Do you wear a life jacket? - Page 8 - SailNet Community
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post #71 of 215 Old 06-25-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

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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 . . .
I have to agree with Rik. It is one reason. Saving a life is the most important reason. I know Rik agrees with that. No one is required to wear one if they don't feel like the loss of their life is a likelihood. Of if they simply feel like it won't make any difference. Or if they just don't want to be encumbered by a device that, in an unforeseen event, would contribute to their safety. Or.... There is no end to the reasons for not wearing one. I certainly have gone out on the water without wearing one countless times n the past.

On the other hand. If you are a world class athlete in certain sanctioned competitions the rules require it be worn. Why? To minimize the likelhood of your becoming a complicating statistic? No, to exercise maximum insurance against drowning where it can be mandated.

With the development of seat belts we got used to their presence. I put mine on automatically now because I don't feel as secure driving without it. Their effectiveness is clearly established. My teeth went through my lips as kid, in the 50s, when a sudden stop slammed my face into an un padded dashboard.

The availability of fairly comfortable automatic pfds can minimize the likelihood that your loved ones will live the rest of their lives mourning your accidental drowning. If it isn't because you feel at risk that you automatically put one on, whenever on the water, do it for them. Develop the "seat belt" habit to protect the ones you love. To make an excuse for not wearing one...Oops, did I say "excuse"? I meant "reason" is simply, selfish. It won't be your problem if something you didn't anticipate takes your life. It will be, one of the worst imaginable problems, for those you leave behind.

Wear your pfd.!! Even if it only means your kids or your widow will collect the insurance they need, in a timely way, to survive without you. Why not?

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post #72 of 215 Old 06-25-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

In cold water, fine muscle failure, gross muscle failure, and then consciousness will be lost before hypothermia finally kills you off. For someone without a life jacket, swim failure and drowning will occur long before death from the final stages of hypothermia. Wearing a life jacket will give rescuers much more time to find you, hook on, and get your soggy butt out of the water while there's still a chance to save you.

The jacket, depending upon type, will also provide a bit of insulation, will help keep you higher in the water, and will reduce the effort required to float, helping you conserve warmth.

And, if the worst occurs, it will make it much less likely that people are still searching for your body during and after your funeral or memorial service.

A few years ago, a friend fell off a boat about a thousand feet from us. He had a top-of-the line inflatable -- in his sailing gear bag, where the marina manager, his skipper, and my wife found it. His body came back up three weeks later -- a week after the memorial service. (It took a while for the decomposition process inside his body to offset the cold water keeping his body on the bottom of the lake.) Interestingly, his sunglasses and hat were still on his recovered body.

P.S. At least one of the speakers at the memorial service was poorly chosen and did a really terrible job of talking about my friend's work life -- it sounded like the speaker from his company was reading from old performance appraisal notes and didn't even know my friend. If you're going to insist on not wearing, make sure your widow-to-be has a list of people who'll do a competent job of speaking at your memorial service or funeral.
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post #73 of 215 Old 06-25-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

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Originally Posted by downeast450 View Post
To make an excuse for not wearing one...Oops, did I say "excuse"? I meant "reason" is simply, selfish. It won't be your problem if something you didn't anticipate takes your life. It will be, one of the worst imaginable problems, for those you leave behind.

Wear your pfd.!! Even if it only means your kids or your widow will collect the insurance they need, in a timely way, to survive without you. Why not?

Down
I had a serious reply about judging people by your prejudices... I mean "standards" but then I found an excuse... sorry, "reason" not to. I found my next PFD. Awesome!



O.K. I changed my mind.

This drives me nuts. Whether I agree with you or not is irrelevant. I respect your opinion but that is all it is - an opinion. You have made your risk/reward assessment and based on your your circumstances and risk tolerance, you have determined what is right for you. Great! But now you are telling everyone else that we should think the same as you or we are making excuses and being selfish.

Thank you for your concern but I prefer to think for myself and make my own determination. Thankfully, I am still allowed to do that. I said previously, I wear a life jacket when I think that it is appropriate. What is appropriate for me may or may not be appropriate for others.

As a final thought, I would argue that overall wearing my life jacket, which has a harness, spray hood, crotch strap and has a VHF and PLB attached "when appropriate", is inherently safer than wearing a regular inflatable from the second that you can smell the sea. But I've seen too much to think that I am completely safe or that anyone who doesn't agree is selfish and making excuses.
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post #74 of 215 Old 06-25-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

Come to think about it. I could always clip to the windward stanchion. Or there are metal rings installed in the center of my cockpit. I wonder if that's what they were installed for.
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post #75 of 215 Old 06-25-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

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Thank you for your concern but I prefer to think for myself and make my own determination. Thankfully, I am still allowed to do that. I said previously, I wear a life jacket when I think that it is appropriate. What is appropriate for me may or may not be appropriate for others.
Geoff, I agree with you. My thoughts about this are my opinions and I DO feel, strongly, that you and everyone, including me, should and hopefully can, think for themselves. My replies on this thread do go a bit toward prosthelytizing. Not characteristic of me. I recognized that before I posted. Apologies if it offended. I was just hoping to help by hitting a nerve. It is an important topic that only becomes poignant after the fact. I wish you a trouble free life on the water. It is a passion all of us share.

Very funny pic. Where did you find that?

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post #76 of 215 Old 06-25-2013
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FYI ...Worst Marine is having a sale today on Coastal Inflatable PFDs, only $100

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post #77 of 215 Old 06-25-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

Hamilton Marine today, too.

Welcome To Hamilton Marine

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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

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Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
Come to think about it. I could always clip to the windward stanchion. Or there are metal rings installed in the center of my cockpit. I wonder if that's what they were installed for.
If the metal rings look strong enough to withstand a load of at least 4000 lbs (more is better), then yes. They should have adequate backing plates as well, then they'll work well for attaching jacklines and/or tethers. I would never clip to a stanchion unless there was nothing else to clip to. It is so easy to run jacklines (and not that expensive), all you have to do is run them between bow and stern cleat(s) or somewhere not too far aft to allow you to fall over the transom. Another note about pfd's, since were on the subject- I had west marine's off-shore model, and it's not too uncomfortable that I thought it was a hassle to wear, but since having the Spinlock model, I'll probably never go back to the regular style inflatables. They are so adjustable that you barely notice you have it on, and it goes on in a cinch. I'm able to put on all foul weather gear, and just plop this thing over my head, button it and clip in in seconds- blind-folded- it's that easy. At $400 clams, they're not exactly cheap, but I cannot imagine buying another.
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post #79 of 215 Old 06-25-2013
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

PFD goes on when there are white caps. ok, if it is really hot (we don't have inflatables) and the wind is steady, PFD goes on when there are white caps and you leave the cockpit. We don't have harnesses (but they are on the list). In cool weather, we just wear them all the time. They help keep you warm. Mostly inshore sailing.
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Re: Do you wear a life jacket?

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Originally Posted by downeast450 View Post
Geoff, I agree with you. My thoughts about this are my opinions and I DO feel, strongly, that you and everyone, including me, should and hopefully can, think for themselves. My replies on this thread do go a bit toward prosthelytizing. Not characteristic of me. I recognized that before I posted. Apologies if it offended. I was just hoping to help by hitting a nerve. It is an important topic that only becomes poignant after the fact. I wish you a trouble free life on the water. It is a passion all of us share.
No problem, Down. I don't mind a good argument....err...discussion, as long as we are nice about it.

I don't want to get too bogged down in semantics but consider this: When I drive I put on a seat belt. The danger is moderate, the inconvenience minor and the potential reward is high. But although it would be safer, I don't wear a five point harness or a nomex suit or a helmet because, while the danger is the same, the inconvenience is significant and the reward (compared with wearing a three point belt) is relatively minor (depending on how you look at it, you could also argue that the danger is greater but the reward the same - just a different spin).

Similarly, a solo sailor, small boat, cold water area, at night and in bad weather should consider every possible precaution. On the other hand, in the Caribbean, on a big charter boat, in benign condition, island hopping with someone who could pick me up, it's rare that I wear more than a pair of shorts and some sunscreen. The reasons are obvious and I don't ever recall seeing anyone in the Caribbean wearing a life jacket. For many of us (most?), there is a line somewhere between the two where the wear/don't wear decision is made. Risk is everywhere - safety is relative.

It seems to me that the person in the most danger is not the person who makes a rational decision but the person who is either oblivious to the risk or who has an "it won't happen to me" attitude. I would be mentioning the inexperienced power boater who thinks it "just like driving a car", but that would be demonstrating my prejudice... ooops!

BTW, Knox-Johnson never wore a life jacket. His opinion was that it restricted his movement which made him more likely to go over the side and, in the middle of the ocean, the odds of him being rescued were very small. I think that is a valid decision - not the decision I would make but valid none the less.

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Very funny pic. Where did you find that?
Sorry but I don't remember. I save pictures that I like or find funny and email them to my friends from time to time. Here's one to support your point of view.



Fair Winds.
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