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Old 06-04-2010
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Dinghy sailor seeking some PFD recommendations

Looking for some input on PFD/floatation aid choice. I am in the US, sailing laser, dinghy, etc, inland waters/the Gorge. I am fairly new to sailing and have been using a whitewater pfd. I am finding it restrictive, snagging boom, generally slowing my movements across boat and balance/speed. Especially irksome is the upper back region and shoulders of the pfd, as that is what snags the boom. I feel like the Michelin (wo)man. I have tried about 20 or more different pfd's and a few are a slight improvement, but... I am debating whether to go w/ a Zhik or Gill flotation aid type of "pfd" (they are not Coast Guard approved here in the states), as they have a sleeker profile. I sail alone much of the time (though almost never out of sight of other boats), so I have concerns about amount of flotation offered and safety. I'm about 140lbs and usually in wet suit. Anyone got any input, arguments for/against Gill/Zhik, experiences or recommendations to share? I'm about ready to start dissecting PFD's and shape, reconstruct/sew with neoprene to make one that works. Gotta be something better! Thanks in advance - Cheers -Andy
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