NO PFDs - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 51 Old 12-21-2019 Thread Starter
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NO PFDs

Delivering down the ditch and I've noticed between Morehead City and South of Myrtle Beach all these guys (mostly) blasting around in their jonboats/Boston Whalers/Carolina Skiffs all bundled up for the cold (30s,40s) and I didn't see one PFD. The vast majority were out solo. All it would take was a sudden turn or hit a wake unexpectedly and Oops, in you go. Water temps are in the 40s; exhaustion time is 30-60 min and if you're weighed down with heavy winter wear, good luck. At least I understand why the CG stats on marine fatalities show most were in small motorized craft.
Not a lecture just puzzled. When I singlehand I'm wearing. And with crew if the water temps are down I don't care how nice it is; it's the cold water that'll get you.
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post #2 of 51 Old 12-21-2019
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Re: NO PFDs

maybe they are wearing a type III flotation jacket

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post #3 of 51 Old 12-22-2019
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Re: NO PFDs

What's the water temperature? If it's as cold the the temps you mention, and an event happens more than a few miles offshore, then one has less than 30 minutes to get out. Hypothermia will start shutting down your muscles far sooner in water close to freezing.

When sailing Lake Superior we used to say, somewhat morbidly, that all a lifejacket does is allow the CG to find the body.

P.S. I always wear a lifejacket, even though I now cruise the cold waters of Newfoundland. But I never go out alone.

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post #4 of 51 Old 12-22-2019
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Re: NO PFDs

Excellent, our species needs more Darwin effect at play thinning the herd
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post #5 of 51 Old 12-22-2019
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Re: NO PFDs

^1+

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post #6 of 51 Old 12-22-2019
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Re: NO PFDs

A guy fell off his center console, in Block Island Sound a few years back, exactly how you describe. No PFD. The boat was in gear, but trolling slowly. He tread water for 11 hrs and was rescued. No one knew he was overboard, until his boat drove up on the beach, hour later. Water temps were mid 70s and it was considered a miracle. In the 40s you would not successfully tread water for more than 15 mins Iím sure, as your muscles stiffen.


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post #7 of 51 Old 12-22-2019
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Re: NO PFDs

And BTW, I've read that inflatable PFDs don't in cold water. Haven't tested it myself, though.
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post #8 of 51 Old 12-22-2019
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Re: NO PFDs

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Originally Posted by 22catcapri View Post
And BTW, I've read that inflatable PFDs don't in cold water. Haven't tested it myself, though.
Could you please cite your source for this? The sailors that race through the Southern Ocean must be using non-functional PFD's then with a false sense of security.

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post #9 of 51 Old 12-22-2019
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Re: NO PFDs

Just a touch or reality, solo racing in the Southern Ocean probably makes a PFD pretty useless.

When North I use a PDF, but mostly for the built in harness attached to a jack line or hard point, not for the inflation.
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post #10 of 51 Old 12-22-2019
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Re: NO PFDs

Blow up your inflatable dinghy in the early morning before the sun hits it. Check it at noon and it will be grossly over inflated, check it again in the evening and it will be under inflated. Gases expand as they are warmed and decrease as they are cooled. An inflatable vest may not inflate to rock hard when temps are low but it will still inflate. A little addition of air via the oral inflation tube(s) will do the final touch up, but the PFD's will inflate enough to float you even in cold conditions though maybe not in North Pole cold.
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