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 Post subject: PFD style
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:12 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Sapulpa, Oklahoma
We are happy new owners of a 2015 TI. Bought it at the end of the season last year, took it for a quick COLD ride then stored it for the winter. Weather is getting nice and we took it out this past weekend and had a blast. We've already made a few upgrades but are needing different life jackets. Currently we are using our same ones we use on our skiboat and jetski and they are VERY uncomfortable in these seats. They ride up high and make you want to take the things off, which is not good. My question is which type does everyone prefer? Pros and cons? We plan to stay on board 90% of the time while sailing, but may jump off and swim a little here and there to cool off. Sometimes when we swim, floating with a PFD on is nice, but not required. We haven't tried any others so i'm going from observation only. Also, I am 5'10" and about 210lbs so not as small as I would like to be. I'll list my thoughts so far:

1. Fishing vest: Pros-Pros-Fits the idea of being readily available at all time and can swim and float easily anytime. Mesh shoulder straps to allow some sun through and not get a "farmers" tan. Cons-bulky, less comfortable, likely won't be comfortable on the back in the seat.

2. High back "Paddling" vest: Pros-Fits the idea of being readily available at all time and can swim and float easily anytime. Cons-bulky, less comfortable.

3. Manually inflatable "Horseshoe" shaped: These seem to be pretty popular. Pros-Smaller, more comfortable, easily used. Cons-Can't just jump in and swim using it for bouancy without inflating so would likely just take it off to swim. Costs more. Requires manually inflating by pulling handle, which concerns me if an accident happens. (I don't prefer the automatic inflated kind as I plan to be pretty wet most of the time)

4. Waist manually inflated style: Pros-Even smaller yet, should be VERY comfortable almost like not even having one on at all. Cons-Same as with Horseshoe style only it's even another step involved in putting it on in case of emergency.

5. "Horse Collar" style like a "Spinlock": Pros-Looks very comfortable. Easier to deploy and seems more secure than other manually inflatable type. Cons-Same as #3 above but with even more cost.

Honestly I am leaning towards #2 as simplicity and price, but #4 is very tempting and i've seen them for only about $30 more than #2.

Thanks in advance


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 Post subject: Re: PFD style
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:24 pm
Posts: 779
Location: Houston, TX
I agree that if I were to have one, I would chose the paddling life vest style. I do have a #3 but I don't feel as safe in it.

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2016 AI - Spinn & Jib

“Out of sight of land the sailor feels safe. It is the beach that worries him.”
– Charles G. Davis

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 Post subject: Re: PFD style
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 3:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:40 am
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Location: Blacklick, Ohio
We all have high back paddling vests and like them.

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 Post subject: Re: PFD style
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
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Location: South Florida
The preferred vest by WaterTribers is the NRS cVest Mesh Back http://www.nrs.com/category/2675/life-jackets/mesh-back-life-jackets

Keith

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 Post subject: Re: PFD style
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:05 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:12 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Sapulpa, Oklahoma
I am liking the looks of the cVest. A little more $$$ than I was hoping to spend, but if it's more comfortable than others it may be worth it. Any others comparable? The Hobie models maybe? They are a few $$ cheaper but may not be as good.


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 Post subject: Re: PFD style
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
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Location: South Florida
The nice thing about the cVest it has lots of pocket space and a bunch of places to tether things.

Keith

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2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

"Less is more" Anon


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 Post subject: Re: PFD style
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 13891
Location: Oceanside, California
The Hobie / Stohlquist Thinback vests are very comfortable. Excellent styling and quality. Thin backs to be more comfortable in the Vantage seats. You still have to have volume as USCG requires, so no way around some bulk. These are "Graded Sized" which is a new concept. They wiggle in the range of require foam and make a smaller one for smaller folks... larger for larger. Men's and Women's (formed/cupped) sizes and various colors that work well with our boat colors.

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Part Description
S6100LG PFD THINBACK MANGO - LARGE
S6100MD PFD THINBACK MANGO - MEDIUM
S6100XL PFD THINBACK MANGO - X LARGE
S6101LG PFD THINBACK RED - LARGE
S6101MD PFD THINBACK RED - MEDIUM
S6101XL PFD THINBACK RED - X LARGE
S6102LG PFD THINBACK GR GREEN - LARGE
S6102MD PFD THINBACK GR GREEN - MEDIUM
S6102XL PFD THINBACK GR GREEN - X LARG
S6110LG PFD THINBACK MANGO (W) LG
S6110MD PFD THINBACK MANGO (W) MD
S6110SM PFD THINBACK MANGO (W) SM
S6114LG PFD THINBACK BLUE (W) LG
S6114MD PFD THINBACK BLUE (W) MD
S6114SM PFD THINBACK BLUE (W) SM

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 Post subject: Re: PFD style
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:29 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:12 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Sapulpa, Oklahoma
I've got the vantage seat, and my thinking is the thin back would still try to raise as you move around in the seat. That is my biggest issue with my current vest. I don't remember the name of what I have, it is a mid range neopreme style but is not real thick. It is neopreme across the shoulder instead of straps, but that is only half the issue. From what I am seeing, the mesh lower back with the floatation up high works best on these seats. I think the thin back would be better in the older style seat, but I don't have any real experience with those.


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 Post subject: Re: PFD style
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:53 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:13 pm
Posts: 450
Last year I received an automatic inflatable vest as a gift. I had longed ruled out the auto vests because when I sail I often get wet, and I mean soaking wet. Splashing wave after wave all day soaking wet. But it was a gift and rather than hurt a loved one's feelings I thought I would try it out. To my surprise it worked perfectly. It was so lightweight I often forgot I had it on, best vest I ever wore. There is no back padding to get in the way, and no front padding so you stay as cool as possible with a pfd on during the hottest of days.

I always had my expensive high back paddling vest (which I never liked) on hand because I thought it was only a matter of time before the auto vest went off. However despite getting completely soaked time and time again in normal use, it simply did not self inflate. So then I started getting suspicious thinking something was wrong with it. I decided it was worth the $18 for a new cartridge to test it out, after all I was betting my life on this thing. So one day I jumped into the water with it on. It took about 10-15 seconds but then it self-inflated perfectly. Turns out that it has to be fully submerged for water to possibly reach the self activation mechanism which is very cleverly located, you can splash soaking water on it all day and it won't inflate. I replaced the cartridge and used it for the rest of the season, and despite getting soaked time and time again it never went off. I now plan on using it all this season and even purchased two more for my passengers.

It is a Cabela's Tournament 3500 Auto PFD, cost $100 on sale. USCG-approved Type-II. It also has manual activation. Lightweight and very comfortable. Try it at your own risk but it works great for me and now I'm a convert, I now own three.


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 Post subject: Re: PFD style
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 3323
Location: South Florida
The last time I checked, the CC was recommending inflatable vests because PEOPLE WORE THEM. Still, I worry that I could be unconscious due to an accident when I go over, and have preferred the positive factor of a standard vest such as the NRS cVest. The cVest has lots of points of attachment. I attach my SPOT (I want rescuers finding me, not my boat), VHF radio, Leatherman tool, and camera. Pockets hold the preceding 4 items items plus leader material, neck gator, extra sun gloves. Of course, some people put power bars, etc., into the pockets.

Inflatables seem to be short on points of attachment and pockets.

Keith

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2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

"Less is more" Anon


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 Post subject: Re: PFD style
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:16 am 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 13891
Location: Oceanside, California
kleake wrote:
I've got the vantage seat, and my thinking is the thin back would still try to raise as you move around in the seat.


The thin back vests are as comfortable as it gets when using a foam vest. Remember, unless you have an automatic inflating PFD... you will be in trouble using an inflatable vest if knocked into the water or have a medical issue. Foam is 100% effective when worn.

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Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Warranty and Technical Support
Hobie Cat USA


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 Post subject: Re: PFD style
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:18 am
Posts: 65
Location: Sydney, Australia
Not sure which country you are in, but in Australia I have heard good feedback on the Kokatat Outfit Tour - https://kokatat.com/product/outfit-tour-pfd-lvuoft

Predominantly a US product but over here in Australia, a number of sea kayakers use this life jacket because of its low profile design and good features.


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 Post subject: Re: PFD style
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:12 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Sapulpa, Oklahoma
I am in the middle of the US, so inland lakes are all I will be using it on. That does look nice though. I think I may be leaning towards 2 vest options after all of the discussion. A cVest for most trips and days out sailing around. Then possibly the unflatable type if I plan to be fishing up in coves and such where other boats won't be zipping around trying to run me over. This will also provide a spare onboard if I had an extra passenger for a day.


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 Post subject: Re: PFD style
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 3323
Location: South Florida
I looked at the capsize in that video several times, and I did not think the vest caused a problem. The guy in blue simply had his butt hanging out too far, and he could not move fast enough to get his weight into the center of the boat. I thought he bent forward easily, but it was too late. I also thought he remounted the boat fairly easily. Of course, a bulky life vest is going to inhibit some of these things to a degree, but I didn't think it caused much of a problem in the video. Just my opinion, of course.

Keith

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2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

"Less is more" Anon


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 Post subject: Re: PFD style
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:48 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:12 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Sapulpa, Oklahoma
I can see the bulkiness hindering in some instances, but i'm not going to be out in the ocean in those conditions. I doubt I will capsize at all unless an aka pin breaks, and if that happens, it will be in less harsh conditions and "should" be easier to deal with, although anything can happen. I do agree the bulkiness makes it harder to move around, even if just getting into the cooler behind the seat so i'm looking for a decent compromise. I tried on a NRS Chinook yesterday at my local kayak shop and it fit well and I liked the way it fit with the seats. It was a little bit bulky up front with all of it's pockets, but was MUCH more manageable than what I have been using. Knowing the fit is MUCH better than my other vest, and knowing the chinook is the "fishing" version of the NRS, I went ahead and ordered a cVest thinking the pockets will be a little slimmer and more for my use. So far out of all that I have looked at, this seems to be the best compromise. I will still look into an inflatable type if I intend to be fishing more than sailing where I need more movement and less chance of an emergency situation.

Thank you everyone for the input, and I hope this discussion helps others decide what will work best for their specific needs as well.


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