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Old 07-09-2014, 21:29   #1
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Where to keep lifejackets tidily and to hand

OK so a simple question for US documented boat in USA waters. We are tidying up our on board inventory of lifejackets and similar stuff and collating what we are required to have for USCG requirements etc. Since we have some European stuff which we will use in practice but 'cannot count' as it is not USCG approved ( but is CE and /or Solas) plus we have a collection of USCG 'approved stuff inherited with the boat including 6 type 1 jackets and a bunch of soft throwable floating cushions as well as our own top of the range Hammar hydrostatic operated PFDs with integral safety harnesses and we need to find a convenient tidy home for them all. I am minded to keep the throwable cushions in a box bag we also inherited and put it in the RIB that hangs on our stern davits for use as as an extra seat. we have the type IV device CG requirement better covered with a stern rail mounted lifesling in a fiberglass case. I want to keep the in use stuff handy but tidy so where do other folks keep theirs. I am 'advised' that left laying on the bunks/settees where they were last removed is not an option any more nor is hung on hooks in the heads/toilet area that are reserved for towels and , apparently, make up bags etc. .
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Old 07-09-2014, 21:43   #2
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Re: Where to keep lifejackets tidily and to hand

I don't know. Mine are kept in the V birth shelf.
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Old 07-09-2014, 21:51   #3
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Re: Where to keep lifejackets tidily and to hand

Hanging locker just inside the companionway.
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Old 07-09-2014, 21:56   #4
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Re: Where to keep lifejackets tidily and to hand

Are the jackets in a bag or separate? If they are in one bag like mine, maybe you can hang them right over the back birth with a couple little lines tied off.. Just thinking out of the box here..
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Old 07-09-2014, 22:08   #5
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Re: Where to keep lifejackets tidily and to hand

Extras in a salon locker (in a cat this is just off the cockpit) in a neat stack with nothing on top of them.

Conventional PFDs in the lazerett or dingy (on davits). It never made sense to me to use inflatables in a dingy where they will either be stepped on or stolen while at the dock; it's not like we are going to carry them around.
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Old 08-09-2014, 00:54   #6
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Re: Where to keep lifejackets tidily and to hand

We keep ours in the wet gear locker at the bottom of the companion way. We also keep 2 life jackets in the dinghy as Australian law requirements are different in each state. Some say the life jackets need only be in the dinghy others say they must be worn especially in the dark or when operating a dinghy solo.

Hanging nets are also a good way to store bulky life jackets.

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Old 08-09-2014, 07:46   #7
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Re: Where to keep lifejackets tidily and to hand

Thanks for the comments so far but they are mostly conventional thinking but at at least it shows we sort of think alike. Our last boat was a 47 foot trawler we lived aboard which had an abundance of lockers and ideal ones up o the covered flybridge where we kept the lifejackets then. Our sailboat prior to that was a 41 footer which hd a dedicatedhanging locker for wet weathergear and space at the base of it for our lifejackets, but now we are squeezed into a mere 36 footer and are carrying many more lifejackets than before , mostly I guess asoverkill to make sure we comply with USCG rules. Our personal usejackets are hydrostatic auto inflating with built in harnesses, which are not USCG approved so we also have the foam filled bricks we inherited with the boat on purchase, we have 6 of these bricks even though we normally sail only as a couple, but the boat is 6-8 berth so could have up to 6 guests. We have also some (mouth inflating) inflatables that are very easy to use and can be worn partially inflated such that the collar area provides initial support whilst the rest is puffed up if you fall in. Theses latter are ideal for dinghy use as they are super compact to wear and can be stowed away in the under seat waterproof bag on our RIB when we go off shopping ashore etc. THe full foam USCG approved bricks are very bulky and currently we keep 3 in each of two side deck lockers ( it is a centre cockpit boat and there is only one cockpit locker) there are another two of these monsters laying around in the forecabin too. I'm thinking we will allocate one of the two hanging lockers in the forecabin to waterproofs and lifejackets as this cabin is not normally in use as we use the aft stateroom. It would be very nice to regain the under sidedeck lockers space for warps and suchlike.

Some mesh type hanging bags would be useful if we could find some, to put LJs in and keep them from getting tangled or caught up with other stuff. Open still to ideas and suggestions
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:22   #8
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Re: Where to keep lifejackets tidily and to hand

I like mine in the cockpit. If I do need one its stuff-all use downstairs hidden.

In a cockpit lazarrette I keep 2 or 3 Type 1 foam life jackets, some safety harnesses, torches etc.

I keep the other 6 or 8 PDFs below in a saloon locker.

My inflatable PDF1 I keep below, thats the one I wear at sea when its rough/night/deck work.

Now that I have a second EPIRB I will be leaving one in the cockpit lazarrette locker too
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:31   #9
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Re: Where to keep lifejackets tidily and to hand

I used to keep spare warps in the stern lockers, until I realized I never used them. Now they are stored nearer the CG of the boat. We only keep 4 PFDs in back (either stern locker or in the dingy) since we never actually use more than that. I would waste wet locker space on seldom used PFds; they'll just hold damp and not be used for years. Just pick a nice dedicated locker corner and stack them up, like any comercial boat. Lable it if you like.
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Old 08-09-2014, 15:26   #10
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Re: Where to keep lifejackets tidily and to hand

Robin3,

You might ask your "advisor" for some input. I'm not enthusiastic about the idea or loading up the dinghy with them.

Personally, I'd be tempted to sell off some of those, unless you're having to provide them for crew, and make a net shelf over the foot of one of the quarterberths for the rest, so they're in plain view.

We use throwable cushions for backrests in our cockpit, and stow our good inflatable harnesses in the hanging locker by the companionway. In addition, we have a dinghy bag with two more life jackets, and finally, some horsecollar vests that are stored in the locker at the foot of the outboard stbd quarterberth. When guest are present, we put them at the foot of the bed, and make each responsible for his/her own one.

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Old 08-09-2014, 18:05   #11
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Re: Where to keep lifejackets tidily and to hand

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Robin3,

You might ask your "advisor" for some input. I'm not enthusiastic about the idea or loading up the dinghy with them.

Personally, I'd be tempted to sell off some of those, unless you're having to provide them for crew, and make a net shelf over the foot of one of the quarterberths for the rest, so they're in plain view.

We use throwable cushions for backrests in our cockpit, and stow our good inflatable harnesses in the hanging locker by the companionway. In addition, we have a dinghy bag with two more life jackets, and finally, some horsecollar vests that are stored in the locker at the foot of the outboard stbd quarterberth. When guest are present, we put them at the foot of the bed, and make each responsible for his/her own one.

Ann
My 'advisor' is the one who tells me I need to tidy things, that is her current hobby or lifetime's work, telling me things like that. We don't have quarter berths on board this boat just a forward stateroom and an aft stateroom as they call them hereabouts . Putting them in the RIB in a waterproof bag seemed a good idea as these will never be worn by us and are only there on board to comply with the local CG approval legalities as we would ourselves only ever use our excellent but non-USCG acceptable UK/Eu/solas inflatable ones with their built in harnesses unless the harness attachment point itself had sunk out of sight on the principle that staying on board was always a better option . Along with state rooms we have proper tailored cockpit cushions and backrests and no need for an extra bunch of scatter cushions to trip over, hence again they are currently in a canvas box bag in the RIB dink.

I think there is an ideal opportunity for a clever inventor to come up with some stowage device(s) maybe a mesh covered coat hanger bag that can hang off the cabin handrails or in a locker?

We are required it seems to have one fully type approved jacket for every person on board but we are normally just two of us on board a 6-8 berth boat, so what if some neighbours stop by for a visit or Mr. Jobsworth from Law Enforcement doing a spot check assumes they might since we do have accommodation for them ?
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Old 08-09-2014, 18:35   #12
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Re: Where to keep lifejackets tidily and to hand

We keep ours around our collective necks. Having found myself in deep water once where the jackets went down with the ship, one realizes the only place it does any good is on you. When we have guests, we sort & issue proper jackets to each person. They are responsible to (preferable wear) manage their PFD. Any others well stored are on no consequence.
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Old 09-09-2014, 04:48   #13
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Re: Where to keep lifejackets tidily and to hand

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Originally Posted by Robin3 View Post

now we are squeezed into a mere 36 footer and are carrying many more lifejackets than before , mostly I guess asoverkill to make sure we comply with USCG rules. Our personal usejackets are hydrostatic auto inflating with built in harnesses, which are not USCG approved so we also have the foam filled bricks we inherited with the boat on purchase, we have 6 of these bricks even though we normally sail only as a couple, but the boat is 6-8 berth so could have up to 6 guests.

Perhaps by "berths" you don't mean separate staterooms... but I guess I'd be inclined to store stuff only used for guests... in guest quarters... to be pulled out only when guests are aboard.

We sorta do that with linens for guest berths. Stowed in the same place where guest kit would live. Guests arrive, they make up their berths thereby freeing up their lockers, they stow their kit, done deal.

FWIW, we keep 6 "bricks" in a purpose-built bag, with mesh seam around the top for breathing. And then the whole thing is stuffed away, only pulled out when we need it (which is pretty much never). Our own inflatables happen to be of the USCG-approved type, when worn.

We have a couple fanny pack inflatables, too. Useful for brief dinghy rides, and they fit inside out dinghy stowage compartments when we're ashore. They don't take up much space, and IIRC are approved when worn. If so, about 4-6 of those would fit in the same space as one "brick."

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Old 09-09-2014, 15:51   #14
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Re: Where to keep lifejackets tidily and to hand

Everybody I know uses inflatable PFDs and they always wear them.
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Old 09-09-2014, 16:34   #15
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Re: Where to keep lifejackets tidily and to hand

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Everybody I know uses inflatable PFDs and they always wear them.
Even in bed?

You are misunderstanding my question I think.

Because we carry a full complement of jackets to equal the number of adults we can sleep on board and these are in addition to my and my wife's Hammar hydrostatic automatic inflate ones with harnesses built in, but for USCG requirements we cannot count these as part of our inventory as they are European built ones, albeit absolute top of the range ones and with 275 Newton buoyancy instead of the usual 150N but theseare not marked 'USCG approved' So we have a proliferation of USCG approved red brick type 11s just so we are legal if boarded for inspection and at any time these are cluttering up both the limited lockers up top and on the bunks below. I'm sure we are not alone in this hence my question as to what others do with theirs.

OK, today I have moved the goalposts again slightly and have maybe simplified or maybe complicated things farther. I just bought me a new USCG approved 1-F type hammar hydrostatic jacket rated USCG type11, with built in harness too so can as a result reduce the existing type 11 red brick inventory by one. I also bought a West marine lifejacket organiser bag which will store up to 6 red brick type 11s and which can go up in the forecabin out of the way when, as is usual, we are sailing with just the two of us on board. We could also put this bag of bricks in the RIB when out and about in it to cover us then if challenged, although we have some very good mouth inflate pfds we prefer for tender use as they are super lightweight and stow easily in the bag fitted under the center thwart on the RIB for when we are walking ashore.THese latter are also not USCG approved because they are UK made.

Maybe I'm just being paranoid and we do not really need 6-8 type 11s if we are just 2 on board just because the boat Can sleep that many bodies. but who knows what Marine Patrol Officer Dibble will deem the number we need, (ie just two as we are only two peeps or 8 because the boat has 8 sleeping berths and, potentially, friends could call by anytime for a cuppa.) I want to comply, without going bankrupt if possible, whilst ensuring we do have the ability to continue to use what we had the other side of the Pond and happily used in all conditions for both cruising and offshore racing .

Confusing? you betcha!
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