MarkJames

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  1. I wondered how the feck they got into trouble. but if out of those 4, 3 weren't wearing crotch straps, that would go a long way to explaining the problems they experienced. it then makes me wonder if the 4th hadn't tensioned the crotch straps correctly. However I didnt' see that in the Coastguard report, which said "4 out of 5 lifejackets failed to work properly" but don't indicate why they came to that conclusion, beyond indicating that the bladder lifted on the left hand side. I can only say that on the sole example of a true MoB I've witnessed the MoB was wearing a Spinlock Deckvest and experienced no problems. granted it was daylight, in a moderate sea but perfomred as expected, no signs of lifting. the Deckvest performed as expected
  2. odd thatgranted I've never had to use a lifejacket for real but I have on an ISAF/RYA sea survival and re accreditation after 5 years. having used a Paramaris and Spinlock on those courses there was plenty of bouyancy, kept my head up clear enough of the water on both occasions. Now that may be because Im a fat )(*&)(*&( and therefore am carrying more bouyancy than some/many, but I didn't see others with similar devices struggling. The integral spray hood is designed to stop the ingestion of sea water (assuming you are concious enough or non-iditotic enough to use it). Nor did we have any problems hooking onto the harness hardpoint, but then again that may have something to do with the fact that we practiced doing a MoB recovery both on the boat and in the wave machine tank at Fleetwood. the foam vests failed to provide adequate bouyancy, failed to rotate the body face up. Personally I'm happy in the supposedly idiot camp, I'd rather be there and alive than relying on macho BS hoping that I was concious when I hit the water. And yes we have fished a MoB back on board for real wearing a Spinlock Deckvest by clipping on to the harness point and winching him up on a spare halyard. And that is probably the best thing that anybody wearing a lifejacket should practice, irrespective of what they wear is how woudl they get soemone else back on board, and also have they got sufficient people on board the boat knowledgeable enough to get you back on board. there is feck all point wearing a lifejacket if it doesn't preserve your life, and that means making certain you can get back on board. you cannot relay on low freeboard or nearby RIBS. there i a reason that the solo or short handed racers do not wear lifejackets
  3. depends on what you want to do, where you plan sailing if there is a risk you are going to get tw***ted by the boom or similar, or you could enter the water unconcious, or get so cold in the water that you loose concious / motor control go inflatable, and auto inflatable at that if there is a risk you will be getting wet on the boat (say on foredeck) then go foam permamnent bouyancy, as heavy spray has been know to trigger auto inflate lifejackets if there is a risk that your life jacket may be compromised by sharps or sparks then consider a foam jacket. Dinghy type vests are fine if you don't think there is risk of loosing concious or getting so cold that you cannot maintain the right way up. There are foam vests that will support you but they are bulky and restrictive on movement... ideal for children and or others who cannot be trusted to use / operate inflatables correctly As presuming Ed and others have said an inflatable lifejacket should be used with a crotch strap (as Spinlock and other high end makes supply) if you think you will be doing offshore racing under ISAF OSR regs then it needs to have certain requirements. a croitch strap is neccesary on an inflatable but not on a foam vest as in a vest the arms hold the bouyancy down around the chest gain depending on what you do in an ideal world it should also have an integral harness in case you need to be lifted from the boat, or as a hardpoint to attach a lifeline to. you are doing OSR races you will probably also need a strobe light (if racing overnight / in darkness), and some OSR classifications require a spray hood to cover the head/face and strop / reduce there may be legal requirmements in your area (some places mandate specific types or makes or only approved devices). if you do buy an inflatable make certain you also buy a re arming kit (if the jacket goes off at sea then you should be bale to reset it at sea. ts periodically examined to make certain that its still ready to work (gas cylinder full and properly fitted, autoinflate (if fitted) armed and ready and correctly fitted) no signs puncture or wear and tear. if using an internal fitting such as a Hammar periodically take out the cylinder and check for corrosion on the cylinder as this can be a wear / abrasion hazard, for this reason some people do not use HAMMAR after all that, examine the market palce, see whats out there. however Ive used Inflatabvles for many years, there is absolutely no way I'd trust my life to a foam 'dinghy' vest, I find foam vests with collars to bulky so its (autoinflate) infaltables for me. as such I use a Spinlock deckvest. in the past I've had similar from Crewsaver and Paramaris, although with out doubt the Deckvest was the best when I last looked at the market place, purely because it came with everything built in. Thesedays Crewsaver do a variant called 'ergofit' the Spinlock and CrewsaverErgofit jackets are comfortable (enough) to wear in all heat/wind conditions, granted it won't be as effective as wearing a foam vest as an insulation layer in low temperatures but equally you are not going to overheat in one either The only negatives I have against the Spinlock are price.. its kin expensive, but perhaps not so expensive when you consider it also has the crotch strap, hood and strobe included bulk around the neck, sometimes it does interfere getting on or off the rail if its crowded, but may well be down to my bulk.