Inflatable PFD Recomendations

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Beerspitnight
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Inflatable PFD Recomendations

Postby Beerspitnight » Sun Oct 30, 2016 6:28 am

Hello. I am looking into purchasing an automatic or manual inflatable PFD and would like to hear recommendations from the community. My boating activities keep me in Barnegat Bay for the most part, although we do venture inshore every once in awhile.

I am looking for something that I can wear both during the summer boating months and during the winter duck hunting season as we just acquired a 18' Garvey that we will run down the bay this winter.

I would like the purchase price to be below $150, but I can be persuaded upwards if warranted.

Thanks.
Brian
Last edited by Beerspitnight on Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
1989 MONTAUK 17

porthole
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Re: Inflatable PFD Recomendations

Postby porthole » Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:34 am

Since you are not far from Brick, run over to the West Marine store. They have a good selection of inflatable PFD's from relatively inexpensive West Marine brand to the top of the line Mustang brand. They frequently run sales which offer discounts off the regular price. You can also get the models in different colors, good for his and hers without constant adjustments.

One note, whichever you choose, check the date on the hydrostatic release and cartridge. No sense buying a PFD that will need the inflator replaced in a year.
Thanks,
Duane
1999 Outrage 21
1999 Yamaha SW Series II 200

Beerspitnight
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Re: Inflatable PFD Recomendations

Postby Beerspitnight » Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:37 pm

Thanks, Duane. I am back in Beijing, so it is a bit of a drive to get to Brick! And truth be told, I try to avoid Brick even when I am home in NJ.

I would like to purchase something online as we plan to go shooting the day after I get back to NJ, which is December 16th. This way the PFD will be at the house ready for use on December 17th.
1989 MONTAUK 17

fno
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Re: Inflatable PFD Recomendations

Postby fno » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:44 am

Can't go wrong with the Mustang brand. For what it's worth get the hydrostatic release type. It's a few more bucks but you never have to worry about humidity and moisture setting one off. Not that there is much humidity and moisture in New Jersey ;-)

porthole
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Re: Inflatable PFD Recomendations

Postby porthole » Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:14 am

Hydrostatic releases work by pressure, not moisture. None of the inflatable PFD's should go off by just getting wet.

One concern with mail order is you don't get to rummage through the inventory and pick the freshest date for the release mechanism.
Thanks,
Duane
1999 Outrage 21
1999 Yamaha SW Series II 200

kmev
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Re: Inflatable PFD Recomendations

Postby kmev » Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:34 am

porthole wrote:Hydrostatic releases work by pressure, not moisture.
None of the inflatable PFD's should go off by just getting wet.


The most common operating systems is not hydrostatic, it is a dissolvable pill. With humidity and time the pills will eventually self-fire. If you get the pill version, put in a new pill yearly and you should not get unintentional inflations.

Beerspitnight
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Re: Inflatable PFD Recomendations

Postby Beerspitnight » Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:12 am

Thanks, gents.
Any particular brand and model recommendations?
1989 MONTAUK 17

kmev
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Re: Inflatable PFD Recomendations

Postby kmev » Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:18 am

I use multiple versions of the Mustang brand and have been very happy with them. I prefer the hydrostatic best.

Jefecinco
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Re: Inflatable PFD Recomendations

Postby Jefecinco » Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:23 am

For coastal - near offshore and small water use we like the West Marine brand "coastal" model. It's light and comfortable and it can be adjusted to almost any body type. The adjustability is useful for wear in cold or hot weather. As you have a schedue it's unlikely you'll be able to take advamtage of the frequent sales on these PFDs.

As an aside, West Marine also sells a belt type device which is very convenient while fishing as it allows a lot more ease and freedom of movement when landing a nice fish. I use either type depending upon my situation. When boating alone I always wear the vest type.
Butch

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Re: Inflatable PFD Recomendations

Postby kwik_wurk » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:28 pm

I have gone through several inflatable brands, and have now settled on a Spinlock DeckVest LITE. Here is why: I no longer get shoulder and neck fatigue when wearing it all day (as in ~3 continuous days of all day fishing), and has the best "fit" relative to my activities and clothing choice. (There are probably 10+ inflated PFD spread among the boats... some a auto-inflates, some are pull downs...3 basic brands and vintage Mustang/West Marine/Spinlock.)

For many many years I wore the liked Mustang horse collar that has safety harness clips in the front. This worked great, I still have several of them for other crew members. (Additionally I clipped in a strobe light and extra whistle.) -- https://mustangsurvival.com//recreational/md3084?division=recreation

My PFD of choice is now a Spinklock DeckVest LITE, which is still a horse collar, but is a closed/continuous, so it's like putting on a smock or anorak. This "fit" style is much different, and took a few boating trips to get used to putting on. But it is much more compact (and lighter even with the additional strobe/whistle), and keeps the horse collar more distributed on the upper body, with less flopping, improved range of motion, and less hang ups. (Think of it like kayak or sailboat PFD's that are cropped a little higher and tighter so you can bend over or rotate the chest a bit easier. -- https://www.spinlock.co.uk/en-us/categories/lifejackets/product_groups/uscg-approved-deckvest-lite


Never had a trigger mechanism accidentally inflate, even with the protective clear plastic missing on the trigger mechanism. (And I have been totally drenched or endured full body green water while racing...) -- Do plan on servicing once a year or every other year depending on usage and storage...

macfam
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Re: Inflatable PFD Recomendations

Postby macfam » Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:54 pm

We really like Mustang 3183. Comfortable, light, hydrostatic (no pill). It's the bests you can get.

Beerspitnight
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Re: Inflatable PFD Recomendations

Postby Beerspitnight » Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:40 am

Thank you for the recommendations.

I have collated the results and indicated price points for each model. I have also included links.

Hydrostatic PFDs are not cheap. My $150 budget needs to increase based on the comments left on this thread.

The Spinlock Deckvest lite= $189 from https://www.spinlock.co.uk/en-us/categories/lifejackets/product_groups/uscg-approved-deckvest-lite
or from West Marine for $209.99 http://www.westmarine.com/buy/spinlock--automatic-inflatable-deckvest-lite-life-jacket-uscg-approved-pacific-blue--15038482?recordNum=2

Mustang Survival 3084 = I could not locate an online retailer.

Mustang Survival 3183 = $198.75 from https://www.amazon.com/Mustang-Survival-Deluxe-Automatic-Inflatable/dp/B005DOKQ8E

I also looked at the West Marine Coastal Automatic Inflatable Life Jacket. I was not able to ascertain if this product uses a hydrostatic or "pill" inflation mechanism. = $149 from http://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-marine--coastal-automatic-inflatable-life-jacket-royal-blue-dark-gray--14832075?recordNum=5

Brian
1989 MONTAUK 17

Beerspitnight
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Re: Inflatable PFD Recomendations

Postby Beerspitnight » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:03 pm

I purchased the Mustang 3183 from Hodges Marine via for $163---the lowest price that I could find online. I also purchased a floating handheld VHF; with rebate it cost $71.

Brian
1989 MONTAUK 17

Wweez
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Re: Inflatable PFD Recomendations

Postby Wweez » Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:32 pm

Always put the inflatable [PFD] on last with no jackets over it. [The inflatable PFD] must and will inflate, and if [the inflation and expansion is] restricted by outerwear, you might not be able to breathe. [The inflatable PFD] must be familiar. Become familiar with the equipment. A bit of practice is worth the effort. [The inflatable PFD] must be serviced at least annually. Living in the bilge or bed of a pickup is not an option.

ChesapeakeJeff
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Re: Inflatable PFD Recomendations

Postby ChesapeakeJeff » Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:08 pm

Any [inflatable PFD] by Mustang is good. You can get them as low as $100 in some places.

As someone mentioned, it's the pressure that makes them inflate, not getting wet (thankfully).

jimh
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Re: Inflatable PFD Recomendations

Postby jimh » Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:49 am

kmev wrote:
porthole wrote:Hydrostatic releases work by pressure, not moisture.
None of the inflatable PFD's should go off by just getting wet.


The most common operating systems is not hydrostatic, it is a dissolvable pill. With humidity and time the pills will eventually self-fire. If you get the pill version, put in a new pill yearly and you should not get unintentional inflations.


ChesapeakeJeff wrote:As someone mentioned, it's the pressure that makes them inflate, not getting wet (thankfully).


It appears to me that there is some misunderstanding about the mechanism that triggers inflation of inflatable personal floatation devices. Apparently many of these inflatable PFD's use a dissolving pill device as the trigger mechanism, and others--the better sort---use a pressure-sensitive trigger. When choosing an inflatable PFD to purchase, awareness of these two methods is probably a good basis for deciding which type to buy.

jimh
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Re: Inflatable PFD Recomendations

Postby jimh » Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:55 am

Wweez wrote:A bit of practice is worth the effort.


Please explain what is to be practiced with regard to an inflatable PFD. Are you recommended inflating it for practice?

kmev
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Re: Inflatable PFD Recomendations

Postby kmev » Sun Dec 18, 2016 6:34 pm

jimh wrote:
Wweez wrote:A bit of practice is worth the effort.


Please explain what is to be practiced with regard to an inflatable PFD. Are you recommended inflating it for practice?


I recommend intentionally jumping in the water with one to see how it works/floats. Being in the water in an inflatable that is inflated is not like being in the water with an non-inflatable PFD. They can add a lot of stress to what is already most likely a very stressful situation. It is a good idea to find out what they are like in a controlled environment.

jimh
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Re: Inflatable PFD Recomendations

Postby jimh » Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:42 pm

kmev wrote:I recommend intentionally jumping in the water with one to see how it works...


KMEV--that's a good idea, and I have done it with the personal floatation device I own--but it is not an inflatable device. The problem with testing an inflatable device is the one-time use of the inflation cartridge. How much does replacement of the typical inflation cartridge cost?

porthole
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Re: Inflatable PFD Recomendations

Postby porthole » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:19 am

$20-$70 for the inflatables I have.

So, test it before you replace an out dated cylinder and triggering device.

At least you test outdated inflators, unlike outdated flares.
Thanks,
Duane
1999 Outrage 21
1999 Yamaha SW Series II 200