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Old 04-04-2015, 09:18   #16
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Re: Personal Overboard Kit

A small waterproof laser flare has a larger range than a flashlight, but person needs to be actively shining it around.
You can set a handheld DSC VHF to allow position requests. So you could request the current GPS position as often as you want. It does not require the person in the water to push any buttons. This requires that the Unit is always on and GPS is running, which is a big battery draw. So two handhelds onboard and one being charged at all times is a solution, albeit not bombproof and requires discipline. My handhelds tend to discharge faster than they charge.

I wonder how the MOB AIS units mentioned above deal with battery life?
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:26   #17
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Re: Personal overboard kit

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Originally Posted by msponer View Post
I'm curious -- why the knife?

Are you able to fit all of that into your inflatable harnesses, or is this in a waist pack or etc? Our inflatable harnesses don't have much room.

1. AIS Beacon
2. Strobe
3. Laser flare

Long ago we only had a signal mirror and super loud whistle tucked inside our inflatable harnesses. A little dubious, but fun to play with.
You need a knife to cut yourself free of wreckage, clothing, boots or even out of your PFD.

Sent from my SGH-I547C using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 04-04-2015, 11:23   #18
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Re: Personal overboard kit

Has anyone else actually tested their lifejackets? Last year, whilst at anchor and while wearing a lifeline, I jumped into sea for the sole purpose of seeing how effective our state of the art 1998 life jackets actually were. It was blowing 25-30 knots and there were constant white horses. Well, it was an eye opener. The auto inflator did not do its thing! The manual activator did function though. What was really frightening was trying to breath when only inches above the water. The two wings of the waistcoat life jacket seemed to try and funnel the entire ocean into my face and within moments I felt that I was being swamped. I was coughing heavily which allowed further seawater into my mouth. I was rapidly pulled into our dinghy. From the deck or from the dinghy the conditions looked pretty tame but at actual sea level it was scary.
Result? We started looking at alternatives and finally settled, after a lot of research and trying various products on the Crewsaver ErgoFit 290n ocean hammer lifejackets.
For us the decider was the integral above the head sea hood and a special infill piece that reduces/prevents the funnel effect, as well as that extra bouyancy. We really like that the sea hood is permanently attached and just needs to be pulled down over your head. Some jackets have spray hoods but they need attaching after the jacket is inflated! Another nice touch is that the design prevents chafe on the back of your neck when wearing over just a tee-shirt or without any shirt. We also liked that a mini-strobe is built into the jacket and that there is a pocket for your own use. We have only recently purchased these but can confirm that they are very comfortable to wear. Our own policy is for the night watch to attach a waterproof handheld VHF to themselves (we have two that are dedicated for this), that they also each place a packet of pencil flares into the life jacket pocket and that each jacket has an upgraded whistle and a hand held torch (still looking at those options). The night watch always wear their jackets and harness and the males are expressly forbidden to pee over the side.
We also insist our kids, when they take off in their own dinghy and out of sight, that they wear their life jackets, despite being good swimmers.
We are also keeping our old life jackets as spares or for visitors - we intend keeping them inside our dinghy when we are at sea. Naturally, we have zero affiliation with Crewsaver.

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Old 04-04-2015, 11:42   #19
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Re: Personal Overboard Kit

Crewfit (Crewsaver) make some good products. But explaining to most sailors that they MUST use the crotch harness to keep the vest sitting low (which increases buoyancy) is like banging your head on a brick wall. As is suggesting the larger models are worthwhile.


And for those in the US...Crewfit has no interest in sales here. No USCG certification, no dealer network. Harder to find recharge kits. Those can be stoppers, despite the quality of the product.
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Old 04-04-2015, 14:20   #20
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Re: Personal overboard kit

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Originally Posted by Bulawayo View Post
Has anyone else actually tested their lifejackets?
We tested the kids lifejackets in the pool.

The 'inflatable vest' style is the only kind that we feel good about. Neither an inflatable harness nor a Type II PFD vest keeps their head high enough out of the water. The hybrid of both seems to work so much better for them. The big Type I PFD also works well, and we have them for 'abandon ship', but they are not something the kids could lounge around in the cockpit with.

Waves in face are a problem. I've thought of putting a small drogue on ~6' of polypropylene line in the back of my kids vests. So they naturally face downwind. Especially for my intellectually disabled daughter, who is not smart enough to just turn around and face the other way, or grab a boat hook. So it feels more workable to have a short line trailing off of her, to pick her up like a mooring pendant.

I'm glad you guys are talking about this here. I think I'd like to add more stuff to our jackets, but maybe will have to sew a little pocket on the side or something. A couple smoke signals or flares would be great. I know I would flake on wearing a fanny pack with more equipment. It already feels like a chore to put on and wear the harness. Something I usually do more to set a good example for the wee ones than out of genuine concern that I'll fall overboard.
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Old 04-04-2015, 15:37   #21
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Re: Personal overboard kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by msponer View Post
I'm curious -- why the knife?

Are you able to fit all of that into your inflatable harnesses, or is this in a waist pack or etc? Our inflatable harnesses don't have much room.

1. AIS Beacon
2. Strobe
3. Laser flare

Long ago we only had a signal mirror and super loud whistle tucked inside our inflatable harnesses. A little dubious, but fun to play with.
Sailors are like Sikhs -- always a knife about your person.

But more specifically -- to cut the tether which is dragging you under water after you went over the rail while tethered to a jackstay.
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Old 04-04-2015, 19:18   #22
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Re: Personal Overboard Kit

Go to a big divers' store you will find plenty of hq small and waterproof strobes/torches/sticks.

You may like what you find there. I do.

b.
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