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Current Replies for Inflatable lifejackets/pfd's
 
  Inflatable lifejackets/pfd's (admin)
Posted: 7:13:05 pm on 4/25/2013 Modified: Never
 
Several of us took the Sea Survival Course, which has a practical, in-pool component, a good part of which involves inflatables. It is a great eye-opener to use one of these things in the water and if you have one, I really encourage you to jump in the water with it on and see for yourself what happens. Yes, it will cost you $25 for the re-arming kit, but on the other hand, if you'd done it five years ago, it would have cost you $50.

Additional learnings for free:
- Leg straps make a big, big difference to their effectiveness in the water. Leg straps are absurdly expensive, but worth it if you ever find yourself in the water.
- Various components have a best-by date; don't cheap out - replace them.
- You should open up your jacket and hang it up to dry if you get it wet.
- You should manually inflate your jacket at least mid-season to ensure it will hold air; you should also manually inflate the jacket for storage on a hanger over winter.
- If you are stopped for a safety inspection, an inflatable doesn't count for your pfd tally unless you are wearing it. In other words, if you have two people on board with two inflatables down below, you're two pfd's short and liable for a fine of $250 each (not 100% sure about that number, but it's up there).

Cdn Yachting has an article on care of inflatables this month. If I see it, I will summarize it, unless someone gets CY and would like to do this for us.

- Admin


  Re: Inflatable lifejackets/pfd's (diva27)
Posted: 8:30:04 pm on 4/25/2013 Modified: Never
 
Thanks much for this. I invested in a Spinlock Deckvest last year with an integral harness. Not Cdn approved but the best piece of gear I could find in this category (and I wear it). I have approved PFDs on board to be legal. I've never done the manual inflate test, which obviously I should. It also has crotch/thigh straps that I've never used. I will now.
One safety issue that continues to bug me for singlehanding is how to drop the stern ladder from in the water. I'm sure I can solve this with more thinking, but wondering if anyone else has looked at this.

Doug Hunter
Diva
C&C 27 Mk1
Midland Bay Sailing Club
www.douglashunter.ca

  Re: Inflatable lifejackets/pfd's (carriden)
Posted: 3:14:05 pm on 4/26/2013 Modified: 3:15:32 pm on 4/26/2013
 
Hey there Doug. I have a system which uses a snapshackle that is lashed to the ladder with whipping twine, neatly seized.  The snapshackle closes around the wire gate which crosses the open centre portion of my pushpit.  A line runs from the release pin on the snapshackle down to the rung of the ladder which is closest to the waterline.  The ladder is held securely when up and cannot drop unintentionally.  By pulling on the line, you release the snapshackle and this allows the ladder to drop back into the water.  Better for your head if you are not directly underneath it.  I have tested this and it works well.  Once I have the boarding ladder mounted for the season, I shall take some pictures and get them posted.  I am still completing repairs to the ladder and taffrail after being nudged by a Frers 36 last season.  It was, briefly, very exciting.

Marcus from Carriden

Mk III, Hull #847
Oakville, Ontario

  Re: Inflatable lifejackets/pfd's (diva27)
Posted: 7:47:29 pm on 4/26/2013 Modified: Never
 
Much thanks, Marcus. I look forward to seeing pics. Of the snap shackle arrangement, not the Frers incident of course. Although if you have those...

Doug Hunter
Diva
C&C 27 Mk1
Midland Bay Sailing Club
www.douglashunter.ca

  Re: Inflatable lifejackets/pfd's (admin)
Posted: 9:26:04 pm on 4/26/2013 Modified: Never
 
One more thing to consider if you're using an inflatable with harness... The course instructor, Captain Eric Hill, said to avoid tethers with double-locking hooks (the type where you have to squeeze one latch in order to open the main one) on the harness end. If you have to break your connection, you want to do it now not fiddle.  The double-locking type are awkward to open at best and if you're being thrown around or towed, he said, impossible. Experiments with things like Spinlock's integral cutter have not been promising. He suggested using a snapshackle with a prominent pull-tag on the locking pin, and that's what I have now.

Captain Hill was an interesting and experienced teacher, not some safety dweeb. He regularly commands the Canadian Forces' "adventure training" yacht in races like the Marblehead-Halifax and the Halifax-St Pierre and is a SAR helicopter navigator among other things. Memorable remarks include, "I saw the bow-woman disappear and thought, 'Oh, oh,' but when the bow came back up, her tether had held and she was still there." And "I was doing the hourly inspection in the back when the pilot said the words you never want to hear in a helicopter, 'Strap in - we're going down.'" Like I said, experienced, not some safety dweeb.

- Admin


  Re: Inflatable lifejackets/pfd's (bosco)
Posted: 11:23:28 am on 4/26/2013 Modified: Never
 
All great points, guys !! Can I add one more ?

An inflatable should NEVER be worn UNDER a jacket/coat etc. Inflating the device inside a the confines of a tight garment can compress your chest cavity and prevent you from breathing !!! Not what you want in a dunking situation !!!

Clare Jordan  Aragorn
  Re: Inflatable lifejackets/pfd's (diva27)
Posted: 2:12:06 pm on 4/26/2013 Modified: 6:49:20 pm on 4/26/2013
 
I have a double Spinlock tether (a short and a long) on my vest, and their latches have a locking mechanism. However, unlike the insanely annoying locking clip on a West marine harness I own (which my wife could NEVER undo), the locking mechanism on the spinlock is nicely and ergonomically designed. You basically flick down on the lock with your thumb while squeezing the clip open with your index finger. Yes the vest does have the cutter, but as you're suggesting they may be of limited usefulness. This concerns me because the Spinlock tethers are basically fixed to harness (by looping through the eyelet). If you're dangling over the side being dragged along and can't slice through the harness you're basically SOL. I'm considering modifying this with a snap shackle release like the one on the West marine harness.

Doug Hunter
Diva
C&C 27 Mk1
Midland Bay Sailing Club
www.douglashunter.ca