Originally Posted by rognvald
When daysailing, they are stored in a breathable nylon/mesh bag in the starboard lazarette. When passagemaking, they are hung on hooks along with our safety harnesses in the quarterberth for quick access. We have only used our lifejackets once in 25 years and that was at anchor in Newfound Harbor/Florida Keys when experiencing a spectacular storm, were hit by a waterspout/tornado(?) at night that spun the boat like a merry go round 8x around our two anchor rodes in a sky filled with incredible displays of cloud to ground lightning
and unbelievable wind
. We have never worn our lifejackets at sea as I do not trust the inflatables(we don't own them) and the kapok vests are too bulky to maneuver safely and easily. We do, however, wear safety harnesses in rough weather
and do abide by the USCG regulations
to carry the proper amount of lifejackets on our boat. Good luck and good sailing.
That sounds very like the plan that is beginning to emerge and locations apart we seem to be think very much the same way. Before moving here from the Uk we sailed on average 2000nm/year and rarely wore lifejacketseven in the tender
. that is not a boast, nor a recommendation, but merely an honest statement of the reality that is us and unlikely to change now our cruising ground is the ICW
from daytona Beach florida
to say Chesapeake going north and the Bahamas
going south. In the past we would sail in all weathers pretty much as we had very capable boats in which we had confidence. We occasionally wore harnessses in rough seas and that always seemed much more sensible than falling or being knocked overboard
so the combined new automatic inflation harness/lifejackets when they came out seemed a good compromise, light and comfortable and far less restrictive when working on deck
than the older stuff as well as being easy to don in a hurry. Deckwork nowadays is rare other than for anchoring
because our current
boat has in -mast reefing/furling as well as a roller reefing genoa
and so as already mentioned the reality is we will rarely use lifejackets except perhaps in the RIB
to go ashore in an anchorage, but we may be glad to clip on at times in the cockpit
if we meet with heavy seas as in perhaps crossing the gulf stream
with a contrary wind to the current
, avoidable with care but then sh1t happens as they say. However we have a) to comply with USCG rules and especially if guests are aboard and b) to keep our safety gear
readily to hand and in excellent condition for when/if we meet the perfect storm.
My thanks to all who replied and have contributed to my thoughts and my apologies to anyone who doesn't understand where I am personally coming from, I'm older perhaps than many and still harbour old fashioned ways, not to say bad habits!