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Old 06-03-2012, 05:53   #16
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Re: What brand of PFD/Harness do you prefer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I actually know exactly what a PFD is. In this part of the world it is NOT a life jacket. It's a flotation device with less then 150 newtons of flotation. It's designed for inshore use and typically where the user get wet. This is a legal definition in Europe. A PFD is not a life jacket.

So there !

Dave
I stand corrected. But in the USA (where the OP hailed from) he could have only meant the Coast Guard meaning, which includes all floatation devises that are worn (personal) and also some throwables.

-----------------
(the below info does not mention that inflatables have 33 pounds of flotation.)
1. Type I PFD: Off-Shore Life Jacket

Photo used by permission from Overtons.com
Type I PFDs provide the most buoyancy, are designed for offshore and rough water conditions. They come in two sizes, adult and child. The child size is designed with at least 11 pounds of buoyancy while the adult size has at least 22. The main functional feature of the Type I PFD is that it is designed to float unconscious victims in the face-up position.


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2. Type II PFD: Near-Shore Life Jacket

Photo used by permission from NRSWeb.com
Type II PFDs are intended for use in inland waters where there is a reasonable chance of a speedy rescue. These are your typical orange life jackets that are in the shape of a “U.” They fit over a person’s neck and come down on each side of the chest. Type II PFDs will usually turn some unconscious victims to a face-up position. These PFDs provide between 7 to 15.5 pounds of buoyancy, depending on infant to adult sizes.


3. Type III PFD: Flotation Aid

Photo used by permission from NRSWeb.com
Type III PFDs are designed for inland conditions. These are usually the PFDs worn for specific activities such as fishing vests and kayaking life jackets. They are designed for comfort, continuous wear, and for maximum mobility. As such, they probably won’t turn the wearer to the face-up position in the water. Rather, they tend to float wearers in the vertical position. The definition of Type III PFDs usually contains the word “calm” to describe the water conditions they are meant for. This would be functionally incorrect as most whitewater PFDs, that is those worn by whitewater kayakers and whitewater canoeists, are Type III PFDs.


4. Type IV PFD: Throwable Device

Photo used by permission from Overtons.com.
Type IV PFDs are carried on boats as a device that can be thrown to a drowning person. These are either the circular rings found on commercial boats or around swimming pools. On recreational motor boats these take the form of seat cushion style devices. They are not meant to be worn.

5. Type V PFD: Special Use and Hybrid Devices

Photo used by permission from NRSweb.com
Type V PFDs are intended for specific activities and must be used in accordance with the specifications on their labels. Some of the features that may be included in these devices is hypothermia protection, inflatable portions, and work vests.


6. Inflatable PFDs: Types I-III

Used by permission from Overtons.com
Inflatable PFDs are becoming more popular and prevalent. They are the most comfortable type of life jacket but they do have their downsides. Inflatable PFDs offer no flotation until they are inflated. They are not to be used where impact and high speeds are encountered as this can damage the inflation mechanism and in these conditions the person wearing the PFD may be knocked unconscious before they are able to deploy the inflation feature. These are also not recommended for use by children.
Inflatable PFDs are great for use in recreational kayaking and kayak fishing. They come in Type I, Type II, and Type III PFD specifications and are intended for use following the same guidelines.







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Old 06-03-2012, 05:57   #17
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Re: What brand of PFD/Harness do you prefer?

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
I've got a Spinlock from 2009. Wore it 24/7 for the 15 day passage to Hilo from SF. Very comfortable, and multiple adjustment points means it can be made to fit from full on foulies with layers underneath to Tshirts in the tropics. The included legstraps will keep it from riding up if I ever had to use it in the water.

When I'm solo, always am clipped in to the Spinlock Vest/Harness. Anyone who doesn't sail clipped in on ocean passages, even with a crew, is being very very foolish. Nearly impossible to find an MOB in the seas that typically run offshore.

Practical Sailor posted an interesting observation that I cannot personally confirm:

When in the water with the vest inflated, the release on the harness end of the tethe was quite unreachable due to the bulk of the bladders. This was doubly so if pulled against the side of the hull, as though being dragged through the water, the time you would need the release feature most. What says the group? Have you tried this exersize?
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Old 06-03-2012, 05:59   #18
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Re: What brand of PFD/Harness do you prefer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I actually know exactly what a PFD is. In this part of the world it is NOT a life jacket. It's a flotation device with less then 150 newtons of flotation. It's designed for inshore use and typically where the user get wet. This is a legal definition in Europe. A PFD is not a life jacket.

So there !

Dave
I misunderstood, I believe the "legal definition" in Europe is what threw me.
Thanks for clearing it up for me.

John
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Old 06-03-2012, 18:43   #19
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Re: What brand of PFD/Harness do you prefer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Practical Sailor posted an interesting observation that I cannot personally confirm:

When in the water with the vest inflated, the release on the harness end of the tethe was quite unreachable due to the bulk of the bladders. This was doubly so if pulled against the side of the hull, as though being dragged through the water, the time you would need the release feature most. What says the group? Have you tried this exersize?
This is another good reason to have a knife. I believe when I looked at the Spinlock in WM, it has a knife in it.

Thanks again to everyone for thier thoughts, I think I figured out what PFD I am buying!


FYI- kayakers know that no PFD can be adjusted sitting in the boat so that it will not ride up. The trick to not drowing is that once you are in the water and know it is going to be some time before you get out to take the following steps:
  1. Lie on your back to get the flotation parallel to the body,
  2. Pull the PFD lower to the waist
  3. Pull the lowest strap that is closest to the waist as tight as you can
  4. This will cause rib discomfort, in fact rib discomfort is clear indication that you have it tight enough no to ride up.
  5. Remember this- as long as you feel the pain, the PFD is not riding up and you can breath
Please trust me this works, I have had two situations where this trick helped (don't ask). For those in the islands or FLA, try it- you can also place your feet on the kayak to help get your feet higher than your hips.

All that said, the Spinlock has thigh straps.

Like I said, looks like I'm going to be springing for a Spinlock

Bill
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Old 06-03-2012, 19:08   #20
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Re: What brand of PFD/Harness do you prefer?

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Originally Posted by Snore View Post
the Spinlock has a knife in it.

Like I said, looks like I'm going to be springing for a Spinlock
The knife is quite difficult to get at when the spinlock is inflated. What you want to do with the spinlock is put a short extender (spectra climbing webbing is perfect) in the tether attachment point, so that the tether quick release shackle is easily accessible when its inflated.

You said it in your first post so you already know . . . the spinlock is not USCG approved, so in addition to the spinlock you must also have on board a uscg approved PFD (for every person).

I personally find the spinlock a bit stiff and uncomfortable around the neck . . .but different people have different feelings about that.
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Old 06-03-2012, 19:19   #21
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Re: What brand of PFD/Harness do you prefer?

I have a Mustang inflatable/harness. Why did I choose this brand? Because I asked one of our local waterborne LEOs who was wearing one. He told me that the state Marine Patrol ran a series of tests on the available pfds and found that Mustangs were the best.
Good enough for me.
As an aside, all life jackets are pfds.
Not all pfds are life jackets.
A definition for legal purposes is not necessarily the same as a definition as found in a dictionary.
IMHO.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:02   #22
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Re: What Brand of PFD / Harness Do You Prefer ?

Hi all, Thanks for the education you've provided by sharing your experiences and opinions. My SO and I will be purchasing PFDs in the near future and I'd like some assistance with making a good choice. I've determined that I'd prefer a Type III and he's thinking he'd prefer an automatic inflatable. We'd both like to try many on before we make a purchase. Our local (Redondo Beach, Calif.) marine stores have very limited inventory/brand selection. Does anyone know of any marine stores either in the LA area (MdR, LB), OC or San Diego that would have a broader selection for us to try?
Thanks.
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