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Old 25-04-2022, 09:15   #1
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Outfitting a new vest

New to offshore sailing and just invested in a Spinlock 6D vest. At least in the short term I don't think I will need an MOB or PLB but I am curious what if anything else that you keep attached to your vest. Maybe a knife of some kind? What would you suggest here? Do I need to buy the attaching chest pack or is that too bulky? Is there a good way to attach a small handheld VHF? Is that something that you would consider a good next investment?
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Old 25-04-2022, 10:14   #2
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Re: Outfitting a new vest

Welcome to the forum CnJ!
I keep a small knife, flashlight, and whistle on my vest, sailing freshwater inland.
I have been in situations needing the knife and the light, so far not the whistle...
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Old 25-04-2022, 11:17   #3
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Re: Outfitting a new vest

Welcome to the the site Chris and Jeanne. I hope that the forum helps you with decent answers and don't hold back on posting your views.

Spinlock make a light for their jackets. It's an optional extra called a Pylon Lifejacket Light and I'd definitely add one to my kit. VHF not so much. Whistle yes. EPIRB or PLB will get you found alive or dead. You'll also need a tether. Personally I wouldn't bother with a chest or belt pack either. The idea is to stay on the boat where all the stuff is.
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Old 25-04-2022, 13:22   #4
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Re: Outfitting a new vest

SeaAngel AIS Beacon with your vessels Vhf
MMSI number loaded
Enable DSC Alarms and if you go
over the alarm will wake the dead.
I have mine actually tucked into my deckvest
set up for auto deploy
Only limiting thing is you need an Android
device to change numbers if you are on different
boats
I was taught that your best chance of
being recovered. alive is by the boat you fell
off of. They are the closest, but they have to know
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Old 25-04-2022, 13:44   #5
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Re: Outfitting a new vest

I attached safety knives, water-activated lights, and whistles to all of the PFDs on board. One problem is that there's no good way to attach the knife sheaths to the PFDs without cutting and/or resewing something.
I did recently buy a spinlock deckvest, with the pouch. It is not too bulky - but it ends up in your armpit.
A way to clip a VHF on might be handy but I currently have no scenario where I'd use it that way. On larger boats, when the crew was out of voice range from the helm, sometimes we did.

The reason I got busy retrofitting all the PFDs was the account of a forum member who's boat sank, leaving him injured and floating in his PFD in the Atlantic in the dark. The infrared search footage from the CG aircraft was posted on line. The only way they finally located him was by the glow of the screen from his Garmin InReach, at the last minute.
I decided I want to be lit up better than that! Also set an alert on my calendar app to remind me to replace all the batteries each year.
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Old 25-04-2022, 16:50   #6
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Re: Outfitting a new vest

I once did a trip with a guy that had so many things fitted to his PFD he could hardly move.

End result: he didnít wear it because it was so uncomfortable.

Me: my PFD has a light and hood fitted. Iíve added an AIS MOB.
I carry everything else in my pockets - usually a PLB and a knife. Sometimes my phone for navigation.

I use my PLB for off-boat activities (eg camping, hiking, motorbike touring) so donít want to permanently attach it to my PFD.

The knife I carry can vary over the trip: typically I carry one with lots of functions for the first day or so when Iím doing more fiddling. Once things settle down, I carry a more basic knife.
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Old 25-04-2022, 17:09   #7
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Re: Outfitting a new vest

Lights and whistles fit inside the folded PFD, attached to the manual inflator. (Or integrated in the case of Spinlock) You don't see them until it inflates.

The "knife" I added is quite a small thing, and comes with a sheath.

(The Captains PFD has more of a multitool thing.) But it's not straightforward to attach.
The oldest PFD has a pocket for such things. The newest - well as mentioned above, you have to pay extra for the pocket.
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Old 25-04-2022, 17:17   #8
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Re: Outfitting a new vest

I have a quick release knife ready (one that comes out of a sheath, not a bosun's knife,) a hold-over from river guide days, and a really loud whistle that can be heard over wind and waves, little strobe and PLB. Haven't needed any of them yet, knock on wood. The only drawback of my kit is that the knife/sheath can snag on lines, just something to watch out for.
Welcome aboard BTW!
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Old 26-04-2022, 02:23   #9
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Re: Outfitting a new vest

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, ChrisnJeanne.
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Old 26-04-2022, 06:15   #10
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Re: Outfitting a new vest

I also have the Spinlock (and a Kong tether), which Iíve used offshore. I could not figure how to attach anything to the Spinlock, so Iíve recently purchased the chest pocket. If I get wet, I want my PLB with me.
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Old 26-04-2022, 07:15   #11
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Re: Outfitting a new vest

I believe that light (strobe) & whistle are basic stuff, inside the PFD.
No need for delibaration.
These does not add any bulk that should hinder wearing/use.
Now for extras, depends on area and type of sailing.
Offshore/heavy weather - Personal AIS and tether.
I have (from days of ocean sailing) a tether with three ends. With this you can connect to new point before releasing the old point. May be too much for clement inshore dailing.
If you use a tether, you should have a knife.
On the PFD or on your belt.
As an aside comment: if you use a tether on a safety line, my advise is to install the safety line aling the center of the boat, not along the toerails.
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Old 26-04-2022, 16:32   #12
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Re: Outfitting a new vest

light, whistle, knife, dye packet, PLB
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Old 27-04-2022, 07:55   #13
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Re: Outfitting a new vest

Personal AIS. My deckvest came with a tether cutter built in, also light & whistle. I changed the whistle for an extra loud type. My tether lifeline is attached via a snapshackle for quick release. I deliberated about doing that as i always previously used a Gibb hook but in the end decided the risk of accidental release was less than the risk of not being able to release instantly if necessary…?
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