White Type IV PFD... Safe? - SailNet Community

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Old 08-28-2011
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White Type IV PFD... Safe?

I recognize this is gonna sound real nit-picky. I am not obsessive by nature over small details, but I've been an airline pilot for enough years to know that SOME things warrant attention.

So then... we recently put a new type IV on the boat. It's a white ring. I voted against this, but it isn't my boat.

My dad likes it because it looks better than a yellow or orange ring hanging off the boat. I'm of the opinion that safety gear is one area you may not want to let aesthetics be your guide.

Anyone with experience with these... how visible would this thing actually be, if it were ever needed to be used as intended? Seems to me, if someone goes over, it's probably in rough water. By the time the boat is turned around (sure, that'll be quick, but still)... how much will one spot of white stand out, in a rough sea that's probably full of (moving) spots of white?

My plan is to just replace it with the big old yellow horsecollar any time the waves get up.

Thoughts?
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Old 08-29-2011
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I've never had an actually MOB (only drills), but I've always been told and subscribe to the theory that rings and horseshoes are more for looks. We always keep the square cushion style throwables handy for actual MOB use.

I also have on my boat a throw rope in a weighted bag. It's actually designed for whitewater use, and that's what I bought it for, but seems it would be just as useful at sea.
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Old 08-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stearmandriver View Post
My plan is to just replace it with the big old yellow horsecollar any time the waves get up.

Thoughts?
This is the 21st Century - and unless you're in the charter yacht business, there is really no need for orange or white rings hanging off the stern any more.

If you're planning to do any sailing in white water situations and are serious about MOB safety, chuck that thing in the bin and get one of these:

Danbuoy, Man Over Board, Rescue



..and a good throwing line. Without a throwing line and some practice using it, in reality, any kind of float is virtually useless and anyone falling overboard from your boat will very likely drown before you can pick them up.
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Last edited by Classic30; 08-29-2011 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 08-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
This is the 21st Century - and unless you're in the charter yacht business, there is really no need for orange or white rings hanging off the stern any more.
Hartley

There are jurisdictions that have things like this in their regulations:

"One (1) lifebuoy attached to a buoyant line at least 15 m (49’3”) long"

Rik
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Old 08-29-2011
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The white donut is cheap and unlikely to be stolen. Unlikely to "break" or degrade. So it makes a cheap and reliable way to throw something RIGHT NOW to the guy who just went overboard, while you're within 50' of them.

On the downside, white is unsafe since whitecaps are white and the ring will quickly be invisible in any rough water. So it is useless for marking the trail back to a MOB, or making the MOB more visible.

Still, it is cheap and reliable if you bear in mind it just isn't as good as other equipment, which comes in high visibility colors. A can of spray paint, a couple of coats and clear overcoats to slow the UV fading, can improve that for $10.
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Old 08-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rikhall View Post
Hartley

There are jurisdictions that have things like this in their regulations:

"One (1) lifebuoy attached to a buoyant line at least 15 m (49’3”) long"

Rik
Yep. Anyone asking for advice in this forum should keep in mind that it is international and to check the regulations where you will be sailing before making any changes to your safety routine based on advice given by any of us.

I agree with the OP's concern about the color. I don't have an answer about the white color of the ring, and mine is white but my throwable cushions are all red. If your dad insists on keeping the white ring, you could stick reflective tape on it. At least an MOB at night would have a better chance of being seen, regardless of the ring color.

A pet peeve I have is kayakers and canoists who wear blue or green life jackets and and the same color kayak. My kayak is bright red and my PFD is yellow. I want to be seen, especially should I choose to kayak in the Bay. Several years ago I helped with a triathlon where the swimmers all wore dark green swim caps. I wanted to scream.
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Old 08-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stearmandriver View Post
I recognize this is gonna sound real nit-picky. I am not obsessive by nature over small details, but I've been an airline pilot for enough years to know that SOME things warrant attention.

So then... we recently put a new type IV on the boat. It's a white ring. I voted against this, but it isn't my boat.

My dad likes it because it looks better than a yellow or orange ring hanging off the boat. I'm of the opinion that safety gear is one area you may not want to let aesthetics be your guide.

Anyone with experience with these... how visible would this thing actually be, if it were ever needed to be used as intended? Seems to me, if someone goes over, it's probably in rough water. By the time the boat is turned around (sure, that'll be quick, but still)... how much will one spot of white stand out, in a rough sea that's probably full of (moving) spots of white?

My plan is to just replace it with the big old yellow horsecollar any time the waves get up.

Thoughts?
You did not say where you are sailing but if you are looking for a type IV which is required in the US the colored ones are better for visibilty, the ring is easier to throw than the horseshoe. the Dan Bouy is a great product but is not CG approved and can not be used to replace a Type IV but can be used in addition to one
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Old 08-29-2011
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I am pretty sure in the US the Lifesling is the new standard and meets CG as well as ISAF specifications

I still use a horseshoe bouy with a throw line BUT i am pretty sure we will have a lifesling in 2012
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Old 08-29-2011
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I have a white horseshoe collar on the pushpit. Its pretty.....

I also have a Lifesling and MOM next to it, if that answers your question..... The case they are each in is white, but the units are yellow.
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Old 08-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rikhall View Post
Hartley

There are jurisdictions that have things like this in their regulations:

"One (1) lifebuoy attached to a buoyant line at least 15 m (49’3”) long"

Rik
The ISAF regulations are the same the world over (with some jurisdictions more up-to-date than others).. however I was simply responding to the thread as it was. If you're going to buy safety gear for the boat and are serious about safety, you might as well know how you are supposed to use it and what the options are.

eg. What you are referring to in your post isn't something you'd throw to the guy in the water! The "lifebuoy and buoyant line" is supposed to be dropped over the stern for the MOB to grab hold of as you sail in ever decreasing circles to pick them up. The colour is largely irrelevant for the purpose, but something easily visible - particularly at night - can only be a good thing.

You'd use a Lifesling and it's buoyant line for this now..
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Last edited by Classic30; 08-29-2011 at 07:51 PM.
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