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I don't discuss my member
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Discussion Starter #1
A question I do not know the answer to:

If you knew things were going badly and there was some probability of going in the water, would you take off your inflatable and put on your paddling jacket, knowing it will perform dependably in very violent water?
This question was brought up in another thread. I'd like to get some feedback on rescue PFDs and other foam type PFDs that have a harness included and leg loops or crotch straps. My inflatable has worked well, but having the option to wear a foam PFD in really nasty conditions gives me a lot of confidence, and it's almost impossible to swim in an inflatable.

Any thoughts?
 

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Senior Member
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19,488 Posts
Fixed your title... don't think wrapping yourself up in PDF files was going to be too effective! ;) ;)
 

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<-- best seat on the boat
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64 Posts
I've been paddling canoes and kayaks in whitewater all my life, and I still can't swim in a foam pfd with any kind of speed or efficiency. Especially not over a great distance. If I were to come off a sailboat I would way rather wear a certified life jacket (keeps my head out of the water even when unconscious) than a more comfortable foam pfd. You can't really swim in either, so I'll take the safer option. Up here in the cold water, I wouldn't even pretend to swim. If I'm in the drink, I'm guarding what body heat I have and signalling for a rescue by whatever means I have, not swimming.

I can't speak to the inflatables. I guess the risk of puncturing the bladder is an issue at some level. Also, if I'm dinghy sailing or paddling (and am very unlikely to be in the water more than a few minutes), I'll wear the pfd because I can actually wear it all day (unlike the foam life jackets, but again that's not a problem with an inflatable).
 

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Remember you're a womble
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2,328 Posts
Up here, I'd just wear my float suit. No messing with straps, no chance of it slipping off, comfortable, warm. Only problem is they get too warm if you are quite active and the temps aren't down at the freezing point (out of the water obviously).
 
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