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We've always used inflatables with harnesses, but I'm considering buying the Cat 1s for the reasons mentioned in several posts above.

One draw back of the Cat 1s is storage. Where do you keep them? I'm thinking about getting the ones that are basically flat (approx 24" x 14" x 2") and building a wrack to hold them in the ceiling in an out of the way place.

Any other solutions to the storage problem for an item you never want to use?

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GeorgeB,

Our SoP is to have anyone in the cockpit or on deck wear the inflatable vest at night (sun down to sun up) and anytime during the day when we need to put in the second reef. In such circumstances the helmsman and anyone working on deck is clipped on. All our PFDs have a strobe and whistle. I encourage offshore crew to carry a pencil flare while on watch, but leave it to them to decide if they want to have such a device in their pocket. On my PFD I have a small pouch attached to the harness webbing that has a small mirror, a knife and a pencil flare and when I'm sailing offshore I carry a small ebirb and a laser flare in the pouch as well. All these items are secured to the pouch with a 24" +/- length of cord.
 
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