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Old 02-07-2019, 17:25   #31
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Re: AIS versus PLB - a dumb question

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Did a quick Google, even Worst Marine carries them and Iíll likely go to them
Donít usually give them much business but if theyíll bring one into the store for us to look at and try on, I think I will.
FWIW, I found mine to be very comfortable for long term wearing and even fairly good to sleep in without having to be dog tired first. The light on the pole or wand seems a worthwhile innovation. Like DH said, I suspect the included rescue knife might be hard to deploy in an emergency but I suppose it is better to have than not.

My local shop didn't have a great range of other high end PFDs to chose from so the Spinlock did stand head and shoulders above their other stock however I did try the following exercise.

Take each PFD on and off a few times, then look at other stuff in the shop for 20 or so minutes and then ask the guy to hand me a PFD while I kept my eyes shut. I then put each PFD on while keeping my eyes shut. By far the easiest was (in my case) the Spinlock. This was supposed to simulate trying to get a PFD on at zero dark thirty from fast asleep. I dunno the value of the exercise but it did give me confidence that wasn't hard to get the PFD on in a hurry.
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Old 02-07-2019, 18:18   #32
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AIS versus PLB - a dumb question

I understand, and of course you understand why I want her to try it in before we buy.
Current ones we bought used and didnít see them prior to. They would work I assume, but everything has been jury rigged on, the little light I think is probably worthless, and the AIS has to be manually deployed, a two step process, basically have to first remove the safety, then set it off, itís not automatic, and I think it would be better if it were.
Plus Iím not so sure it would hold your head up, many donít do that very well.
Ideal I think is one that if you got knocked silly and went overboard, it will automatically inflate, roll you over and hold you head out of the water, self deploy the light and AIS, requiring nothing from the wearer
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Old 02-07-2019, 19:16   #33
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Re: AIS versus PLB - a dumb question

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I understand, and of course you understand why I want her to try it in before we buy.
Current ones we bought used and didn’t see them prior to. They would work I assume, but everything has been jury rigged on, the little light I think is probably worthless, and the AIS has to be manually deployed, a two step process, basically have to first remove the safety, then set it off, it’s not automatic, and I think it would be better if it were......
Yes, I concur and IMO, it would be foolish to spend big dollars on a high end PFD if it doesn't fit or is uncomfortable and one only knows that by trying it on in the shop before purchase as you quite rightly post.

What fits comfortably for me doesn't mean it fits comfortably for someone else!

IMO, a proper PFD must have leg (or at least crotch) straps and spray hood - essential in rough water IMO.

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......
Ideal I think is one that if you got knocked silly and went overboard, it will automatically inflate, roll you over and hold you head out of the water, self deploy the light and AIS, requiring nothing from the wearer
FWIW as a data point, the spinlock (when fitted with the rescueME AIS MOB1) does all that. I assume there must be other quality PFDs that do it also.
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Old 02-07-2019, 20:09   #34
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Re: AIS versus PLB - a dumb question

The MOB1 ais/dsc sart fits inside my Crewsaver vest for auto launch
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Old 02-07-2019, 20:15   #35
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Re: AIS versus PLB - a dumb question

The AIS MOB is really a game changer. When one went off accidentally in Camden Maine harbor inside a boat (belonging to Panbo who was testing a bunch of them) it set off the alarm on my chartplotter 13 miles away in Vinalhaven with a chartplotter icon right in the harbor. I'm sure over 100 boats got that alarm - including the CG (who showed up on ch 16 right away trying to confirm it).

As said, the only thing a PLB is good for is recovering they body. Due to the outdated 1960's technology of EPIRBS/PLB's it takes about 20 minutes for the signal to even get to the CG. In Maine, that's already too long.

While I have two PDF's with AIS MOB's, I've also constructed a throwable using a belt pack automatic inflatable PDF with an AIS MOB slipped inside. You throw it and it inflates turning on the AIS and starting a strobe. The risk is that the antenna won't be clear of the water after inflation but I tried it twice and each time the antenna landed right side up (I disconnected the trigger to avoid a false alarm). In most cases, I'm assuming the person will swim over to it and put it on.

There's also a company making a throwable AIS MOB that looks like a buoy.
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