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  #51  
Old 08-11-2012
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Re: Life vests for the well-endowed

Brigala,

Go to the portland WM, they have a pretty good selcition of PFD's, or did the last time I was in there a week or two ago. As I said before, bring a set of warm clothes, ie tops when it is 80+F out, and something you would wear when it is 35F and attempting to snow, and blowing 30+ mph! ie fat clothes. If it fits in the store, can be adjusted etc, great.

My daughter has the WM yellow offshore pfd made by mustang, I believe it is a 3084 equal, she is GG if that helps, and has no issues wearing this one, a 3084 I have for my wife etc.

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  #52  
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Re: Life vests for the well-endowed

So the West Marine lifejackets are made by Mustang? Or some of them are?
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  #53  
Old 08-12-2012
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Re: Life vests for the well-endowed

"SOME" of the WM inflatables are made by mustang. AN issue with WM branded pfd's, depending upon the model, is if you blow up the air tank, etc, you may not find a replacement at any ol chandlery you have to inhabit. Where as with a mustang or other, you "may" be more inclined to find replacement parts.

Not sure about the one you are looking at. I would be inclined to ask at the store whom the manufacture is. I am recalling one other manufacture along with the spinlock version mentioned earlier in this thread too. Sterns?!?! I have a WM I believe made by sterns, not the most comfortable vs the mustang equals.

At the end of the day tho, if you are not wearing one, because it is uncomfortable, then that is not a good thing! especially if you drown! so the right one for the task/use at hand at the end of the day is what you want. I know inflatables are not recomended for kayaking, windsurfing etc where getting dunked is pretty common, but from a sailing powerboat use......not as common, and many like wearing them.

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Re: Life vests for the well-endowed

Ok, so that helps a lot. You're right, I'll visit the Portland WM store and talk to them. I totally get what you're saying about comfort being #1, because a life vest you aren't wearing doesn't do you any good. It's the same thing we tell people with car seats - the right car seat is the one that fits your child and your car and you'll use correctly every time. At the end of the day, a safety device has to be in use (and used correctly) in order to save your life.

How often do these things come on sale? If "end of season" is a good time to buy, that's awesome, but I'm also not in any rush since our boat is not in sailable condition yet. I'm hoping it will be ready next summer.
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Re: Life vests for the well-endowed

The PFD's that arknoah linked, seem to go on sale what I would call regularly, ie every other month or so. The Mustangs will/might be once or twice a year. A birdie is going off in my brain that they were on sale the first couple or last two weeks in July also. May have been a 5 day 4th of july sale too.

The WM version I got my kids a few years back were on sale around nov/dec iirc. As I got them for xmas presents. Either that or the mgr at the local store gave me a small % off for buying a number of them in Dec. This store was pretty small in comparison to portland, and since closed when the bigger super store in seattle opened.

Some of the cost difference may also be in the types of fittings, one is SS vs a chrome bronze metal, or plastic vs SS. heavier webbing etc. For general sailing the coastal version may be fine. If offshore or in heavier weather etc, the higher cost offshore version may be prefered. The coastal may also not have an option for a crotch strap, where as offshore versions usually have this option. Then again, if out on the columbia during a spring run when the water is high and moving, a crotch strap if you go over to make sure the pfd stays on you is on may be a good thing.

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Re: Life vests for the well-endowed

Brigala:
Looking ahead to the future: Please go see your Plastic Surgeon now to review your options. Many health insurance companies now are very strict on coverage for a reduction. You may be required to document efforts you have made to improve your back pain, including weight loss, PT, etc. So document you greatest weight, and the efforts you have made.
In my 30+ years of surgery reduction was the 2nd most frequent procedure done, and had the highest % of grateful patients. Redoes, even after subsequent pregnancy were rare.
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Re: Life vests for the well-endowed

Thank you Maryt. That helps quite a bit.

Thank you also dongreerps. I'll talk to my doctor next time I go in and start leaving a paper trail. I certainly have struggled with back issues my whole life, and that's my biggest concern. Trouble finding clothes and other cosmetic concerns are certainly secondary. We are hoping to have another baby in about a year, and since I am a hippy and prefer to nurse for about two years (my almost 2 year old just self-weaned a couple of weeks ago) that puts us at least 3 years out before I would even start considering a reduction. If there's a next baby on our horizon it will be our last. I'm not getting any younger.
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Re: Life vests for the well-endowed

Brands: well, PS did a review of vests some years ago and models may have changed. But IIRC they mentioned the Crewfit (not USCG certified, not very actively sold on the US market, a UK brand) as being one of the few that will turn you face up in the water. If you can find that review it might be worth the time spent hunting it down.

And again regarding fit, if you use a crotch strap (which more folks are calling necessary not optional every year) you can get a large pfd that is loose around your chest--and it will still stay in place because the strap holds it down.

If I had a spouse I wouldn't argue with her about wearing a PFD (at least, about wearing it solo, or shorthanded, or on cold water, heavy wx, etc.) I'd just get a two million dollar life insurance policy and tell them "sign here please". And when they say what's this all about, I'd say that since they won't wear a PFD....at least I want something back from that selfish choice. No, wait, make it three mil, you've got kids.
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Re: Life vests for the well-endowed

My husband has a reasonable (not million though) life insurance policy that will take care of us if he falls off the boat and drowns, however I'd much rather have him around. I talked to him and he grudgingly agreed to wear a life jacket if I can find him one that is comfortable. Everyone I know who is into sailing wears life jackets, so that helps. I think he's just old school. But he does want to be around to see our kids grow up.

I like the idea of a crotch strap, especially after watching a couple of you tube videos demonstrating the inflatable vests. It seems like a crotch strap would help a LOT in holding the vest in place so it's more likely to turn you face up.

I'm looking for a "Type II Performance" vest, and supposedly that should turn the wearer face up. The under-$100 inflatables all say they have "Type III" performance and I think if I'm going to wear a vest I might as well have one that still has a good chance of saving my life even if I'm incapable of swimming.
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Re: Life vests for the well-endowed

I used to sail with someone that had young children and we talked about how to get the kids to wear life vests without complaining. Well, kids want to do what the grown-ups do, so we made the point of putting on the vests before we got on the launch or dock, and keeping them on until we were on dryland again or below deck.

You might want to cue in hubby, you've got a kid who will need to be wearing a PFD in a year or two. Let them start seeing it now, let them know it is normal and expected, and you'll have a much safer child next year. I think hubby will see the logic in that.

Comfort, again, you need to try them on, each fits differently. My ancient Crewfit rubs the back of my neck (if bare) but a piece of silk and some velco took care of that. Nice and comfy now. Crewfit actually toggles into the Henry Lloyd jackets, to hold it in place. I don't know if others do. And Crewfit makes extra bouyancy models.

I think Mustang got written up for having a more contoured more comfortable neck, but you really have to weigh all these things.

And then whatever you do get? Get one or two repack kits at the same time. If your vest is used, that way you can re-arm it afterwards. If you want to splurge, jump in the waster with it and see how it inflates, get used to the idea. You'll need to do that to really adjust the straps for proper position in the water. You don't need to waste an inflator on that though, you can usually remove that and just manually inflate.
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