Readily Accessible Life Jackets/Vests?? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 08-01-2007
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Question Readily Accessible Life Jackets/Vests??

The USCG requires that all "Wearable PFDs must be readily accessible." I know the best place for them is wearing them but where is the NEXT best place?

Does "readily accessible" include being located in the aft berth which has an opened door on it? (Catalina 270)

Can they be located under the cockpit seats compartments?

Or, do must I have them out in the salon area?

I just want to be on the good side of safety and of the law with those folks.

Thanks... Jim
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Old 08-01-2007
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Not in a plastic bag and readily accessible (reachable in a few seconds).
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Can they be located under the cockpit seats compartments?

This should suffice...
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When you were a kid did you ever play "musical chairs" ?

OK, so pretend you just hit a rock and there are not enough life vests to go around. Where could you grab them from fastest?

Main salon is good. Cockpit coaming or lazarettes are good. Clipped over the lifelines as back cushions is good.

When in doubt, you can invite the USCG Auxiliary to come do a courtesy inspection on your boat. They CANNOT AND WILL NOT give you any tickets for this inspection, they perform it as a courtesy and they will give you a list of anything that should be changed. If everything is up to snuff, they also give you a big courtesy decal to put on the boat--which tells any USCG boarding party that you probably have already taken care of things, so they can relax and go elsewhere.
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Old 08-01-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
When in doubt, you can invite the USCG Auxiliary to come do a courtesy inspection on your boat.
Thanks! Glad to know this. I saw a sticker from 1994 on my boat but wondered why a new 1994 boat needed that sticker. All makes sense now. As soon as my nav lights are fixed, I'll schedule a visit. Here is the website if anyone else is interested: http://www.safetyseal.net/
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PFDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trescool View Post
The USCG requires that all "Wearable PFDs must be readily accessible." I know the best place for them is wearing them but where is the NEXT best place?
I am increasingly convinced that having "legal" PFDs avaliable in case of emergency is a joke. Soooo, I am moving toward having enough auto-inflating PFDs on board so that any crew can wear them at all times.

Years ago, the self-inflating PFDs were a cumbersome proposition. Not now. Expensive, though.
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Old 08-02-2007
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There is a difference between a life preserver and a PFD.
The life preservers are required to have aboard the vessel, enough for the maximum number of people that is allowed plus 10%.
The PFDs (Type II, III, or V) that people may wear are good but under the law don't replace the Life Preserver (type I).
The Life preservers should be in a readily accessible place. Like the cockpit locker. with nothing stored on top of them. The locker cannot be locked in any manner also. The vessel's name stenciled on them is required also.
Now the other PFDs are worn more often because they are easier to wear.
A Type I will turn an unconscious person over to face up in the water. A type II may turn that person over. Type III & V will probably not turn that person over to the face up position.
The Type IV? These are the throwables such as life rings, cushions, horse shoe float and so on.

But the PFD or life preserver will only do you good if you are wearing it. So whether you go for an inflatable or close cell Type II or V and or the type I; Wear it when on the boat or transfering from the dock to the boat and back again. It doesn't do you any good in a locker or your luggage when you fall into the water.

Size the Life preserver and/or the PFD to the person also. Children will enjoy their experience on the water more that way. They don't enjoy it all that much when they are wearing the rectangle Life preserver. So spend the money for them. Size it correctly and replace it when they out grow it. They are worth the effort & money in getting the correct size just for them.
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BoatUS also has a children's PFD program of some sort... don't know the details but might be worth checkingout if you're a BoatUS member.
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Common sense dictates where life saving gear should be stored.

We store our (6) Type-I life preservers, along with various other PFDs, in a large designated locker within the pilothouse. This location is easily accessed from any point on the boat-due to port/starboard sliding doors.

However, whenever we go offshore and sail from the aft deck helm, those big and bulky Type-I vests are moved to the (2) cockpit seat bench compartments - where they can be accessed within seconds, if ever needed.

Additionally, the crew always wears inflatable sospenders at all times, whenever sailing or motoring.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
When in doubt, you can invite the USCG Auxiliary to come do a courtesy inspection on your boat. They CANNOT AND WILL NOT give you any tickets for this inspection, they perform it as a courtesy and they will give you a list of anything that should be changed. If everything is up to snuff, they also give you a big courtesy decal to put on the boat--which tells any USCG boarding party that you probably have already taken care of things, so they can relax and go elsewhere.
HS...that is a really good idea. If they will do it that sounds like a free safety survey.
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