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Old 13-04-2008, 17:06   #1
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what kind of inflatable life jacket??

Hello all,

We need to purchase some new life jackets, are present ones are the old fashioned bulky kind. What are you using and what brand can you recomend? We are leaving in Sept. We will be doing alot of offshore work {east coast} and hopfully Bahamas/USVI. I would like to get a inflatable with harness? Any help would be apprecia. thanks Randy
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Old 13-04-2008, 18:45   #2
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Burke Auto Inflatable...

We have two Burke Auto Inflatable Lifejackets.

They are convenient and comfortable to wear.

My wife has to wear her's all the time on deck and there have been no complaints (about the lifejacket).
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Old 13-04-2008, 20:08   #3
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We've got the Revere type-5 auto-inflate with integral harness. I've also worn the WM auto-inflate, and others I can't remember. All of them are basically equivalently comfortable and don't get in the way of sailing - this is good because it makes our lifejacket guideline a bit easier to comply with.
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Old 18-04-2008, 18:49   #4
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I finally converted to auto inflats, but found that I really am MUCH HAPPIER with the ones that use the hydrostatic mechanism (you have to go about 6" underwater to make them go off) than the ones with the little soluble pill that in theory only goes off if you go in the water. The sales guys at West Marine and the "old salts" at my marina all said it'd never happen, but I've actually seen one go off after a long time stored in a really damp closet, and another go off when getting "pooped" and doused.

After wearing a few here and there, my only realy desireable traits are the hydrostatic activation, the harness integrated with the PFD, and the ability to fit some kind of crotch strap to the jacket if I am out in rougher weather and have it on over a lot of clothes.......it is supposed to be tight enough to not ride up, but with tons of layers, I like the extra security of knowing it's not going off over my head when someone grabs it to pull me back on board.
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Old 19-04-2008, 01:01   #5
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stored in a really damp closet,
That must have been one heck of a damp closet.

Crotch straps are a must. We both have inflatable jackets and neither have crotch straps. I didn't realise the difference it made till after we bought the jackets. I do have the harness built in though. That has been very handy.
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Old 20-04-2008, 15:53   #6
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[quote=Alan Wheeler;154048]That must have been one heck of a damp closet.quote]

Damp enough that I am sure the mold cloud from the inflation sequence was a site to behold. (Disclaimer --- not my PFD *or* my boat!)
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Old 20-04-2008, 16:36   #7
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My wife and I have Mustangs with integral harness and dissolving bobbin. It is very comfortable and easy to wear even in warm climates. I'll likely add 2 more to the boat for guests. They are the people most likely to go over and least likely to wear a PFD
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Old 27-05-2008, 15:28   #8
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Whatever you do take a 250 Newton meter jacket not the older tyupe with only 150 Nm floatation they will not turn you over if dressed in your wet gear , testing has shown and a crotch strap is a must and the best type is hydrostatic just try to rinse one equipped with a pill, my wife was amazed how fast it inflated just getting the salt off.
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Old 27-05-2008, 17:53   #9
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pfd for women

We are about to buy inflatable (auto and manual ) with integral harness PFD's. I am hesitant to get one without trying it on, but we don't have too many places to go to for trying them on. I am short/petite (5'2") and around size 6-8 and have heard that most of the standard inflatable PFD's out there are made for someone at least 5'6" and up.

Does anyone have any recommendations? Also, have any of you small women found one over another more comfortable because of . .um, chest build?

I've heard that Spinlock Deckvest is good for women, and it comes in different chest circumferance sizes. But they are VERY expensive ($365 and up).

Thanks!
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Old 27-05-2008, 19:05   #10
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I think that currently the best combined harness / PFD is the Spinlock Deckvest, but it sure as hell ain't cheap...
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Old 27-05-2008, 19:22   #11
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Just make sure you have enough real life jackets like Type 1 PFD's onboard for real emergency situations. I don't trust inflatables and I don't let people wear them while working on deck because positive flotation will never fail to inflate....its already inflated.

Has anyone ever seen a test to determine the failure rate of inflatable life jackets? I know with real life jackets the failure rate is 0.00%
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Old 27-05-2008, 19:30   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weaverani View Post
We are about to buy inflatable (auto and manual ) with integral harness PFD's. I am hesitant to get one without trying it on, but we don't have too many places to go to for trying them on. I am short/petite (5'2") and around size 6-8 and have heard that most of the standard inflatable PFD's out there are made for someone at least 5'6" and up
For what it's worth, I just asked my wife, who's about 5'4" and petite, she said she's happy with the type-V's we've got, which are from Revere - the ComfortMax automatic with built-in harness. While looking at the label just now, it does say minimum height is 5'5". Never noticed that before... Personally, I wouldn't wear anything except these sort of small+comfortable jackets - don't even know they are on and they don't get in the way at all. Just be sure not to get the manual cord wedged anywhere, or that's quite a surprise!
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Old 28-05-2008, 13:28   #13
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We have 2 of the Mustangs, auto inflate w/harness. These got the best reviews for comfort, and I agree.

Practical Sailor just arrived and has a new review of inflatables.
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Old 28-05-2008, 13:40   #14
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pfd for women

Hi, all, thanks for the advice. I found a place not far from our marina in Portsmouth RI which has the Revere, Mustang and Spinlock available to try on! You know where I'll be in the next few days.

I'm leaning towards the Spinlock, but the price is stopping me in my tracks. It will all come down mostly to fit, however , as if it doesn't fit me right, I won't use it, and if I won't use it, the money is down the drain anyway...
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Old 28-05-2008, 13:47   #15
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Interesting thread. We have SOSpenders and they are alright. I wasn't aware that you can now get pfd's with a hydrostatic release. We've had them auto inflate offwatch below and on deck when it was particularly sloppy. A bit of a bother.

Is it the Revere that has the hydrostatic and the crotch strap?
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