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  #111  
Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

Quote:
Originally Posted by abrahamx View Post
Damn. I would not have thought there was ANYONE who did not wear a lifejacket...
Do you sail in sight of other boats?

I see PFDs on maybe one in ten of the boaters I see. There will be a boat that comes along with every crew member in a vest, and then boat after boat of no vests or just one or two.

FWIW - I don't see any differences between power and sail in this regard

It's just not the same as seat belts. The Nannies* would like us to believe it is, but it isn't.

I tell my guests where the vests are; they are adults and allowed to make up their own minds.

Ken


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  #112  
Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

We sail/race SF Bay. The water temp outside the GGate is in the low 50's even in summer. Inside the bay, the windy and deeper parts peak in the low-60's in summer, falling to mid-50's other times. There are estuaries with summer highs from 66 to 71, but not for real sailing.

This hypothermia table shows how long you survive under certain conditions. Given the 25kt winds you were probably sailing in when you went in, which exacerbate the cooling, you have 15-30 mins before you are unable to assist in your rescue and have to hope there's a block and tackle and experienced crew at hand. You will be unresponsive, depending on wind, in about an hour - 2 if you're lucky.

An older sailor told me the best man overboard policy is "if you fall in, you're dead". Kinda gets your attention. Also, I've had some experiences...

Anything you can do to not thrash around, to huddle up and try to keep still water next to your body, will add valuable minutes. Wearing a wet or survival suit makes the most sense, and will add a lot of survival time, but someone still has to get you into the boat. Ladders rarely work because they don't go deep enough into the water for people's feet to reach, and because they'll be too exhausted.

I wear my life vest almost all the time (cruising to the fuel or haulout dock on a calm day, maybe not). But the real issue is: how are you getting out of the water? You can run "idiot lines" (loose hanging scalloped ropes tied to cleats on deck sides), and I've done that, but I've also fouled a prop with them (knotty problem). If someone goes in, I'll rely first on tossing a preserver, then the Life Sling to get them out. But I might also run a line from a mid-ship cleat to a winch, slacken it into the water and have the man overboard get their body onto the rope so I can winch them partway up, at least get them mostly out of the water so we can pull them up or use the Life Sling block and tackle.

The lifejacket is almost a moot point in our waters because it won't stop the hypothermia. Serious racers wear suits & that matters, but the real discussion is about getting out of the water.

I have 30+ years of water skiing, windsurfing, kayaking, and lake sailing which have taught me about hypothermia, but only 4 yrs on keelboat, so I'm open to suggestions, now, before it matters.
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  #113  
Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

No one gets to sail off with us unless they wear a PFD that we supply or they bring with them. Sh&t happens.
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  #114  
Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outrageous View Post

The lifejacket is almost a moot point in our waters because it won't stop the hypothermia. Serious racers wear suits & that matters, but the real discussion is about getting out of the water.
I've read a couple of articles lately that state "if you don't wear a PFD you really shouldn't worry about hypothermia, you will die of drowning long long before hypothermia sets in". Even in the cold PNW waters you have at least 30 to 45 minutes before hypothermia sets in. But falling in without a PFD the cold will essentially stop any effective use of arms and legs for swimming in a very short time. If you have heavy cloths on at the time, really no hope at all.

Good article here:
Drowning Doesn?t Look Like Drowning

This one goes deep on what I said above:
http://www.shipwrite.bc.ca/Chilling_truth.htm

Last edited by kellysails; 07-12-2013 at 02:11 PM.
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  #115  
Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

When I sailed the PNW, we wore whole-body immersion suits. I went in the water (it was August) once to cut a line off the prop - after eight minutes, I was unable to climb out of the water using the swim ladder. PFD is going to give you another 30-60 minutes. The immersion suits might buy you eight hours.

In the Chesapeake Bay, I rarely use a PFD. It's like reefing. When I start asking if I should have the PFD/harness on, then I put it on. When solo, yes, always have it on. Night sailing, tethers when leaving the cockpit. Otherwise it is situationally dependant. It is not like seat belts in a car. Even a relatively minor accident in a car can leave one crippled or dead. And, there are too many knuckleheads barreling along just inches away from your car. In general, the mistakes we make on our boats are our own.
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  #116  
Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyquest37 View Post
In general, the mistakes we make on our boats are our own.
I have been called obtuse on more than one occasion but I really don't understand why needlessly risk ones life. Then leave the burden of your death to your loved ones to pick up the pieces. I can't imagine if I fell overboard and because I was not wearing a PFD my wife could not haul me in on time to save my life. How would she feel because I did something stupid and fell overboard but yet she couldn't save me. I have also been known to do stupid things on occasion and it's not beyond the realm of possibilities to pitch myself overboard accidentally.

Ah, maybe it is just me.
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Last edited by kellysails; 07-12-2013 at 07:52 PM.
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  #117  
Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

Our swim ladder is rigged so you can pull a light line from in the water and it unshackles and comes down. Right onto your head maybe, but it comes down.

While scuba diving with DavidPM, 50 feet from shore, we "tested" it. (Dinghy was there if it didn't work. Yes, it was an unplanned test.)

If anyone is interested I'll get a picture of the single-shackle setup and post it. (Having some laptop issues right now.)

Regards,
Brad
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  #118  
Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

We have one of these Swi-Tech emergency ladders which can be lowered from the water. We hang it on the rail when one person is off the boat in the water, when I singlehand, or we do some passage making.

The loop to reach up and grab from the water is adjustable so its not hanging near the water line, but you can grab it to deploy the ladder easily. Its on page 31 of the catalogue. Some neat stuff in this catalogue if you don't get it already.

http://www.swi-tec.us/index.php?rout...&product_id=99

http://www.swi-tec.us/index.php?rout...ormation_id=11
Dave
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Last edited by chef2sail; 07-12-2013 at 06:07 PM.
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  #119  
Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellysails View Post
... but I really don't understand why needlessly risk ones life.
I agree 100%! Where I suspect we differ is in the definition of "needlessly risk". For some just going out on a boat is needless risk - should we all just stay in bed?

Recently, there have been several boats disappear, presumably lost, on ocean crossing (Grain de Soliel, Lady Domina, Niña, come immediately to mind). I doubt PFDs would have done anybody a damn bit of good. Ocean Crossings must be needlessly risky if even a life jacket can't keep you safe. Better cross them of the list.

The point that I'm trying to make is that there is no right or wrong answer here - we all draw the line in a different place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellysails View Post
Then leave the burden of your death to your loved ones to pick up the pieces.
Nice attempt at a guilt trip. I see a great future for you in life insurance sales.

I'm off to the store to pick up a half gallon of soy milk, so I don't risk clogging up my arteries (honestly!).


Laugh! Far safer than taking this too seriously. Go on, you know you want to.
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  #120  
Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

You know what percentage of our safety zeolts speed when driving? All of them, to some extent.

Just sayin....

And "but I really don't understand why needlessly risk ones life. Then leave the burden of your death to your loved ones to pick up the pieces" is a bit of cliche reducto absurdum that should be embarrassing to post. Certainly it does not justify defense.
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Last edited by pdqaltair; 07-12-2013 at 11:15 PM.
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