My rules which I am adamant about others following though occasionally I stray. We use the Mustang auto-inflating vests with the harness (2 onboard) and the auto-inflating vests (6 onboard). Whistles attached to all the vests. Jacklines strung forward (actually, the flat webbing stuff movers use with carabiners securing either end)
When the boat's underway I try to keep to the following guidelines. When anchored or just "driftin" then common sense applies. With the kids or our elders (who I occasionally treat like kids) there is the occasional mumbled prayer that a wave would wash them overboard but then I'd have to explain to the police why I was having a few celebratory cocktails before conducting a search
- No vests in cockpit (except kids) but common sense applies to all
- No vests going forward (except kids) but common sense applies to adults only
- Vests & Tethers in cockpit (tethers sometimes don't get hooked but.....)
- Vests & Tethers when going forward (no exceptions including me)
Night and/or alone
- Vests & Tethers in cockpit
- Vests & Tethers going forward
One thing I do agree with is that it helps the crew / passengers get into the habit if they watch you put on your vest. Lead by example was taught to me in the Army and hey, it works.
"There's always time later on for suntanning without the vest in the way. Lets just get there first......."