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Old 07-08-2011, 19:08   #16
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Re: Children and Life Vests (PFD)

Jimbo485, I basically agree with you and we did the same when outside the USA. Just don't try it here if you visit as you will be stopped and fined everywhere you go.
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Old 07-08-2011, 19:12   #17
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Re: Children and Life Vests (PFD)

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Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
We are in the minority, but we refuse to take the nanny state along with us when it comes to kid safety and various other topics. As a yacht kid in the 80s, my brother, sister and I never used lifejackets. Cruising now, my 9 yo son only uses a life jacket when in an organized regatta for kids - where nanny rules apply. He can swim like a fish because I had him around my neck at 4 months of age while swimming underwater from one end of the pool to the other. Without mask or fins, he can now free dive down to 8 m and I would expect him to swim 10 miles if his life depended on it or to float around for 24 hours. If I insisted on a life jacket, he will not take the care that he currently does to avoid falling overboard. So he has become careful and responsible. Responsible enough to do night watches alone while we are doing passages. In Hopetown earlier this year, we saw the ridiculous sight of 2 adults and 2 dogs in that little harbor with < 5 knots of wind and all 4 were wearing life jackets. We took photos in between the giggles. If my son or our dog wore a lifejacket while in the dinghy, it would indicate my failure as a parent and pet owner to adequately teach them to swim. During night watches, he knows if he falls overboard, he will die and in the daytime, we might find him but it is not guaranteed. That ensures that he takes care and does not depend on anything apart from himself and his own common sense. The rules of the nanny state make people forget about common sense, seamanship and personal responsibility. Yachtie kids are great, especially if the nanny state crap stays behind and you, as parent / skipper decide what level of safety is appropriate for the kids / crew and the situation.
Yup. On the other hand, I've had guests that said they could swim and then began to sink when they went in the water.

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Old 07-08-2011, 19:20   #18
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Re: Children and Life Vests (PFD)

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Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
We are in the minority, but we refuse to take the nanny state along with us when it comes to kid safety and various other topics. As a yacht kid in the 80s, my brother, sister and I never used lifejackets. Cruising now, my 9 yo son only uses a life jacket when in an organized regatta for kids - where nanny rules apply. He can swim like a fish because I had him around my neck at 4 months of age while swimming underwater from one end of the pool to the other. Without mask or fins, he can now free dive down to 8 m and I would expect him to swim 10 miles if his life depended on it or to float around for 24 hours. If I insisted on a life jacket, he will not take the care that he currently does to avoid falling overboard. So he has become careful and responsible. Responsible enough to do night watches alone while we are doing passages. In Hopetown earlier this year, we saw the ridiculous sight of 2 adults and 2 dogs in that little harbor with < 5 knots of wind and all 4 were wearing life jackets. We took photos in between the giggles. If my son or our dog wore a lifejacket while in the dinghy, it would indicate my failure as a parent and pet owner to adequately teach them to swim. During night watches, he knows if he falls overboard, he will die and in the daytime, we might find him but it is not guaranteed. That ensures that he takes care and does not depend on anything apart from himself and his own common sense. The rules of the nanny state make people forget about common sense, seamanship and personal responsibility. Yachtie kids are great, especially if the nanny state crap stays behind and you, as parent / skipper decide what level of safety is appropriate for the kids / crew and the situation.
Does he swim like a fish when unconscious? Quite a feat.
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Old 07-08-2011, 19:24   #19
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Re: Children and Life Vests (PFD)

My Nephews and niece were born with PFDs. When they were little I had the one with the handle in the back. As adults they still wear inflatables.
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Old 07-08-2011, 19:31   #20
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Re: Children and Life Vests (PFD)

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Under the COLREGS, when anchored, you are not underway.
My bad. I confused under command and underway. Under-the-influence statutes are enforced to include anchored (not moored or docked) boats (at least here) and I assumed this was the same. It is not.
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Old 10-08-2011, 06:52   #21
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Re: Children and Life Vests (PFD)

Re: PFD use for kids: ours are 12 and 15, so the 15 year old is definitely rebelling at PFD use in dinghy in the USA, but the 12 year old wears his at our insistence. Outside the US (i.e., Bahamas, NW caribbean) we don't require kids to wear PFDs in dinghy unless with other kids doing watersports (wakeboarding behind dinghy, etc.), or if they take dinghy without adult in it (to go to friends boat, beach, etc.).
We do carry PFDs in the dinghy at all times, and we don't lock them (but the Bahamas have been pretty safe for petty theft).

Offshore sailing, we all wear PFDs in cockpit or on deck - inflatables for the adults and 15 year old, regular PFD for the 12 year old. Guests on passage must bring their own PFD or use one of ours, but they get worn. Go overboard at night on passage, and even with a PFD you're likely to die (and the kids know this), but I agree with the poster who notes that unconscious swimmers usually don't swim too well. We also don't drink alcohhol on passage. I realize the PFD/no alcohol policies when sailing offshore make us pretty conservative, but when anything unexpected happens offshore there's no room for error, I believe.

Re: enforcement of under the influence laws at anchor, I note the poster is in Maryland, as is Liberty currently. Dang, talk about a nanny state. Does this mean that when we're anchored for the night (or week, or month) that we're breaking the law by having wine with dinner, or sundowners, or too many of either? I guess guests have to worry about DWI - dinghying while intoxicated - when returning "home".
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:05   #22
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Re: Children and Life Vests (PFD)

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Re: enforcement of under the influence laws at anchor, I note the poster is in Maryland, as is Liberty currently. Dang, talk about a nanny state. Does this mean that when we're anchored for the night (or week, or month) that we're breaking the law by having wine with dinner, or sundowners, or too many of either? I guess guests have to worry about DWI - dinghying while intoxicated - when returning "home".
Regarding drinking at anchor, unlike motor vehical law, open alcohol is not prohibitied. Even in the most strict areas, only one operator on the boat needs to be unimpared, and really, even at anchor that seems like a good idea. When the a storm bursts open or another boater snags your cable, it wouldn't do to have everyone half in the bag. Although I certainly enjoy my afternoon beer, I've never been impared on the water. That would bother me.

Regarding DUI in tenders at night, yeah, that's really not smart. The tneders without lights are bad enough.

Regarding PFDs at anchor, while it is true they are not required, that isn't to say children and even teenagers and some adults should be unattended; the only close calls I have ever been around were in anchorages and involved either small children, teens who throught they could swim, or PWC zipping around where there were folks in the water. I don't think PFD regulation is needd, but vigilance is.
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:50   #23
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Re: Children and Life Vests (PFD)

Astral Bouyancy makes Fantastic Pfd's for sailing kids (or PDF if you are Keltan:0) We tried every type for kids and they are by far the best in terms of functionality and comfort. Astral Buoyancy Company Homepage they are not inflatable but our kids have worn them 24/7 on multi day rafting trips and we have a hard time getting them off to go to bed. Good luck!

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Old 12-08-2011, 10:39   #24
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Re: Children and Life Vests (PFD)

I agree with jimbo485.

I can't remember seeing an adult wearing a vest here in the lower Caribbean on a boat. I have seen a few children in dinghies wearing them. The only adults I have seen with vests in a dinghy motored up to a charter boat.

It doesn't make it right or safe, although while living on a boat, you do have to learn how to move about at all ages or be a dirt dweller.

Visiting children on my boat wear vest while we are under sail.

Most people I know put up netting around the deck for smaller children, especially if they are new on board.
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