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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising and Sailing with Children
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Cruising and Sailing with Children All things sailing and kids related, from safety to life aboard.


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  #21  
Old 03-14-2010
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However, when the Chesapeake gets windless and 98F and the water is nearly as warm...

Quote:
Originally Posted by T37Chef View Post
Good find DH, thanks, maybe this is a better way to go...
... a harness allows for a cooler alternative, when the circumstances allow. Get both. There were many days when wearing a PFD full time would have meant staying home - little ones don't have the heat tolerance of adults. The danger of heatstroke would rival the danger of drowning.

That said, a little one can never be out of adult sight. Tape em' down, if you have to.
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  #22  
Old 03-14-2010
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Very good point...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
... a harness allows for a cooler alternative, when the circumstances allow. Get both. There were many days when wearing a PFD full time would have meant staying home - little ones don't have the heat tolerance of adults. The danger of heatstroke would rival the danger of drowning.

That said, a little one can never be out of adult sight. Tape em' down, if you have to.
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  #23  
Old 03-15-2010
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A PFD does not replace a tether and harness either. A PFD is nice to grab the child gone over board, that's all. It does not prevent the child form being drowned. When my son (2) went over board in the harbour (with a Secumar PFD, correct size, but no tether nor harness) he turned face down DUE TO THE BUOYANCY OF THE DIAPERS.

When I complained about that the seller told me I should have read the tag in the inside of the PFD more closely. It says "full performance may not be achieved using certain clothing or in other circumstances".

So I read the tag more closely and found that it is "not compatible with safety harness!" as well.

Luis



Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
IMHO, you'd be better off getting the ones that attach to the tether on the back. The reason for this is simple. If they fall overboard and are being dragged face forward, they will likely drown before you can stop the boat. If the harness and tether attach on the back, they will be dragged backwards through the water and there is far less chance of them drowning.

Be aware that a tether and harness does not replace a PFD...
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Last edited by Alden44GER; 03-15-2010 at 08:20 AM.
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  #24  
Old 03-15-2010
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We dont use them. I am not against them per se, and every parent has to make that decision based upon their child(s) ability to swim, your comfort level with the boat, your rules and location.

We sail in warm waters. Our kids have always been on a boat if not living aboard. They can both swim. However, the standing rule on the boat is the second they come up the companionway, their life jacket has to be on. They cannot go forward without permission (which requires me watching them). In nasty weather, we send them down below.

THat is the system that works for us. Others may feel differently and should act to their comfort level. I will say that we will likely be buying Chase (my oldest) an inflateable with harness soon as our destinations may require him having to go forward with me in less than ideal conditions. However, many of you have no interest in bluewater sailing/passages, and that might be an overkill.

I am not in any way trying to waver anyones opinion. I am only telling you what we do and what works for us.

Brian

PS Mustang it top notch good stuff. If you want a headrest with crotch strap, I would buy nothing else. If your child cannot swim well, I would buy nothing else. For inflateables, we lean to Sospenders with harness, but that is just our preference.
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  #25  
Old 03-15-2010
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T37Chef,

As you've seen from the responses, there are different views on this subject. Here are mine:

Quote:

Standing Rules

PFDs --

Non-swimmers -- Regardless of age, must wear a life jacket (pfd) at all times while on deck, dock, dinghy.

Swimmers

-- 12 and under, at all times when underway (per USCG rules), on deck, dock, dinghy

-- Over 12, as conditions and course warrant


Harnesses -- Subject to exceptions noted below,

- Off-shore, used at all times (day/night, fair/foul weather) when on deck

- In-shore/coastal, as conditions and crew contingent dictate

Exceptions:

- Harnesses will be worn in-shore/coastal for overnight passages

- Harnesses will be worn in-shore/coastal when water temps present increased risk of hypothermia

- Harnesses will be used in-shore/coastal when solo- or effectively solo-sailing

- Harnesses may be omitted when parents conclude risk to young children from using is greater than benefit

So, we would always have any non-swimmer wear a pfd. Wearing a harness is not a substitute. Case closed.

Harnesses have their place too. But, harnesses can be tricky with some young kids, particularly toddlers. They only work if the individual is clipped in -- yet kids can unclip in a flash. And as another member pointed out, just like at home/on land, there can be a very serious risk of strangulation when toddlers have unsupervised access to chords, lines, etc.

Sometimes that risk is of the accidental kind, other times it is deliberate on the part of the toddler. But it is very real and you only need to go look at the statistics. Toddlers and chords are not a good combination.

Ultimately, there is no substitute for vigilance. Having young kids aboard does add stress for the parents, and neither pfds nor harnesses are a cure-all. But once kids become competent swimmers, and they are at least able to maintain their heads above water while wearing the pfd, the margin of safety does improve. So early swimming lessons are important too.

We've always favored the Mustang pfds for our kids. But that Crewsaver pfd to which Docksaver linked is a very nice unit.
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Last edited by JohnRPollard; 03-15-2010 at 09:11 AM.
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  #26  
Old 03-15-2010
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JRP—

Sensible set of rules. I'd point out that being in the cockpit on most boats requires the wearing of PFDs by children in many states. Only being down below, in the cabin, removes that requirement.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #27  
Old 03-15-2010
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Thanks for the responses, all good. I really appreciate the time spent in discussing the pros and con and all the information.

I think I will buy the one from defender and use it as we feel its needed.

Not that I agree with the MD law, but my understanding is PFD's are not required to be worn on a boat over 21 ft in length?

"Maryland law states that all children under the age of 7 must WEAR a United States Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device (life jacket - Type I, II, III or V) while underway on a recreational vessel under 21 feet in length on Maryland waters."
Maryland Department of Natural Resources - Boating
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  #28  
Old 03-15-2010
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  #29  
Old 03-15-2010
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Believe PFDs are required unless the kids are in the cabin.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #30  
Old 03-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyt View Post
sorry for the high jack shawn.

as for the harness does anybody make a pfd for kids with a built in harness, or seen a strong lifting handle a tether could be attached to? doing a harness and a separate pfd seems like it could get annoying to all involved
agreed! Would be nice if extrasport or others would just make a standard life vest with a built in harness. I'm still never comfortable trusting inflatables, and the expense of these for kids, hell adults for that matter, seems pretty silly. (no, please don't 'what's your life worth' me... the cheaper option we know works each and every time. The expensive option is merely more 'comfortable'. Yes, I'm stupid and have both. End of rant. Carry on.
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