Life Jackets

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species Fishing' started by fishinfanatic19, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. fishinfanatic19


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    Southern Lower
    Hey all. I got to thinking, with Michigan's law requiring a life jacket for each person on board, how many of you wear it? Do you wear it at all? Why or why not? Does the size of your watercraft play a role? Do you require anyone to wear one as a "boat rule"? I will admit I never wear one in a 18 ft fiberglass boat. But put me in a little aluminum or kayak and I will wear one. Comfort is the biggest reason. Doing a little research for a paper for a class, thanks guys.
  2. jigornot


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    Conditions play a small role. Mainly water and air temperature. If I am wearing winter clothing and heavy boots life PRESERVERS are mandatory for all in my vessel. If anyone thinks you can swim at all wearing heavy gear your DEAD wrong. First hand experience here, and because I wore it I can tell you about it.

  3. wicklundrh

    wicklundrh Premium Member

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    Life jackets are manditory on my boat when the big motor is above Idle speed. It is a hard rule while tournament fishing and, once you get used to doing it, it actually feels odd not to.

    After reading some MOB (man overboard) stories from guys fishing in winter clothing, I also started requiring everybody to wear one when we are in winter clothing.

    Aditionally, in the summer months, when it is just me and my 11 year old daughter, I always wear mine. I have to make sure that if I go overboard, I can help myself.

    I provide inflatables on board so they are comfortable. You don't even notice you are wearing them. Lastly, I also use my kill lanyard. I've seen a few videos of just how fast someone can come out of a boat under power. And yes, I've forgotten, stood up to deploy the trolling motor, and killed the big engine. Just testing that it works!!!
  4. Thirty pointer

    Thirty pointer

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    kent county mi.
    Always wear when setting lines in the dark .Your fishing buddy may not know you fell overboard until its too late .Also when extreme weather pops up .
  5. TriggerDiscipline


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    I don't wear one, keep them stowed in the bow area in their own container. But anyone below the age of 18 who gets on my boat has to wear one.

    I'm a fairweather fisherman though, and only go out from Late May-early September, and only when the weather is nice and waves are relatively calm. If I was a little more adventurous, I'd probably be wearing one.
  6. Scottygvsu


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    Onaway MI
    I wear one anytime I fish alone. I have a low profile inflatable from Cabelas. I forget I have it on most of the time. If I'm trolling and I fall overboard setting lines, the boat keeps going without me. I have the same rule others have stated, children wear a life jacket on my boat.
  7. Dpricher


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    I bought the cabelas inflatables and anyone on my boat wears them when the main motor is running over a trolling speed. Everyone wears them when the conditions are cold in the river. It is just habit for me now and I don't even know I have one on. Fishing is fun- would hate to see fun with close friends turn into a tradegy.
  8. Outdoor2daCore


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    Traverse City Area
    I don't wear one in the summer but nowadays my floating ice fishing suit for cold weather fishing. Been on the water many time in sub 30 deg air and 34 deg water temp, fact s if you go over board in those temps, drowning is not my fear, hypothermia can kill you just as fast even if you are wearing your life jacket
    Aaronjeep2 likes this.
  9. kzoofisher


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    Always wear since I got inflatables. So comfortable it isn't unusual for me to still have it on as I pull away from the ramp to finish tie down.

    I'm not worried about getting myself in trouble because of weather or recklessness, it's the drunk weekender or kid on a jet ski. You never know when somebody is going to hit you.
    Scout 2 and Dpricher like this.
  10. rz6x59


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    Oxford MI
    I wear them all the time. I fish alone most the time and when I don't the people with me don't know the boat well enough to do much other than run me over. Lol.
    I do need to buy something with a little more fishing fashion.

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  11. The Fishing Pollock

    The Fishing Pollock

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    They are on every time the gas motor is turned on. Me and my passenger. NO EXCEPTIONS. I run a bassboat . They are a high speed boat that balances on the running pad. One bad wheel movement or hit a wave wrong and you can be tossed out . I won't even start it till my passenger has one on. The kill switch is hooked to my vest at all times. Personally, I think anyone that runs a boat with a kill switch lanyard that is not attached to their body is just plain silly and asking for trouble.
  12. Downsea

    Downsea Premium Member

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    Kochville Twp Saginaw
    Great thread! Herself and I normally always have them on when we fish together. I tend to watch her real close. Occasionally when my buddy is in the boat we forget, I guess due to never wearing them when we were young. Inflatables are the only way to go!
  13. Kennybks


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    Central Michigan
    I'm not so sure I'd say that.
    I own 4 inflatables and have 4 regular type II aboard. I like having both readily available.

    I've been cautioned by the CC that inflatables are only counted as a viable life preserver if you are wearing it. Which means, if you're boarded for an inspection, and you're not wearing it, you will be ticketed.

    The inflatables need to be recharged every three years. That's Another $30.00+ for each one. That adds up over the years. Wear and tear of the material could cause a leak.

    I wear mine when in motion and often, the whole time I'm on the water. Especially trolling.

    I didn't used to, but my perspectives have changed as I get older.
  14. Far Beyond Driven

    Far Beyond Driven

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    Holland, MI
    14' doesn't get started unless everyone has one on.

    22' glass boat, kids wear them, adult's choice. I usually wear my inflatable on that boat.

    Here's a shot from New Year's eve a couple years ago out of Port Sheldon in the 14'. Water was 37. Not sure a corpse float I mean life jacket would have helped. 2/2 with a pike and a steelhead.

  15. big davee

    big davee

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    Wear one now regardless. Had to learn the hard way that it's better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it. Case and point for me is when my dad his buddy and I were heading out fishing the sag bay in early April and were rear ended by another boat at full speed. I was ejected from the boat into frigid waters wearing 2 winter coats. One of which was a carhartt that pretty much acted like a sponge and dragged me down. After almost drowning that day for not having a life jacket on, which the vest style was all we had at the time and they do not fit over coats.we purchased all self inflating jackets that fit over pretty much anything. I even went as far as buying a lift suit as well. Even with all that on I still break out in a sweat when say on the river another boat is on plane pointed at me. My peace of mind is gone on the water.