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Old 16-03-2014, 08:33   #16
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Re: Selecting an offshore PFD

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Originally Posted by ErBrown View Post
So, I really appreciate all the guidance.


Silly question but lets assume your going to crew for some coastal and offshore racing/recreational sailing, would you bring your own tether and handheld VHF/GPS?

Just wanting to ensure I'm being practical about this.
As below with RD... Yes... HH gps, vhf, plb, Spot, knife, light, vest, harness, strobe... phone and tablet (plotter)... In a wp bag inside my backpack...

PS: I also enjoy bringing a copy of "sailing for Dummies" that I conspicuously display...

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Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
That is NOT the reason people prefer the manual system. I prefer it because when the boat is capsized and you trap inside, I don't want my life vest inflate until I am ready to come up.

As a matter of fact, I don't even wear life vest any more even I have two. I only wear safety harness and tether at all time especially when soloing. But that is just me.


Of course, I trust my own gears. I usually bring my own chart plotter and personal SAT tracker, knife, flash light. Not so much for portable VHF.
+1 on the manual for the very reasons stated... +1 for the harness only...
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Old 16-03-2014, 08:39   #17
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Re: Selecting an offshore PFD

We are looking to buy new inflatables before an upcoming charter trip. What are the details behind travelling (flying) with your CO2 inflatable pfd?

Disarm, remove cylinder and pack into checked luggage? Leaving US? Entering Carib? Returning US? Number of cartridges?

Spring winds are here!
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Old 16-03-2014, 09:04   #18
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Re: Selecting an offshore PFD

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Originally Posted by SJ2581 View Post
What are the details behind travelling (flying) with your CO2 inflatable pfd?
This is governed by IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.
The 54th Edition (2013) states that life jackets with up to two CO2 fitted cylinders and up to two spare cartridges are allowed as:
- carry on baggage
- checked-in baggage
- permitted on person
BUT the approval of the flight operator(s) is REQUIRED.

See this document http://www.airberlin.com/IATA-DGR-en (top op 2nd page).

This boils down to: contact your airline well before your flight and get their approval.

I tested this in practice and had no problems from the airline, and the earlier airline approval was a tremendous help to get through airport security in Spain on my return leg.
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Old 16-03-2014, 09:07   #19
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Re: Selecting an offshore PFD

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The crotch strap debate is almost as contentious as a gun or anchor thread. Again, different people have different shapes and some will have trouble and some will not. My bottom line is that if it is uncomfortable and you don't use or wear it, then what is the point?



SK
Having spent some time hanging off a paddling PFD, working out a self-rescue - I feel confident to warn that your advise can be fatal. Additionally, there have been incidents that in both the Pacific and Great Lakes that reinforce my experience.

I respectfully suggest that you try the Mustang in the water without crotch straps. You will see that even in benign conditions the large opening between the belt band and the neck allows the PFD to slide off. Add the fact that when you will need the PFD, there will probably be waves- things can end badly.


Once again not Internet opinion, just sharing personal experience and documented reports.

FWIW I have two mustangs with after market straps.

Cheers
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Old 16-03-2014, 09:27   #20
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Re: Selecting an offshore PFD

Thanks, MRM. Good info for travellers with inflatable PFD's.

I would not have considered carrying on for CO2 cartridges. I did want to carry on the PFD so they don't 'disappear' from checked luggage - not that it ever happens!
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Old 16-03-2014, 11:43   #21
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Re: Selecting an offshore PFD

At this point, I'm convinced that the available integrated harnesses are crap and would get one of the good climbing harnesses.
There are pros and cons of the auto-inflate. A friend racing a 24'boat offshore had his accidentally inflate when he was being continually drenched while pounding hard to windward. My boat was dry and I wouldn't be concerned about accidental inflation.

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Old 16-03-2014, 17:13   #22
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Re: Selecting an offshore PFD

Some airlines allow them and some don't. At this stage I just pack them in my checked luggage, cylinder and all and have yet to be stopped. I don't inform the airline

I'd never try bringing them through security as hand luggage. No way I suspect they'd get allowed

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Old 16-03-2014, 17:34   #23
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Re: Selecting an offshore PFD

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I've noticed that and thought about it. Does anyone know if this is something that can be changed on the fly? For instance I really like the idea of an auto triggering inflator in case I'm knocked unconscious or otherwise incapacitated, but I can see where in some conditions you might want to swap it to manual trigger. Is this something that can be done with the flip of the switch once the manual conversion is done, or is it all or nothing?

I carry the auto kit with me in the boat, took 15 mins to switch it over to manual,,, so yes it can be done on as needed basis. also carry an extra extra recharge bottle, while testing i accidentally fired it and had to replace before it even got wet so be warned if the ripcord gets wrapped on something it can fire on ya
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Old 29-03-2014, 14:51   #24
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Re: Selecting an offshore PFD

I have 2 mustang inflatables that I fly with every month. This is only in the US to different ports in the Gulf of Mexico. 1 is in my carryon and the other with 2 recharge kits is in my checked baggage I have been using them in extreme conditions sense 2010 and have never had them go off on me.
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Old 15-07-2015, 17:31   #25
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Re: Selecting an offshore PFD

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Some airlines allow them and some don't. At this stage I just pack them in my checked luggage, cylinder and all and have yet to be stopped. I don't inform the airline

I'd never try bringing them through security as hand luggage. No way I suspect they'd get allowed
They are always allowed through any USA TSA security checkpoint. It's the airlines that have policies which sometimes disallow them as hand luggage.

Google this: TSA prohibited item list

and you will find the current TSA regs on their website, which confirm that 2 self inflating PFDs (and 2 spare CO2 cartridges) can be taken as both checked and carry-on luggage.

As to the airlines - some allow them, some don't.
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Old 15-07-2015, 19:09   #26
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Re: Selecting an offshore PFD

I just checked the CATSR's (Canadian Air Transportation Security Regulations), the guidelines sound identical to the American Regs, but it is recommended you print a copy of the guidelines and store it with the cartridges so the screening people have the literature there in front of them for reference, it will save them having to call an inspector to verify legality and will help your baggage show up at the same time as you.

Generally if the Americans permit it its going to be okay with nearly any country, except those that are more paranoid about air safety than the US- which is almost nobody, except maybe India or Israel.

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Old 15-07-2015, 19:37   #27
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Re: Selecting an offshore PFD

In the water in large breaking seas, a spray hood is almost essential. IMO. Can be retro-fitted to many inflatables.
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Old 15-07-2015, 20:05   #28
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Re: Selecting an offshore PFD

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Originally Posted by u4ea32 View Post
IMHO and experience, do NOT get an automatically inflating jacket. When it gets really wet, it will automatically open. So when you wash off some spaghetti sauce, when you hang it in a wet locker with wet foulies, when you get nailed on the foredeck, when you are in a tropical downpour, you get the surprise of an explosively inflating life jacket.

Sounds good, cost more, works poorly underway, especially in conditions you might actually wear it.

IMHO and experience, the best, by very far, are the jackets that use a thin layer (.1 or .2 inch) closed cell foam for insulation. While not approved by bureaucrats, they work much, much better in practice, especially in conditions you want to wear a PFD, and especially when you actually end up overboard.
Not quite accurate anymore.... Found this just today, USCG approved Type III PFD:

Stearns Windward Flotation Coat - Stearns | Fisheries Supply

HOWEVER, it is Type III, NOT a Type I offshore style PFD.

Buyer/user beware.

Just a thought, but.... That jacket might serve well as something to wear whilst underway offshore, then don a'top that your Type I PFD w/built-in harness according to your judgement. {Sort of like reefing.... the old "If you're thinking about putting on the PFD then it's definitely time to don it."}

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Old 05-08-2015, 11:13   #29
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Re: Selecting an offshore PFD

This video makes a good case for a crotch strap and spray hood.
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:37   #30
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Re: Selecting an offshore PFD

On the other hand, to quote Voltaire: "Don't let PERFECT be the enemy of GOOD-ENOUGH".

With respect to pfds, I thought this quote from the USCG web site was interesting:

  • How would you tell someone to safely cross the street? Would you be remiss if you didn’t warn them to look out for objects falling from the sky, like airplane and satellite parts? After all, things can fall out of the sky and kill you; however, the probability is very low. A pedestrian is much more likely to be struck by a car when crossing the street than by falling objects. Likewise, one is much more likely to drown while boating due to not wearing a PFD than wearing one with inadequate performance for conditions which occur only occasionally, and only at places and times that most boaters know to avoid. Additionally, the very best performing PFDs ever made, Type Is, provide only a small increase in probability of survival over a Type III PFD.
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