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-   -   Recent Post's trigger Life Vest Questions (https://www.offshoreonly.com/forums/general-boating-discussion/77141-recent-posts-trigger-life-vest-questions.html)

Summer Heat 04-20-2004 05:16 PM

Recent Post's trigger Life Vest Questions
 
I have spent some time today reading some pretty unnerving posts about two Fountains and a Cig TG that went in pretty hard.

I must put myself in the category of an undereducated rookie when it comes to performance boating and am grateful for the water time spent with Randy Hartmann, and upon delivery another round of training. Believe me when I say I have nothing but the utmost respect for the elements and physics of this sport.

We are currently stockpiling goodies for our new boat and would like input on two jackets. While you can't put a price on life I would like to understand the difference.

The first from Lifeline http://www.lifelinejackets.com/catal...rfjackets.html high dollar, high end jacket.

The other is a Stearns 4185 SAR vest. http://www.rocknrescue.com/acatalog/...tearns_75.html The Stearns is rated 100mph impact.

HUSTLEthis 04-20-2004 05:30 PM

My wife Shannon said if I put new motors in the boat that we would have to get new Jackets...So I bought the Lifeline race jackets and can't say enough about them...(love the new engines too)...The people at Lifeline are great to work with...give them a call...
Tom

Three Days Only 04-20-2004 05:56 PM

I also looked at many of the vest on the market (LifeLine, SRP, Auto Inflatables) and ended up buying Lifelines for both children, wife, and myself. I couldnt be happier with them. Very comfortable and not in the way while driving as other bulky lifevest were.

Jeff / 3DO

Jonas 04-20-2004 06:03 PM

i have worn the lifeline race jackets and they are really good but i think will get some of the lifeline sport jackets for all around use
stearns is interesting as i was not aware of those.. hmmm

Von Bongo 04-20-2004 06:37 PM

Moved from the other thread:

Originally posted by BK

But the solution is simple.

The CG requires is that an approved jacket be "on board", they don't say it has to be worn. So all you have to do to be in compliance is put a few cheap-o's somewhere on the boat, and you will comply with CG req's, even when wearing your Lifeline or other race jacket.

BK, it isn't so simple..I think I must also point out that...

I doubt your insurance liability clause is going to protect you when your passenger is hurt or killed while wearing an unapproved life vest that you provided to him or her. If you do I would get it in writing from your insurance company because the last thing you need after a tragedy is a hot shot attorney filing a wrongful death suit against you because your equipment isn't "legal." I in no way doubt the protection provided by a lifeline vest.

I don't know much about the certification process for a life vest, but...

an inflatable PFD must be worn to be considered legal

If an inflatable vest can be required to be worn to be legal I fail to understand why a more standard vest cant be certified in the same manor..ie why doesn't lifeline approach the USCG for a new classification of vest that is noninflateable but yet must be worn to count as a PFD? I mean if the vest meets all other requirements and offers better protection I can't believe that this can't be done, although I guess we are talking about the government.

Is my solution too simple? BTW I did e-mail UL to get the answer to this question, I wonder if they will respond.

Jonas 04-20-2004 06:39 PM

are the lifeline sport jackets uscg approved??

dyno 04-20-2004 08:37 PM

I bought 2 of the SAR's over the winter just couldn't justify the cost of the life lines....

Mr. Demeanor 04-20-2004 10:00 PM

Alright, this is going to sound very "rookie" but I am and here it goes. I understand the reason for not using restraints in a boat that may flip and trap the occupants however, it seems that allot more injuries occur when people get ejected and the boat survives upright. Does anyone have the stats on rollovers vs ejections? Its all a matter of playing the odds I just wonder what the odds really say. Maybe if your going to refuse to wear a vest a restrain is a better gamble than nothing at all. Either way, it should remain a matter of personal choice. The only problem with that is the uninformed passenger that doesn't know the risk.

BK 04-20-2004 10:56 PM


Originally posted by Von Bongo
Moved from the other thread:

BK, it isn't so simple..I think I must also point out that...

I doubt your insurance liability clause is going to protect you when your passenger is hurt or killed while wearing an unapproved life vest that you provided to him or her. If you do I would get it in writing from your insurance company because the last thing you need after a tragedy is a hot shot attorney filing a wrongful death suit against you because your equipment isn't "legal." I in no way doubt the protection provided by a lifeline vest.

I don't know much about the certification process for a life vest, but...

an inflatable PFD must be worn to be considered legal

If an inflatable vest can be required to be worn to be legal I fail to understand why a more standard vest cant be certified in the same manor..ie why doesn't lifeline approach the USCG for a new classification of vest that is noninflateable but yet must be worn to count as a PFD? I mean if the vest meets all other requirements and offers better protection I can't believe that this can't be done, although I guess we are talking about the government.

Is my solution too simple? BTW I did e-mail UL to get the answer to this question, I wonder if they will respond.


First of all, I would NEVER trust my life to one of those $10 cheapo "coast guard approved" life vests. Nothing about them is rated or built for the types of speeds we run.

However -- the Lifeline jackets ARE.

Not only are they approved for over 100MPH racing, BUT all of the top racing organizations INSIST that you ONLY use Lifeline or Security race jackets (keep in mind that none of them are USCG approved, and never have been).

Do you think they'd keep insisting on these race jackets if they thought they lose in court over a non-racing USCG label?


If APBA and the UIM can insist that their competitors race ONLY with these types of well-built, race approved, damage resistant, injury limiting non-CG approved jackets, I don't think an average boater would have much hassle in court if someone was wearing one either.

Judges and juries will see right away that the RACE JACKET was by far, the most researched protective flotation device available for any boater, and has been in use in nearly all professional powerboat racing sports for many decades. It wouldn't take much to point out all the benefits of a $400 impact resistant, ballistic material, kidney/rib cage/heart protecting multi-race organization approved high speed racing vest vs. a $25 hunk of vinyl and foam with a USCG label.

Also -- regarding what makes a jacket "Coast Guard Approved", one of the points is "Easy to put on in an emergency". That is because these PFDs are not required to be worn, but must be "readily accessable". The CG knows most people will keep the PFD in a storage area instead of wearing it.

Racing jackets are very stout, and the buckles and zippers are NOT easy to put on in an emergency so they all fail the section of the USCG laws for "reasonable amount of time to put on". To alter them so they met CG standards of ease would be going backwards, IMO. But most people who own these jackets, wear them all the time and wouldn't have to worry about this particular USCG req anyhow.

But your idea about the inflatables being "required to be worn" brings up a very good point about why a racing jacket can't get the same deal. Could be that the costs would inhibitive? I do know that the mfg has to pay for some testing. This is a good question. Glad you brought it up.


http://www.uscgboating.org/safety/fed_reqs/equ_pfd.htm
Accessibility

Wearable PFDs must be readily accessible.
You must be able to put them on in a reasonable amount of time in an emergency (vessel sinking, on fire, etc.).
They should not be stowed in plastic bags, in locked or closed compartments or have other gear stowed on top of them.
The best PFD is the one you will wear.
Though not required, a PFD should be worn at all times when the vessel is underway. A wearable PFD can save your life, but only if you wear it.
Throwable devices must be immediately available for use.


Here is what the USCG site says about Inflatables:

Inflatable

The most compact
Sizes only for adults
Only recommended for swimmers :confused:
Wearable styles only
Some with the best in-water performance

Wearable Size Type Inherent Buoyancy
Adult I & II 34 lb.
III 22.5 lb.
V 22.5 to 34 lb

BK 04-20-2004 11:34 PM

For those asking about other jackets:

There are a lot of jackets on the market that are "100 MPH vests". Keep in mind this is not a bodily impact rating, it is only the rating for the materials used to make the jacket. (Straps and snaps will withstand 100 MPH without tearing, etc).

This is because many USCG jackets will disentegrate or shred upon hitting the water at higher speeds because the materials are very cheap and built very flimsy.

Hitting water at over 60 is like hitting concrete - be sure your flotation device is built to stay on your body under these high speed conditions. (leg straps are a must).


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