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Old 06-07-2009, 17:44   #16
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Thanks for the info. I ordered both the Spinlock and the MD3184. I'll try them on and see if there is a big difference in comfort. If not, I'll probably go with the Mustang as it's hydrostatic and $90 cheaper.
Thanks for all the advice. As usual I can count on cruisersforum for great sailing info.
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Old 07-07-2009, 13:22   #17
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send LFSMarine a e-mail and ask if they'll give you even more off if you order 2 or more of the same. Sometimes they might have overstock on one color that doesn't sell real well out of their store so they'll drop another 10% to sweeten the deal. The MD3082's were going for $185 already and the MD3084's were down to $220. Not bad.
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Old 07-07-2009, 13:36   #18
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"You are dead before you hit the water." Well... maybe I shouldn't have used "hit in the head", but you can be hit with the boom in the shoulder, back, head etc, a clew, a sail, a wave, or a lot of things unanticipated. Hmmm.... come to think of it... I've survived them all! although the head hit was a glancing one, actually the clew cringle was much worse...
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Old 14-11-2009, 17:46   #19
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Mustang MD3184 advice?

I'm looking at the Mustang MD3184 (which has an integrated harness) but have a couple questions.

Does the harness have a crotch strap or can one be added? I don't see crotch straps mentioned on their web site, and the pictures don't seem to show one.

Can anyone offer advice on a tether to buy with this or what to look for in a tether?

Thanks!

Web site: Auto Hydrostatic Inflatable life jacket with Harness MD3184
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Old 14-11-2009, 18:57   #20
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Spinlock!
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Old 14-11-2009, 20:34   #21
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Spinlock!
If the Spinlock is not USCG approved, you will need additional pdfs on board.

BTW - anyone know why they are not approved?
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Old 16-11-2009, 15:54   #22
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I had bought the Spinlock and the Mustang at the same time. While the Spinlock is smaller, it seemed to ride up on my neck to high. I ultimately didn't like it enough to pay an extra $100 and not have it hydrostatic. So I returned it and kept the Mustang.

I also purchased the crotch strap which I really like. It keeps the vest tight and very comfortable. So, while I haven't floated around in mine, I'd strongly recommend the Mustang.
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Old 16-11-2009, 20:26   #23
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I have only seen one occasion where an inflateable was deployed. It was a Mustang and the man in the water never got his head wet. I was very impressed by the immediate reaction of the deployment system! Automatic systems are well worth the cost.
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Old 16-11-2009, 21:03   #24
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Spinlock Deck Vest - in my opinion is the best gear around, no question.
The question is though, do you need the best gear around? How often do you wear your pfd/harness?

I have gone with a Burke PFD/harness with automatic inflation (as opposed to manual only)... less than half the price of the Spinlock, and I just can't justify the extra money for the amount of use its gonna get.
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Old 16-11-2009, 22:15   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post

BTW - anyone know why they are not approved?
the usual regulatory idiocy... they feel that the design of the leg straps, while very effective and comfortable are *different* from the typical crotch strap and that users would forgo putting them on. which slays me because of course the standard cheapo *approved* vest hasn't even got a strap... go figure...
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Old 16-11-2009, 23:22   #26
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If the Spinlock is not USCG approved, you will need additional pdfs on board.

BTW - anyone know why they are not approved?
At the risk of taking the thread tangental, I'll put in my two cents worth. In large part it is the usual bureaucratic inertia. This has made the approval process difficult and expensive, especially for anything new or innovative. Someone turned me on to an interesting series of articles in "Workboat" magazine from July, August and September of 2007:
July 2007 - The Coast Guard stamp of approval – Part I - Workboat.com
August 2007 - The Coast Guard stamp of approval – Part II - Workboat.com
September 2007 - The Coast Guard stamp of approval – Part III - Workboat.com
and see also:
Stormy Seas - Important Notice

In general, I'm not into knocking the Coast Guard. They regularly put their lives on the line to pull people out of deep doo doo. But this is one area where I think their bureaucracy is getting in the way of their good intentions.

I think the best approach is to carry what you need to stay legal, but also carry whatever else you think will serve you best when the poop hits the prop. For example, I carry the usual assortment of required flares, but we also have a couple of rescue laser flares from Greatland Laser attached to our life jackets.
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Old 19-11-2009, 00:34   #27
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My take on it:

You will be racing under ISAF regs and so:

Crotch or thigh straps - an ISAF requirement - the spinlock has, the Mustang link above makes no mention (but these can be bought separately).

A Sprayhood - an ISAF recommendation - the spinlock has, again, no mention in the Mustang link

I'm not sure the implications of USCG approval (I've never sailed in US), but assume that you are after a jacket that conforms to both ISAF and USCG. Seems neither of these two jackets do.

I do quite a bit of offshore racing (but not in the US - so no USCG consideration) and the lifejacket I see on most raceboats is the manually activated Crewsaver. I'm not endoresing this product - it's just an observation.

The crotch straps are killers for the boys - the spinlock arrangement looks far more comfortable - probably the Petzl climbing harness influence .

The manual vs auto inflate decision: Auto inflate jackets have one advantage over manuals and that relates to going overboard unconcious. However, they do have a big disadvantage - they do go off accidentaly when there is a significant amount water flying about (I've yet to meet an experienced bowman who wears an auto offshore).

My personal choice is an auto for cruising, a manual for racing
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Old 19-11-2009, 02:04   #28
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I don't know if they're available in the U.S., but we bought a bunch of Seago automatic/harness lifevests. Two 275 newton ones (with light and hood) for those working on deck and a bunch of 175 newton ones (automatic/harness, but no light or hood) for guests.

I wanted the Spinlock, but the Seago 275's were 1/3 the cost (and the 175's 1/5 the cost), and it just didn't make sense. They were highly rated so I thought I would take the chance.

We have been absolutely delighted with them; they have exceeded all expectations. No one has fallen in the water with them yet (touch wood), but they are extremely comfortable, at least as comfortable as the Spinlock (which is only 150 Newtons of flotation), and they are beautifully made.

They are so comfortable that we don't even think of going on deck, even just the cockpit, without having them on -- which is an important safety factor in itself. The only slight disadvantage of the Seago compared to the Spinlock is that the simple buckle is slightly awkward to release, compared to the very slick twist-knob buckle of the Spinlock. This is a little awkward when you're trying to get your foulies open to take a leak.

The crotch straps are completely comfortable on the Seago, and completely necessary -- don't buy a lifejacket without one.
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Old 19-11-2009, 09:06   #29
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Hydrostatic auto inflatables?

For the past year we have used a couple of the relatively new Mustang 3184 auto inflatables. These have Mustang's "hydrostatic" auto inflate feature. As I understand it, most auto inflatables use a small pill that disolves in water and releases the CO2 cartrige. The Mustang hydrostatic has the pill behind a small pressure activated valve that only releases when actually submerged in the water. The pill only gets wet when the vest is actually below the water surface.

I have used them in some pretty wet conditions and so far haven't had a problem with them inflating accidentally. However I have not been buried in a big wave while wearing them. Anybody had any experience with this type?

Where I sail the water is always very cold, so besides the possibility of going overboard after being knocked unconscious, another advantage of the auto inflators is that one doesn't have to fumble for a pull tab with freezing cold fingers. Thinking about the "one minute" cold shock part of Prof. Giesbrecht's 1-10-1 principle of cold water immersion, I like the idea that the vest will inflate automatically if I go into the drink.

However, one downside of the hydrostatic autoinflators is that they are very expensive ($$$). They are Coast Guard approved however.
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Old 19-11-2009, 09:35   #30
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Landfall Navigation has crotch straps that are said to fit the Mustang vest: PFD Crotch / Thigh Strap

If you are ocean-racing, you will probably need a tether with overload indicators: Wichard ORC Elastic Locking Tether, and will need a certain number of double-tethers: Wichard ORC Bermuda Race Tether

If you have the double-tethers, be careful where you clip the loose end of the second tether (to keep it out of the way when you're not using it). Don't clip it onto the harness D-ring, since this shackle is definitely *not* a quick-disconnect. It will not release under load so if you go overboard your quick-disconnect will be useless.

I clip the spare shackle to the eye of the quick-disconnect shackle.
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