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Author Topic:   Life Vest
whalertim posted 12-18-2000 09:26 PM ET (US)   Profile for whalertim   Send Email to whalertim  
I need to purchase several life vest for the up and coming spring. The vest I have now are getting a little age on them. I have looked at several vest on the market but none have jumped out and grabed me yet. I know that in choosing the right vest there are several things to consider inorder for one to fuction to it's fullest potential. I would just like to hear from other Whaler fans on what thay use.
Tim / NC
triblet posted 12-18-2000 10:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Diving Concepts Dry Suit. ;-)

Seriously, it's got more buoyancy
than most PFDs. And in 50F water,
I'm going to be alive tomorrow morning
(probably with diaper rash)
and the guy in a Type I PFD is going
to be dead in an hour.

Rule number one on my boat is: zipped up
exposure suits when we clear the breakwater.

To keep the Coasties happy, I've got
a bag of Type II vests and a Type IV

Now, if I were a fisherman and not a
diver, I'd wear a Type III vest or
float coat (depending on temp) and
have the bag of Type IIs. Stearns
and Mustang both make some nice Type
III vests. Check out what the USCGA
folks wear. They HAVE to wear a PFD
all the time, and they end up with
what's comfortable.

Chuck Tribolet

Dick posted 12-18-2000 11:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
Where are you boating?
Do you want something to wear all the time or only if needed?
The best, in my opinion is Mustang, They cover the entire spectrum from vests to full survival suits.
whalertim posted 12-19-2000 07:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalertim  Send Email to whalertim     
My family and I do a lot of boating on the Intercoastal Waterway of NC. I don't dive, however; we do alot of knee bording and playing in the water. When the family is in our boat, the PFD is on before the engin is started. I have seen too many acidents on the water not to have one on. When fishing, I like the comfort of not having one on, or at least a vest that is not so bulky.
tim /NC
Dick posted 12-19-2000 09:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
We use the inflatables made by Mustang. Very comfortable to wear and are Coast Guard approved Type III. List price is $159.99 but you should be able to beat that at West Marine.
DIVE 1 posted 12-19-2000 07:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for DIVE 1    
We keep (6) type 2 vests on our boat because of the variety of sizes available(infant, child, adult, large adult), These are used for unexpected passengers we retrieve from the water.

Our personnel wear 3 different types of PFDs:

1. Stearns #1465 Versatile - reasonable price and comfort, orange, solas panels, (6) kept on the boat in a variety of sizes - used for personnel who occasionally get underway on the boat or unexpected passengers.

2. Stearns #4185 SAR Vest - extremely comfortable, padded collar, orange, solas panels - used by personnel during cool weather operations.

3. Stearns #1426 SAR Vest - extremely comfortable, padded collar, upper torso area is mesh, orange, solas panels - used by personnel during hot weather operations.

We have a whistle and a signal light attached to all of the PFDs that our personnel wear while underway. When we started looking for PFDs, safety, comfort, and functionability were our priorities. We may be underway for more than 10 hours at a time, while wearing a PFD. We did not want chafed necks and armpits from ill-fitting PFDs while on the boat.

My advise is to decide how often you will wear your PFD and then try them on to find somethig that is comfortable to wear and meets you needs(pockets, etc.) Keep in mind you may have to purchase more than 1 per person, in cold weather I have to wear a PFD one size larger because of my jacket or drysuit.

Good Luck,

Landlocked posted 12-19-2000 07:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     
I asked Santa for a couple of Mustang type III's this year. Although they may look a little bulky - they are very comfortable. A few years ago while working with the Coast Guard on the Kentucky Flood response I was given one to wear. Tried my best to make it home with one but no luck.

Tsuriki BW posted 12-19-2000 08:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     
How many of you fishermen have life jackets on board just to satisfy the CG requirements but don't wear one yourself and don't require your "guests" to wear one. Let's be honest here.

I keep the required number "on board" but don't tell my fishing buddies to wear one.


PS Religiously(sp?) wear my seat belt and require it with the front seat passenger cause I think it's a great idea. Conflict here?

Macman posted 12-19-2000 09:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Macman  Send Email to Macman     
I wear an LL Bean vest(being from Maine and all!)which is designed for paddling. It has a pocket or two for stuff and a patch for a knife. Very comfortable. The kids wear jacket type vests , also from Beans.
I always keep the classic orange type 3 's on board for the guests...more for the Coastie's than for them.
Good comfortable jackets are not cheap--thats for sure.
whalertim posted 12-20-2000 10:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalertim  Send Email to whalertim     
Thanks for the reply guys. It helps a lot.
Tim / NC
dgp posted 12-20-2000 11:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
For what it's worth, Powerboat Reports tested inflatable PFDs in the August 2000 issue; Sospenders first, Mustang second and Stearns third. Don
rwest posted 12-29-2000 05:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for rwest  Send Email to rwest     
PFD's are not just for "looks" nor for USCG regs. Enough comfortable types are out there so that anyone on the water could find one that was cool enough and wearable enough to keep it on while underway. I have a couple of Sterns type III's and a Mustang Type III as well as a Sterns float coat. I wouldn't get on a boat without a PFD on. I've done body searches (and finds) and not one of them yet was wearing a PFD when I found it. One other thing is that with a OFD on, it helps pad you when you get bounced around on a boat. It helps cut down on the body bruises a lot.


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