I'd say its personal preference. If I was a complete non-swimmer, I'd shy away from an inflatable PFD, just because there's that much more to do while pannicked and choking on sea water
. In a colder climate (such as my current
location in Southeast Alaska), I highly recommend Mustang jackets. They're warm, easy to move around in, and can be worn as an ordinary jacket on a cold day. Plus, they float. If you really want an inflatable, I would use one that is already on a collar around your neck. Then, the only action necessary would be to pull the cord. There are some that are automatically deploying when they hit salt water
, but the problem with these is that a bit of spray in the wrong place and all of a sudden you have a bulky PFD inflated around your neck. It happens...take it from experience. The rest of that Annapolis
to Newport race
was a bit uncomfortable. For warmer climates, I have also seen some vest style, low profile PFDs that look fairly comfortable. I'd shy away from the horse collar ones, except if the boat
is sinking, because it's hard to work
in them. Just my two cents worth.