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You'll sometimes see hydrostatic mechanisms referred to as "Hammer" who make and hold the patent for arguably the best one - at least that's what they will tell you.
 

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The PFD pictured doesn't have D-ring harness attachments. I would recommend getting the ones with the D-ring, that way you can attach yourself to a tether which is then attached to the boat.

Deluxe Inflatable PFD with Hydrostatic Inflator Technology (HIT) and Sailing Harness MD3184

As far as a tether goes, it is safer to get one with a snap shackle that can be released under load (in case the boat goes down or flips over) and a fail-safe snap hook. Personally, I prefer the Kong style since the snap hook is easy to operate.

Kong Single Retractable Tether

First rule - stay on the boat.
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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This is the one that I have;


But unless you need the "D" rings, and have the tether, and jack lines, you are wasing an extra $60... or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Good tips, guys, thanks!

The boat we "have" is still under discernment whether it's going to the scrap yard or getting refurbished. I can certainly add tethers to the list of things we need to install before we take it out.
 

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On the other hand, maybe they'll serve just fine as floatation devices without a vest. :eek:
There's a reason some early PFD's were called Mae West's :D

My wife has similar challenges, and is comfortable with her Mustang inflatable. We got the rings for tethering, it just made sense, even if we didn't need them at the moment.

Previously, when we got her a vest for the Hobie, we went to a kayak outfitter who suggested the models that would work best for her. Of course those were non-inflatable.

Good luck!

.
 

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Daughter whom is a couple of three double letter sized bigger than you reduction size mentioned, uses a 3184 mustang with out issues. Wife is about the size you mention also no issues with the 3184 or the non hydro version which we have both of. IIRC a 3084 or 308x anyhow.

Reality is, head to the local chandlery, with ALL you clothes you may wear, start trying them on. see which one is nice with the fat/wet gear on, then try it tightened down when you have on just summer clothes, ie a tshirt! When you can move around in all the varieties of clothing etc you wear, you found the right one for you!

All of our vests have the D rings. I also have the ability to tether folks in rougher conditions. Daughter does bow when racing, for her sometimes, knowing she will not fall off, allows her to relax a bit more in rougher conditions, does a better/faster job up there. Some of the others that help are the same. Not that they use the tether as a crutch per say, it does relax you to some degree that you will not go too far away from the boat if you lose it!

Marty
 

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Reality is, head to the local chandlery, with ALL you clothes you may wear, start trying them on. see which one is nice with the fat/wet gear on, then try it tightened down when you have on just summer clothes, ie a tshirt! When you can move around in all the varieties of clothing etc you wear, you found the right one for you!

All of our vests have the D rings. I also have the ability to tether folks in rougher conditions. Daughter does bow when racing, for her sometimes, knowing she will not fall off, allows her to relax a bit more in rougher conditions, does a better/faster job up there. Some of the others that help are the same. Not that they use the tether as a crutch per say, it does relax you to some degree that you will not go too far away from the boat if you lose it!

Marty
Thanks to you for this simple approach and to Brigala for bringing up this topic. I will follow this advice to get a more comfortable pfd for my wife.:)
 

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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.
Tell him this (No offense to your husband, because many make the same mistake, but his view is based on a complete failure to understand the dangers)

Not sure where you sail but in cold water (like the coastal waters around here) you have 10-20 minutes where your muscles will work, then they stop working due to the cold and then you are vulnerable to drowning due to wave action. You can't wave or shout for help.

In an MOB situation you are likely to be dealing with a crew member who can't get themselves back into the boat and will need to be hoisted. This all takes time.

Actual death from hypothermia doesn't happen for an hour or so, so a life jacket extends your life expectancy from 20 minutes to an hour or more, and lets face it, that 20 to 60 minutes window is when help from USCG or whoever is likely to arrive.

I know of 3 people who fell in the water in local MARINAS in the last 18 months. One died of a heart attack. A second drowned. The third was rescued and survived but after 10 minutes in the water reported that he was too weak to shout for help.

I know of a skipper who lost a crew member overboard who was then rescued by USCG after 30 minutes. The crew member spent two weeks in hospital recovering.
 

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Mark, some long time ago we were running water samples and bottom profiles in 34F water and a discussion came up about whether to wear life jackets over or under the parkas, and whether it would make any difference anyhow since the ship we were on couldn't round up and come back for you before your lungs froze up in any case.

The wise old man in charge of things said just wear the life jackets, with whatever has the highest visibility on the outside. Not because it will make any difference in how long you live, but simply as a courtesy to those poor SOBs conducting the SAR operations, so they can find your body quickly and go back home again.

The logic still works for me. Someone thinks they're invulnerable, fine, no argument here. But they'd damn well better have the courtesy to make life easier on the SAR guys.

Oddly enough, when they hear "the only difference is how quickly we can recover your body" they start to question the invulnerability aspect as well.
 

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Check these out:

Stohlquist Women's Cruiser Kayak Lifejacket - The Stohlquist Cruiser lifejacket is perfect for the female sea kayaker and sit-on-top paddler. The Cruiser PFD is shaped for women, with a smaller cut, shortened torso and supportive inner cups. The back side is half flotation/half cool mesh to fit comfortably above the seat backs found in many of today's recreational and touring boats. The internal front foam is hand-sculpted for perfectly shaped fit. Neoprene padded shoulders and lower back waist band are easy on the skin when worn with a swim suit, and the Cinch harness makes for zero ride up. A wide range of adjustability makes for the perfect fit. Zippered front pockets keep small essential close at hand, and 3M reflective piping front and make increase visibility in low-light situations.
Sizing:
Size XS/S M/L XXL
Bust 28 - 34" 34 - 40" 40 - 46"

They have other models anatomically designed for women. My wife has one . . . bought it at Strictly Sail four years ago. Most comfortable non-inflatable life vest she's ever worn. I have a Stohlquist men's model . . . awesome!

Mobnets
1973 Paceship Chance 32/28 "WESTWIND"
 

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I would suggest that a proper "kayak" pfd, which is going to be cut higher above the waist in order to allow you to sit in a kayak, is the wrong thing to wear sailing.

In order to fit in a kayak, with a spray skirt, the pfd would have to be cut higher, the same way that a flyfishing vest is cut high to keep the bottom out of the water when you are wading.

And that's fine, but when the bouyant material is higher up on your body, you float lower in the water. For open water use, you want the bouyancy down as low as possible, so it lifts you as high as possible. Which is one reason a crotch strap should be used, to keep the bouyancy low on your body.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
MarkSF: Yeah, I've told him all that. Actually, he may be more willing to wear the vest because we'll be sailing in cold waters. He's not stupid. Just... set in his ways. And 90% of his boating experience has been in California or Hawaii where they simply don't have the icy conditions we have up here. Plus, we have a toddler now and that may change things a bit, giving him a bigger reason to stay alive longer. The inflatable vest may be enough to tip the scales also, because he should be able to wear it without it restricting his movement.
 

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HELLOSAILER:
I agree, a kayak vest is not best for sailing . . . it was just the model that came up on google first with a good description of the way they approach the design of women's vests. Sorry for the confusion . . . I knew what I was thinking but didn't make myself clear. Like I said, they make lots of models. My wife has one designed for sailing. So do I! I just couldn't remember the exact name of the model and I'm 3 hours from the boat today so couldn't check.

Mobnets
1973 Paceship Chance 32/28 "Westwind"
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
It looks like most of their jackets are designed for Kayaking, though. And, from the company website:

Women's model has built-in cups to fit sizes B to D.
... which falls several cup sizes short for me. It's a good suggestion, though, and I think maybe their multi-sport vest is less kayak-specific.
 

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This thread needs more pics...

I mean in the interest of safety....
 
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