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Old 23-09-2007, 10:47   #1
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Children and Offshore life jacket/harness Safety

Hola...

We are planning on leaving for the Bahamas the end of December with our two children, ages 11 and 8.

We are trying to find a quality life jacket and harness. Has anyone else outfitted their little ones, and what did you find that worked well?

Thanks...

Johnny, Susan, Abby and Jack

sv Jackaby
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Old 23-09-2007, 11:25   #2
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Have no kids, but have you tried these guys.

http://www.sailingsupply.com/Mustang...13/manuf_id/12
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Old 23-09-2007, 18:05   #3
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I doubt it will be the best recommendation but my boy (9) wears a gill vest. It has a "D" ring on the front if I ever needed to hoist him and pretty good crotch straps. I consider the crotch straps essential. It's highly adjustable and will "grow" with him.

There are probably better vests for cruising but this one goes from the boat to the Optimists and lasers to the wakeboard and to the banana boat. I couldn't justify different vests for different activites. Good flotation for his size and slim enough to not impede his swimming when in the water.
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Old 24-09-2007, 21:36   #4
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We've fought the life preserver battle with our kid for years. I just got a response from Mustang regarding an inflatable PFD for children and youth:

Quote:
Hi,

Thanks for the query. You are correct there are no inflatable PFDs
approved in the US/Canada. We are currently working with the Coast
Guard to have them review the standards to be able to offer inflatable
PFDs to children under the current age limit of 16. As I am sure you can
imagine this process might take some time.

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

Regards,

Rob

Rob McMahon
Marketing Communications Specialist
Mustang Survival Corp.

Since I asked pretty much the same question, and received the same answer, about 4-5 years ago, I don't think we can look for this solution any time soon. Which is really unfortunate, as the inflatable on a harness with tether would without doubt be the best solution for us. We take fairly long holidays, and I can't expect the kid to live in his life jacket unless below.
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Old 25-09-2007, 06:29   #5
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We recently purchased a life jacket for our 10 year old grandson who joined us for a cruise north through the Great Dismal Swamp. We wanted something comfortable enough that he would wear it and settled on this one (we didn't buy it at West, got a better deal on the Internet somewhere).
West Marine: Mustang Kids Integrity Vests Product Display

This one has a mesh back so is not at hot as some.

See pictures of him wearing it at Photos

George
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Old 25-09-2007, 08:49   #6
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Gill Vest?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
I doubt it will be the best recommendation but my boy (9) wears a gill vest. It has a "D" ring on the front if I ever needed to hoist him and pretty good crotch straps. I consider the crotch straps essential. It's highly adjustable and will "grow" with him.

There are probably better vests for cruising but this one goes from the boat to the Optimists and lasers to the wakeboard and to the banana boat. I couldn't justify different vests for different activites. Good flotation for his size and slim enough to not impede his swimming when in the water.
Ex-Calif - We have been looking for good life vests for our 5 kids also. The gill vest you mention sounds like just what we are looking for. Where do we find this type of vest?
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Old 25-09-2007, 09:55   #7
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I'm not sure if they have REI where you're at, but that is where we found the life jackets for our three children. They adjust for size in more ways than I would have thought possible, and are very well constructed. The comfort factor has made all the difference in keeping our kids happy a
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Old 25-09-2007, 09:59   #8
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oops, cut off my own reply. The kids are happy wearing their life jackets now that they are comfortable. We did find auto inflating kid jackets, but they were a bulky hybrid, and expensive.
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Old 25-09-2007, 10:05   #9
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We have used inflatable vests for the children ages 9 and 11. On the tag the vest of one says it is rated for 80lbs and the other says it is rated for 90lbs. The kids weigh 82 and 94 respectively. There is no mention of an age limit on these vests. We are planning on doing some training with the vests this summer so that the kids will know how to self inflate the vests and how to manually inflate the vests. My kids have not been coddled and as such realize that they are their own first line of protection. More self reliant than most 16 year olds. When/if the coastguard comes to check us we will show them the label. If there is a problem we will beg for mercy and have the kids put on their kayaking life jackets.

Johnny B
In the Bahamas I don't think that you will have any problems with US Cosastguard regulations. I think that some training with the inflatable life jackets is very important for adults as well as kids. If they don't self inflate and you are in cold water it can be difficult to get your lungs to pump out the air that you need.
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Old 26-09-2007, 02:06   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clausont View Post
Ex-Calif - We have been looking for good life vests for our 5 kids also. The gill vest you mention sounds like just what we are looking for. Where do we find this type of vest?
I found Josh's at the local sailing shop. I have tried to find an image online but no luck. Even on the Gill website. May be out of production although we have only had this one for a year.

I will try and get a picture and a model number this weekend.
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Old 18-06-2008, 22:16   #11
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We use Mustang Li'l legends. Everyone says they are the most comfortable out there for the kids. We wore them all morning fishing in the dinghy and I heard "I'm hungry" "Why are there no fish" and "I'm cold" but not once did they complain about the jackets. While learning to sew canvas I used my machine to make some harnesses that came out awesome and comfy. I put a D ring in the front AND back and a wide nylon crotch strap, about 4-6" wide, so I can pick them up comfortably. I put 3m reflective tape on the straps and everything. They are great. If I can figure out how, I will post a picture on here of them. They didn't take but about 1hr. to figure out and sew.

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Old 19-06-2008, 09:44   #12
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Harness/lifejackets

My favourite harness is one I built for myself on the sewing machine. It's as simple as possible, two straps, each with a D-ring at the chest leading under the arm, up and over the opposite shoulder and down to attach to the other strap just outboard of its D-ring, sewn where they cross in the back as well. It's tight (I've plumped a bit since I made it), strong, and I was able to hoist myself to the spreaders while wearing it.

But I'm not entirely sure I'd feel comfortable with my grandbabies in something I'd made myself. (For the last kid at home, oddly enough, I'd be okay with that. Maybe because he's at that assertive age where he wouldn't be caught dead wearing something homemade... teenagers. blah.)
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