While we sell rearm kits for inflatable PFDs, we no longer offer marine PFDs, mainly because we could not make money selling them. Still I often get asked what my thoughts are on brands and if one should buy a manual or automatic inflate model.
I read an entry at the Scuttlebutt Sailing News blog which provided an excellent viewpoint on the manual/automatic debate. You can read it for your self and see if it makes as much sense to you as it did to me.
As to what brands I like, the answer is “the one that is most comfortable for you”. PFDs like all clothing items are cut and sized differently from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some are more comfortable for women and others for men. Just because a ABC brand fits you well, that does not mean it will be the least bit comfortable for your wife/partner. You both need to try them on and decide what type of inflation system fits your needs best.
When it comes time to buy a rearm kit, we have ones to fit most inflation systems. Give us a call at (253) 627-6000 if you need help figuring out what to order.
The United States Coast Guard just issued a safety alert regarding foam life jackets. Normally we don’t pay much attention to them, it seems we should.
I was reading our local newspaper this morning and noticed an article that stated a man had drowned in Spanaway Lake (just outside of Tacoma) who was not wearing a life jacket. He was riding an inner tube being pulled by a boat when the tube flipped according to the article:
SPANAWAY LAKE Man who drowned wasn’t wearing life vest
A man presumed to have drowned Sunday in Spanaway Lake was not wearing a life vest as initially thought, Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said Wednesday.
Deputies initially said the three people riding the inner tube that flipped while being pulled by a powerboat were wearing life jackets, and that the third person, 55-yearold Salvador John Sanchez of Spanaway, slipped out of his and under the surface.
Further investigation determined life vests were thrown to the three in the water from the boat after the tube flipped but were not worn at the time of the accident, Troyer said.
The two women in the water grabbed onto the vests and were rescued, but the man slipped under the surface and has not yet been found, Troyer said.
Deputies searched for more than two days with divers, sonar and remotely operated cameras, but were not able to find the man’s body. Others involved in the accident might be cited for not wearing life vests and not having improper equipment on the boat, he said.
I don’t know how many of these articles I have read in my lifetime but what they all seem to have in common is the lack of a life jacket. There does not seem to be any argument, wearing life jackets saves lives. Please if for no other reason than to save a tree by newspapers not having to write these articles, wear your life jacket!