Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: PFD for rowing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Too far inland.
    Posts
    9,458

    Default PFD for rowing

    My trusty spinlock deckvest is getting a bit long in the tooth, and I'll be on the water rowing more than sailing in the near future so I think I'll treat myself to a new PFD.

    Any recommendations?

    I like the Gill unit in this 2013 writeup but I can't find one for sale: http://rowsafeusa.org/pfds/
    No adversary is worse than bad advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    3,099

    Default Re: PFD for rowing

    Why not an auto-inflatable? I've gone over to them completely for both rowing and on-deck aboard larger boats. There are situations where I might want something sturdier but not for any water or weather that I'm likely to go out in.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Fairfield, CA
    Posts
    1,411

    Default Re: PFD for rowing

    I have an auto inflate and a kayak style from REI. The Type V auto inflate is the least intrusive, but to meet regs it must be worn, not just in the boat with you. I row on enough quiet, calm sloughs that I don't feel need a pfd, then the Type III in the boat meets the rules (was challenged by CG only once on this). The kayak style Type III has plenty of freedom of movement, just make sure the part over your chest does not interfere with the rowing stroke. In the worst conditions I like the Type III since it has pockets to hold a ditch VHF, knife and other useful stuff if I get dumped. Auto inflates have a slight risk of inflating accidentally, either the immersion trigger or pull type. Pull type might not work of you pass out or something, too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    3,099

    Default Re: PFD for rowing

    Assuming cost is not a factor, get both. Keep the type III aboard for regs and in case you get caught out in adverse conditions. Wear the the type III, the type V inflatable or no PFD as conditions warrant.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lynden, Wa
    Posts
    3,366

    Default Re: PFD for rowing

    Quote Originally Posted by rgthom View Post
    Auto inflates have a slight risk of inflating accidentally, either the immersion trigger or pull type.
    The bigger problem with auto-inflators is in shallow water when you standing next to your vessel and trip. Now you are in 2 feet of water with a big balloon around your head. And anyone around knows it.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

    15' Welsford Navigator Inconceivable
    16' W. Simmons Mattinicus double ender ​Matty

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Southeast MA, USA
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: PFD for rowing

    Then you have to recharge it too

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    West Boothbay Harbor, Maine
    Posts
    23,764

    Default Re: PFD for rowing

    Clint Chase has tried and evaluated numerous PFDs suitable for rowing. Maybe he'll chime in, or google his website.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    SF Bay Area- Richmond
    Posts
    15,817

    Default Re: PFD for rowing

    I like the manual inflator for rowing -- in my pulling boat there's no boom to knock me on the head and I'm not rowing whitewater. I also carry a spare cart in my drybag for the inevitable accidental inflation -- which hasn't happened yet.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Cushing, Maine
    Posts
    3,528

    Default Re: PFD for rowing

    I've only been happy with one pfd for rowing. Its kind of risky because its a waist non auto inflatable and I wear it around back when rowing. I also put a bit of velcro on the pull tab to keep it from dangling. I had trouble with the regular inflatables with the oar handles finishing the stroke, and my kayaking PFD's have stuff on the front that catch and are a bit thick again interfering at the finish. At the recent Fisherman's Forum there was lots of interest in new breed PFD's that allowed you to work and not catch on stuff. Besides the waist pack ( whose belt is fine for a knife and a pouch for some flares) Mustang survival had a new design called a Khimera had a combo vest with 8 lbs built in and manual inflation. There are a number of Type III minimalist kayaking pull over vests but they are thicker in the front than the new Mustang model. I was impressed and may add to my collection.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
    Posts
    46,617

    Default Re: PFD for rowing

    I don't like the auto because I don't like the CO2 bottle clunking about. The better kayak vests are designed with arm movement in mind and are quite comfortable but most need to be fully done up and thus are sweaty under the foam. I like Mustang's "High Impact SAR" because if it's hot I can undo the zipper and loosen the straps for a loose fit that still won't come off if I go in.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Quogue,NY
    Posts
    17,007

    Default Re: PFD for rowing

    You can purchase a manual/automatic lifejacket, which will alleviate worries of inadvertent inflation.

    Curious about your not wanting another Spinlock Deckvest? I borrowed one and very much liked its comfort and construction. ( I'm currently using a Mustang). It offers a kit to make it a, "manual," unit when that mode is desired.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Southampton Ont. Canada
    Posts
    6,468

    Default Re: PFD for rowing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    I've only been happy with one pfd for rowing. Its kind of risky because its a waist non auto inflatable and I wear it around back when rowing. I also put a bit of velcro on the pull tab to keep it from dangling. I had trouble with the regular inflatables with the oar handles finishing the stroke, and my kayaking PFD's have stuff on the front that catch and are a bit thick again interfering at the finish. At the recent Fisherman's Forum there was lots of interest in new breed PFD's that allowed you to work and not catch on stuff. Besides the waist pack ( whose belt is fine for a knife and a pouch for some flares) Mustang survival had a new design called a Khimera had a combo vest with 8 lbs built in and manual inflation. There are a number of Type III minimalist kayaking pull over vests but they are thicker in the front than the new Mustang model. I was impressed and may add to my collection.

    'Catching on stuff' is why I don't row while wearing bib overalls,any more.
    I wear a Salus Kiwi paddling vest when I wear one. It's great for paddling and sailing.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Emerald Coast, FL
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: PFD for rowing

    We like the Astral design, it has some foam bumps to help hold it away from the body and mesh vents to improve circulation https://www.astraldesigns.com/shop/life-jackets/mens

    Also like our Extrasport Eagle.

    FMI: PFD Tips
    How To Choose The Right Life Jacket

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Too far inland.
    Posts
    9,458

    Default Re: PFD for rowing

    Kevin, my deckvest is a 1st-generation unit (now that I think about it... damn it's probably 15 years old), not quite as ergo-riffic as the current version, and the buckle with the harness loop seems like it's perfectly located to annoy me at the release of the stroke.

    Those Astrals look good, thanks Signal.
    No adversary is worse than bad advice.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Cushing, Maine
    Posts
    3,528

    Default Re: PFD for rowing

    Quote Originally Posted by Figment View Post
    Kevin, my deckvest is a 1st-generation unit (now that I think about it... damn it's probably 15 years old), not quite as ergo-riffic as the current version, and the buckle with the harness loop seems like it's perfectly located to annoy me at the release of the stroke.

    Those Astrals look good, thanks Signal.
    I use an Astral for paddling. If you can try one to see if it interferes at the release of your rowing stroke. It really depends on how close your hands come to your chest. You can certainly try a few sit ups with one on at the store. If at all possible buy a PFD at a store where you can try it or at least have a robust return policy like NRS or Austin.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Fort Collins, Co
    Posts
    7,816

    Default Re: PFD for rowing

    Got an astral for the Otter to use on the paddle board. Lots of adjustment and well made, it is now 3 years old.
    Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.
    TOM ROBBINS, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues



Posting Permissions

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