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  #1  
Old 06-09-2009
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Inflatable PFDs

Hi All, which inflatable PFDs do you like?

I read that the kind that auto-inflate when you go over don't count toward the life jacket requirement, I think unless it's being worn. The kind you have to manually inflate do count. Go figure.

Generally, these will only be worn in heavy weather, so I am thinking the kind that blow up when they hot the water are best, but I would appreciate your thoughts.

Thanks!
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Old 06-09-2009
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jarcher,
I like our Mustang with the hydrostatic trigger. I like it because it's comfortable. We tried all of them at the big box and it seems to be the one that sat the best. This was a real issue for the admiral. The strap going across the top of her girls wasn't going to work.

I think ALL inflatable PFDs must be worn to count as inventory. That seems to be what Mustang is saying. Best to check.
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Old 06-09-2009
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j...
My only comment about these PFDs is to be very careful about the way the part that goes around the back of your neck is finished.
We bought an auto inflate for my Wife a couple of years ago at West Marine and the finish was so coarse it would have rubbed her neck raw in a VERY short time.
We exchanged it for a Mustang which has been very satisfactory.
Paul
PS I think you're correct in that the vest must be worn to count.
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Old 06-09-2009
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I own a few Mustangs and one old SOSpenders. I like 'em all. The Mustangs are definitely nicer and have a softer collar, but I've never had comfort problems with the SOSpenders.

The Mustangs have a weird tear-away zipper that seems like it would eventually break, but I haven't had any problems to-date. The SOSpenders have a velcro closure that has frayed a little over the years.

I've sent my SOSpenders to Stearns for inspections and they were real good and sent the unit back to me ASAP because I was heading out on a trip, so customer service is real good from them. I'll send the Mustangs off at the end of this season for their first service, so I don't know what their service is like.

I can't speak to USCG evaluation of the inflatables. I keep the required bulky orange ones on board to comply, regardless.
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Old 06-09-2009
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We have two standard PFDs on board and we have four Mustangs. Two hydrostatic and two manual with harnesses.

We really like our Mustang hydrostatics. They are light weight, comfortable and so get worn all the time. And the Commodore's Mustang is even pink!

I love Mustang's tag line "We save lives for a living"

The PFD you wear is the best one!
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Old 06-09-2009
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Spouse has the bright PINK Mustang too! I think I have 7? or there abouts Mustangs, and one WM version, the WM version as mentioned, does not fit as well, and will rub ones necK.

I have 5 of the new mustangs, and two with the pills. I bought the pill ones before the newest models.

Marty
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Old 06-09-2009
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The old rule for inflatables is that they must be worn to count. However the CG website does not say that anymore. I know most people carry a number of regular PFDs so they meet the safety regs.
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Old 06-09-2009
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My understanding that a type V inflatable may or may not have to be worn to count. It has something to do with the inflator type. There's a newer inflator (1F?) that doesn't have to be worn to count, but others do.

I just bought a pair of West Marine's "Offshore Series" for my wife and myself, and the paperwork with them says they have to be worn to count. They have what I believe to be a 6F inflator. I got the offshore series not because we go offshore, but because it had a finished neck pad while the "comfort series" (go figure) did not.
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Old 06-10-2009
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What counts and required on your vessels are the type I life jackets. So you should have enough of those for the Maximum number of people that can be carried on your vessel.
Now most people (especially the little ones) find that the type I & some II PFDs are generally too bulky and uncomfortable to wear during routine movements on board the vessel. Thus you have the type III and the V for wearing under routine movements on board the vessel.
The inflatables and other types are either II, III or V, Pending on how they are made. So they (me too) wear one of these on deck while working. But they are not subsitutes for the type I PFDs.
Now if you are sailing in the colder waters (any place above 35N/S I recomend that you have Immersion Suits on board for every one. And pray that you have time to put one on before the boat sinks.
Note: Type IVs are throwables...
One thing: My license is 1600 ton Master and I tend to think along commercial Laws in this case.
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Last edited by Boasun; 06-10-2009 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 06-10-2009
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i have manuals on board, plus the cheapy orange ones. i dont want the autos due to a story i read about a guy who went over board and when it inflated he could not swim back to his boat and it got away due its size.

also i read another story about a guy on a cat that went over, he got stuck inside due to his auto, he had to deflate to get out

if it gets bad enough to worry about the auto inflate i will put on a cheapy orange one.
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