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Tartan 37
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm looking at purchasing an inflatable life vest with an integral safety harness. I see West Marine has this one on sale for $189.00. (Edit: Not this exact one linked, but the auto version)
West Marine: Offshore Sailing Manual Inflatable Life Vest Product Display

I know its not as "high tech" as the Hydrostatic ones, so I am also curious to hear if any of you have experienced "false" inflations with the either, more likely the non-hydrostatic models?

In addition, I recall hearing that inflatables with integral harnesses are very uncomfortable???

Another question; Some say 2 years, 5 years, etc. "service intervals"? Is this something easily done (using the rearming kits)? And does it makes sense to pay a little more and get the 5 year interval.

I have read the PS reviews but prefer to hear real life experiences, all suggestions comments welcome :D
 

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Tartan 37
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Sorry...I should have said that I would only buy a automatic inflatable vest...couldnt find the one in the WM flyer, on-line. Oops

They are advertising a WM Offshore Sailing Inflatable Life Vest Auto/Manual for $189.99?
 

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That looks like a newer version of the Mustangs I have. I have 3 that are labled Mustang, and got my kids WM badged hydrostatic version. 2 of the 3 mustangs are the old pill style, ie also bought before the hydro versions came out.

Certainly worth a trip to WM and see how it fits etc, and if you like it....BUY IT!

Marty
 

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Badger Sailor
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Good PFD for the money

Chef,

I have this WM auto inflatable PFD with integral harness. I'm in my second season with this PFD and will tell you it's so comfotable that you don't even know you have it on.

I sail Lake Michigan and have been is some sloppy wet weather and never experienced a "false" inflation.
 

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Telstar 28
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One warning, many of the WM PFDs with integrated harnesses are not designed for people shorter than 5' 8". If you are shorter than that, do NOT buy one, unless you have checked it for yourself. The sales people and the literature really doesn't mention this minor fact, but the PFDs usually have it pretty clearly written on their instructions on the PFD itself. The reason many are not designed for someone shorter than 5'8" is the harness—the harness on many is not height adjustable, and as such will generally sit on the floating ribs rather than the ones that are fixed to the sternum. If you fall against the harness in that case, the ribs may cause serious internal injuries that can result in death by internal bleeding—not a good idea. :) YMMV.
 

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Hmm. Just got a WM retail insert in the mail today. Looks like the offshore hydrostatic auto inflatable is on clearance for $140. Seems like a good deal, dont know if its a regional sale or what, but I have 2 of these...one for me and one for the wife.
 

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A New Adventurer
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Hmm. Just got a WM retail insert in the mail today. Looks like the offshore hydrostatic auto inflatable is on clearance for $140. Seems like a good deal, dont know if its a regional sale or what, but I have 2 of these...one for me and one for the wife.
I got the insert too, but it doesn't seem to be the hydrostatic one. The sale starts the 1st of August.
 

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I've been using a couple of the pill type autos for about 5 years in rain and spray etc. and never had a problem with accidental inflation, used to worry about it also, had visions of being trapped in the head with an inflated one;) .
 

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How long will an inflatable stay inflated? Thinking about virtually any rubber/plastic inflatable material, it gets all deViagra'd within several hours of inflation. So I'm wondering what the "floating life" of these things are.

Anyone know?
 

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I'm 5'3" at about 135lbs.. Any suggestions on the one I should get? I am the crew so I walk around the boat all the time. I want a built in harness too.
thaks
 

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I've been using my Mustang Auto / Manual with built-in harness for 3 years, and also have a WM version without harness. Comfort-wise, I can't see any difference vs. one without harness. Either way, you have the same number of straps. They are more substantial on the harness version, with D rings built-in, that's all.

The only accidental inflation was when I caught the manual pull-cord on something on the cockpit. Gives everyone a good laugh. Now I carry a spare re-arming kit.
 

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How long will an inflatable stay inflated? Thinking about virtually any rubber/plastic inflatable material, it gets all deViagra'd within several hours of inflation. So I'm wondering what the "floating life" of these things are.

Anyone know?
The recommended annual check has you inflate it via the attached tube, and leave it overnight. Both of mine are still well inflated the next morning. You can always top up the pressure with the manual tube, anyway. However, here you have about 1 hour to live in the water.
 

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Tartan 37
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Discussion Starter #17
I have changed my view on PFD, harnesses, and integrated harness PFD...

Now I do not have hours and hours of offshore experience... but I talk to a lot that do.

After gaining more and more experience, here are my thoughts...

- I wear only a harness 99% of the time (when I feel the need) including sleeping while underway. If sheet hits the fan and I am needed on deck, last thing I need to be doing is getting on the harness.
- Wearing a PFD with Harness makes the above pretty much impossible
- I would wear a Auto Inflatable over the harness if conditions required.
- In a situation such as offshore and a extended storm is occurring, I am not wearing a inflatable, I am, wearing a Offshore PFD over the harness.

In my view, a harness and proper tether ( I prefer double like the Spinlock) are more important than a PFD in anything but extreme conditions. 99% of the time I would rather be harness & tethered to the boat so I stay on the damn boat and no PFD. PFD at that point just make it easier for them to find your body.

I use my inflatable mostly when in the dingy these days... on the big boat I prefer a harness. And that's only when I think conditions warrant it.

I might add, I feel the same in regards to my children. I prefer them in a harness over a PFD, but not exclusively. If severe weather is occurring, both are justified.

More and more I find Inflatable PFD worthless. If I need a PFD, I am wearing the real deal.

Just my opinion based on experiences and discussions with sailors who have A LOT more offshore time than myself.

Cheers Mates
 

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Don't give up the ship!
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I have one of those OffShore with Harness from West, I like it.
I used to chose harness over PFD, same reasons as above, but this one is very comfortable, so now I have both in one.
The wife has one too. we both like them, good fit, good price. We wear them all the time right up until the sail covers go back on.
 

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More and more I find Inflatable PFD worthless.
Pretty strong statement. I think I understand the pros and cons of inflatables versus "standard" pfds. Having come out of a very extensive kayaking background I've always used standard pfds--and I wear one whenever I'm afloat away from the pier--but why are inflatables "worthless"?
 
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