Life preserver Life preserver
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    Life preserver
from gmbj #13057 #13057  
7/18/2012 3:22:00 PM


 Im looking to buy one of the automatic inflatable life jackets but have a few questions. I never wear a life jacket now and am looking for something that is comfortable to wear while fishing. I see some that are rated at 35Lbs and some at 24lbs. I fish small size lakes mostly (around 2000 acres) and feel that the 24lb models would work fine. I want one that I can wear all day and forget I have it on.

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   Hit from Dwight #10907 #10907  7/18/2012 4:12:11 PM
Get a Mustang HIT model. They cost more but they don't go off when they get wet only if they are submerged. The others can go off at any time when damp. It depends on your body weight for lbs of lift you need.

   Sea state from Brad  7/18/2012 10:04:01 PM
the higher rated jackets are for survival in seas when you are vigorously moving up and down from the motion of the swells, wind and seas. Since you are in a small body of water, that won't be your problem.

The key to survival in the water (this case, pond) is to understand that keeping the weight of your nose above water is all the energy you need to mainain. Hover just below the surface, lift your face, grab a breath. keeping your entire head out of the water every time you take a breath is a waste of energy that you will need later...

Buy the biggun and wear it when you are on the water. Some people swim naturally, some shouldn't even take the chance without being properly equiped..

   Brad is mostly right from StevieP  7/19/2012 12:34:19 PM
You need one with enough support to keep your face out of the water IF/WHEN YOU'RE UNCONSCIOUS. treading water is easy if you're coherent. If you whacked your head in a boating accident, you want the life preserver to keep you afloat, roll you face up & keep you there until help arrives.

if you're not sure, get the bigger one.

   Can you swim at all? from fishintechnician #13154 #13154  7/19/2012 12:50:05 PM
Maybe this is a dumb question and hopefully you don't get offended but can you swim? If the answer is no going out on a boat is a bad idea, eventually you are going to fall in.

   Okay, Listen up from Fisherboy #10852 #10852  7/19/2012 4:00:10 PM

Get a Type II if you are worried about going overboard. Type 1 and Type II jackets will roll your face up if you are knocked out. Type IIIs, what most of us wear will not do that.

Check out the Coast Guard ratings if you want to know what's what. Then read the fine print on those rated as "type III with type II performance."

   USCG Info from Fisherboy #10852 #10852  7/19/2012 4:03:07 PM


TYPE I PFDS / OFF-SHORE LIFE JACKETS: Best for all waters, open ocean, rough seas, or remote water, where rescue may be slow coming. Abandon-ship lifejacket for commercial vessels and all vessels carrying passengers for hire:

Inherently Buoyant Type I PFDs - SOLAS Service
Inherently Buoyant Type I PFDs - U.S. Service
Inflatable Type I PFDs - SOLAS and Domestic
Hybrid Type I PFDs - US Services
TYPE II PFDS / NEAR-SHORE BUOYANT VESTS: For general boating activities. Good for calm, inland waters, or where there is a good chance for fast rescue.

Inherently Buoyant Type II PFDs
Inflatable Type II PFDs
Hybrid Type II PFDs
TYPE III PFDS / FLOTATION AIDS: For general boating or the specialized activity that is marked on the device such as water skiing, hunting, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and others. Good for calm, inland waters, or where there is a good chance for fast rescue. Designed so that wearing it will complement your boating activities:

Inherently Buoyant Type III PFDs
Inflatable Type III PFDs
Hybrid Type III PFDs

TYPE V PFDS / SPECIAL USE DEVICES: Only for special uses or conditions.
See label for limits of use:

Hybrid Inflatable PFDs
Canoe/Kayak Vest
Boardsailing Vests
Deck Suits
Work Vests for Commercial Vessels
Commercial Whitewater Vests
Man-Overboard Rescue Devices
Law Enforcement Flotation Devices

Note: The Coast Guard is working with the PFD community to revise the classification and labeling of PFDs. When completed, this information will be updated and hopefully be somewhat easier to understand. Meanwhile, spending a few minutes to understand the many options available to find a PFD that you’re willing to wear could mean the difference between life and death for you or a loved one.

Each PFD sold for use on a recreational boat is required to be provided with a guide to selection entitled “Think Safe – Choose the Right PFD”. These pamphlets are tailored to the kind of PFD to which they are attached. The following information is a combination of information taken from the various pamphlets and additional guidance.

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BUOYANCY: Most adults only need an extra seven to twelve pounds of buoyancy to keep their heads above water. A PFD can give that "extra lift," and it's made to keep you floating until help comes. But a PFD is a personal flotation device and it's important to get the right one for you.

Your weight isn't the only factor in finding out how much "extra lift" you need in water. Body fat, lung size, clothing, and whether the water is rough or calm, all play a part.

Read the label on your PFD to be sure it's made for people your weight and size. Test it as shown in the next section. Then in an emergency, don't panic. Relax, put your head back and let your PFD help you come out on top.


Type PFDs Minimum Adult Buoyancy
in Pounds (Newtons)
I - Inflatable 33.0 (150)
I - Buoyant Foam or Kapok 22.0 (100)
II - Inflatable 33.0 (150)
II - Buoyant Foam or Kapok 15.5 (70)
III - Inflatable 22.0 (100)
III - Buoyant Foam 15.5 (70)
IV - Ring Buoys 16.5 (75)
IV - Boat Cushions 18.0 (82)
V - Hybrid Inflatables 22.0 (Fully inflated) (100)
7.5 (Deflated) (34)
V - Special Use Device - Inflatable 22.0 to 34.0 (100 to 155)
V - Special Use Device - Buoyant Foam 15.5 to 22.0 (70 to 100)


Try on your PFD to see if it fits comfortably snug. Then test it in shallow water to see how it handles.
To check the buoyancy of your PFD in the water, relax your body and let your head tilt back. Make sure your PFD keeps your chin above water and you can breathe easily.
Be aware: your PFD may not act the same in swift or rough water as in calm water. The clothes you wear and the items in your pockets may also change the way your PFD works.
If your mouth is not well above the water, get a new PFD or one with more buoyancy.
A PFD is designed not to ride-up on the body when in the water. But, when a wearer's stomach is larger than the chest, ride-up may occur. Before use, test this PFD in the water to establish that excessive ride-up does not impair PFD performance.


Most drownings occur way out at sea, right? Wrong! Fact is, 9 out of 10 drownings occur in inland waters, most within a few feet of safety. Most of the victims owned PFDs, but they died without them. A wearable PFD can save your life, if you wear it.
If you haven't been wearing your PFD because of the way it makes you look or feel, there's good news. Today's PFDs fit better, look better and are easy to move around in.
One more thing. Before you shove off, make sure all on board are wearing PFDs. To work best, PFDs must be worn with all straps, zippers, and ties fastened. Tuck in any loose strap ends to avoid getting hung-up.
When you don't wear your PFD, the odds are against you. You're taking a chance on your life.


Follow these points to be sure your PFD stays in good condition:

1. Don't alter your PFD. If yours doesn't fit, get one that does. Play it safe. An altered PFD may not save your life.
2. Don't put heavy objects on your PFD or use it for a kneeling pad or boat fender. PFDs lose buoyancy when crushed.
3. Let your PFD drip dry thoroughly before putting it away. Always stow it in a well-ventilated place.
4. Don't leave your PFD on board for long periods when the boat is not in use.
5. Never dry your PFD on a radiator, heater, or any other direct heat source.
6. Put your name on your PFD if you're the only wearer.
7. Practice throwing your Type IV PFD. Cushions throw best underhand.


Your PFD is required to be in serviceable condition in order to be used on your boat as one of the required PFDs.
Check your PFD often for rips, tears, and holes, and to see that seams, fabric straps, and hardware are okay. There should be no signs of waterlogging, mildew odor, or shrinkage of the buoyant materials.
If your PFD uses bags of kapok (a naturally buoyant material), gently squeeze the bag to check for air leaks. If it leaks, it should be thrown away. When kapok gets wet, it can get stiff or waterlogged and can lose some of its buoyancy.
Don't forget to test each PFD at the start of each season. Remember, the law says your PFDs must be in good shape before you use your boat. Ones that are not in good shape should be cut up and thrown away.

   inflatable from mofishin #10690 #10690  7/20/2012 11:43:45 AM
And remember the inflatable only counts if you are wearing it.
If you get tired of wearing it and take it off and do not have a regular PFD in your vessel and "The Man" checks you, he will "Explain" it to you in writing.

   . from RJR  8/30/2012 7:36:33 AM



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