PFDs--all the time? - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
 Not a Member? 

Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 05-28-2002
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 103
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 15
bmcald is on a distinguished road
PFDs--all the time?

The unfortunate loss of Jamie Boeckel''s life in the Block Island Race (see today''s news section in SailNet) and a similar boating tragedy that happened recently on Long Island raise the perennial question: should boaters always wear life vests?

In Boeckel''s case and the other case I am aware of, winds were under 30; I don''t know if Boeckel wore anything or not, but in the other boater''s death, he wasn''t wearing one although PFDs were on board.

The new automatically inflatable suspender style vests make it hard to argue that they''re too uncomfortable to wear all the time. But I know people will still be inclined not to wear them, unless weather conditions are really terrible.

Case in point--after reading about the one boater who drowned when a wave knocked him overboard, I ordered a SOSpender. The day it arrived, I went sailing. It''s not easy to see what the wind is doing from my dock, and I was surprised by the strength of the wind once I was out there. Still, I didn''t put the PFD on until after a jibe, when the boom swept the cockpit so quickly I realized I could have been knocked unconscious and into the water. Winds weren''t above 20.

It doesn''t take a gale to make dangerous conditions, but I bet most sailors don''t consider PFDs necessary in conditions less than a gale.

What do you do?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 05-28-2002
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 407
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 15
tsenator is on a distinguished road
PFDs--all the time?

Bruce,

I agree it''s amazing how quick things can come up. Who knows what the outcome might have been for Jamie Boeckel. By the way it sounds, he might have been severly and critically injured at the moment the spinaker pole broke. Either way, I''m sure there would have been infinitely better chances if he was still attached to the boat, or at least floating in the water with a life vest. This accident happened right after the start of the race (2 1/2 -3 hours into it) and the waters were relatively calm and still in Long Island Sound. The ominous "black cloud" front was quickly coming from the west, but there was still some light and these were almost as experienced a crew of sailors as you could ever get. BTW, the Around Block Island race does not make it mandatory to wear the life vests and harness''s, but I bet most boats have a rule that after dark they do. When the accident happened there was some light(twilight), but by the time the rescue operation got going it was fairly dark, though there was a full moon that night.

Most prudent sailors wouldn''t even think about flying a spinnaker with a front like that moving in, but these are sailboat racers and they are always pushing the edge, keeping up the spinaker to get those extra few knots. I was in the race and I kept looking back at those clouds and thinking to myself "boy....shouldn''t we take down the spinaker?". I even asked the Cap''t of our boat and he said, he would when he saw the bigger boats (that were "up weather") start to take them down then we would too. I kept feeling very warm air one minute, then very cool the next, I knew we were right on the edge of the front. Then ''boom'', a few minutes later we got hit by a huge gust and our boat rounded straight up , and then spun around and next thing I knew I was standing on the port toe rail about midship with my feet in the water standing vertical hugging something on the coachroof (winch and/or grab rails). The boat was knocked down completely on its side. (I''d say about 50-70 degs) At that moment I saw the cap''t who was on the foredeck go flying into the lifelines. (Thank god he had netting near the bow of the boat). I recall thinking....''Damn, we''re going to have to do a Man Overboard!", but luckily he, and everyone else, stayed on the boat.

At that time, I don''t beleive anyone on our boat had a harness or Lifejacket on (I know, I know.....foolish). But it was the start of the race and it was a beautiful day and we ''pumped'' on the race and trying desperatley to keep in front of the "maxi''s" that were behind us but gaining. Obviuosly after that moment most of us put on our harness/vest. But the Cap''t didn''t?! Well, he''s a big boy, I''m not gonna tell him what to do, plus he had a lot of sailing experience (Bermuda 1-2 etc).

What does this all say?...I''m not sure exactly? Maybe that sailboat racing is truly a sport that pushing people/things to the limit and possibly rivals race car driving in dangerousness (how many people die every year in each sport ?) And that when you first "think" you should do something on a boat that you should do it then and not wait, because by then it''ll be too late.

Tom
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 05-28-2002
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 103
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 15
bmcald is on a distinguished road
PFDs--all the time?

There''s something in us that doesn''t want to wear protective gear, whether we''re skateboarding or playing football or sailing. But I think I''m going to try and make the SOSpenders a habit while I''m under way. Dying while sailing might be a great way to go, but I''d rather put that one off for as long as I can.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 05-29-2002
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Wilson, NY
Posts: 562
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 14
Irwin32 is on a distinguished road
PFDs--all the time?

I do not want a law forcing me to wear a life jacket. I do wear one when I race, crew, or singlehand. For cruising I wear one when the wind or weather is unsettled especially if my crew is inexperienced.

Life is dangerous and we cannot legislate for every situation. We cannot legislate people''s judgement, which, by our nature, will sometimes be bad.

What about those 95 degree days when there is no wind or waves and you are motoring or drifting for hours? Wouldn''t a life jacket in this situation make it even more likely for one to overheat - leading to poor judgements and other medical problems. Wearing a life jacket in that situation is ridiculous and one is better off w/o.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 05-29-2002
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 407
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 15
tsenator is on a distinguished road
PFDs--all the time?

I know. I totally agree. I almost never wear a life jacket. But I rarely have to leave the cockpit for anything in rough weather. All lines lead into my cockpit including reefing lines. But this makes me think twice . BTW, there was a very good write up in todays sailnet article about the tragedy.

http://www.sailnet.com/collections/seamanship/index.cfm?articleid=sailne1432&tfr=fp

Its very humbling and as I read what happened on their boat, it sounded strangely similar to the incident that happened on our boat during the race (see what I wrote above). It gives me shivers to think that might have happened to our Cap''t who was on the bow of the boat at the time also trying to help control our spinaker.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 05-29-2002
SailorMitch's Avatar
Senior Moment
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: MD
Posts: 1,931
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 10
SailorMitch will become famous soon enough
PFDs--all the time?

Just a few weeks ago I bought from Sailnet a SOSpenders inflatable waist PFD. You wear it aorund your waist, keeping the pouch with the PFD in front. It''s a manual inflation and you have to put it around your neck once it''s inflated. I bought it because I think I''ll wear it more often in warm weather. It should be cooler than even the regular, around the neck type, which I also have. I have always worn that one whenever the wind pipes up, rough water, etc. but it''s too much to wear all the time in warm weather. I think the "fanny" pack one will do well for the summer to weat all the time.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 05-29-2002
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 159
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 13
MaryBeth is on a distinguished road
PFDs--all the time?


Kay, guys, gimme a break here. (Even tho I think if you use the Fortress you don''t need the all chain rode.)

Everyone here has had their PFDs on within a bay or within reasonable distance from shore, yes?

I used the SOSpenders automatic inflatable for years on many offshore trips. I gave it away when I left the biz and moved inland. And no, I don''t recall the model number, but I had the type that included the harness, the harness hardly added any weight at all. Bought it at the Annapolis boat show years ago.

The nice things about the automatic inflatable are - the comfort and the security. But you have to take care of them, of course, and you have to wear them. Even if you have the harness and don''t tie onto the jackline, i.e. during a bay sail, I''m certain they can still be a great asset to you.

I have been in three knockdowns, (you can see the keel over the foam and surf) two when I was in the cockpit, one when I was actually thrown overboard - no fault of my own, I was holding on. Though I was dragged beside the boat for a bit in 30 foot seas, it is a much better fate than that which would have beset me if I had 1)not been attached to the boat by the harness and 2)not had an inflatable, because I was knocked quite silly, not knowing which end was up. This was in the middle of nowhere, not Long Island Sound.

My opinion is that the SOSpenders and other pfds (especially the auto inflates) can be worn with so little discomfort that it would cause much less grief to those families left waiting to hear of their loved ones. Sorry, but safety first.

I did once use one of those god-awful type IIs (the orange things everyone has) and strapped it very, very, very tightly with duct tape around me when I was having to steer back home through a mad jetty with 10 foot swells because I had three broken ribs from the storm cell we had been through. But I bet it was the duct tape that helped more than anything It felt better, anyway, then they put me in a wrap (and gave me wonderful pain pills) once we reached land.

Anyway, I can''t say enough for the auto inflate, and put it on, it weighs barely anything, and what does it hurt?

MaryBeth

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 05-30-2002
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 36
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
davidk is on a distinguished road
PFDs--all the time?

We all know we should wear PFDs.
The new boat I am now crewing on has been beautifully fitted out. The owner has had PFDs made in the boats colours incorporating yacht name and crew number. Auto inflation with integral harness - very comfortable, even with crotch strap! The result is that the PFD has become part of the cool ''corporate'' gear available and so we use it. I know it is not the cheapest solution, but it is one approach to effecting a culture change.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 06-03-2002
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 309
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 15
JohnDrake is on a distinguished road
PFDs--all the time?

A SOSpenders with built in harness was one of the first items I got for the new boat. I find it very easy to wear and very comfortable even in hot (90F) humid conditions. I am appreciative of the flexibility I have with it: to use it as a harness, to use it as a life jacket.

I wear it often and religiously:

1. When I am sailing solo
2. Most important: When I sail with people who are not very experienced (I DO NOT assume that if I go over the side, they can get me)
3. In ANY kind of high wind or bad weather
4. At night
5. Anytime when going up on the foredeck.

I have a whistle and strobe attached to it. I have a handheld submersible VHF at the helm at all times that I can clip on in a second, if I feel conditions warrant.

It is very easy to slip on and off.

I am now buying a 2nd one to give to anyone sailing with me who goes up on the foredeck at anytime other than to slip the fenders over the side as we approach the dock (most people simply do not want to wear a PFD, but I find most people LIKE wearing a SOSpenders... yes they have become chic). I do not have a lot of money and do not race but the safety of my crew is my responsibility alone. I simply cannot give them less security than I would give myself.

Many many many people lose their lives needlessly even in the tamest of conditions in the safest of boating areas near shore.

Safety is everything and it is my responsibility as the owner of the vessal no matter what.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 06-07-2002
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 40
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Fran49829 is on a distinguished road
PFDs--all the time?

Yes, pfd''s all the time. Day, night, alone, with crew, in calms, in 10 knots, all the time.

I hate wearing my sospenders when it is hot and really should buy a lighter model or a belt pack for hot weather.

If you don''t wear a pfd alarms should be going off in your head.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
First Time Ocean Crossing Viceroy Cruising & Liveaboard Forum 158 10-11-2009 05:42 AM
Longitude: How do yo tell what the exact ships time is. duffer1960 General Discussion (sailing related) 5 02-18-2003 06:48 AM
First time up with mast RookieHunter Gear & Maintenance 2 11-30-2002 09:07 PM
Owners time Grenadines dale1122 Chartering 1 10-23-2002 07:01 AM
PFD''s for kids thomsonjd Gear & Maintenance 2 04-08-2002 02:38 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:02 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.