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Rasputin22

West Marine Auto Inflate with harness

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A serious offshore harness will have crotch straps. That is good for daysailing with a crew. See Spinlock Deckvest 5D for an example. If ya don't believe me jump in for a test and find out why yourselves.

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I always have my doubts on West branded stuff. Especially the life vests. Last year they had a similar 'dead of the winter' price reduction on the Mustang full featured vest and I should have grabbed that. Even at $99 I think I will pass on this one.

    Thanks for your comments daddle. Is this the Spinlock you mentioned?

Automatic Inflatable DeckVest™ 5D with Harness

This one at West shows the crotch straps

17967902.jpg

Both about the same price, $350!

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Another good option is the Crewsaver Ergofit line. About the same price as the others, but fit me a little better than the Spinlock.

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Yes, like that. Like others said: Try the fit if you can. Should fit over bulky foulies too if you are in that part of the sea.

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I tested the mustang, super comfy. I own a spinlock and love it.  Comparing the two, mustang fits a little more snug and feels like it is better held in place when not inflated. 

 

On my spinlock I ditched the crotch straps and wear my harness and attach the life jacket to the harness. I don't like loose crotch straps that catch on stuff.  

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I really wanted to like the Mustang but they made the neck opening so tight I couldn't get it over foul weather gear and under layers, let alone with my Mustang exposure worksuit. It's impossible to get the collar through the life jacket no matter how you configure the worksuit hood.  It's great with a dry suit but if you have a collar on a jacket under your foulies, forget it.  Wound up buying the Spinlock 5D.

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On my spinlocks the zipper closure wears from chafe and water  walks right thru it .  

That Mustang looks nice...the closure seems to be protected.

with all the harnesses its difficult to get comfortable...you adjust  correctly for  your  heavy weather foul weather gear , then its sloppy with your normal deck gear.

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Daddle, it doesn't need a crotch strap as it wont go over your head once inflated.

Using it as a life -ine harness is a different story.

Just be sure you get the hydrostatic pressure triggered model not the dissolving pellet trigger, unless you never get wet while on board.

With more than double the buoyancy of a regular PFD, self righting when wearer unconscious, comfortable, brightly coloured with reflective strips and built in whistle, these are the way to go. I prefer the Mustang.

Last point, manually inflate until it is full, adjust the straps and then deflate. You may be surprised how loose it needs to be in order for it to be comfortable once auto inflated. If it's too tight uninflated, you'll find it hard to breath once full.

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20 minutes ago, BarfBag said:

Daddle, it doesn't need a crotch strap as it wont go over your head once inflated.

Using it as a life -ine harness is a different story.

Just be sure you get the hydrostatic pressure triggered model not the dissolving pellet trigger, unless you never get wet while on board.

With more than double the buoyancy of a regular PFD, self righting when wearer unconscious, comfortable, brightly coloured with reflective strips and built in whistle, these are the way to go. I prefer the Mustang.

Last point, manually inflate until it is full, adjust the straps and then deflate. You may be surprised how loose it needs to be in order for it to be comfortable once auto inflated. If it's too tight uninflated, you'll find it hard to breath once full.

If the vest rides up high you will drink a lot of water

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5 hours ago, slug zitski said:

On my spinlocks the zipper closure wears from chafe and water  walks right thru it .  

That Mustang looks nice...the closure seems to be protected.

with all the harnesses its difficult to get comfortable...you adjust  correctly for  your  heavy weather foul weather gear , then its sloppy with your normal deck gear.

With the Mustang and the exposure suit it's not a matter of comfortable, it literally won't go over the collar.  Like I said, I really wanted to buy that Mustang, tried it on several different times but it's cold around here and love that exposure worksuit.

 

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22 hours ago, slug zitski said:

If the vest rides up high you will drink a lot of water

That has not been my experience.

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23 hours ago, BarfBag said:

Daddle, it doesn't need a crotch strap as it wont go over your head once inflated.

Perhaps. Maybe for some people's bodies. I don't want to float by my neck just because my head won't go thru the vest. Jump in to test it. I found the crotch straps essential.

No crotch strap: Buoy.

Tightened crotch strap: Swimmer.

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32 minutes ago, daddle said:

Perhaps. Maybe for some people's bodies. I don't want to float by my neck just because my head won't go thru the vest. Jump in to test it. I found the crotch straps essential.

No crotch strap: Buoy.

Tightened crotch strap: Swimmer.

Yes indeed....

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Image result for Tightened crotch strap

    This is the type of 5 point harness I have in my sailplane. On my first solo in the plane after having done my first solo in the trainer 2 place only 5 hours previously, my instructor was very serious in his pre-flight briefing before I closed the canopy for the tow. I was pretty nervous to begin with and the wing runner was a Navy Top Gun fighter jock just visiting our soaring club. He was enjoying my 'first solo' jitters and just as I started to lower the canopy he reached in and gave my harness a good tug. I thought that was pretty cool until he asked, 'Do you know the difference between a three point harness and a five point harness?'

     I thought it a odd time to bring such a topic up but with my instructor looking on I figured it might be something that could scrub my flight if I answered wrong. Before I could answer, the smug bastard said, 'It is the difference between an open casket funeral and a closed casket funeral...' and then he closed the canopy and latched it securely.

     That got some snickers among the other club members awaiting to see the newbie (ME) on his first flight in his prematurely purchased sailplane. It only added to my pre-flight flutters to the point that when my wise-ass wingrunner crouched below the nose of the craft to hook up the tow rope and gave me the raised hand signal to latch the tow hook mechanism, I jammed it so hard that it caught one of his fingers and took a good chunk out of it. He took it like a man and clutched his fist around that finger and went to raise the wingtip and gave the signal to start the launch. Once I was in the air my training and instinct took over and I had a great flight and even got some good thermalling in before my instructor radioed that I enter the pattern and land. Landing went well and when I got out and hooked up the short tow pennant of the retrieve golf cart and grabbed my wing tip for the long stroll back to the launch end of the field, I noticed blood on my wingtip!

    It was customary for the instructor to walk with you and de-brief you on your flight while everything was still fresh in your mind and I pointed out the blood and wondered to him if I had not noticed a bird strike. The instructor smiled a bit and told me that I had bloodied Ace with the hook latch and he had run to the restroom to staunch the bleeding and then gone to the clinic for a stitch or two. I was appalled at that news but my instructor said not to worry and that the guy deserved it for his lame 'joke' about the harness.

    I never saw ACE at the club again.

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I've used that (basically the same) PFD for a few years, in a Mustang version, including taking a mid-race swim off the bow the year I bought it.  It works fine, with two limitations.  One is that it really needs a harness to keep it from riding up when it deploys - the bags close around your head and keep your chin up but if it was rough that thing would have a good chance of going completely over your head.  It's okay for day sailing or buouy races without the harness but for anything serious I'd use a harness.  The harness is available for ~60, IIRC. Not sure if the current version is made by Mustang, though it looks pretty close.

The other thing is that because the bags run  mostly of the way around the back of the head, the neck is a little tight.  It almost needs a buck in the back at the center to allow adjustment for broad shouldered sailors. 

The CO2 cartridges are also expensive to replace. 

The upside - it worked reliably when I needed it, it's relatively cool compared to a lot of PFDs so I'm more likely to wear it; and even though it's not a great fit it's a pretty decent fit, which is all I've ever had from a PFD.  So I've kept it and not moved on to another brand. 

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23 hours ago, daddle said:

Perhaps. Maybe for some people's bodies. I don't want to float by my neck just because my head won't go thru the vest. Jump in to test it. I found the crotch straps essential.

No crotch strap: Buoy.

Tightened crotch strap: Swimmer.

No, it's the same for all "bodys" so long as you're 90 pounds, that's the weight minimum for the Mustang anyway. Heads don't vary much in dimension.

It's not like you're "hanging" by your neck. You're in water and neutrally buoyant. Try it, you may be surprised.

But, to each their own, I'm not going to argue with you about it. Enjoy your crotch strap.

I think the CO2 cartridges are inexpensive compared to what you get. Think of it as life insurance.

As far as the flying harness goes, that's the same (almost) as the race car webbing I've used and the helicopter harnesses but they have a rotary quick-release.

 

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On 2/11/2018 at 11:16 AM, BarfBag said:

Daddle, it doesn't need a crotch strap as it wont go over your head once inflated.

Using it as a life -ine harness is a different story.

Just be sure you get the hydrostatic pressure triggered model not the dissolving pellet trigger, unless you never get wet while on board.

With more than double the buoyancy of a regular PFD, self righting when wearer unconscious, comfortable, brightly coloured with reflective strips and built in whistle, these are the way to go. I prefer the Mustang.

Last point, manually inflate until it is full, adjust the straps and then deflate. You may be surprised how loose it needs to be in order for it to be comfortable once auto inflated. If it's too tight uninflated, you'll find it hard to breath once full.

Dude - so much wrong with those statements.  It will ride up and try to suffocate you and you will be floating low in the water - more prone to drowning in waves

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48 minutes ago, BarfBag said:

No, it's the same for all "bodys" so long as you're 90 pounds, that's the weight minimum for the Mustang anyway. Heads don't vary much in dimension.

It's not like you're "hanging" by your neck. You're in water and neutrally buoyant. Try it, you may be surprised.

But, to each their own, I'm not going to argue with you about it. Enjoy your crotch strap.

I think the CO2 cartridges are inexpensive compared to what you get. Think of it as life insurance.

As far as the flying harness goes, that's the same (almost) as the race car webbing I've used and the helicopter harnesses but they have a rotary quick-release.

 

What are "bodys"? I am not "neutrally buoyant." Such condition takes a few dive weights to attain. With an inflated vest I am "very buoyant." I have tried it, voluntarily and otherwise. I am not arguing, these are my observations and opinions. Therefore they are true and indisputable. I do not "enjoy" the crotch strap. It is uncomfortable yet the ability to swim is very much worth the annoyance.

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I bought two of these last year for me and my wife. Added the Stearns universal crotch strap from Amazon for about ten bucks. The strap is kind of a pain but I agree with Daddle, better to deal with slight inconvenience and not turn into a lifebouy when it inflates. I haven't been in the water in mine but I did take a wave in the face once that was enough to trigger my personal strobe and the autoinflator tablet didn't kick off. Now that I think of it, maybe I should jump in the water with it to make sure it works. 

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I thought of buying one on sale, just for guest use.  Already have a couple of them.  The problem is that this same "model" has been farmed out to different vendors over the years and appears to be getting cheaper and cheaper.  The first one I bought ("captain's use only") has taped seams, (small) pockets, attachment points for a strobe and whistle, and neck padding.   The next one, two years later, has raw edges on the seams that saw against skin or clothing and none of the extra features.  It does have more reflective tape.

I've been in the water in it.  It rides up over my ears, but doesn't come off.  Do have after-market crotch strap but was not using it at the time.  If a user did not have a fairly pronounced "V" shape to the torso, it would probably pop right off.  

I figured - save my money and get a spinlok - save the WM ones for guests.  

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The crotch  strap on a life jacket is attempting to keep your torso and face  floating high and to prevent you from inverting  .

use the strap 

IMG_8136.JPG

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On 2/12/2018 at 8:18 AM, daddle said:

Perhaps. Maybe for some people's bodies. I don't want to float by my neck just because my head won't go thru the vest. Jump in to test it. I found the crotch straps essential.

No crotch strap: Buoy.

Tightened crotch strap: Swimmer.

Bodies, sixth word in your post above...

You guys all need to spend more time in the water in order to understands how life saving devices work.

Oh, and when you modify a PFD, it is no longer an approved floatation device.

Good luck.

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