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Best PFD for keel boat racing


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#1 Fluffy

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 04:41 AM

For a variety of reasons I'm thinking about going from never wearing a life jacket for racing to always wearing one.

 

I'm kind of an all or nothing type of guy so I mean always which means I need a PFD that is the epitome of safety and comfort.  What would you reccomend?

 

For the amount I would be using it cost isn't an issue.  If I'm going to wear it when it is 30 degrees and blowing 2 knots it better be comfortable. 

 

Maybe I'm wrong but from my experience I think I would prefer a PFD to an inflateable.

 

Open to all suggestions.



#2 allen

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 05:13 AM

A fixed PDF offers warmth so if you are sailing where it is cold, I would recommend it.  More and more serious racers around here are switching from inflatables.  I have both but the inflatable is home in a box.  If it is hot and humid, that might be another story.  Also, I like knowing that the thing is working.  You never really know with an inflatable.



#3 Christian

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 05:45 AM

That is all good.  Sure a foam PFD is guaranteed to not fail to inflate.  However there is an issue you need to consider as well:  all the foam PFD's will almost certainly fail to turn you face up if you are knocked silly and end up face down.  You can be lucky that a wave turns you over and once you float face up they are prone to keep you in that position.  This is where an inflatable actually works better they are more asymmetric in their distribution of the flotation so it turns you over better and is better at keeping you face up.  To get the same in a fixed foam PFD you have to go to the type 1 PFD's and they are not the most comfortable thingies to wear - I have seen very few of those on race boats.  There is no single silver bullet..............



#4 allen

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 06:20 AM

That is all good.  Sure a foam PFD is guaranteed to not fail to inflate.  However there is an issue you need to consider as well:  all the foam PFD's will almost certainly fail to turn you face up if you are knocked silly and end up face down.  You can be lucky that a wave turns you over and once you float face up they are prone to keep you in that position.  This is where an inflatable actually works better they are more asymmetric in their distribution of the flotation so it turns you over better and is better at keeping you face up.  To get the same in a fixed foam PFD you have to go to the type 1 PFD's and they are not the most comfortable thingies to wear - I have seen very few of those on race boats.  There is no single silver bullet..............

Good points.  I tried all the PFDs at West Marine, all type 1 I guess, and there is not one I would wear if I owned it.  Mine has only one layer front and back where the type 1s have two layers on the front, which makes them uncomfortable.

 

The issue here is what if you get hit in the head and knocked out, but not killed.  With the life vest I have that would be bad if I ended up face down.  If I was killed by the blow to the head, doesn't matter.  Compare that to either not wearing a vest (clearly the wrong choice) or having one not inflate.  You make your choices and you live (or not) with the results.

 

I wonder if anyone has taken statistics on this issue.  It would be interesting to see data.



#5 Peccadillo

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 07:56 AM

Crewsaver Ergofit range. I have their Offshore model. Very comfortable, you hardly notice you're wearing it, plus excellent design when inflated and your in the water. Keep it serviced and it will work fine, like all good quality modern inflatables. The Spinlock Deckvest is very similar, slightly more expensive (at least here in Oz) but reputed to be just as good, maybe even slightly better than the Crewwsaver - but I don't have personal experience of it.



#6 Corley_

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 08:45 AM

I have a crewsaver offshore as above would recommend from a comfort perspective I liked the fact that the buckle could be used for rescue by helicopter probably redundant but reassuring when you are putting your tether on the same lifejacket.  The spinlocks look good too I went for the manual inflation version of the crewsaver lifejacket I think I'm more worried about the thing deploying when I'm under the boat than saving me if I'm knocked unconscious.  Take your pick what your more about I suppose.



#7 lydia

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 11:03 AM

Had one of these for years now

Go the vest model (I got a strobe put in the shoulder)

http://www.stormylif...reational-pfds/

It is just about worn out now. Has been deployed in anger a few times when boats broke.

You can order different lining as well

Spinlock and Crewsavers are actually really crap if ever deployed in anger.

I will let a few idiots argue this one before telling why.

Also the vest is far easier to put on them the others

#8 Merit 25

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 05:29 PM

How about spilling the beans on the crappy ones in hopes that you may save someone's life. 



#9 bloodshot

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 05:36 PM

I wear a Gill sidezip and love it.  not as sleek as a buoyancy aid, but pretty sleek for a full PFD



#10 RockBox Chris

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 05:50 PM

I went with one of these for my newest PFD: http://www.mustangsu...onal&country=25 ,wanted something bulletproof.

It is a little bulky though, fine for keelboats, but makes it tough to duck under the boom on small boats.

I like places to clip a light and whistle for night racing too.

 

On the inflatables, look at the area behind the neck and find one that won't snag. The ones I've worn would catch on the the upper lifeline when hiking over the lower and coming back through.

 

Also, you meant 30C, 86F, right?



#11 fidd

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 06:16 PM

I've had a Spinlock Deckvest for about 1.5 years now and have spent a good amount of time wearing it

 

 

Pros:

Comfortable

Harness leg straps

has a strobe, whistle, knife and spray hood (if in the drink in serious rough sea's "dry drowning" can be a serious concern)

Doubles as a tether harness

 

Cons:

can be a bit bulky (mine definitely catches on the lifelines when I'm hiking out)

 

 

Also, if you are trimming the kite, you can adjust it to support your head like a little pillow while staring up for hours.

 

Having owned a Mustang inflatable while also using a gill PFD, I really like it and would highly recommend the Spinlock. A bit more expensive--but I think it's worth it. 



#12 Presuming Ed

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 07:31 PM

Inflatables must have a crotch strap - and use it.

If the water's warm enough for a 50 Newton buoyancy aid, I like my Spinlock Zero. But I'm not sure it's a great idea with lots of layers, oilskins and boots.

#13 lydia

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 09:33 PM

How about spilling the beans on the crappy ones in hopes that you may save someone's life.

As you work in the trade.
The yoke type pfds (with a few notable exceptions including the Stormy Seas yoke) all have an inflation chamber that inflates around the neck of the wearer so while they hold the head up they don't lift the head and hence your mouth very far up out of the water. (Spinlock is a prime example)
Also remember in any sort of breeze and sea your body will cock to the wind. Hence introduction of spray hoods on pfds to stop you swallowing water and secondary drowning susposedly.
PFDs that are made often for industrial application (such as Stormy Seas) tend to have more buoyancy on the wearer's chest so that they lift the whole body up clear of the water and your mouth tends to be a whole lot higher up out of the water.
Next time you do a Sea Survival Course just get everyone in the pool and inflate the pfds to do the comparison.

Lastly experience shows that many trendy prds with soft loops for harness attachment are very difficult to use when deployed particularly if you are in the water. The flotation chamber inflates over the harness loop and someone trying to hook you up in the water cannot find the loop especially if it is dark.

#14 Peccadillo

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 12:11 PM

Much as I would love to recommend a Tasmanian product, my experience with the Stormy Seas jackets has not been good. I had their top model of yoke jacket and would never buy another - it was difficult to put on and some of its Velcro closures tended to catch and open up, leaving it operable but bits of it flapping around rather than snug on the body. Used to drive me nuts when needing to get on deck in a hurry. I did compare it in operation to others during my Sea Survival Course and noted no significant difference in the water. It did not have a hood - I don't know if they do now. My current Crewsaver has a hood as standard. The Crewsaver harness attachment is metal btw.

 

I also inherited the Stormy Seas vest model when I bought my boat. Used it so little that I sold it on eBay a while ago. Seemed a good concept but was only comfortable to wear in conditions where you needed a jacket (so not good for warm weather), the jacket was ok but not up to offshore standard, so you really needed another proper jacket anyway, and it did not have a crotch strap.



#15 MarkJames

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 04:41 PM

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.



#16 Presuming Ed

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 04:51 PM

if you think you will be doing offshore racing under ISAF OSR regs then it needs to have certain requirements.

 

I see that Special Regs - at all categories - call for 150 Newton jackets to ISO 12402 – 3 (Level 150) or equivalent. AFAIAA, nobody makes a 150 Newton foam jacket - probably because it would be far too bulky. 



#17 MarkJames

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 05:08 PM

As you work in the trade.
The yoke type pfds (with a few notable exceptions including the Stormy Seas yoke) all have an inflation chamber that inflates around the neck of the wearer so while they hold the head up they don't lift the head and hence your mouth very far up out of the water. (Spinlock is a prime example)
Also remember in any sort of breeze and sea your body will cock to the wind. Hence introduction of spray hoods on pfds to stop you swallowing water and secondary drowning susposedly.
PFDs that are made often for industrial application (such as Stormy Seas) tend to have more buoyancy on the wearer's chest so that they lift the whole body up clear of the water and your mouth tends to be a whole lot higher up out of the water.
Next time you do a Sea Survival Course just get everyone in the pool and inflate the pfds to do the comparison.

Lastly experience shows that many trendy prds with soft loops for harness attachment are very difficult to use when deployed particularly if you are in the water. The flotation chamber inflates over the harness loop and someone trying to hook you up in the water cannot find the loop especially if it is dark.

odd that
granted 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

#18 EaglesDare

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 03:40 PM

Disturbing how many Uncontrollable Urge crewmembers had DeckVests riding up over their heads.  3 weren't wearing thigh straps, but even one who did had issues.  Anyone experienced that?  How about with CrewSaver?  



#19 MarkJames

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 10:34 PM

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



#20 Hadlock

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 01:37 AM

Does the Spinlock Deckvest LITE have a harness loop? I noticed that the Deck Pro Harness and the DeckVest both are about $180. I was looking for something more comfortable than my rather sturdy (but uncomfortable) 3" webbing harness for the there and back Harvest Moon regatta next month.  It seems that you can have a harness or a PFD for $180 but not both.

 

Is the Deck Pro really worth $80 more than the next best model? Safety is worth any cost but if I'm going to live in it for 7 days straight, it ought to be pretty comfortable for $200 shipped...



#21 Christian

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 07:20 PM

Nope and no light either

Does the Spinlock Deckvest LITE have a harness loop? I noticed that the Deck Pro Harness and the DeckVest both are about $180. I was looking for something more comfortable than my rather sturdy (but uncomfortable) 3" webbing harness for the there and back Harvest Moon regatta next month.  It seems that you can have a harness or a PFD for $180 but not both.

 

Is the Deck Pro really worth $80 more than the next best model? Safety is worth any cost but if I'm going to live in it for 7 days straight, it ought to be pretty comfortable for $200 shipped...



#22 harrygee

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 03:32 AM

If comfort is the priority, it's hard to go past an inflatable.

 

But the thing has to inflate.

 

I recently did a delivery which involved sleeping on a bunch of rope on the cockpit deck, with a few inches of water washing over me.

Long story.

My Stormy Seas yoke didn't inflate, which was a blessing at the time but it worried me.

I took it in to Stormy Seas here in Tasmania and they explained that it was an old unit, which would never self-inflate.

 

That's why they've upgraded.

 

It inflated okay when I pulled the cord, even though the bottle was corroded.

I bought the upgraded auto-inflater and a new bottle but I'm not too impressed.

I've wiped vaseline around the bottle, which looks just as corrosion-prone as the original.

I think the regulations here are that inflatables have to be inspected every two years and PFD's are compulsory in most situations.

 

I'm looking for a good combined yoke / harness with manual inflation.

 

I deliver a variety of boats, some with crew, mostly alone so staying attached is the priority, though getting back on deck on a big boat at speed is a whole new problem.

 

Good luck with getting the right gear.

 

Harry



#23 Christian

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 03:32 PM

Harry:  Inspection every two years is not often enough.  At least once a year - I do mine at least a couple of times a year and before every offshore event.



#24 harrygee

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 07:55 AM

Hi Christian

 

Thanks for that.

 

I check my gear frequently.  I was referring to the legal requirement in Tasmania, to wear an approved jacket at (almost) all times, the jacket to be regularly tested / inspected by the manufacturer or agent.

 

Sorry for the off-topic.



#25 nacrajon

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 01:24 AM

I'm about to buy a Deckvest and this thread is a little out of date as some pfd have been updated.

I'm thinking of buying a Crewsaver Ergofit 190Pro with hammar, hood and light options. It seems more comfortable than the Spinlock and cheaper. I probably will buy a Spinlock bag to hold my PLB as it is an older one too big for the vest.

There is about $100 difference between the
Ergofit 190OS
Ergofit 190Pro
(when both are optioned up with hammar, light and hood)

Only differences are Plb pocket (which is too small), knife pocket and twin soft loop vs hard single loop.

I'm from small boats how benificial is the single hard loop in practice?

Do the Ergofit have the same potential problem as a Spinlock of the bouyancy chamber riding over your head in surf?

#26 The_Cunning_Ham

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 02:21 AM

If you had to pick between the Spinlock, Ergofit, and Kru which would you pick and why?



#27 Bar Shaker

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 12:18 PM

If you had to pick between the Spinlock, Ergofit, and Kru which would you pick and why?

I bought a Spinlock earlier this year, for my Fastnet campaign. 

 

I tried on all of the main brands and Crewsaver was number 2 for comfort, with Spinlock just beating it at number 1.  The others didn't really compare as they didn't have hoods and lights as standard.

 

After a few minutes, you really don't notice that you have a Spinlock on.  I have the HAMMER version and the bottle lives inside the bladder, so is totally protected from corrosion by salt water.  The light is very easy to test (a wet finger over two test contacts), and it comes with a harness line cutter (for use when clipped on during a capsize or loss of keel).

 

With regards to how it holds you, that will all down to the crotch straps.  Spinlock comes with thigh straps as standard, which are much more comfortable to wear at the correct tension. 

 

I've also fitted a McMurdo AIS plb, which is installed to auto activate on inflation.  The AIS lives safely inside the jacket, clipped to the mouth piece and lanyarded on, not in an external pocket.

 

All in, it's the best £500/$700 I hope never to use.

 

A word of warning... don't be tempted to buy a 290N vest until you have tried to get into a life raft whilst wearing an inflated one!  It is almost impossible.



#28 jack_sparrow

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 01:10 PM

...while not sanctioned use a tether with a snap shackle at vest end unless you're OK at holding your breath for a long long time.

#29 seaker

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 02:04 PM

Tethers with a snap shackle are acceptable.  The rule says you need to be able to disconnect the tether under pressure.  So some people have a cutter of some kind to disconnect.



#30 jack_sparrow

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 03:03 PM

Snaps at body end only now have ISAF OSR approval but still don't have ISO approval which requires at both ends the double action clip style which drown people so well. Because they hold all approvsls the stupid things are cheaper and more readily available at retailers and therefore make tether cutters a necessary evil.

#31 WHL

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 04:29 PM

At Bar Shaker, I wouldn't recommend a hammer with your Spinlock... Just use the HAMMAR :D

Re: the Spinlock tether cutter... Pathetic and a totally useless place to stow it.... Behind the harness. When the PFD is inflated and you're being dragged along you will probably drown before getting at it behind an inflated bladder, let alone cut the tether.

Best option is a snap shackle on the harness end, I use this Tylaska, luggage tagged to the Spinlock tether's loop, plus a ring to stow the tethers. I have seen so many people with snap shackles on their tethers, attach themselves to the harness ring with the snap shackle, then to the jackline or hard point on deck, then stow the lazy second tether on the ring on the harness. Brilliant.... If they go over, then try to release the snap shackle, the lazy harness takes up the load as it's still attached directly to the harness ring.

Attached File  image.jpg   156.68KB   1 downloads

Please tether manufacturers.... Get someone on the design job that has actually had to use one !!!!

#32 jack_sparrow

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 04:41 PM

Wichard know what their doing with their OSR snap range

#33 Firebar

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 11:58 AM

That's a good looking harness line there! I think I'll mod mind with a whichard or tylaska to avoid ending up like the skipper of Lion!

https://assets.digit...000023/Lion.pdf

With the spinlocks it is possible to undo the adjustment points enough while they're loaded to get out of the jacket in a desperate situation. Though I imagine not recommend, as the person that I know who did that then spent quite some time in the Irish Sea at night with no life jacket.

My current jacket is the Kru waistcoat style one, the annoyance I have with it is that the version I have stows the sprayhood internally, which puts a weak point in the zip where it catches on hiking. Needs a cover.

#34 kevlar®

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 02:37 PM

For a standard jacket I like the side zip types. The idea is that there's a bit more buoyancy on your chest so it would hopefully put you face up if you're out. It's my go to vest inshore.

 

I have 2 Sospenders inflatables. One manual and one both auto and manual. The manual has it's own crotch strap and I used a sail tie on the auto. I don't like how they fit, but they work.



#35 us7070

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 03:55 PM

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

 

if you read the report the problem they highlight is not the thigh straps...

 

they mostly discuss a problem with the attachment of the bladder to the webbing "frame" of the PFD - the attachment is such that the bladder doesn't stay secure enough to the part that the wearer is wearing - according to the report they separate too much 



#36 nacrajon

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 06:53 AM

"A word of warning... don't be tempted to buy a 290N vest until you have tried to get into a life raft whilst wearing an inflated one! It is almost impossible."

- I don't see this as an issue, on my sea survival course we were taught to always let a bit out of the pfd before trying to climb aboard the liferaft ( just squeeze the oral inflation tube while pointing the CO2 away from your face). Once in the raft if desired add a few puffs and the vest is full again.

#37 Merit 25

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 02:16 PM


Snaps at body end only now have ISAF OSR approval but still don't have ISO approval which requires at both ends the double action clip style which drown people so well. 

 

 

Do you have one single report of this happening? 

Personally, I'd rather the crew drag my lifeless body on board and try to bring me back. That becomes much harder if they have to turn around and sail back to me in the middle of the night. I still have a quick release on my tether, but that's more in case if the boat gets rolled, keel falls off and you need to detach now.  



#38 jack_sparrow

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 03:26 PM


Snaps at body end only now have ISAF OSR approval but still don't have ISO approval which requires at both ends the double action clip style which drown people so well. 

 
 
Do you have one single report of this happening? 
Personally, I'd rather the crew drag my lifeless body on board and try to bring me back. That becomes much harder if they have to turn around and sail back to me in the middle of the night. I still have a quick release on my tether, but that's more in case if the boat gets rolled, keel falls off and you need to detach now.  
A Christopher Reddish in a race in the English Channel drowned still tethered to a boat (with a standard twin clip tether) sailing normally and in normal conditions after a foredeck sail change. This is exactly the circumstances that you think a quick release snap shackle at the harness end of the tether is not required or there have been no drownings of this nature involving tethers.

By the time the crew noticed him missing and got him back on board he was dead. The enquiry in to his drowning and other drowning/tether related fatalities and near misses has guided current thinking. It is reflected now in tether design, emphasised in survival at sea courses regarding saftey gear selection etc.

This problem of being concious and towed along, or trapped alongside a boat by a tether has been addressed by the following two safety gear recommendations.

1. Firstly minimise tether length (tether has 2 jackstay clips, one long and one short) so that if it stretched to its maximum extent from the jackstay it will not allow you to be washed overboard.

2. The second is a quick release snap shackle at the harness end (and not a double action clip) to allow the wearer if necessary to release the tether under load at the harness end.

Your view on this subject is not supported by many investigations and sailors and if nothing else is certainly not a view the late Mr Reddish and others who have drowned/or nearly drowned by being towed to their death by their tether, would subscribe to.

#39 Cruisin Loser

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 06:44 PM

I recently equipped my boat with the Premier Kru Sport Pro with integrated personal AIS, they are much less bulky and more comfortable for extended wear and deck work that the Mustangs and Spinlock Deckvest they replaced. My understanding is that this is what Rambler is now running.  After doing Bermuda and back earlier this summer, I am very happy with the comfort of these vests.

 

FWIW, since I was getting several, they embroidered them with the boat name at no extra cost. 



#40 Merit 25

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 03:41 PM

 

 

Snaps at body end only now have ISAF OSR approval but still don't have ISO approval which requires at both ends the double action clip style which drown people so well. 

 
 
Do you have one single report of this happening? 
Personally, I'd rather the crew drag my lifeless body on board and try to bring me back. That becomes much harder if they have to turn around and sail back to me in the middle of the night. I still have a quick release on my tether, but that's more in case if the boat gets rolled, keel falls off and you need to detach now.  


By the time the crew noticed him missing and got him back on board he was dead.

and exactly how long did it take the crew to "notice" him not on the bow anymore?  Do you believe that he would've been saved if he released his tether and floated away?  His own crew didn't notice he went overboard in the first place. 



#41 Merit 25

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 03:48 PM

I also have the Kru Sport and chose it b/c it rides higher on my chest and is more comfortable. Also doesn't have metal D rings to bang around. Put almost 2,000 miles on mine this year so far.  I like it. 



#42 jack_sparrow

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 05:09 PM


 

 

Snaps at body end only now have ISAF OSR approval but still don't have ISO approval which requires at both ends the double action clip style which drown people so well. 

 
 
Do you have one single report of this happening? 
Personally, I'd rather the crew drag my lifeless body on board and try to bring me back. That becomes much harder if they have to turn around and sail back to me in the middle of the night. I still have a quick release on my tether, but that's more in case if the boat gets rolled, keel falls off and you need to detach now.  
By the time the crew noticed him missing and got him back on board he was dead.
and exactly how long did it take the crew to "notice" him not on the bow anymore?  Do you believe that he would've been saved if he released his tether and floated away?  His own crew didn't notice he went overboard in the first place. 
Yes. He died by being drowned, unable to alert anyone to his predicament or free himself...you should try it.

#43 VALIS

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 09:35 PM

 

Snaps at body end only now have ISAF OSR approval but still don't have ISO approval which requires at both ends the double action clip style which drown people so well. 

 

 

Do you have one single report of this happening? 

Personally, I'd rather the crew drag my lifeless body on board and try to bring me back. That becomes much harder if they have to turn around and sail back to me in the middle of the night. I still have a quick release on my tether, but that's more in case if the boat gets rolled, keel falls off and you need to detach now.  

 

 

Here's another incident where someone was dragged by their tether until they drowned.  In this case his PFD did not inflate.  This was in the 1999 Doublehanded Farallones Race.  The other crewmember also went overboard, and was able to pull himself aboard, but by then the other crewmember had drowned.  Link: http://www.sfgate.co...ace-2939174.php



#44 Big Show

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 04:04 PM

Zhik at Fogh. 



#45 nacrajon

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 12:14 PM

http://forums.sailin...96014_thumb.jpg

Thanks for that image, I went out and upgraded to a Wichard 7008 which has a quick release but better snap hooks IMO. I will add plastic balls on the release.

#46 jack_sparrow

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 12:54 PM

http://forums.sailin...96014_thumb.jpg

Thanks for that image, I went out and upgraded to a Wichard 7008 which has a quick release but better snap hooks IMO. I will add plastic balls on the release.

Good choice..I have procured dozens of these. However I would not add balls to as that increases risk of an accidental snag and release, particularly as the 7008 employs a barrel pull style quick release. The workaround version in the photo uses a trigger style snap which is a lot harder to release, necessitating the balls.

#47 nacrajon

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 01:57 PM

Ok, thanks for the suggestion

#48 Par Avion

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 03:43 PM

http://forums.sailin...96014_thumb.jpg

Thanks for that image, I went out and upgraded to a Wichard 7008 which has a quick release but better snap hooks IMO. I will add plastic balls on the release.

 

Its a wonderful tether. You'll be happy. 



#49 ZeeZee

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 05:28 PM

The snap shackle type as used on the Wichard 7008 is not always easy to release under load (we used to use them as quick release on our kite in the early days of kiteboarding but you simply can't release them quickly under load and time pressure).
The tylaska t8 type or wichard 2673/74 type work much better. However, beware that with the tylaska you need to pull in the right direction as otherwise you don't have a lever on the quick release.

#50 WHL

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 05:49 PM

http://forums.sailin...96014_thumb.jpg
Thanks for that image, I went out and upgraded to a Wichard 7008 which has a quick release but better snap hooks IMO. I will add plastic balls on the release.

There have been numerous opinions on the differences between the Wichard snap hooks versus the Gibb style. Here's what I have found, which has been shared by others: when you have cold hands, the wichard's seem more difficult to grip and open. The Gibbs on the other hand, only need a flip of the thumb to release the gate. The Kong snap hook is another that has a good locking gate, but needs little effort to open it.

Re: the balls on the lanyard on the Tylaska, I have tried to simulate accidentally catching the lanyard e.g. Falling across a coachroof on my front to see if it gets caught on halyards left aft, etc... Nope. It needs a positive pull by hand to trip the snap shackle.

#51 WHL

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 05:53 PM

The snap shackle type as used on the Wichard 7008 is not always easy to release under load (we used to use them as quick release on our kite in the early days of kiteboarding but you simply can't release them quickly under load and time pressure).
The tylaska t8 type or wichard 2673/74 type work much better. However, beware that with the tylaska you need to pull in the right direction as otherwise you don't have a lever on the quick release.


True about the Tylaska. It took some tweaking to make sure the eye around the trigger was small enough to leave the lanyard on the correct side of the trigger. Once the tether is under load, the lanyard in that configuration, released reliably.

#52 ZeeZee

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 06:09 PM

Well done WHL. Great and safe tether!

#53 jack_sparrow

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 06:39 PM

The snap shackle type as used on the Wichard 7008 is not always easy to release under load (we used to use them as quick release on our kite in the early days of kiteboarding but you simply can't release them quickly under load and time pressure).
The tylaska t8 type or wichard 2673/74 type work much better. However, beware that with the tylaska you need to pull in the right direction as otherwise you don't have a lever on the quick release.

Your kite application is a great comparison That said the snaps you mention are of completely different design and application. The Wichard 2673 is specificaly for quick release but not under high loads. ie kite sheets and halyards.

The Tylaska t8 and similiar trigger styles are designed for release under extreme loads and less prone to accidentally trip with acknowledgment this involves more difficulty, including possibly the need for a spike to trip them. For instance this is the only style used in Martin Breakers.

The barrel/pull style snap like that incorporated in the Wichard 7008 is different again and appears to sit somewhere in the middle of those two in terms of application.

However that is possibly all academic as I'm unaware of any manufacturer in the world who makes a OSR/ISAF recomended tether using anything other than a barrel /pull style snap shackle. If there is I would love to give them a try.

#54 Morgan Crew

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 07:54 PM

I've had my Kru Sport Pro for 3 seasons now and happy I bought it.  Comes with crotch strap, integral harness, self inflator and spray hood.  Would not leave the dock without it.  Very comfortable to wear and easy to add a strobe to it.

 

Price was right too.



#55 Slim

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 08:10 PM

Also keep in mind that everything said here is academic unless you practice using your gear to know if it works for you. 

 

I'd like to make a tether out of Amsteel or similar, anyone tried that? This pdf from Estar has a picture of one he made.

 

Slim



#56 rantifarian

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 11:45 PM

Amsteel seems like it would catch on every fucking thing, as well as knotting up when you least want it to

#57 lahtris

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 07:32 PM

Just cruising this thread and thought I'd comment/add some points from a 4 year user of the spinlock on various boats:

 

1) kong snaps far easier to use than the gibb or wichard ones. Go to your local boat show and try them all. They are also substantially cheaper.

 

2) 30C, go for the inflatable for sure. Much cooler and more compact

 

3) Features like strobe, AIS, whistle, etc depend on how far off shore you're going. Safety boat watching every race and not staying out after sunset? Probably don't need a strobe. Your class doesn't race in 25kts+? Probably don't need a spray hood. That said, I wear a spinlock deckvest 150 on 20-40ft keelboats for bay can racing/cruising and it's great.

 

4) Seems to me that the most likely way to die in can racing is: boom hits head, knocked out and overboard. For this reason I use a hammar auto-inflate.

 

5) People saying they don't want an auto-inflate because they're worried about going under the boat are crazy. The same problem is true of a foam vest. Take it off, swim under anyway (not hard to push yourself along the bottom of a sail), puncture the bladder, or use the deflate valve. Depends on how much time you have. You have much more time than you think before you NEED to breathe.

 

6) Tethers should be nylon, not spectra/amsteel/vectran/whatever. Jacklines too. If you don't believe me, look at the climbing community. Stretch saves lives and reduces load + heat. Using an amsteel tether is like lead climbing on a static rope - you'll just break whatever you're attached to.

 

7) The spinlock has a separate hoist point, about 1ft diameter loop, to be used for buddy hookup or lifting. This deploys out the bottom left edge when inflated. No need to find the small tether loop.

 

8) Crotch/thigh straps are needed with all inflatables in heavy seas/breaking surf (IMO). They are included with the spinlock and not with the musto/WM vests. The cost of adding these brings them in line with the spinlock

 

9) Spinlocks are not yet USCG certified, so make sure you have an orange foamie stowed away somewhere if you're required to do so. I haven't heard of the coasties actually enforcing this though.

 

10) Spring the extra few $$ for the hammar (hydrostatic pressure) inflator.

 

11) If flying, travel with a copy of https://www.tsa.gov/...ms_brochure.pdfand keep the vest and spares in carry-on baggage.






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