With all respect to the USCG, I would not be at all surprised for rank and file members to be unaware of these changes and to still be operating under the assumption that all inflatables must be worn to count. Just show them the USCG Certification label on the vest to confirm that it's unrestricted Type II or Type III, assuming it is.