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Kynntana (Freedom 38)
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Discussion Starter #21
Just a reminder that USCG approved inflatables only count toward the one PFD per person requirement while they are being worn. If you wear non-USCG approved equipment, the spares that you carry must be traditional full buoyancy non-inflatable USCG approved PFDs or they will not count toward the one PFD per person requirement.
Do you have a citation for this requirement that the other PFD be the non-inflatable if the one you're wearing is non-USCG approved? I've always heard I need at least one USCG approved lifejacket per person and if there are 6 people onboard with Spinlocks, there needs to be 6 USCG PFDs below. Never heard they need to all be the foam kind. What would be the reasoning?
 

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Do you have a citation for this requirement that the other PFD be the non-inflatable if the one you're wearing is non-USCG approved? I've always heard I need at least one USCG approved lifejacket per person and if there are 6 people onboard with Spinlocks, there needs to be 6 USCG PFDs below. Never heard they need to all be the foam kind. What would be the reasoning?
Inherently buoyant PFDs that are not worn count toward the one-PFD-per-person requirement even if not worn. Inflatable PFDs do not. I've seen this stated many places, but never seen the reason why. I always assumed that it was because manual inflate PFDs are not throwable because they could sink if you missed the target. Auto-inflate PFDs may not sink, but they would be very awkward to put on if they inflated before being donned. But that's just my own speculation.

Citations:

Life Jackets, PFDs, Inflatables, Etc. - Nautical Know How

Will the approved inflatable PFD satisfy the USCG carriage requirement?

Only if the user complies with the approval conditions will the carriage requirement be met. Unlike the inherently buoyant wearable PFDs, which must be readily available, an inflatable PFD must be worn to meet the carriage requirement.
Inflatable PFDs - Coast Guard Rules for PFDs

The PFD must actually be worn to meet the USCG carriage requirement for having one PFD onboard per person—unlike inherently buoyant lifejackets, which are not required to be worn at all times (except by children) but which must be readily accessible.
Do some searching and you'll find people who have been cited for not wearing their inflatables, and not having readily accessible inherently buoyant backups.
 

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Kynntana (Freedom 38)
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Discussion Starter #23
Do some searching and you'll find people who have been cited for not wearing their inflatables, and not having readily accessible inherently buoyant backups.
I'm looking into this because I don't think it is correct. The UCSG requires that each person on board have a PFD. There is no requirement that one has to be wearing a PFD either so wearing a non-USCG-approved PFD is better than nothing. Besides, if you are on my boat and go overboard, the best thing to throw is not the inherently buoyant PFD that's in the gear locker down below, but the life ring that's mounted on the stern rails.

The CG does say this about PFDs: "[T]he very best performing PFDs ever made, Type Is, provide only a small increase in probability of survival over a Type III PFD." (USCG: PFD Selection, Use, Wear & Care of PFDs). My concerns about the buoyancy difference between Type I and Type III may have been overblown.
 

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Not Finished Yet
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I'm looking into this because I don't think it is correct. The UCSG requires that each person on board have a PFD. There is no requirement that one has to be wearing a PFD
Found this at an industry site:

"Why do some PFDs have to be worn to meet the carriage requirement?

The Coast Guard requires that some Type V PFDs must be worn in order to meet the carriage requirements. By definition, a Type V PFD has some feature not found on other PFD type, that require special user knowledge about how to use the PFD. By requiring it to be worn, it is more likely that the user is more aware of the special features and knows how to use the PFD properly. Be sure to read the label so that you understand what the special features of that device are and know how to use it. In addition, wearing a PFD greatly increases your safety because you have it on when you need it." (from: PFDMA Frequently Asked Questions)

Does not exactly clear up the rules, but does suggest there are some types that need to be worn to count.
 

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I'm looking into this because I don't think it is correct...
Have at it. Let us know how it works out.
...The UCSG requires that each person on board have a PFD...
No, the USCG requires that each person on board have a USCG approved PFD. Some states may have additional requirements that exceed USCG's minimum standards.
...There is no requirement that one has to be wearing a PFD either so wearing a non-USCG-approved PFD is better than nothing...
Non-approved is certainly better than nothing. But not good enough to prevent you from being cited. If you're not wearing your inflatable, you better also have an inherently buoyant PFD nearby also.

As mentioned elsewhere, Type V pfds are not approved unless being worn, so they don't count if you're not wearing them. Therefore, Type V pfds must be worn to meet carriage requirements.
Besides, if you are on my boat and go overboard, the best thing to throw is not the inherently buoyant PFD that's in the gear locker down below, but the life ring that's mounted on the stern rails.
That will get you cited also. Inherently buoyant PFDs need to be "readily accessible." Having it in the gear locker may not be accessible enough in the eyes of the law. I was once issued a warning on my powerboat because my air horn was not within arm's reach (it was in a cubby under the captain's seat). Law enforcement takes these things seriously - they are not mere technicalities.

Here's the label on my West Marine PFD. It clearly says "Approved only when worn":


Maybe you can post a pic of the label on your inflatable PFD.
 

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Kynntana (Freedom 38)
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Discussion Starter #26
TYPE V PFDS / SPECIAL USE DEVICES: Only for special uses or conditions.

Hybrid Inflatable PFDs
Canoe/Kayak Vest
Boardsailing Vests
Deck Suits
 

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The PFD must actually be worn to meet the USCG carriage requirement for having one PFD onboard per person—unlike inherently buoyant lifejackets, which are not required to be worn at all times (except by children) but which must be readily accessible.
I'm looking into this because I don't think it is correct. The UCSG requires that each person on board have a PFD. There is no requirement that one has to be wearing a PFD either so wearing a non-USCG-approved PFD is better than nothing...
What did you find out?
 

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old guy :)
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One of you said:

"Inherently buoyant PFDs that are not worn count toward the one-PFD-per-person requirement even if not worn. Inflatable PFDs do not."

This is also true if boating in Canadian waters.

From this web site:

"Inflatable PFD are another option but for them to work properly you must understand their operation and maintenance requirements. You should also check which boating activities they are approved for, under the Small Vessel Regulations. For example, people less than 16 years of age or who weigh less than 36.3 kg (80 lbs.), and operators of personal watercraft are prohibited from wearing an inflatable PFD. They come in two styles:"

And from this site:

" You can also buy inflatable PFDs, but you must understand how to use and care for them if they are to work properly. You must also understand which activities and conditions they are approved for. Above all, remember that you have to be wearing an inflatable PFD for it to be approved on an open boat. If the boat is not open then you only need to wear it while you’re on deck or in the cockpit.

Inflatable PFDs are NOT approved for:

anyone under 16 years old;
anyone who weighs less than 36.3 kg (80 lbs);
on a personal watercraft; or
for white-water paddling activities."

I hope that helps.

And if this snow ever goes away, we may actually be able to get out on the water this year.

Cheers

Rik
 

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old guy :)
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Before anyone questions why I am not wearing a PFD in my avatar picture, that picture was taken the day we bought the boat. I am standing behind the wheel smiling and Linda was instructed to get the camera angle right so you could not see the buildings or other yachts as we were on the hard about 200 metres from any water.

If I had fallen overboard at that point I would not have drowned, probably would have broken an arm or a leg or worse.

Maybe I should have been wearing a motorcycle helmet and a flack jacket. :)
 

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Kynntana (Freedom 38)
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Discussion Starter #32
What did you find out?
I asked a USCG Auxiliary vessel examiner, someone who's very knowledgeable about CG regs and what is supposed to be on a boat. The gist of it is if you have 2 people on board, and no one is wearing a life jacket, you better have 2 PFDs on board and in reach. These generally cannot be Type Vs, because per the label, it will indicate whether they have to be worn to be compliant.

Of course, if each of the 2 people above are wearing the Type V (inflatable PFD), then they don't need to have inherently inflatable types on board, which seems to be different from Canada law.

It seems the best way to be safe is to have all types available (especially for guests who show up without their own) and then also some Type Is if things get really hairy offshore.
 

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Kynntana (Freedom 38)
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Discussion Starter #33
This is the reply I got from Spinlock about some of the problems with the PFDs riding over the wearer's head...

The s/y Uncontrollable Urge incident involved the crew using the lifejackets in large breaking surf on a Pacific Coast lee shore. This is always going to be a very challenging environment for inflatable lifejackets given the forces on the large inflated bladder created by the waves which try and pull the jacket off, as you are fighting to prevent inversion. The bladder attachment of the Spinlock Deckvest is not fundamentally different to the majority of inflatable lifejackets available and so we would expect all lifejackets to have behaved similarly. All lifejackets already go through a number of rigorous approval tests that include a 10 feet jump test with an inflated bladder to ensures the lifejacket stays in position. Given the unique circumstances of this incident the lifejacket approval bodies - ISO 12402 committee and the USCG must take the opportunity to review the performance testing requirements for lifejackets and we will make any changes to the Deckvest design if ISO confirm this is required, which will be applicable to all lifejacket manufacturers.

In our own testing we found that the correct, secure fitting of the chest belt and leg or crutch straps have the largest impact on the performance of all lifejackets. The Deckvest has always been designed to be easy to adjust, to ensure that it is worn securely and is supplied with leg straps as standard which we are sure would have helped in this situation. We will continue to improve our communication and training for the fitting and maintenance to ensure customers understand how to get the best performance from their Deckvest Lifejacket.

There is an important balance in developing and testing lifejackets to be wearable, usable products and not over specifying them to cover unique situations that could in turn reduce their use in more common situations. Lifejackets are designed for a purpose -to provide buoyancy, stability and to buy the user some time when in the water. We have to accept given the challenges of the marine environment, that there may be scenarios where this might not be all a user needs, or possibly is not the most suitable product to be worn.

I hope this helps reassure you that your Deckvest Lifejackets both inshore and offshore are still the right choice for your personal protection.

With regards the recent USCG Approval of the Deckvest LITE lifejacket, this approval was sought as it is more applicable for the inshore Deckvest LITE. The Deckvest is our coastal and offshore lifejacket approved to the latest International ISO12402 Standard for lifejackets which the rest of the world uses for Lifejacket Approval. Whilst the USCG recognises the ISO12402 standard, the US currently chooses to sit outside the international community. Unfortunately the USCG standard is a little behind the ISO1202 for offshore coastal design and we would have downgrade the design of the product to meet the USCG standard and the result would not be the Deckvest that has all the great features and comfort that you enjoy.
 

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Puget Sound Pounder
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The USCG doesn't care if your gear is SOLAS approved when they pull you over for an equipment check. There's nothing wrong with carrying SOLAS approved equipment, but in the US, you'd better have USCG equipment to meet regulations or you'll be facing fines, impounding or both.

Is this proper? Of course not, I'm just pointing it out.
We really like the fit and feel of our spinlock PFD's. But we keep USGC approved PFD's near by in case we get boarded. We always use the crotch straps. Looking forward to talking to the Spinlock folks at the upcoming Pacific Strictly Sails show. I always touch base with them at the show. It will be interesting to hear what they have to say about apparent spinlock pfd issue.

Thanks for the thread, very helpful. I am going to take mine apart this weekend to check out the stitching.
 
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