Do you make guests wear PFDs? - SailNet Community

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Old 02-18-2015
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Do you make guests wear PFDs?

I never have but it occurs to me that land people may not know the risks the same wsy I do. The captain of an airplane dictates when you buckle up....

most of the time I'm on a sailboat I am known as a sailor and thus am allowed to choose. Only on one friends boat that I've been on are pfds mandatory at all times in a conditions. She handed nice inflatable ones to everyone as they boarded which was a nice touch I thought.

What do you do? Yes, no, or depends on conditions?
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Old 02-19-2015
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Re: Do you make guests wear PFDs?

I give people the option if the weather is pretty good, if there is any chance of snortyness, it is compulsory, and if they leave the cockpit underway, also compulsory. Only exceptions are other sailors that I trust know the risks for themselves and can make a decision accordingly.
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Old 02-19-2015
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Re: Do you make guests wear PFDs?

Optional unless nonswimmer, or 16 and under (Louisiana law).

Or unless I tell us all to put them on (weather).
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Old 02-19-2015
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Re: Do you make guests wear PFDs?

Have a simple rule you leave the cockpit you wear a floater period I wear my sosspenders all the time on deck underway and yes that means in the cockpit to ( lead by example)
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Old 02-19-2015
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Re: Do you make guests wear PFDs?

Not on our current boat, unless they are under 13, then it is law. It's all but impossible to trip and fall out of our cockpit. It's rare that we would take guests out in the kind of nasty conditions that my wife and I put them on.

We would put them on, if we needed to leave the cockpit, but that would only be to address a problem. All lines are in the cockpit.
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Old 02-19-2015
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Re: Do you make guests wear PFDs?

If I decide (or the Admiral) that it is time to put on my life vest, everyone puts on one. If I'm not wearing one I don't expect others to wear one (subject to the age requirement).
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Old 02-19-2015
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Re: Do you make guests wear PFDs?

As long as they are adults, they can choose. I do however highlight that I choose to wear mine *all the time* while under way. Without being doom and gloom, I do try to summarize the risks in the choice so they can make an informed decision. I emphasize that if they decide to leave the confines of the cockpit I highly recommend wearing a PFD. The wife and I have an agreed upon boundary of 15 knots sustained.

By the way an interesting book to read on the topic is "Accidentally Overboard". Pretty clear that many accidents happen when weather is calm and just having a PFD drastically increases the odds of staying alive.

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Old 02-19-2015
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Re: Do you make guests wear PFDs?

I will take credit for this much. I always tell new guest where the pfds are located in the cockpit and I have a rule that no one goes on deck without letting me know.
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Old 02-19-2015
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Re: Do you make guests wear PFDs?

Not if they can swim. We always point to the cockpit locker and tell people where the life preservers are before setting out.

If it gets rough we might tell everyone to put on pfd's. Only had to do that once.


If its rough enough that we have to put on pfd's when we set out - we stay at the dock.
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Old 02-19-2015
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Re: Do you make guests wear PFDs?

We NEVER leave the dock unless all aboard are wearing PFD. All guests get instructions on how to operate PFD. We have pulled crew from other boats during races, wind and water were light but the victims were still in shock.

Seems every year somebody goes out alone on Lake Ontario, the boat arrives but crewless.
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