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Old 10-10-2013, 10:10   #1
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PFD Recommendations?

Hi there!

I am PFD-less and really could use a little guidance in shopping for one. I'm a short gal, barely 5'3 and 120 lbs. I need a comfortable, inflatable PFD, with a harness that would keep my head above water should I get knocked unconscious. I will be on the open water.

Ideally I would like to physically go shopping, but I am not sure if retailers in my area will have what I need. I would hope so, being that I'm in S. FL, but I'm new to sailing and I don't know where to go. I don't mind shopping online, but it sure would be nice to try before I buy.

Based on my build, can anyone recommend a specific PFD that might work for me?

Thanks a million!

~Lauren
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:01   #2
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Re: PFD Recommendations?

The type of life vest depends on your type of boating. Most vest are rate for type of boating. water sports, recreational, off shore and rated for buoyancy/person weight. The inflatable are becoming the more popular vest as they are not as bulky. Most vest are designed to keep you face up, floating on your back.

For a good offshore with harness you are looking at 200 to 300 dollares. Mustang is poplar for the type of vest you are looking for. However, Mustang does make vest that are sold under West Marine that is a little cheaper.There is probable a West Marina/general marina store close to you that can size/fit you.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:11   #3
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+1 for west marine or any other boat store too.


By the way. Only one post is needed all of your threads are visible now and it's a little annoying.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:14   #4
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Re: PFD Recommendations?

Thanks! I'm certainly willing to make that type of investment in a PFD. I've been meaning to check out our local West Marine as my first stop.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:22   #5
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Re: PFD Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
Thanks! I'm certainly willing to make that type of investment in a PFD. I've been meaning to check out our local West Marine as my first stop.
Also know life vest requitments for crew and passengers, especsially for children under 12. We have life vest ranging from infants to adult.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:26   #6
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Re: PFD Recommendations?

Asking lots of questions in different forums. Crap! My first faux pas... Gotta learn somehow I guess. Thanks for the heads up.

~Lauren
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:30   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
Asking lots of questions in different forums. Crap! My first faux pas... Gotta learn somehow I guess. Thanks for the heads up.

~Lauren
Actually it's the same question over and over, different questions is no big deal.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:35   #8
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Re: PFD Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Actually it's the same question over and over, different questions is no big deal.
I appreciate your honestly. Sincerely, thanks for the heads up!

~Lauren
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:48   #9
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Re: PFD Recommendations?

If you do buy an inflatable, make sure that it has a metal tie off point (I.e. tie off ring.)
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:15   #10
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Re: PFD Recommendations?

Hmm why does this thread have a tag " men", weird.

Anyways, be sure to get the tightest fitting harness that is comfortable. When you take it back to the boat try to hang from it like you would if you fell overboard. The easiest way to simulate this is to hook up your harness to a halyard and hoist just a couple inches off the deck. While hanging, raise your arms up, move around, get a feel for what it would be like if you really needed it. Also I'd recommend buying two or more rearming kits and go ahead and inflate it. Get a feel for how it inflates, it will be very tight around the neck, and as it inflates, automatically push your chin up. A bit startling really, that's why it good to pull the cord now, so ya know what to expect. Now you will have practice rearming it and packing it back up. You will want to know how to do this before you head offshore.
Check out the Spinlocks, they seem to have the best sizing. You are probably a small but you might be an extra small depending on your frame and build.

Some threads about PFD for women

Offshore sailing vest with harness for woman under 5'5"??

Girl Overboard !

Life Jacket for Ladies

Good luck and have fun.
Erika
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:33   #11
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Re: PFD Recommendations?

[QUOTE=Ocean Girl;1361307]Hmm why does this thread have a tag " men", weird.

Hey, Erika. Thanks for pointing that out. I didn't intentionally put any tags on this post. Working on an iPad here, so maybe my finger touched something. I dunno. I took the "men" tag off. Learning as I go...

Thanks for the links and tips on PFD fit. I really appreciate them. I'm a mother and will be a new passenger/crew member in January. Doing a little research before I get in the boat.

~Lauren
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:43   #12
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Re: PFD Recommendations?

I use inflatable Mustangs when not wearing my Mustang Suit, note you have to replace the CO2 cartages in a certain time period, when they are out of date I pop them and see if they would have worked (they have always worked) and that the pdf doesn't have a hole in it that is hidden (I have never found a hole).
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Old 10-10-2013, 13:20   #13
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Re: PFD Recommendations?

I have a Mustang pro model with harness which I'm very happy with, except for the price of the rearm kits ($60+, ouch), so take into account the cost of the kits when you buy. You really should blow one of them as a practice run, not only to know what to expect if/when the thing inflates, but also to become familiar with how to rearm it.

Be aware that not all inflatable PFDs can work as a harness. The harness needs to be built into it, or you need to wear the PFD on top of an existing harness. There are pros and cons to each; with the integrated model, if you need to cut away your harness...you lose your PFD as well. Integrated units are generally more comfortable than wearing separate pieces, and it is easier to get the whole thing to fit snugly and properly.

No matter what vest you get, BUY CROTCH STRAPS for it, which shockingly very very few come with standard. No PDF or tether is going to be much good if you slip out of the whole thing as you go over the side.

Spinlock Deckvests, very cool looking and very expensive, had a great name with offshore racers...until in a recent west coast race 4 out of 5 of them failed to inflate properly due to a flaw in the design of bladder attachment points to the collar.
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Old 10-10-2013, 13:51   #14
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Re: PFD Recommendations?

The issue of PFDs and a harness has puzzled me, when harnessed offshore, I don't wear a PFD as my harness won't let me go overboard..........
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Old 10-10-2013, 13:59   #15
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Re: PFD Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
I have a Mustang pro model with harness which I'm very happy with, except for the price of the rearm kits ($60+, ouch), so take into account the cost of the kits when you buy. You really should blow one of them as a practice run, not only to know what to expect if/when the thing inflates, but also to become familiar with how to rearm it.

Be aware that not all inflatable PFDs can work as a harness. The harness needs to be built into it, or you need to wear the PFD on top of an existing harness. There are pros and cons to each; with the integrated model, if you need to cut away your harness...you lose your PFD as well. Integrated units are generally more comfortable than wearing separate pieces, and it is easier to get the whole thing to fit snugly and properly.

No matter what vest you get, BUY CROTCH STRAPS for it, which shockingly very very few come with standard. No PDF or tether is going to be much good if you slip out of the whole thing as you go over the side.

Spinlock Deckvests, very cool looking and very expensive, had a great name with offshore racers...until in a recent west coast race 4 out of 5 of them failed to inflate properly due to a flaw in the design of bladder attachment points to the collar.


Try Steveston Marine much cheaper than $60+



Steveston Marine: marine, boating, and fishing supplies
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