Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Choosing Our Inflatable PFDs

--Blogpost written by Bob

We recently chose and purchased our inflatable PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices) with integral harnesses for use when we are sailing offshore.  We only considered the top-of-the-line auto-inflate units (automatically inflating when submerged in water) with integral harnesses.  Comfort, USCG approval, buoyancy, and cost were important considerations for us.  We considered the MUSTANG HIT, the SPINLOCK Deckvest 5D Pro, and CREWSAVER ErgoFit 40 Pro We looked at each PFD very carefully in person before making our selection.  

We chose the CREWSAVER ErgoFit 40 Pro.  It is fully approved by the USCG, provides 40 pounds of buoyancy, had some significant advantages, and was the least costly of the three top-of-the-line PFDs.

We chose the CREWSAVER ErgoFit 40 Pro PFD!

I would like to point out the main reasons that we chose the CREWSAVER-brand PFD:


The two most comfortable PFDs were the SPINLOCK-brand and CREWSAVER-brand because of their reduced weight--they both used soft D-rings for the attachment to the jack line tether (instead of the heavier stainless steel rings used on the Mustang unit).

This photo was taken from the CREWSAVER website.
Shave off about 10 years (OK, maybe 20 years) and this could be me!

This photo (taken from the CREWSAVER website) shows
the back of the PFD as it is worn.

The two soft d-rings in the lower center of this image provide a 
lightweight attachment point for the jack line tether.  

USCG Approved

Both the MUSTANG and the CREWSAVER were fully approved by the US Coast Guard.  Although the SPINLOCK had some outstanding safety features (like an internal safety light and leg straps), it was not yet USCG-approved.  The SPINLOCK Deckvest 5D Pro was the only PFD to include leg straps for added security.


The inflatable PFD is intended to provide additional buoyancy when the wearer falls overboard.  The amount of buoyancy provided by the three top-of-the-line PFDs were as follows:

MUSTANG HIT - 35 pounds
SPINLOCK Deckvest 5D Pro - 38 pounds
CREWSAVER ErgoFit 40 Pro - 40 pounds

This is the CREWSAVER ErgoFit 40 Pro in the inflated condition.  
It can be inflated manually or automatically.

Least Costly

The cost of the CREWSAVER ErgoFit 40 was about 20 percent less than the MUSTANG HIT and about 43 percent less than the SPINLOCK Deckvest 5D Pro.  (I should point out, however, that the SPINLOCK Deckvest 5D Pro had a safety light that was build into the inflated portion of the PFD.  We bought separate water-activated safety lights that we added to our CREWSAVER PFDs.)  PFDs for the two of us cost approximately $500.


PFDs are one of those things that we will wear only when sailing offshore (such as crossing the gulf stream or making a passage in the Tongue of the Ocean in the Bahamas).  We hope we never fall overboard and need it's life saving features--but if we do, we want maximum protection. 

This may be our last blogpost before we leave to head south.  We plan on continuing our blog along the way down the Chesapeake and ICW, as well as in the Bahamas.

Thanks for following our blog!

No comments:

Post a Comment