Monday, December 18, 2006

Last Minute Xmas Gift for Dinghy Sailor

Still not sure what to buy the favorite dinghy sailor in your life for Xmas? Have you looked at his or her PFD lately? Is it showing signs of fading and wear? Is the zipper broken?

If so, show you care by buying your dinghy sailor the gift that might save his or her life some day, a new PFD. Personally I prefer the type with a side zip and a front pocket. Two PFDs that seem to get good reviews and are extremely popular on the dinghy racing scene are the Lola by Lotus (yellow one on the left below) and the Retroglide Avenger by Extrasport (blue on the right).

If your dinghy sailor happens to be 6'2" tall and around 182 lbs then the Large size should be a good fit for him (or her).


Anonymous said...

Hear Hear. In the last few years I have been very happy to receive lifejackets as gifts, or win them as swag at regattas. My personal favorite is the same as yours. the side opening "kayak style" Lotus designs. I got that as a gift about ten years ago, and I initially thought that it was designed that way just to be trendy. I quickly found out that it was infinitely more comfortable than the traditional front zipper Extrasport that I had preferred for years prior. One of the PFD's I won a couple of years ago is the West Marine standard yellow,blue and red front jipper jacket. I have found it to be quite comfy actually, and I wear it frostbiting. Those Musto sort of air filled squishy pfd's are ultra comfortable, but I don't think they're USCG approved, which can be an issue if you ever get stopped (I do whilst fishing with surprsing frequency).

Tillerman said...

Yeah - your are right - the PFD's filled with squishy air bubbles are not USCG approved. And I suspect the reason is that over time it is all too easy to burst some of those bubbles and lose some of the flotation they provide. When I owned one of those in the UK I think I burst a lot by landing chest down on a Laser deck every time I did a capsize recovery.

The other reason to get USCG approved for US racing sailors is that very often the SIs require them. I remember well a Laser Atlantic Coast Championships many years ago when, at the skippers meeting, one of the top US sailors pointed out that the SIs required USCG approved PFDs and had most of the Canadian sailors scrambling to find legal buoyancy aids.

Unknown said...

Hey Tillerman,
I hear you - getting sorted for my pfd is one of the biggest worries with staying afloat when my vessel capsizes. Nice touch sharing a gorgeous Christmas Gift
for this one.

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