Mustang MD8134 PFD advice? - SailNet Community

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Old 05-02-2010
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Mustang MD8134 PFD advice?

Hi Everyone on Sailnet, this is my first post but i've been reading this forum for the last few years and i've always found it usefull.

I've been a boater all my life but i'm still new to sailing and i'm still learning, I need some advice from you seasoned sailors.

I've been shopping for some safety gear for a offshore sailing trip, looking to purchase a PDF that has a built in harness, I've found some good information on Mustangs MD8134 it offers the new Hydrostatic inflator device.

Any pro's or con's on this PDF? I'm 6ft / 270lbs will the harness handle my size?

What about the other brands? looks like sailnet store has the best price.

Thanks Pat
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Old 05-02-2010
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I have 3 of them. They're the best out there, IMHO. One of them probably saved my life a year ago.

Very comfortable to wear; easy to check and to replace the inflator. Excellent value.

Yes, I'm sure they'll handle your weight. I'm 6'2" and about 240lbs.

Both of us should go on a diet, though :-)

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Old 05-03-2010
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I have an the same w/o a harness.

FWIW, the hydrostatic and "pill" ones are basically equivalent for almost 95% of the folks that sail. Really the only significant advantage to a hydrostatic versus a pill is heavy wet weather sailing. Constant pounding of rain/seas etc. may set a pill one off prematurely, whereas the hydrostatic one should remain non-activated until you are actually submerged. Also, if you tend to store your PFD in a "wet" locker, a pill one my go off if it is subjected to water.

I am also of the belief that you want a separate harness and PFD. Why?, because you may want to have a harness on without a PFD, either because it may be too hot to wear a PFD or you just want to be clipped onto the boat without a PFD. Also, the ring on the PFD for the Harness is too low IMO and can cause serious damage to your body. A true harness, even a chest one only, puts the ring much higher on your torso, where your body is stronger.

Unless you plan on doing a lot of solo sailing or sailing in heavy, wet weather, a hydrostatic with a harness ring may be overkill and one with the traditional pill and without a D-ring would be fine. Not saying don't get it the hydro/D-ring model, just my two cents on what I think is a more appropriate option for you.

As far as fit. I'm 6'6" and 240 and it fits me with plenty of room to spare.

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Old 05-03-2010
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Many people have reported that the model with the pill tends to inflate just sitting around. Over time the pill collects moisture from humidity, no direct water needed. I bought the hydrostatic.
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Old 05-03-2010
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This issue for some of us, we bought the pill version, IIRC model 8034 or some such thing before the hydrostatic came out! so best to buy a new pill every yr or two!

Otherwise, having 2 pills, and 4 hydro's on my boat, they fit, look and wear the same.

The ONLY issue I have seen, is some folks feel in REALLY rough water, ie force 8+ and having to be rescued, or get into a life raft or equal, a std vest style might be easier than an inflated inflatable. I personally could see this as an issue, but for those of us that for the most part sail in under 40 knots, less than 5-6' waves in reasonably protected waters........probably not an issue overall. But if I went offshore, it would be something I would consider potentially doing different, or have a different setup than I have.

All my version have the harness attachment.

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Old 05-03-2010
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I think you might mean the MD3184. I have the Canadian equivalent (MD 3154). It is very comfortable. The recharge units are expensive.

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Old 05-04-2010
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I just bought one from the Sailnet sight. Best price I could find.
Nice piece of equipment and comfortable. Not much to the harness but from my rope rescue days, it appears to be well constructed. Sorry I don't have much more info. Looks like they are one size fits all. Plenty of strap length to accomodate all sizes.

We will give her a go.
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Old 05-04-2010
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One difference between the hydrostatic and the "pill" type is - the cartridge for the "hydro" version (~$80) is certified for 5 years, while the "pill" is only certified for two.

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