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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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  #11  
Old 03-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
I would suggest there are no inflateable PFDs suitable for very young children. Children,by their nature, run into all kinds of things and don't think twice about it. Inflateable PFDs are easily damaged or punctured or triggered, and then they are worthless.

Better to put them in "waterski" type vests that are more comfy, and available in bright colors with their favorite heros or cartoon characters on them. At least you KNOW that will still work, no matter what the kids get into.
the only (and big) problem with ski vests is they won't turn the kid face up. necessary for little kids.
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Old 03-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamstimer View Post
At what age do you all think an inflatable would be Ok? My older one is 8 years, I assume she will be ok with that.
It may vary from country to country - in Canada 16 years old.

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Don't tell me you all wear rigid jackets. Btw, Pdqaltair aside, do you all wear your lifejackets all the time? Honestly...

Thanks, I'm glad to be here (first day)!
I wear an inflatable underway at all times. It does not count unless you are wearing it.
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  #13  
Old 03-08-2011
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Originally Posted by Dreamstimer View Post
Sorry for not mentioning, I made a few other posts today. I'm in Romania, my trip will be in the Aegean, Cyclades. The temperature is supposed to be quite high (close to 100F at shore), so a rigid vest will be unpleasant for the kid. I don't want to make any compromise on safety either.
Lalizas (Welcome to LALIZAS S.A., Immersion suit manufacturer) have mentioned inflatable are possible for kids above 20kg in weight. Considering it's a Greek company, I suppose standards are different but still, this should be EU compliant.
Cormeum, aren't the inflatables supposed to self-inflate at water contact? I realize you can't rely solely on these, but then the parent should be near.
I will take a look at the Mustangs, but am really concerned about the discomfort in such heat. If you visited Greece you know what I'm talking about.
I have sailed a bit in Greece -- along the mainland, the Peloponnese, through the Dodecanes, Cyclades, the Ionian coast, etc. That was a particularly hot summer, when it hit 49 C in Athens. Out in the islands, the Meltemi was blowing and it was fairly chilly on the boat while underway - we wore layers.

If you are going during the time of year when the Meltemi will be blowing, your kids will appreciate the warmth of the standard PFDs.

As others mentioned, in North America inflatables are not approved for use for children under 16 years of age. So we don't have any on the market here. I took a look at the one you mentioned ( Child's Inflatable PFD ), and indeed it seems that europeans have more choices on these than North Americans do.

I still prefer the fail-safe foam jackets for kids, but if it's a choice between no pfd and these inflatables -- definitely go with the inflatables. And if you do go with the inflatables for your kids -- it would be great if you could report back and let us know how it worked out. Hopefully, you'll have no cause to inflate them, but it would be nice to hear about comfort/practicality, etc.

Have fun!
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Old 03-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamstimer View Post
At what age do you all think an inflatable would be Ok? My older one is 8 years, I assume she will be ok with that.
Don't tell me you all wear rigid jackets. Btw, Pdqaltair aside, do you all wear your lifejackets all the time? Honestly...

Thanks, I'm glad to be here (first day)!
A single jackline can be rigged in minutes using a spring line from front cleat to aft (this is what you do when delivering a boat that is ill equipped--been there). We're not talking Southern Ocean here, and the kids would not be on deck in the rough. In fact, if it is rough you'll need the jacklines.

It's cold here in Maryland now. PFD every time in the tender and the harness goes on before I leave the dock (I am forced to sail single-handed in cool weather it seems). I'm not a fool; I tailor my precautions to the situation and cold water kills.
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Old 03-22-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
A single jackline can be rigged in minutes using a spring line from front cleat to aft (this is what you do when delivering a boat that is ill equipped--been there). We're not talking Southern Ocean here, and the kids would not be on deck in the rough. In fact, if it is rough you'll need the jacklines.

It's cold here in Maryland now. PFD every time in the tender and the harness goes on before I leave the dock (I am forced to sail single-handed in cool weather it seems). I'm not a fool; I tailor my precautions to the situation and cold water kills.
I really coudln't agree more with your general approach.....

The benefit of modern sailing is all this helpful information, advise and regulation.....the problem with modern sailing is all this helpful information, advise and regulation

Yes of course we all have to be legal, but more importantly common sense surely should dictate that we all think carefully about what we believe to be safe or not on any given day on our vessels.

Here in Australia I find at times I act far more conservatively than regulations require.......but then at other times I may be more relaxed than the regulations allow.

See that is the problem with regulations and law......they can't think for themselves, they can't look out the window and use their experience and instincts to make decisions.

I can, and I will continue to be the LAST say when it comes to deciding matters related to the safety of my family.

So my advice is forget what is legal, acceptable, popular or common............

Instead do your research.....imagine the imaginable, which is losing a loved one overboard....Check the inflatable's kids PFD's out and try them on......weigh the pros and cons....work out what your protocol will be for when everyone will/will not be wearing a PFD and to what degree comfort will play a factor in enforcing this......

......and then make a decision....

it will be the right decision/a good decision as it will be your decision, not what some bureaucrat thinks.

To answer your other question about people's real practice.....my wife and I are experienced sailors and we generally wear our 'full kit' when offshore in most conditions. Our full kit consists of PFD/Harness combo's with lights/whistles and PLB's.

There are times when we won't wear this offshore, if conditions are placid and we are both together in the cockpit, we may not...........but our instincts are strong and if one of us goes below, normally the other will immediately kit up and clip on.

Inshore we generally don't wear our kits at all......however we have a lifesling, inflatable danbouy(patented aussie design), and throwing bag at the ready.

We play a game with each other......we have an older worn life-buoy with a big moustache and pretty eyes drawn on called Fred. Regularly and randomly we like to throw Fred overboard when the other person is not paying attention at all and this thereby constitutes a man overboard.

To date Fred has always been back onboard within a few minutes.

However I have to reiterate that when offshore we are of the belief that prevention is far better than cure. We were both taught by offshore racing types who bashed into us that a man overboard offshore is a dead man.
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Last edited by chall03; 03-22-2011 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 03-23-2011
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I have an 8 yr old grandson who wears a waterski-type PFD when we go sailing and he doesn't complain, because he knows it's not a negotiable issue. If you are really concerned in an open water situation, a tether is a good idea, but I' avoid round jacklines--except as a last resort--because they will roll underfoot and could send you flying. Flat nylon webbing seems to be the standard here.
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Old 03-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
Unless there's something new on the market, I'm not aware of any inflatable PFDs that are approved by the USCG for use with children. I
Agree!
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Old 03-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fallard View Post
I have an 8 yr old grandson who wears a waterski-type PFD when we go sailing and he doesn't complain, because he knows it's not a negotiable issue. If you are really concerned in an open water situation, a tether is a good idea, but I' avoid round jacklines--except as a last resort--because they will roll underfoot and could send you flying. Flat nylon webbing seems to be the standard here.
Agreed. However, I was dirrecting my comments to the OP:
* It's a charter. Rope is what he will have. Actually, it can work very well if you are able to route it carefully; this is boat specific. When it works, it is easier to handle than webbing. Another reason people like webbing is that it is not vissually confused with running rigging (lazy jib sheets etc.), which is a very valid point.
* It's very hot there, not like CT. There are many places where a full PFD is not just hot, it's courting heat stroke. I'm not saying you don't wear a PFD; I'm saying there is more to think about, since heatstroke is a very real danger in small children. I too have sailed in very hot areas.
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Old 03-29-2011
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USCG approval is all well and good--but it is not always relevant. When I bought my PFD there was no such thing as USCG approval for inflateable PFDs, at all, for anyone. There were (and are) other approvals overseas and I continue to wear one that has gotten excellent tests and reviews in water--but has never been submitted for US approval at all.

If you've ever seen video taken of a US president in trnasit on one of the "Marine One" helicopters? Even back in the 80's, they were wearing inflateable PFDs. That's right, even the President of the United States was issued a PFD that was NOT USCG APPROVED. Because the USCG sadly lagged behind the times, and wasn't accepting the good stuff at all.

Nice if it is approved, not necessarily meaningful if it isn't.

More of an issue that kids sometimes play rough--and wouldn't be aware of puncturing a PFD.
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Old 03-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
..

More of an issue that kids sometimes play rough--and wouldn't be aware of puncturing a PFD.
That's definitely a consideration and, again, an argument for the fail-safe foam pfd for kids.

As far as USCG approval goes, the issue is not so much whether the pfd is effective or not, but more to do with compliance. Most states (and, where the state does not, the USCG) require children younger than a certain age to wear a USCG certified pfd while underway.

Obviously not a primary consideration for folks operating outside of U.S. jurisdiction, although the Canadian regs seem to mirror very closely the U.S.
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