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Thread: Life Jacket, Life Vest, PFD....Recommendations Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-18-2007 10:05 AM
hellosailor Brak-
AFAIK the toggles and loops are one of those "potty old Englishman in the shed" inventions. In this case both HL and Crewfit being English firms, I think? Anyway, it seems to be one that works nicely. Crewfit also was never USCG approved, they've never had a great US market penetration and don't seem to covet the potential. Perhaps "the rest of the world" is market enough for them.
I keep "those orange things down there" for USCG purposes. I think I'd probably have to really piss off a boarding party before they came looking for the approval codes on the PFD I was wearing, they're generally just happy to see people actually wearing them.
02-18-2007 08:36 AM
sailingdog Spinlock's Deckware Pro is an excellent harness/PFD combo... one caveat on it though, it isn't USCG approved at the moment, but I believe is undergoing the USCG approval process, so you'll need to have a USCG approved PFD aboard to be legal.
02-18-2007 04:06 AM
wildcard Comfort is number one! If it aint comfortable, it wont be worn. The over the shoulder types tend to rub, OK, Illl say it, my nipples! How do girls deal with it? I have a fannypack pouch with a knife sheath on it that I have used for many years Comm fishing just for that reason. i am looking again for a harness/PFD now that Im plaing with windpower.
02-18-2007 01:05 AM

Heres an option.
02-18-2007 12:50 AM
brak Interesting - I think my new foul weather jacket has the loops but Mustang PFD (thats what I've got) doesn't seem to have an toggles on it for that.

What brand PFD are you using? I'd be interested to get a few recommendations here - and yes, perhaps a boatshow visit is in order.
02-17-2007 11:19 PM
hellosailor Brak-
Most (all?) of them also have a manual inflator and deflate mechanism, expect that you might have to deflate it somewhat for a btter neck fit. (If you really want to learn what a pencil neck means, try an airline life preserver. Can't fit it over your head unless you're a small woman or child, and that's without even inflating it. UGH.)

I was lucky, the Crewfit guy at a boat show I was at (that long ago) was ambushing us sailors. "Here, try this on" and then WHOOSH he hit the inflator tag. Grabbing live demos from the crowd. Well, at least I knew it fit.

By the way, when I bought my HL foulies I couldn't figure out wtf the little loops on the front by the zipper flap were for. First time I put my Crewfit on over the jacket, I found out. The PFD has little toggle buttons that button into the jacket--ensuring the correct position. And, yes, it fits around the collar. Worn bare, it rides on the back of the neck though. (New ones may be better.)

Boat show, demos! Blow it up manually if the guy doesn't want to pop a cart. The Practical Sailor review and reviews also both say you really need to try it on in the water to get the straps adjusted properly--if you want it to float you face up. For pretty much all of them. And manual inflation is fine for that, as it also is to test once in a while to make sure there are no leaks.
02-17-2007 09:01 PM
brak I am going to wake up this old topic rather than making a new one.

After many years of owning a manual Sospenders inflatable I got myself Mustang autoinflatable PFD last year. Today I decided to test it in a bathtub - see if it actually inflates (better find out now than if I have to use it).

Well, sure enough it inflated nicely - but here is the problem. It sits nicely on me when packed, but when inflated the damn neckhole is so tiny it almost choked me. And I wore it on my bare neck essentially. Were I wearing my foul weather jacket - that would be it.

Now, how do I find an inflatable PFD that will be reasonably sized and won't close off my air pipes? I can't actually inflate them in store, can I?

Any advice would be welcome.
09-06-2006 02:59 PM
hellosailor Matthew, in a dinghy you'll often be wet and occasionally in the water, so I'd avoid the water-activated ones. Wearing a Type3 and leaving a Type1 handly for when you need it--or when you spill the boat--might be a good compromise.
09-06-2006 08:56 AM
sailingfool Micetic - do you anticipate wearing the inflatable at all times, or is it for emergency use only?
If you are going to wear it all the time, you have to go with an inflatable or a vest - if you are in a dingy, most sailors use vests like which are designed to be worn with comfort. If you are not in a dingy, you can go with an inflatable.

if its for emergency use only, buy the best type I and equip it with a whistle, light and mirror.
09-06-2006 07:18 AM
sailingdog I'd go with the Mustang inflatable PFD with automatic Hydrostatic release. It has the least chance of activating accidentally, while you are sailing a dinghy and has the option for a sailing harness IIRC.

The one I've linked to is their "LIFT" version, which has additional buoyancy to help keep your head further out of the water. I have a couple of these on my boat for use by my crew. They are USCG approved IIRC.
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