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post #31 of 34 Old 04-03-2014
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Re: Spinlock PFDs

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post #32 of 34 Old 04-03-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Spinlock PFDs

Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
What did you find out?
I asked a USCG Auxiliary vessel examiner, someone who's very knowledgeable about CG regs and what is supposed to be on a boat. The gist of it is if you have 2 people on board, and no one is wearing a life jacket, you better have 2 PFDs on board and in reach. These generally cannot be Type Vs, because per the label, it will indicate whether they have to be worn to be compliant.

Of course, if each of the 2 people above are wearing the Type V (inflatable PFD), then they don't need to have inherently inflatable types on board, which seems to be different from Canada law.

It seems the best way to be safe is to have all types available (especially for guests who show up without their own) and then also some Type Is if things get really hairy offshore.
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post #33 of 34 Old 04-03-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Spinlock PFDs

This is the reply I got from Spinlock about some of the problems with the PFDs riding over the wearer's head...

The s/y Uncontrollable Urge incident involved the crew using the lifejackets in large breaking surf on a Pacific Coast lee shore. This is always going to be a very challenging environment for inflatable lifejackets given the forces on the large inflated bladder created by the waves which try and pull the jacket off, as you are fighting to prevent inversion. The bladder attachment of the Spinlock Deckvest is not fundamentally different to the majority of inflatable lifejackets available and so we would expect all lifejackets to have behaved similarly. All lifejackets already go through a number of rigorous approval tests that include a 10 feet jump test with an inflated bladder to ensures the lifejacket stays in position. Given the unique circumstances of this incident the lifejacket approval bodies - ISO 12402 committee and the USCG must take the opportunity to review the performance testing requirements for lifejackets and we will make any changes to the Deckvest design if ISO confirm this is required, which will be applicable to all lifejacket manufacturers.

In our own testing we found that the correct, secure fitting of the chest belt and leg or crutch straps have the largest impact on the performance of all lifejackets. The Deckvest has always been designed to be easy to adjust, to ensure that it is worn securely and is supplied with leg straps as standard which we are sure would have helped in this situation. We will continue to improve our communication and training for the fitting and maintenance to ensure customers understand how to get the best performance from their Deckvest Lifejacket.

There is an important balance in developing and testing lifejackets to be wearable, usable products and not over specifying them to cover unique situations that could in turn reduce their use in more common situations. Lifejackets are designed for a purpose -to provide buoyancy, stability and to buy the user some time when in the water. We have to accept given the challenges of the marine environment, that there may be scenarios where this might not be all a user needs, or possibly is not the most suitable product to be worn.

I hope this helps reassure you that your Deckvest Lifejackets both inshore and offshore are still the right choice for your personal protection.

With regards the recent USCG Approval of the Deckvest LITE lifejacket, this approval was sought as it is more applicable for the inshore Deckvest LITE. The Deckvest is our coastal and offshore lifejacket approved to the latest International ISO12402 Standard for lifejackets which the rest of the world uses for Lifejacket Approval. Whilst the USCG recognises the ISO12402 standard, the US currently chooses to sit outside the international community. Unfortunately the USCG standard is a little behind the ISO1202 for offshore coastal design and we would have downgrade the design of the product to meet the USCG standard and the result would not be the Deckvest that has all the great features and comfort that you enjoy.
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post #34 of 34 Old 04-03-2014
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Re: Spinlock PFDs

Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
The USCG doesn't care if your gear is SOLAS approved when they pull you over for an equipment check. There's nothing wrong with carrying SOLAS approved equipment, but in the US, you'd better have USCG equipment to meet regulations or you'll be facing fines, impounding or both.

Is this proper? Of course not, I'm just pointing it out.
We really like the fit and feel of our spinlock PFD's. But we keep USGC approved PFD's near by in case we get boarded. We always use the crotch straps. Looking forward to talking to the Spinlock folks at the upcoming Pacific Strictly Sails show. I always touch base with them at the show. It will be interesting to hear what they have to say about apparent spinlock pfd issue.

Thanks for the thread, very helpful. I am going to take mine apart this weekend to check out the stitching.

Last edited by kellysails; 04-03-2014 at 01:14 PM.
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