Favorite PFD?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Matthew Gulbranson, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Matthew Gulbranson

    Matthew Gulbranson Resident Swinger

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    Bill - agree 100%. In alot of cases you get what you pay for. And I usually like the 'nicer' things, so i'll probably end up getting something that fits me really well and that will last a long time.
     
  2. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    And Matthew, on the issue of pricey, I got a really good deal on a used parachute once for skydiving. It was already packed, and I figured what the hell and just jumped it. I heard some interesting noises which turned out to be fabric ripping and seams splitting and had a hell of a fast ride down with a bunch of blown panels. Screw "pricey". Whatever you buy, and I trust Ed's and Jerry's judgment, I would not make price part of the decision.[/QUOTE]

    LOL. My BIL is a military freefall jumpmaster. I don't think he'd ever jump a chute he didn't know intimately. At same time he doesn't jump in the best chutes on the market either (and no those guys don't have the best money can buy).

    Onto vests expensive doesn't mean good either. Like everything sometimes you pay for a "name" not a product. Especially since companies like Cabelas has their "name brand" products made by some of the bigger manufacturers. I put mine and my kids lives in those vests. That vest in pic I put up has a lot of river miles and was bought quite awhile ago. Still going strong.
     
  3. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Unfortunately, it happens sometimes. I remember when a woman drowned on the Cowlitz a few years ago (early/mid 2000's) when the boat she was in capsized just above a sweeper and her pfd got hung up on a submerged limb, trapping her below the surface. I floated the river with some other guys in their boat about a week later, and the guy on the sticks pointed out the tree as we went by. It didn't look all that hazardous at first glance. Just a skinny Alder sticking straight out from the bank. Was sort of a "sleeper sweeper."
     
  4. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    That's a good looking vest Jerry. I have a SOSpenders inflatable and a couple general purpose PFDs I got at Cabella's. Problem is, I never wear them unless I'm on the Columbia when the wind kicks up pretty bad. Never wear one while floating the rivers and forget to even have one with me, which is a ticket if not an accident waiting to happen. Is a Watermaster considered a PFD like a float tube is?

    Sg
     
  5. Bill Aubrey

    Bill Aubrey Active Member

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    Is a Watermaster considered a PFD like a float tube is? Quote

    Salmo, I think it would depend on the fish cop. Some would call it a float tube, but I'd bet the majotity would call it a pontoon boat. I always at least have mine with me. Well, almost always.
     
  6. Greg Armstrong

    Greg Armstrong Active Member

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    I wear what Ed has. I bought mine for ocean passages on small sailboats and it is made so that even tropical downpours and green water across the boats cockpit won't inflate it. You have to go into the water for it to activate, you want it to inflate if the boom sweeps across the deck knocking you unconscious and overboard. It also has a manual activation. It allows very active freedom of movement and is lightweight.
    Got mine at Fisheries Supply in Seattle. Not cheap, but what's your life worth to you?
     
  7. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Get something that you will wear. A good fit is important.
    I find that mine is barely noticeable when I'm out on the water, and doesn't interfere at all with paddling or rowing. Kayak vests have high backs that clear the tops of most seat backs, and are designed to be non-restrictive.
     
  8. Brian Miller

    Brian Miller Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout

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    I ALWAYS wear a PFD while floating. Too many well-documented statistics for me to go without.

    For lakes I use a SOSpenders manual inflatable. Don't notice it while while wearing it.

    For any river I use a Type III. I have the Extrasport Sturgeon but found if I put fly boxes in the pockets that it interfered with rowing my Water Master Kodiak. I REALLY like the Extrasport Riptide. It is cut for Kayaking so there is nothing to get in the way of rowing or casting. Two large but slim pockets in the front, Fleece hand warmer pockets inside the armholes on the chest, 4 attachment points that don't interfere with pockets; one I use for a river knife thats only purpose is for potentially cutting an anchor line, another for a whistle. Both of the Extrasport PFDs have their Retro Glide adjustment system that gives a such a good fit it is barely noticeable when I'm wearing it.

    BTW, I'm told you are subject to a ticket if you dont have a whistle on your person while floating/fishing.
     
  9. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

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    I've got the cheap=o orange vests for the mandatory "preserver" requirement, but I also have an offshore auto=inflate with integrated harness for heavy weather when I was sailing. The PFD you like is the one you'll wear.

    As an aside, I always got a laugh out of the guys who were so concerned about getting hit in the head by the boom during an accidental jibe in a big boat. Ya know, 25=30 knots of wind, several hundred square feet of sail, and if you're so dumb as to stand straight up and get smacked in the head by that massive boom coming around, keeping your face above water's not going to matter.
     
  10. Greg Armstrong

    Greg Armstrong Active Member

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    Alex,

    Really?

    "As an aside"... I find none of this laughable;

    As someone who has spent a number of years commercial fishing in Alaska and witnessed Coast Guard helicopter evacuations from the boat I was on due to injured fellow crew members, and having to help pluck other fishermen out of the cold water up there that had gotten knocked overboard due to weird shit happening, I don't find any of this humorous.
    There are more stories I can share about crossing oceans in sailboats small enough that didn't require a sailor to stand up in order to be hit by the boom in pitching seas, 40 knots of wind, sheets of rain and pitch blackness where you literally couldn't see your hand in front of your face while 900+ miles from land, but I won't bore you with that.

    Shit happens on boats. Sometimes accidents occur.

    In all due respect, I don't know if you've witnessed these kinds of conditions but I seriously doubt you'd find them laughable if you have.
     
  11. Greg Armstrong

    Greg Armstrong Active Member

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    Here's the one I've been using for years;

    P1030539.JPG P1030541.JPG
     
  12. David Loy

    David Loy Senior Moment

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    When I was more manly I saw plenty of severe conditions at sea. PFDs became routine wear. Today though I wear a manually inflated Mustang. Very thin and light. I have attached a split ring over one breast for clipping on a tool or two, kind of like a lanyard. Like the above but without the metal life rings.
    I also have two heavier models with the rings for offshore sailing but find it too much for fishing comfort.