Originally Posted by northoceanbeach
I was thinking about getting a life jacket and I wondered how many people wear them and when. Please discuss other safety devices you find essential.
I have never worn a life jacket sailing but with the new(to me at least) auto inflatable kinds I'm interested. I'm sure most of you have one. Do you like it?
Do you wear your pfd at all times or only in rough conditions. Do you tether yourself to the boat?
Keep in mind I have never been more than 10-20 miles from land so alot of you will have more experience than I. I'm also now sailing in a cold place and I single hand so I could see great value in a confortable inflatable with tether. If I fell off on rough water I could die. Could. Depends on what the boat decided to do and other factors.
We live in warm water, so what I/we do is likely different from what you would do. We almost never wear any kind of pfd while racing unless it's blowing (usually anything > 15 kts for sure) or doing something off-shore. When we race up and down the coast and it's nice (during the daytime and in similar wind) we do the same as inshore (no pfd). Beyond that, we wear pfd's anytime at night, and are tethered somewhere to a secure point. I have this years' model spinlock deckvest, but a west marine tether- the clips are easier to one-hand.
When singlehanding in light/moderate breeze I wear a plain harness and tether in only when doing something I perceive as risky, but I don't run jacklines when out daysailing by myself. Again, if it's > 15, then I'll wear the pfd and run jacklines and tether at all times.