SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 76 Posts

·
Total Sailing Novice
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I think the above says it all!

I'm just starting to think about outfitting our "new" sailboat with safety gear. Got a life vest for the tot already, thanks to advice from Sailnet folks. I'm not in a huge hurry since our "new" boat is in the "not sure whether to fix it or sell it for scrap to free up the trailer" category; probably I won't really be sailing until next summer and I can make do with a standard life vest until then when I'm tagging along on friends' boats.

I'm not quite so much of a freak of nature that I can't wear a regular vest. But they're not terribly comfortable and before I start shopping I was wondering whether there were brands of vests I should be looking at first. I'd like something comfortable enough to wear pretty much all the time. I think I'd like a Type III and a Type II to switch out as conditions warrant. To give an idea of sizing... let's just say that when I'm sure I'm done having kids I'm going in for back-saving surgery to go several sizes down to a D or DD. (Had a friend whose 'girls' grew back with her next pregnancy and don't want to risk having to do it twice).

On the other hand, maybe they'll serve just fine as floatation devices without a vest. :eek:

Also, last time I took the tot out on a boat I found I had to remove my life vest entirely in order to nurse. Has anybody here ever had a nurseling on a boat? And did you find any life vests that you could just open and not have to totally remove? It's not a huge issue now since Tot is almost done with her nursing days, but I may have one more before my childbearing years are over.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,915 Posts
On the other hand, maybe they'll serve just fine as floatation devices without a vest. :eek:
huh.

Try these instead: Mustang M.I.T. 22 Inflatable PFD

A bunch of manufacturers make them and I imagine (being childless) that you can easily push it aside without taking it off to nurse.

You may also come across flotation devices in a fanny pack looking set up but I don't really recommend them as you have to keep your wits about you to actually use them in an emergency.

Good luck!
 

·
Total Sailing Novice
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I definitely don't want some fanny-pack kind of thing. I'm a pretty good swimmer and if I have my wits about me well enough to use one I can probably just swim. I'm more concerned with something that will help me survive in less than ideal circumstances. :)

Being able to nurse in a vest is not a high priority at this point; it's only a theoretical concern anyway. I'm a lot more interested in just something that would be comfortable.

I'd rather avoid an inflatable if I can, but it's definitely an option. Thanks for the suggestions!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,915 Posts
I definitely don't want some fanny-pack kind of thing.
I don't care for them either.

I'm a pretty good swimmer and if I have my wits about me well enough to use one I can probably just swim.
In most cases, this isn't a good idea. If you find something is wrong with your boat and you end up overboard, it's easier for the rescuers to see your boat rather than a teeny head bobbing in the water so stay with it unless it's on fire (even then it'll more than likely just burn to the waterline so at least stay where you won't be in danger if there's an explosion). Also, you lose energy that your body needs to stay warm if you start swimming.

I was a water rescue instructor in a past life and learned quite quickly that unless you are an Olympic-caliber swimmer, you are NOT a "strong" swimmer, especially in adverse conditions. Now, if you do have a medal, forget I mentioned it. :) Many a student had discovered the difference between what their abilities were in their minds and what they could actually accomplish given a dangerous situation.

I'd rather avoid an inflatable if I can, but it's definitely an option. Thanks for the suggestions!
Someone else may, but I don't know of any better option on the market right now.
 

·
Total Sailing Novice
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
In most cases, this isn't a good idea. If you find something is wrong with your boat and you end up overboard,
That's not what I meant... what I mean is that the stupid fanny pack thing seems like of very limited usefulness. I want a "real" life vest because the whole point of a flotation device is to keep you alive long enough to be rescued in the event of something going wrong. In a situation where all I need is a little extra buoyancy around my waist... well... I have plenty of natural buoyancy anyway so I don't think a mere flotation belt will improve the situation a lot.

I'm quite aware that I'm not a strong enough swimmer to save my hide (let alone help protect my kids or anybody else I'm responsible for) in case of a true emergency.
 

·
Total Sailing Novice
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Oh yeah, and even an olympic medalist can get a bad knock on the head or a lung full of water and drown... so if they're on my boat they get to wear life vests too. :)
 

·
Total Sailing Novice
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
LOL!

I was afraid of that. :D
 
  • Like
Reactions: messer999

·
Registered
Joined
·
250 Posts
I still think the auto inflatables would be your best bet, they are small, but float a large amount of weight. (I hope I'm NOT in trouble for saying it that way). My wife really likes the way it fits, and she isn't a little girl anymore,(except to me!).
 

·
Total Sailing Novice
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Ok, I'll look further into it. I get nervous about anything that might stop working if it comes near something sharp, though.

And, since bljones had the audacity to ask... and honestly a pic might not be a bad idea for giving you an idea of what kind of "accommodation" I need... and because this pic has my adorable daughter in it and I can hardly pass up an opportunity to brag on her...



Taken in Hawaii about a year ago. :) Maybe next time we go we can sail there and avoid the hassle of airport security. ;)
 

·
██▓▓▒▒░&
Joined
·
13,645 Posts
A TypeII vest is a semi-mythological creature, no one has ever seen one in real life.

A Type3 is going to be uncomfortable even if you're not, ah, chesty. For comfort people buy Type5 inflateable PFDs, preferably an auto-inflate with built in harness and crotch strap. You can wear it "slack" as long as you've take the important step of actually inflating it (by mouth is OK) in the water to make sure it will fit right when it IS inflated.

And FWIW, an inflateable shouldn't be worn unless you're willing to CHECK IT from time to time, to make sure it holds air.

Yes, every brand and model fits a bit differently, but AFAIK none of them come in "portly" or "chesty". Although, maybe that's a sales opportunity for Maidenform. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,264 Posts
Type II are close to the most uncomfortable life jackets you can buy. They are the cheap ones sold by west marine to meet the USCG carriage requirement of one for everyone aboard. Don't even think about them for general wear, they are terrible, and manufacturers have no intention of making them better since they do what they are supposed to.... Live in a bag somewhere to show off when the Coast Guard show up.

Type I is like II but actually more comfortable. Though they are full jackets intended for off shore use. Again, don't think about them for general wear, they are hot, heavy, and not really designed to be comfortable.

For always on, the only realistic option is an inflatable. I appreciate the concern about sharp objects, but the covers, and bladders on the USCG approved list are very durable. I have one that is now about 8 years old, and still passed certification this year with no maintenance done.

Take a look for type V inflatables with type II performance (type II must roll you over on your back if you are unconscious). Ideally spend the extra to get a true type II inflatable that doesn't have to be worn to meet carriage requirements, since that way you have an extra life jacket on board.

As for manufacturer... I like the Mustang or Musto brands, but they are both heavy off shore types. For more moderate sailing, I would just go try as many on as you can. There is a lot of variation between manufacturers, and models.
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,293 Posts
BL - I was thinkin' the same thing...

Brigalia - +2 for having the guts to post the pic :)

If you got the bucks, these are great;


And they're available in gurly colors too;


See here; Sailing
 

·
Total Sailing Novice
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Brigalia - +2 for having the guts to post the pic :)
Hah! I thought about it for quite a while. But, you know... that's what I look like. Why should I be ashamed of it? Frustrated that I can't find clothes that fit well? Yeah. Tired of it hurting my back? Hell yeah. But I figure you all are way more mature than the kids who made fun of me in the 6th grade. :D

Money's not a huge concern. I mean, it's always a factor, since my herb garden only grows basil and not money. But I'm not one to skimp on stuff that is there to save your life. You'd probably all choke if you knew how much I'd spent on car seats for my daughter in the 2 short years she's been alive... :eek: ... and not because more expensive directly = safer, but because a safety device is only as safe as it is used consistently and correctly. Something that doesn't fit just right tempts you to get lazy and maybe not wear it or not secure it properly... the principle applies equally to car seats or life jackets as near as I can tell.

My husband is one of those people who believes he's invincible and shouldn't have to wear a life vest. I hope one of those inflatables will convince him otherwise. If it takes $300 to reduce the chance that I get to live as a widow, I'm all for it.
 

·
Total Sailing Novice
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Meh. The same picture is on Facebook for all to see. And I've developed a pretty thick skin over the years.
 

·
Total Sailing Novice
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #19

·
Registered
Joined
·
792 Posts
What is the difference between those ones and these ones:
MD2087 M.I.T. Membrane Inflatable Technology™

I can't figure out any significant difference between the Deluxe one you linked and this one (other than the available colors - and I just want something bright and visible). But this one is about $60 less.
At a quick glance, the major difference is that the more expensive one has a hydrostatic trigger, which uses water pressure rather than inflating when it gets wet, which reduces the chance of it inflating accidentally. I didn’t look very closely but the more expensive ones tend to have extras like soft collars and inspection windows to check on the firing mechanism.

Don’t worry about the color (from a visibility point of view), they open up when inflated and are then all brightly colored, usually yellow.

Shop around for the best deal you can get. Depending on your level safety consciousness and where you use it, a crotch strap and a spray hood are nice features to have (they all come with a light and whistle, right?). Also I found some more comfortable than others, although I am a slightly different shape.

BTW, I got mine in Europe because, for some reason, inflatable lifejackets are (or at least were) less expensive there. Don’t know why.
 
1 - 20 of 76 Posts
Top