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Old 05-12-2014, 20:04   #1
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PFD on charter - bring my own?

Do many people bring inflatable PFD's with tethers on charters, for things like easy crossings between St Martin and St Barts? I sail all the time with my wife and two kids (3 and 5) and we'll be chartering together. Kids will have Stohquist Nemo lifejackets.
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Old 05-12-2014, 20:28   #2
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Re: PFD on charter - bring my own?

One problem with trying to bring your own is that the CO2 carts are not allowed on planes. Though I do know folks who've slipped thru with them.
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Old 05-12-2014, 20:34   #3
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Re: PFD on charter - bring my own?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
One problem with trying to bring your own is that the CO2 carts are not allowed on planes. Though I do know folks who've slipped thru with them.
This can be a definite problem, 'cause it is unlikely that one will find the correct replacement in most charter locales. Leads one to surreptitious thoughts of nicking the cartridges out of the PFD's stowed under each seat in the plane. But they would likely not fit either (besides being a pretty antisocial thing to do!).

We are still searching for the correct cartridges for the West Marine inflatables we brought back to Oz a few years ago. They don't seem to import that particular size/thread combination here, and US vendors won't/can't ship them to us. Grump.

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Old 05-12-2014, 22:39   #4
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Re: PFD on charter - bring my own?

The FAA allows 2 cartridges in the PDF and 2 spares in checked or carry-on luggage, although the final approval is up to the airline. Check your specific airlines website. I just did a passage from Hawaii to San Francisco and carried my PDF in my luggage on the flight to HI.


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Old 06-12-2014, 12:54   #5
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Re: PFD on charter - bring my own?

We have flown with our Mustang auto-PFDs in luggage. The FAA rules allow this, but other countries rules vary. I printed the FAA rules and put them in each PFD showing thru the clear container. No problems in the US. Had to explain their own rules to officials in the BVI, will print those next time, but was ultimately allowed in checked luggage there too. If you carry-on, just remember to remove the knife that's in the PFD pocket!
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Old 06-12-2014, 15:05   #6
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Re: PFD on charter - bring my own?

Interesting, don't know whether rules have changed, but I've had charter guests run into this issue in the past. Probably best to confirm with your carrier(s).

And, if you can get them thru, be sure and bring extra carts and arming kits. Every manufacturer is different and they are not typically interchangeable.

...and don't pack dividers with sharp points in your carry on...I've had guests who've had those confiscated.
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Old 06-12-2014, 15:41   #7
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Re: PFD on charter - bring my own?

BAM, Great idea about printing and carrying the FAA rules, I'm going to include the airlines rules also, just to be sure.


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Old 06-12-2014, 18:32   #8
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Re: PFD on charter - bring my own?

The 2 in pfd plus two spares is correct. Must be together as one unit. See www.TSA.gov all information is there.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:06   #9
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Re: PFD on charter - bring my own?

I have traveled with my inflatable PFD a lot for deliveries and teaching and never had a problem. I always put it in my checked luggage and usually disarm it by removing the cartridge.

The original question though, 'do many people bring inflatable PFDs with tethers on charter? The answer is no. Most people just use whatever the charter company provides. Usually the big bulky orange ones no one wears. I often find tethers and harnesses on Sunsail / Moorings boats, but no jack lines. I have gotten them to rig jack lines for me though.

Hope this helps a bit and that you have a great charter!
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:03   #10
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PFD on charter - bring my own?

"Leads one to surreptitious thoughts of nicking the cartridges out of the PFD's stowed under each seat in the plane."

Please do not think surreptitious thoughts like this. Besides delaying the plane, you will end up in jail.
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Old 07-12-2014, 12:16   #11
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Re: PFD on charter - bring my own?

Alternatively, you could just take a harness/tether. It can be pretty rough between St. Martin and St. Barts. Especially leaving from Oyster Pond.
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Old 07-12-2014, 12:28   #12
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Re: PFD on charter - bring my own?

Something that fits the kids well and they are used to, sounds like a very good idea.

Unfortunately, while the FAA and TSA both expressly allow cartridges in life vests (which are also expressly allowed on international flights by UN convention as "essential life saving equipment") the TSA will also remind you that *everything* is subject to the discretion of the TSA inspector who is poking through your bags. So your best bet is to remove the cartridges, label them clearly or use the spares in original packaging, and pack them in your checked baggage. The TSA sodajerk, ergh, baggage inspector, has the discretion to confiscate them and no one ever overrules the inspectors, no matter how foolish their decisions may be.
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Old 07-12-2014, 21:01   #13
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Re: PFD on charter - bring my own?

thanks for the advice
-wr
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Old 09-12-2014, 14:03   #14
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Re: PFD on charter - bring my own?

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The TSA sodajerk, ergh, baggage inspector, has the discretion to confiscate them and no one ever overrules the inspectors, no matter how foolish their decisions may be.
This is why I've had so much luck having the actual regs printed out and in the see-through carrier pouch. It's harder for them to be officious just to be that way when they're staring right at the printed rules, and they know that you know them. For sure, don't get into a peeing contest with the TSA, as they'll always win. With the regs, you can always say, "Gee, the way I read this, it looks like they're ok", and give them a chance to save their ego and agree with you.

I do want to find the "essential lifesaving equipment" regulation and print that out, too! Thanks!
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Old 09-12-2014, 14:44   #15
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Re: PFD on charter - bring my own?

BAM, you must be flying friendlier skies.(G)


I've found they really don't care about reading, they all know very well that EVERYTHING is subject to the inspector's final discretion, and the supervisory staff will NEVER overrule an inspector. That would send the wrong message (less than unwaivering accuracy and competency) about their entire team.


And have you noticed, no matter how many times they ask for your shoes, they never seem to polish them properly? Really, they've got no standards. They don't even get embarrassed about the number of TSA baggage inspectors who get arrested for theft every year. (Shh! We're not supposed to know that.)
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