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Old 23-06-2016, 09:15   #31
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Re: Inflatable PFDs, manual vs automatic

Correction: oops! Just noticed something. Up above I posted a comment on the video about PFDs. In my comment I typed on my iPad and autocorrect (or my faulty memory) put "Vitale" when the proper name of the narrator is "Vittone". (Mario Vittone)
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Old 23-06-2016, 09:39   #32
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Re: Inflatable PFDs, manual vs automatic

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Adding combo PFD/harness to the boat and am debating whether I should go with a manual or auto inflate model.

Ignoring for now cost and convenience issues (this is life support equipment so not an area to scrimp) I see some pros and cons to both.

First, I can think of situations where I would not want the jacket to inflate. Examples:
- I'm overboard but tethered in. An inflated jacket would probably interfere with rescue.
- I'm trapped under something (sails from broken mast, inverted boat, whatever) where an inflated jacket would prevent swimming down and out.

But, if you fall overboard unconscious you could drown unless the jacket was an autoinflate.

There seems to be issues with occasional unintended self inflating with some systems. I read that the hydrostatis inflate systems like the Spinlok hammar virtually eliminate this problem but cost does become an issue when trying to equip a boat for 4-5-6 crew.

So, what opinions?
Skipmac,

We wrestled with the same questions. To stay on the fence, we ended up with PFDs [Spinlock Deckvest 5D Pro] that can be set up either way [auto or manual.] This choice allows us to change our mind, or make adjustments for specific situations. [So far, since we frequent cooler waters, we have kept them in automatic mode...]

Here is a brief write-up describing our PFD choices with more details if it is of interest.

Best wishes finding what is best for you and your crew.

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 23-06-2016, 11:05   #33
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Re: Inflatable PFDs, manual vs automatic

When i bought my boat it came with solid PDF's, But I brought 4 Auto Inflatables with me,
Working on the boat, Solids were very constrictive and basically useless,
So I wore my Auto inflatables all the time.
Which were easy to get around in,

One bloke told me he was sailing in the coral sea and saw a catamaran sailing along covered in Cormorants and bird ****,
Investigating, He found the owner over the side on a tether, He could not get himself back on board, He was dead,
He reported it at the next port of call, as he did not have Sat Communications,

Which brought home to me that having a short tether and full chest harness tied to a running rope under the boom that wont let you go over the side no matter what happens, or where you are on the boat,

Being single handed, On deck, The chest harness tethered at all times,
In the cock pit, The Auto inflateable, You can lounge about safely with it on,

Another point, You cant catch up to a boat sailing along at 5 knots, and no, It wont come back for you,

I dont know if you can get one,

But some thing on the inflatable vest that is connected to the Self steering and GPS by WIFI,
That would make the boat go round in circles if you got say 10 metres away from the boat automatically,

At least then you could swim back to the boat as it came back around,
This would be a great safety factor, and well worth the cost,

I passed 3 ships and no boats in more than a 1000 miles crossing to Australia from Fiji, Single Handed,
Its a big Ocean with nothing on it, So personal Safety is a big issue, You really are on your own.
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Old 23-06-2016, 11:08   #34
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Re: Inflatable PFDs, manual vs automatic

Interesting video on the inflatables. Both my wife and I have one, mine a pill and hers hydrostatic. Will have to manually inflate to check the neck clearance.

I prefer to wear the inflatable, it is cooler in the summer here on Lake Lanier, near Atlanta GA. I may have to rethink them if I ever go off-shore however.
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Old 23-06-2016, 12:04   #35
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Re: Inflatable PFDs, manual vs automatic

I prefer the auto-inflatables. We do a lot of ocean racing, albeit mostly coastal. Every Forespar crew member WILL wear the harness style, which I provide, when on deck. Each has a light and a leash. I've been over the side - at night - and the MOB pole and light saved my life. I was very, very, very lucky. The functional PFD is a necessity, not an accessory.
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Old 23-06-2016, 13:41   #36
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Re: Inflatable PFDs, manual vs automatic

What brands do people recommend that come with a harness and crotch strap?
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Old 23-06-2016, 14:10   #37
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Re: Inflatable PFDs, manual vs automatic

I was wondering about a crotch strap. My pfd was a gift, so I didnt choose it. Its auto inflate with tether but no crotch strap.
Anyway, the pfd fits per adjustment instructions but it feels ify to me. Im.a small woman and I worry that I could be sucked or dumped out of it. Any advice?
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Old 23-06-2016, 14:20   #38
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Re: Inflatable PFDs, manual vs automatic

My vote: AutoInflate, with built in Harness. Allows you to add tether as finances allow. The crew end of the tether should have a quick release.
I was recently on a long race on somebody else's boat. Three of 4 guest crew brought their own inflatable pfd. I was the only one brought my own tether. An old racer friend explained you can be dragged and pulled under, better to release!
Tuck a light and whistle in the cover, if it does not have one.
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Old 23-06-2016, 14:28   #39
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Re: Inflatable PFDs, manual vs automatic

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post
Skipmac,

We wrestled with the same questions. To stay on the fence, we ended up with PFDs [Spinlock Deckvest 5D Pro] that can be set up either way [auto or manual.] This choice allows us to change our mind, or make adjustments for specific situations. [So far, since we frequent cooler waters, we have kept them in automatic mode...]

Here is a brief write-up describing our PFD choices with more details if it is of interest.

Best wishes finding what is best for you and your crew.

Cheers!

Bill
Thanks for the writeup Bill. I also went with the Spinlock Deckvest 5D Pro Sensor basically for all the reasons you listed in your writeup, and I also find it quite comfortable for many hours on the water. I opted for the Pro Sensor as well after watching the same video you link to in your writeup, and for the same reasons you chose it over the Hammar hydrostatic system. Cheers.
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Old 23-06-2016, 14:32   #40
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Re: Inflatable PFDs, manual vs automatic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Dreaming View Post
I was wondering about a crotch strap. My pfd was a gift, so I didnt choose it. Its auto inflate with tether but no crotch strap.
Anyway, the pfd fits per adjustment instructions but it feels ify to me. Im.a small woman and I worry that I could be sucked or dumped out of it. Any advice?
I would suggest watching this video -

and then this video -

and think about those videos and make your own decision. Cheers.
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Old 23-06-2016, 14:43   #41
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Re: Inflatable PFDs, manual vs automatic

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Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
What brands do people recommend that come with a harness and crotch strap?
I bought Crewsaver ErgoFit 190N Offshore (hammar) vests for the wife and myself, specifically for the built in harness and crotch strap. They also include spray hoods and lights, and a pocket for a Smartfind AIS MOB device like the McMurdo S20. Super comfortable, and all we've done so far is inland and coastal sailing in the PNW. They are so comfortable we wear them on the local <30ft club boats and have decided not to purchase separate inland vests just for that purpose.

Ordered ours from marinesuperstore.com which gave the best price at the time but there are some other options who will ship these to the U.S.
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Old 23-06-2016, 16:00   #42
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Re: Inflatable PFDs, manual vs automatic

I go with auto inflating, having had one work so fast that my hearing aids didn't get wet when my dinghy capsized. But, remember that they need maintenance - the little plug that dissolves very quickly when it hits water and lets the sharp pin stab the CO2 cylinder has a shelf life, just like your flares and liife raft. It's hidden away, so most people don't notice.
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Old 23-06-2016, 16:46   #43
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Re: Inflatable PFDs, manual vs automatic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Dreaming View Post
I was wondering about a crotch strap. My pfd was a gift, so I didnt choose it. Its auto inflate with tether but no crotch strap.
Anyway, the pfd fits per adjustment instructions but it feels ify to me. Im.a small woman and I worry that I could be sucked or dumped out of it. Any advice?
Yes, you need the crotch strap and the hood. Try the manufacturer but if not there are generic crutch straps from the likes of Crewsaver. The same with hoods, if the manufacturer doesn't have one then generic ones which live in a small pocket on the belt are available.

The Spinlok Lume ights look interesting too:

http://www.piratescave.co.uk/spinloc...FRK3GwodIKgHVg

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Old 23-06-2016, 19:13   #44
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Re: Inflatable PFDs, manual vs automatic

Interesting video though not really complete. Non inflating requires an extra safety harness. As it has no neck collar there is a chance that the unconscious person could float face down. Just things to consider.
I have auto inflate with safety harness PFD's. If you go over chances are you will get hit in the head and potentially inconcious. I want my pfd to inflate. Also having the safety harness integral makes it easy to clip in if required.
I'm thinking that maybe I'll start to carry a seperate non inflating PFD for everyone. Auto inflate with harness for most days because they are easy to wear and cool in tropical climates but maybe in extended storm conditions having a non inflate as the chances of being in the water are greater. Still have the safety harness issue to wrestle with. Auto inflate has it built in so responsible boating would suggest that I hank on to avoid going overboard.
So many probabilities AAARRRGGG!!!!
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Old 24-06-2016, 08:06   #45
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