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Old 08-02-2009, 16:45   #1
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Need: Type 1 PFD for Child

Hi there. I have a 3 year old and we're looking for a type 1 PFD for him, preferably not the orange horse collar kind I grew up with. I seem to remember a thread on one of these forums years ago discussing this but can't seem to find it. Does anyone know if they make them more comfortable these days and if so, where to get one? We've just bought our boat and we're anxious to get him out on it asap!

Thanks.
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Old 08-02-2009, 18:39   #2
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Do you have a West Marine near you? You can find the new style at just about any marine supply store. I would suggest bringing your child with you so you can try them on him and make sure the fit is right and let him have a hand in picking it out. That will help make it more likely that he will keep it on without a fight

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Old 08-02-2009, 18:40   #3
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Ski jacket often times will be coast guard certified.

Also, for a little one you might want to look at some of the ones they have at a standard boating store. They have handles all over them, collars that cause them to float with their head protected, etc. The most important thing is that it is comfortable. West Marine usually does a good job.

I volunteer my boat for Heart of Sailing. We take autistic children out for a day sail. I have found for slightly older kids a Kayak life vest seems to work well. They don't like having any life vest that rides up around their neck when they sit down. Also, we have found that the little ones take to the life vests better if their parents wear one as well.
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Old 08-02-2009, 20:50   #4
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Thanks for the responses. We'll check out West Marine. I have a life jacket for him but specifically wanted the pdf 1...maybe they've gotten new ones in since I checked last.

Hi Cindy...we met you at the Annapolis Boat show this past October when you guys so graciously welcomed us on your boat! We're on the west coast now and just bought our cruising boat! 2 more years!

Take care.
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Old 09-02-2009, 00:40   #5
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Type 1's are for offshore and expensive.



Mustang Survival kids life jackets
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:51   #6
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I don't think you'll find a Type 1 PFD for a very small child. So-called "child-size" Type 1 PFDs are rated for persons under 90 Lbs, and will be too large for the typical 3-year old (35 - 50#?).

All lifejackets are clearly labelled with the appropriate weight range for the product. Check the label to match the weight range of your child.

To check for a good fit, pick the child up by the shoulders of the lifejacket. If the lifejacket fits, the child's chin and ears will not slip through.

You should look for the following safety features in your child’s lifejacket: large collar for head support, waist ties/gathers in front and back, a safety strap that goes between the legs to prevent the device from slipping over your child’s head, buckles on safety straps and reflective tape. You may also want to attach a non-metallic pealess whistle to the lifejacket. Also you should note that children’s lifejackets must be inherently buoyant (ie. not inflatable). Children come in many sizes and shapes. If a particular lifejacket style does not work well, try another one.
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Old 09-02-2009, 06:05   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monica View Post
Thanks for the responses. We'll check out West Marine. I have a life jacket for him but specifically wanted the pdf 1...maybe they've gotten new ones in since I checked last.

Hi Cindy...we met you at the Annapolis Boat show this past October when you guys so graciously welcomed us on your boat! We're on the west coast now and just bought our cruising boat! 2 more years!

Take care.

Hey Monica!
So happy to hear you got your boat! I want to hear all about it. It's funny, we meet a lot of "wanna be" cruisers especially around boat show time. And many never really go forth with the plans. But when you two left we looked at each other and said "these two really ARE going to go cruising." We knew. And I so glad we were right.

Could you consider a Type II for everyday use? The assumption being that you are always right with your son and if he goes in the drink you will be snatching him out pretty fast.

West Marine has some that are comfy Type 2 jackets. I thinks ours is a West Marine brand. Part of the deal is just breaking the thing in. The first few days of wearing it may feel funny, but they break in and the little guys get used to them and it becomes second nature.

Zach Aboard: Gunkholing Weekend
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Old 09-02-2009, 14:12   #8
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Type 1's are for offshore and expensive.



Mustang Survival kids life jackets
Thanks for the link....we will be going offshore.
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Old 09-02-2009, 15:07   #9
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Monica,

Whichever one you choose, make certain that it has a strap that goes between the child's legs. If not, the child could slip down and out of the life jacket when in the water.
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Old 12-02-2009, 13:59   #10
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Monica,
I was just at a Bass Pro Shop and they had kid's Type 1 PFD's there. The basic was $39.99

Good luck in finding what you need!
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Old 12-02-2009, 14:01   #11
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Type 1's are for offshore and expensive.



Mustang Survival kids life jackets

By the way, this is a TYPE 2
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Old 12-02-2009, 14:08   #12
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By the way - this is the kids type 1 for under 90 pounds... has the head flap but no crotch strap.

Seems like the Type 2 (mustang, stearns, etc) are "safer" because of the scaled sizes and crotch strap along with the head flap.

Anyone have some input on this?
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Old 12-02-2009, 14:48   #13
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When my kids are playing in the lake with their type IIs on, I've noticed that their chins are basically at water level. It has made me think that even in Puget Sound, the waves get big enough that they would struggle to keep their heads up enough to breathe.

Partly what got me started on this line of thought was that I felt that inflatable vests were a bad idea as there was yet another thing to maintain and fail. Then I discovered from the following link that most have the buoyancy of a type 1 pfd. Part of the testing showed that type 3s were inadequate in waves (as advertised on their label), so I started looking at how high the type 2s floated my kids. I think I have determined I need to get some type 1s in addition for true emergencies, or rough weather.

Another place in the link shows that type 2s float people 1 inch higher than type 3s.

John

BoatUS Foundation Findings Report #30: Inflatable Life Jackets Make the Grade - May 1998

In fact, the type III inherently buoyant vest-style life jacket proved the real eye-opener for our test crew who had to work hard treading water to keep their faces clear of the waves when using this device. When another test was conducted simulating an unconscious victim, those wearing the Type III inherently buoyant devices repeatedly sank well beneath the surface as the waves rolled over them.
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Old 12-02-2009, 21:29   #14
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Inflatables are type IV or V and not recommended for offshore or people that can not swim. They are easily damaged or fail to work if not maintained properly.

Personally I, and the wife too, we wear ski jackets all the time (mostly because they're warm) but keep the type I's available just inside the gangway entry. The type I will go on over the ski jackets. But for that matter we have survival suit's as well. The cold waters up north here will take out a person in 45 minutes. I don't even like SCUBA diving here in a wet suit.
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Old 12-02-2009, 21:49   #15
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"Inflatables are...easily damaged "
Actually, Mustang makes a couple that have ballistic Kevlar outer layers, they literally will stop a handgun shot without being punctures or losing buoyancy. I'd agree that an inflatable needs more care than a kapok mattress, but you can get an inflatable (for adults) with something like 54# of buoyancy, which will float you higher than the incredibly bulky and uncomfortable TypeI.

For a youngster, I'd expect a TypeI to be unacceptable (to the child) because of the bulk. Better to use a Type2 and set an example of all hands clipped in at all times offshore. If they can't reach the rail--the Type2 will be plenty good enough.
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