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  #1  
Old 06-26-2012
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Life vests for the well-endowed

I think the above says it all!

I'm just starting to think about outfitting our "new" sailboat with safety gear. Got a life vest for the tot already, thanks to advice from Sailnet folks. I'm not in a huge hurry since our "new" boat is in the "not sure whether to fix it or sell it for scrap to free up the trailer" category; probably I won't really be sailing until next summer and I can make do with a standard life vest until then when I'm tagging along on friends' boats.

I'm not quite so much of a freak of nature that I can't wear a regular vest. But they're not terribly comfortable and before I start shopping I was wondering whether there were brands of vests I should be looking at first. I'd like something comfortable enough to wear pretty much all the time. I think I'd like a Type III and a Type II to switch out as conditions warrant. To give an idea of sizing... let's just say that when I'm sure I'm done having kids I'm going in for back-saving surgery to go several sizes down to a D or DD. (Had a friend whose 'girls' grew back with her next pregnancy and don't want to risk having to do it twice).

On the other hand, maybe they'll serve just fine as floatation devices without a vest.

Also, last time I took the tot out on a boat I found I had to remove my life vest entirely in order to nurse. Has anybody here ever had a nurseling on a boat? And did you find any life vests that you could just open and not have to totally remove? It's not a huge issue now since Tot is almost done with her nursing days, but I may have one more before my childbearing years are over.
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Re: Life vests for the well-endowed

Other than a 'Mustang' auto inflatable, I don't know what else you could try.
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Re: Life vests for the well-endowed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigala View Post

On the other hand, maybe they'll serve just fine as floatation devices without a vest.
huh.

Try these instead: Mustang M.I.T. 22 Inflatable PFD

A bunch of manufacturers make them and I imagine (being childless) that you can easily push it aside without taking it off to nurse.

You may also come across flotation devices in a fanny pack looking set up but I don't really recommend them as you have to keep your wits about you to actually use them in an emergency.

Good luck!
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Re: Life vests for the well-endowed

I definitely don't want some fanny-pack kind of thing. I'm a pretty good swimmer and if I have my wits about me well enough to use one I can probably just swim. I'm more concerned with something that will help me survive in less than ideal circumstances.

Being able to nurse in a vest is not a high priority at this point; it's only a theoretical concern anyway. I'm a lot more interested in just something that would be comfortable.

I'd rather avoid an inflatable if I can, but it's definitely an option. Thanks for the suggestions!
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Re: Life vests for the well-endowed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigala View Post
I definitely don't want some fanny-pack kind of thing.
I don't care for them either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigala View Post
I'm a pretty good swimmer and if I have my wits about me well enough to use one I can probably just swim.
In most cases, this isn't a good idea. If you find something is wrong with your boat and you end up overboard, it's easier for the rescuers to see your boat rather than a teeny head bobbing in the water so stay with it unless it's on fire (even then it'll more than likely just burn to the waterline so at least stay where you won't be in danger if there's an explosion). Also, you lose energy that your body needs to stay warm if you start swimming.

I was a water rescue instructor in a past life and learned quite quickly that unless you are an Olympic-caliber swimmer, you are NOT a "strong" swimmer, especially in adverse conditions. Now, if you do have a medal, forget I mentioned it. Many a student had discovered the difference between what their abilities were in their minds and what they could actually accomplish given a dangerous situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigala View Post
I'd rather avoid an inflatable if I can, but it's definitely an option. Thanks for the suggestions!
Someone else may, but I don't know of any better option on the market right now.
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Re: Life vests for the well-endowed

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Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
In most cases, this isn't a good idea. If you find something is wrong with your boat and you end up overboard,
That's not what I meant... what I mean is that the stupid fanny pack thing seems like of very limited usefulness. I want a "real" life vest because the whole point of a flotation device is to keep you alive long enough to be rescued in the event of something going wrong. In a situation where all I need is a little extra buoyancy around my waist... well... I have plenty of natural buoyancy anyway so I don't think a mere flotation belt will improve the situation a lot.

I'm quite aware that I'm not a strong enough swimmer to save my hide (let alone help protect my kids or anybody else I'm responsible for) in case of a true emergency.
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Re: Life vests for the well-endowed

Oh yeah, and even an olympic medalist can get a bad knock on the head or a lung full of water and drown... so if they're on my boat they get to wear life vests too.
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Re: Life vests for the well-endowed

Inflatable.
I don't know any sailors who wear a vest by choice over an inflatable. Especially on a hot day, an inflatable is the way to go.

and just because SOMEBODY has to do it...

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Re: Life vests for the well-endowed

LOL!

I was afraid of that.
messer999 likes this.
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Re: Life vests for the well-endowed

I still think the auto inflatables would be your best bet, they are small, but float a large amount of weight. (I hope I'm NOT in trouble for saying it that way). My wife really likes the way it fits, and she isn't a little girl anymore,(except to me!).
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