Your thoughts on inflatable PDFs - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 41 Old 08-23-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Wow that sounds scary. When the inflatable inflates under the secured vest pdf how will it get to full size without compressing your lungs and/or making it impossible to use your arms.
Yeah.. good point.. guess that's why I use a manual inflate rather than an auto inflate.

Also, as pointed out above, the safest thing about the inflatable is that a good one has a solid safety harness as the backbone of the pfd.

And frankly, the most important thing is to just stay in the boat. If given a choice between a safety harness or a pfd, I'm taking the harness every time. Conveniently, with a proper inflatable, one can have both.

... or I'm wrong.

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post #22 of 41 Old 08-23-2010
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Having actually had to use a PFD when I fell off a boat in 2009, I can vouch for them. The life jacket I had was borrowed and had the wrong CO2 cartridge size, but it still worked very well (even if it only inflated 1/2 way).

I went right out and bought my own after that.

Here's a thread i started a while back, showing the inflatable in action:
In case you have been curious about self-inflating Lifejackets
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post #23 of 41 Old 08-23-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapTim View Post
When the weather gets really rough, I put on a 'normal' vest-type PFD over the top of the inflatable.
Other posters have suggested that doing this is dangerous, and I have to agree. Why would you do this? It completely defeats the purpose of having an inflatable PFD in the first place.

If you don't like the auto-inflate feature, there are manual versions available.

To the OP, I began using inflatables even before the Cdn. Coast Guard approved them. Coast Guard approval came quickly, thankfully, and subsequent purchases have all been approved versions.

Like many folks, I was reluctant to wear a traditional PFD. In warm weather, they were uncomfortable; in rough weather, it was awkward wearing them over a harness; and it was tough to wear one while working on the foredeck.

Wearing an inflatable at all times is a no-brainer. The only time I notice it is when I want to work on my tan--something I won't be doing in rough weather.

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post #24 of 41 Old 08-23-2010
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Did I not mention that my inflatables are all manual inflate? Now I'm getting all self-doubty.. might be time to medicate..


edit: oh, phew... third sentence in. thought I was in trouble there for a second.

... or I'm wrong.

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post #25 of 41 Old 08-23-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapTim View Post
Yeah.. good point.. guess that's why I use a manual inflate rather than an auto inflate....
Do you secure the little pull handle up inside the vest where it can't get caught in equipment and released by error (say something like the foot grove in a boom when you are furling a main..been there done that).
I'd say wearing an inflatable under something compares to walking around with a blasting cap in your pocket....

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post #26 of 41 Old 08-23-2010
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Great thing about inflatable lifejacket(PFD)is that you can put it on a bit like you would a seat belt when driving and forget about it-I sometimes even find myself cooking dinner with it on!
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post #27 of 41 Old 08-23-2010
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"Target" is just as short as "jetski" and you only need a couple more letters for "bullseye" or "mosquito". But "aiming point" is a little longer and more awkward to say. Of course, some the less responsible jetskiers are pretty good at self-destruction without outside assistance.
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post #28 of 41 Old 08-23-2010
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I think PFD's are the greatest thing since sliced bread. I would never even consider anything else.

Concerning the CO2, I use them on the boat and at work. At work, I have had them accidentally inflate around 10 times or so and it's quite common to see them lying around our work sheds inflated and ready for re-arming (others are having the same issue). The handle gets caught on fish nets and un-intentionally inflate. So at work, these are used over and over and over with no issues other than looking old and well used. On one occasion, I had one inflate on me, I ripped it off and chucked it aside while I finished what I was doing and only later did I notice that it only partially inflated. After inspecting it, I noticed that the hole in the top of the cartridge was very slight indicating to me that the handle had caught and only slightly pulled. This is all I can figure because I then inflated it the rest of the way with my mouth and it held air just fine overnight. Comparing this cartridge with other spent cartridges, was a significant difference, so I would have to say, when you pull it, give it a good solid yank and if it does fails, you can always manually inflate it.

As far as wearing a life vest over top, I would consider this to be a poor idea. These handles do get caught and when these inflate, they are quick, they inflate big and I wouldn't want anything to restrict it.

I generally tuck the handle in, but sometimes I forget and that's when they go off.


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post #29 of 41 Old 08-23-2010
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To each his own.. that's why I love sailing! I find it remarkably easy to simply tuck the handle into the folds of the vest. I keep it tucked in all the time, after having had it discharge because a kid pulled on it (she was 16 months.. so who could I really blame? whole thing was funny as $*@#)

That's the whole reason I like the manually operated versions.. you get to only discharge it when you want to!

I've also been knocked against a rail with and without a 'normal' vest style pfd. My experience from there is that if one is going to fall into/get hit by something, it's much more enjoyable to do so while wearing padding.

As to doing things my way.. well.. that's rarely a good idea. Especially if you take counsel from my ex...

edit: another point that seems to come out in this thread.. its useful to properly maintain your equipment

... or I'm wrong.

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post #30 of 41 Old 08-23-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcalvinmarks View Post
I realized over the winter what a risk I was taking by single-handing my boat with the autopilot set without a PFD. It's a small inland lake, so it's never more than a mile to the nearest shore, but I'm not a real strong swimmer. And during the winter there's really not much of anyone out on the lake; maybe a few die-hard anglers. And so if I was to fall overboard without a PFD on (which is, so far, the norm for me), there would be no chance of catching the boat, because it's not going to round up and stop for me. And in all likelihood, I would die of a combination of hypothermia and drowning before anyone even knew what happened.
The good news, is you won't die of hypothermia if you fall in in the Winter without a vest. You'll drown long before that.

I'm glad you realized it now. You should always have a PFD on when you are sailing alone, winter or summer, it doesn't matter. Even if you are sailing with others, in the summer it is a good idea. In the Winter, again, you should ALWAYS have on the PFD. No excuse not too.

I like the auto-inflatables. Mine has an integrated harness that I rarely use, but when I need it it I'm glad it is there.

If the CO2 in the cartridges were bad for the material, so would inflating it with your lungs.

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