Do you wear a life jacket? - Page 7 - SailNet Community
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post #61 of 215 Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

Most of my adult life, I have rigged jacklines when single-handing on small keel boats. As Jones says, the idea is clip on to the windward jackline so you can't make it over the rail to leeward. I cannot tell you how many times my harness has kept me aboard.
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post #62 of 215 Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

When single-handing, which is 90% of the time, I wear an inflatable w/ harness or a harness and standard jacket. I am tethered (with a double-line tether) to a jackline all the time. I don't unclip until down the companionway. When within swimming distance to shore, I'll unclip and take the jacket/harness off. They are awfully uncomfortable (Comfort Max is a misnomer) after many hours and a gigantic relief to remove. With no one to turn the boat around to scoop you up, falling in is likely fatal.

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post #63 of 215 Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

March of 2013 and sailing an inland lake: It was cold and I didn't bring a heavy enough jacket. I put on the life jacket only because I was cold, not for safety's sake. My friend did not wear a PFD.

I won't discuss the why or how, but the boat went down 1/2 mile from shore. His blue jeans kept him from effectively swimming. The water was crazy cold. My PFD saved both of us.

Wear that thing!
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post #64 of 215 Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

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Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
I was thinking about getting a life jacket and I wondered how many people wear them and when. Please discuss other safety devices you find essential.

I have never worn a life jacket sailing but with the new(to me at least) auto inflatable kinds I'm interested. I'm sure most of you have one. Do you like it?

Do you wear your pfd at all times or only in rough conditions. Do you tether yourself to the boat?

Keep in mind I have never been more than 10-20 miles from land so alot of you will have more experience than I. I'm also now sailing in a cold place and I single hand so I could see great value in a confortable inflatable with tether. If I fell off on rough water I could die. Could. Depends on what the boat decided to do and other factors.
It is not how far away from the shore or land that I will wear my PFD. Any time that is a chance that I will fall over board I will put on my PFD and tether to the boat.

Day time with no wind and just motoring and staying in the cockpit, it is unlikely I will have my PFD on.

Whenever in doubt, I would put it on.


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post #65 of 215 Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

as a singlehander.. I will definatly be clicking in and wearing a PFD anytime I am away from the dock.

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post #66 of 215 Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

Almost NEVER.
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post #67 of 215 Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

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Originally Posted by blt2ski View Post
. . . but here in the salish sea where it is 40F generally speaking year around, you have 5-15 min at best, generally speaking, before Hypothermia starts to set in. Hence why most folks use dry suits when scuba diving around here too!
So effectively the use of a PFD in your area is more about easy recovery of the corpse than survival . . . . .


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post #68 of 215 Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

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Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
So effectively the use of a PFD in your area is more about easy recovery of the corpse than survival . . . . .
And, without being gross - that is a very good reason to wear one. If a surviving family member has to wait six years for benefits because they could not find the corpse . . .

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post #69 of 215 Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

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Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
So effectively the use of a PFD in your area is more about easy recovery of the corpse than survival . . . . .
Yes, this is probably one of the main reasons to wear a pfd no matter where you are at. If nothing else, if the weather is that bad, you have drowned, the rescuers can get you and go home sooner per say etc.

Reality is, in some parts of the world, a pfd WILL NOT save your butt per say. In Alaska where the water will be as close to 32f/0C as it can be, maybe even a degree or two colder, your chance of living is probably less than 15 min! I could be wrong, but without a survival suit, I would not give you a lot of time before you are unconscious!

If the water is 60-70F temps, you probably have over an hour if you can figure out how to float that long etc.........but even still, hypothermia will set in, sooner or later you are unconscious, soon after one drowns! Colder water is sooner than warmer.

Probably best overall, is a pfd with a harness or at minimum a harness such that one can not fall overboard! I have some jacklines I put out when I know the water will be rougher, such that folks on the bow can worry about doing the bow work, and hopefully not worry about falling overboard. Clipping in many times is a good thing. Does not matter if the waves are a foot or 100' high frankly! If you feel you need to clip in, clip in! The Op's boat I believe does not have any lifelines, so clipping in in some way shape or form when the waves are in the 3-5'=+ range crossing the straights of juan de fuca, or straights of Georgia or equal around here...... might be a smart thing to do, or the CG will find a boat sailing along, no operator/person on board! not a good thing.

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post #70 of 215 Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

It's not 40F in the Puget Sound. It's cold, but not that cold.

It is 52.5F on this buoy:
NDBC - Station EBSW1

51.4F on this one:
NDBC - Station PTWW1

In mid-winter it'll be about 45F. The lake temps do get a lot colder (down to the upper 30s on Lake Sammamish on New Years Day).

There is a helpful hypothermia chart here:
Boating & Hypothermia - BoatSafe.com

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Last edited by Alex W; 06-24-2013 at 11:35 PM.
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