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Does anyone use belt PFDs?

2519 Views 25 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  MedSailor
I've generally thought these things are hokey and useless, but I have to admit, looking back at my boating career so far, I have spent much more time without a PFD on than with. I'm getting better about it, but I wonder if one of these might help. Or, maybe they're useless....

Anyone use them? Seems like the cats meow in warmer climates.

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Those are technically legal devices in aircraft that require floatation for passengers. Truthfully, they are ridiculously inadequate. The dirty little secret is that there is no reason for a multi engine aircraft to be in the water, unless it has a catastrophic problem. In those, the life vest is moot. (Capt Sully truly was extraordinarily skilled and maybe a touch lucky)

As to the vest, you better be conscious, as I'm not familiar with a brand with a hydro inflation device. You have to pull the cord. The odds that you are overboard because you were knocked out, or were knocked out going overboard are pretty good. Then, if you do make it consciously to the water, don't pass out, I'm not sure your face will stay out of the water.

Consider the criticism that a Spinlock vest may run over your head in bad conditions. Those are much more substantial and include crotch straps.

Not for me.
We use them in our dingy when anchored in areas where there is a current.
small, easy to don and stow in our seat once ashore.
That's a pretty reasonable use for them. However, I keep a four pack of type II vests in the dink and use them as a seat. :)
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but I'm thinking that based on the below article, USCG is getting out of the approval biz:

Life Jacket Type Code Labels Go Away : BoatUS Press Room
Not so sure. Reads that it's just the type coding that is going away. They still say they'll have standards that are international.
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