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Old 05-19-2012
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Re: Inflatable PFDs in the south: Manual or Automatic?

My concerns with inflatables are not so much in the premature activation category as in the premature puncture category. I just have a problem with trusting ability to stay afloat to a balloon. There are just too many situations whereby one of these gets punctured or leaks from being punctured before or after deployment. I still wear a standard life jacket which is really not all that more uncomfortable than an inflatable. I have inflatables for guests but would give them regular jackets if time permitted in any abandon-ship situation.

Of course, being knocked overboard while single-handing is an entirely different situation than when there is someone else to steer the boat back. If offshore, I rely on being tethered 100% of the time, thus making a life jacket unnecessary. I mean what would be the point of floating and watching the boat disappear over the horizon? It would only prolong the inevitable.

Maybe someone should invent a little motorized life preserver/surfboard for us single-handers.
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