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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Mustang /vs/ SOSpenders PFD - why the big $ difference?
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Thread: Mustang /vs/ SOSpenders PFD - why the big $ difference? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-14-2008 05:49 PM
hellosailor "but was surprised to hear our infamous CCP describe her BC as having a CO2 cartridge inflator. "

Why surprised? SCUBA BCs normally do use CO2 inflators for emergency bouyancy. Both of mine do, as have every one I've seen over the years, except for some of the ancient "breast float" (horse collar)ultrathin cheap ones. Every "vest" model that I've seen has a CO2 inflator hidden under or in the pocket.

And yes, this could be dangerous. That's why mine has an extra safety pin to prevent accidental inflation, and the cord itself is velcro'd up under the flap so it can't foul. But we were taught, if you ever have to SEND SOMEONE UP, that's one option for doing it. Maybe not the best option--but sometimes the right one.
04-14-2008 05:08 PM
TrueBlue I must have missed this thread, but was surprised to hear our infamous CCP describe her BC as having a CO2 cartridge inflator. What was she smoking?

Anyone who's become certified to dive knows the dangers of ascending at too fast a rate. If one of those cartridges goes off while at say, 100 ft fsw - you're going to ascend like a rocket, air will expand in your lungs, causing a fatal barotrauma.
04-14-2008 04:51 PM
hellosailor "He later revised that number to 94 percent."
Akin to Sturgeon's law: "90% of everything is trash."

If life vests were sold as "For ornamental and decorative use only. Not to be used in, on, or near any body of water. Not designed to be used as life-saving equipment, use of this device will not save your life. " would that help the liability problem?
(sigh)
04-14-2008 03:18 PM
majortoo
Life Vests

I recall the words of the late Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the guru on quality, who used to blame about 80 percent of our problems to incompetent management. He later revised that number to 94 percent. Anyway, I might attribute the cost difference to the insurance industry. The potential liability issues on life vests are substantial, and one company just might have gotten a better deal from their insurance company. Regardless, we consumers get to pay the bill.
06-14-2007 10:23 PM
hellosailor Physllis-
Not all BC's can be made autoinflate, unless you've got some inflator that just happens to match a standard CO2 screw thread. I don't.

Mustang seems to have taken a page from BC design, i.e. the lower down you put the air pocket--the more chance that it actually translates into bouyancy. Took 'em long enough.

Brak, if you think a PFD resembles a hangman's noose...try the vest that is packed under every airline "overwater" seat. Nuh-uh, if I ever need to use on of those, it ain't going around my neck no matter how nicely the stew begs.
06-14-2007 09:55 PM
capecodphyllis
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
...I used my BC before I got my then-still-illegal PFD. A Crewfit that still rates tops for keeping the wearer face-up and out of the water. I figured since the marine guards on the presidential helo used BCs, they probably would work well enough for me. And, my BC has almost twice the lift of most PFDs on the market. (More lift means my face and nose are higher out of the water, or I can help keep someone else up.)

But today? Uhuh, wouldn't use the BC. Too Much Stuff and if I'm going overboard...the only time I'm really concerned will be if I'm unconcious, when that autoinflate needs to kick in and count.
hellosailor--

This might interest you. Take a look at the lastest Mustang high performance PFD at the link below. Notice how as the product evolves it looks more and more like a vest-style scuba diving BC. In fact, this version is almost identical to a scubapro BC - the photo of which I posted above. The only thing missing is build quality and a blow-in valve for manual inflation.

Also, any jacket-style scuba BC that accepts a Co2 cartridge can be set-up to auto inflate.

The product in the image below is just a cheap rip-off of the Scubapro classic BC, which was first introduced in the 1950s. Does that thing look like it's worth $379? Notice how this version is called the Mustang "survival vest" which seems to indicate that their other models offer something less than survival.

Mustang LIFT Inflatable PFD
06-14-2007 09:35 PM
brak I bought my Mustang for $180. Prices change, Defender and other stores have sales, it just goes that way.

My biggest issue with inflatables, which was especially bad with Mustang, is a size of the neck part - it is very tight around the neck, when inflated. I had it on over a t-shirt and the thing almost choked me. If the thing is worn over a jacket or some sort of foul weather gear - it will be worse. And I am not a particularly large person either.
06-14-2007 09:31 PM
sailingdog
Quote:
Originally Posted by capecodphyllis
You want it to auto-inflate? Fine, go ahead and install auto-inflate. I've decided to go with manual inflate, as have thousands of others. My only point is that the units you're looking at are - IMHO - better than nothing but they don't make for a very good lifejacket. As a lifejacket, they suck. If you're unconscious, I can't imagine them keeping you from drowning. In the placid water of lake woebegone they work perfectly, I'm sure.
Well, I hope that you never fall overboard in an incapacitated state. BTW, the shock of falling in to cold water can prevent you from being able to inflate your buoyancy compensator... so I guess you might get the Darwin award you seem to working towards.

Quote:
Let's give a hand to SD for going the extra mile - that is, for knocking himself out just to test the latest and most advanced personal safety gear. Not too many people would do that.
Only an idiot would think that testing the auto-inflation component of a PFD would require an unconscious tester... Jumping into the water with an auto-inflate PFD that is about the get the cartridge switched out for maintenance reasons is a good time to test it, since you'll be replacing the cartridge/tablet in any case.

Quote:
Before you spend alot of money try one out in the water and decide for yourself. Take note: Perhaps Sailingpuppy has never ventured outside of Cape Cod Bay. He doesn't know what a BC is. Seems strange for an apparent old salt.
Some of us don't scuba dive, and last I checked, a BC is scuba diving equipment, not sailing equipment. But, maybe you don't realize that, since you don't seem to have the ability to distinguish significant differences.
06-14-2007 08:49 PM
hellosailor Actually, if you read the PFD reviews from BoatUS, or Practical Sailor, or Equipped.Org...you'd find that certain PFDs will in fact turn you face up in water, while others won't. And some will turn you face up only when properly adjusted in the water, so you need to adjust them while in the water before deciding how to wear them.

With an autoinflate PFD and a crtochstrap you stand at least some chance of being rotated face-up and kept alive after a head strike on the way overboard. Without it? you stand much less chance. Near zero.

ScubaPro BC? Yeah, I used my BC before I got my then-still-illegal PFD. A Crewfit that still rates tops for keeping the wearer face-up and out of the water. I figured since the marine guards on the presidential helo used BCs, they probably would work well enough for me. And, my BC has almost twice the lift of most PFDs on the market. (More lift means my face and nose are higher out of the water, or I can help keep someone else up.)

But today? Uhuh, wouldn't use the BC. Too Much Stuff and if I'm going overboard...the only time I'm really concerned will be if I'm unconcious, when that autoinflate needs to kick in and count.
06-14-2007 08:26 PM
capecodphyllis
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEMIJim
Not yet. But, given your comments, perhaps I should. Then again: I had assumed somebody'd already done that and confirmed their efficacy.

There's a bit of an inconsistency in your argument, there.
You want it to auto-inflate? Fine, go ahead and install auto-inflate. I've decided to go with manual inflate, as have thousands of others. My only point is that the units you're looking at are - IMHO - better than nothing but they don't make for a very good lifejacket. As a lifejacket, they suck. If you're unconscious, I can't imagine them keeping you from drowning. In the placid water of lake woebegone they work perfectly, I'm sure.

Let's give a hand to SD for going the extra mile - that is, for knocking himself out just to test the latest and most advanced personal safety gear. Not too many people would do that.

Before you spend alot of money try one out in the water and decide for yourself. Take note: Perhaps Sailingpuppy has never ventured outside of Cape Cod Bay. He doesn't know what a BC is. Seems strange for an apparent old salt.
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