Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Do you wear an automatic inflating PFD?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    69

    Default Do you wear an automatic inflating PFD?

    I typically wear a manual inflatable PFD. I am considering buying one that is automatic. Do you wear one? Does anyone have any experience with models they like or would suggest I avoid?

  2. #2

    Default

    We have the auto inflates which we use only on the big (28') boat. They are kind of limited to the big boat for us though, having slipped getting into our dingy and had one auto-inflate when I didn't want it to was not so great. We also take out stand up boards and use regular life jackets. The convenience and comfort are great, but they are not so versatile. We also had one inflate when a kid left it on the beach on top of a kayak and the tide came in.

  3. #3

    Default

    I wear an auto-inflate SOSpenders. I wear it any time I'm on the deck, except when anchored. I don't remember what it's rated for (how many pounds of buoyancy), but take that into consideration because they vary as you'll see when you look at the prices. Only had it auto inflate once and that was in the back seat of my truck. Had been years since I'd replace the little pill that dissolves that causes the PFD to inflate so I guess it finally decided to do its thing. Easy enough to re-arm it with a new kit. I'd recommend an auto-inflate PFD because if you get knocked out of the boat and knocked senseless you may not be able to pull the cord manually.

  4. #4

    Default

    I wore inflatables (Stormy Seas) for quite a while. Felt like they were expensive, and after a couple years I didn't fully trust that they would still hold air, and the zippers always broke. I eventually inflated one and floated in it, and just didn't like how it felt. Went back to foam life jackets. Finally splurged on the Mustang Integrety vest, and it is awesome, but HOT.

    The first year I bought stormy seas vests for myself and my fishing partner, we used them all season before we realized that the CO2 cartridge was not screwed in.... oops.

    I figure it's likely that if I need my life jacket, it will be on one of my unluckiest days in a while. So I go for the ones with the least moving parts... I feel like the padding of a foam PFD will help a bit in keeping me warm at least for a little while. It also helps prevent bruises and broken ribs. Also I prefer the PFD's that have a pocket for my Find Me Spot...

    I could be better about wearing them on bigger boats, but I always keep them on in the skiffs unless it's glass calm. And I always try to inventory and locate them before splashing the boat.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Craig, AK
    Posts
    35

    Default

    I wear a West Marine auto inflate whenever I'm fishing alone. That and an Auto Tether to keep the boat from slowly fading into the distance while I'm bobbing around.

  6. #6
    Member breausaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    830

    Default

    Been using the Auto-inflatable PFD years, had a couple inflate by mistake but that will happen if you use them. We keep them accessible on the C-Dory; wear them when we go to shore or anytime out of the cockpit. None are Hydrostatic, most are considered for costal water, and one is an off shore with 36lb of buoyancy. I believe they are a mix of WM and Cabela’s.

    I trust the technology and they work for the kind of boating we do.

    If I were out in the rain a lot would definitely consider the Hydrostatic.
    Jay
    07 C-Dory 25 Cruiser
    OurPlayground.


  7. #7

    Default

    Mustangs here. Not the cheapest, but built tough for commercial use. Been using them for years, and still good as new.

    We put 6 of them on the boat, and anyone who goes out with us wears them. Period. Refuse to wear them and you'll stay on shore. But we'll wave as we leave you behind!
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    69

    Default

    Thanks everyone! I appreciate the feedback! Looks like I will have to buy in a store as I'm having no luck finding someone to ship them!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G530A using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Member Gerberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Soldotna AK, Eugene, OR
    Posts
    612

    Default

    I always wear a Mustang Hydrostatic, 4" under water and it inflates, I used to use the pill type, fell in the Kenai a couple times, they work fast. I always have one on when in the boat, and I even wear mine when sockeye fishing, especially this last year with the high water. On any of my boats, I have 8 of all different sizes, if someone wants to go with or fish with me they will put a life jacket on, an inflatable or one of the foam filled ones. The grand kids all have their own, and they even wear them when they come to visit me at the dock. You cannot be careful enough with the little ones.

  10. #10

    Default

    Keep in mind that inflatable PFDs do not count as true PFDs if you are stopped by the Coast Guard unless it is being worn. So if all you have on your boat are inflatable PFDs, even if you have one for each person on board, and they are not being worn at the time you are stopped by the Coast Guard, then it's the same as having no PFDs of any kind on the boat.

  11. #11
    Member breausaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    830

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver View Post
    Keep in mind that inflatable PFDs do not count as true PFDs if you are stopped by the Coast Guard unless it is being worn. So if all you have on your boat are inflatable PFDs, even if you have one for each person on board, and they are not being worn at the time you are stopped by the Coast Guard, then it's the same as having no PFDs of any kind on the boat.
    I don't think this is true because we were boarded early this year by CG and got a 100%; all I have are inflatable PFDs and non of use had one on. We were either in the cabin or out in the cockpit.
    Not the first time we have been inspected by CG, always get 100% and have always had nothing but inflatable PFDs the last 5 years unless we take a child on board.
    Jay
    07 C-Dory 25 Cruiser
    OurPlayground.


  12. #12
    Member Gerberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Soldotna AK, Eugene, OR
    Posts
    612

    Default

    I have a friend that was rowing a drift boat, he was sideways driftfishing a hole, he hit a submerged log, it flipped him out of the boat, he said the last thing he saw before his head hit the water was his life jacket sitting beside where he had been sitting, his feet got caught in the gear, and he was hanging upside down from the boat, he kicked free and was taken to the bottom by the currant, he said it was the longest 10 seconds he had ever spent. He finally got to the surface in the ice cold water and could barely swim to the shore. His friend that was fishing with him in the front of the boat, turned to an empty seat to ask why they were not staying in the fishing hole. It can happen so fast you do not have time to put a life jacket on.

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by breausaw View Post
    I don't think this is true because we were boarded early this year by CG and got a 100%; all I have are inflatable PFDs and non of use had one on. We were either in the cabin or out in the cockpit.
    Not the first time we have been inspected by CG, always get 100% and have always had nothing but inflatable PFDs the last 5 years unless we take a child on board.
    That's good to know. I remember some years ago during a Coast Guard Auxiliary boat inspection being told that inflatable PDFs have to be on you in order to count as a PFD but either things have changed or he didn't know what he was talking about.

  14. #14

    Default

    There must be some difference in brands and features. I checked out our Mustangs, and they're rated Type III for recreational use, Type V for commercial.

    Type III rating is the same as the foam one sitting in your locker right now, meaning you don't have to be wearing it for it to qualify.

    Type V is the same rating as a throwable cushion and doesn't resolve the requirement to also have Type III's. On commercial boats it becomes a Type III when you're wearing it.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •