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  • Childs life jackets (long)

    Wanted to see if anyone else out there has kids that complain about the life jackets they wear. I have a 4.5 year old (boy) and 3 year old (girl) and they love the boat. I'm running another window with Ebay and bidding on a second Sospenders unit for my younger that provides 9 lbs not inflated, and 21 lbs when activated. I'm not one to take chances and always have my eye on the kids, but wanted a second opinion. My older child is very active an spends, during the summer, a combined 3 - 4 days on the boat between my Mako and his grandparents tug boat. He started driving the inflateable dingy last year (befroe his 4th birthday supervised), but the big bulky traditional flotational jackets restricts his movement too much and he wants to take it off, and this was the least restrictive jacket we could find. The Sospenders unit allows him a far greater freedom of motion and he's worn it in the house over the winter without complaint. He actually likes it, but I think this is because he wants to pull the inflate cord.....

    I've purchased 6 rearming kits to let the kids learn how to activate the jackets and plan on doing this at the local YMCA over the next couple weeks so that they feel comfortable. This is the same place they have taken swim lessons since each being 6 mos old.

    Most of the boating we do, with the kids aboard, is within 2 miles from shore and I will not take them out when it rough, which is rare. We'll pull lobster traps, fish or head to the beach or local islands.

    If you have kids, let me know your thoughts. I'm not an over protective father, but understand that you get once chance in this dept and wanted to run a sanity check.

    Thanks,

    David M
    Current Mqko - 1990 Mako 211 w/2006 250 E-TEC. http://www.classicmako.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6226. [br]- Previous Makos 1987 20C, 1979 23\' IB, 1970s 17 Angler

  • #2
    For some reason my 2 daughters (9 & 11) actually don't complain about the lifejackets. The second they step on the boat, they put them on without being told and keep them on until we're anchored up or the engines off and they're ready to swim. If we're fishing or pulling pots the vests go back on. They've also have had swimming lessons since they've been babies. They do have the ski vest type which I know aren't as safe as the bulky ones but the are a whole lot more comfortable. Same as you with keeping a constant eye on them when we're in the boat, it only takes an instant for things to go wrong. It alwasy amazes me seeing kids up on the bow without pfd's while the boats doing 30-40. What are the parents thinking?
    Pete[br]MaColAh III [br]93\' 261b[br]HO 200 hp ETEC\'s[br]Cape Cod[br]

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    • #3
      My son, now 7, loves the boat. He wears the life jacket without question, because I have always required it. It has been wear it or don't go on the boat.

      He is now at an age where I feel he can go without. But, he hasn't started questioning the issue, so I let him continue to wear it.

      It is better to have them wear the jackets until they are old enough and strong enough to keep themselves afloat.

      My .02

      Tom
      Tom[br]Pompano Beach, Florida[br]1976 25\' Mako[br]

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      • #4
        Don't get me wrong, I'm not questioning if they should wear one or not - they are required to wear it the moment we step foot on the dock and cannot take it off until they back on the dock and I will not back off this rule. I was more concerned about the bouyancy factor of the inflatable type (until inflated) and was looking to see if anyone else has them for kids. They do allow complete range of motion and have reduced foam content that is supplimented with air chambers.

        David M
        Current Mqko - 1990 Mako 211 w/2006 250 E-TEC. http://www.classicmako.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6226. [br]- Previous Makos 1987 20C, 1979 23\' IB, 1970s 17 Angler

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        • #5
          My daughter is 6 and has been on boats large and small since she was 2, I have never has an issue with the life jacket. She likes the colors. BAck in the day my Grandfather used to bungee cord me to the bulkhead of his Winner Baronet when the chop kicked up
          A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have. [br]Northport Occupied NY[br]1989 191 w/120 Evinrude

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          • #6
            I use the Water Skier type full jacket with a Nylon Hoop on the coller so I can grab with a Boat Hook and like I said she likes the colors
            A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have. [br]Northport Occupied NY[br]1989 191 w/120 Evinrude

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            • #7
              Both of my kids (girls) grew up on the boat and the life vests was just a way of life for them. Always made sure they fit well and bought the best money could buy. Probably purchaed 5 or 6 for each one as they grew up. My club also required them to be worn when they were on any of the docks (until they reached the age of 12) so they were always in them. They also were swimming better than I by the time they were 5 of 6 and have taken the lessons up to lifegarding. They did not, however, have the inflatable types when they were kids and thinking about it now, I don't think I would have let them wear them until they were 10 or so. To much going on if someone falls overboard - especially if they got knocked out - guess I would rather be safe than sorry. But then again with the self inflation type - but wonder if it didn't inflate?? Guess I would rather be safe than sorry. All in all a tough question.

              Mike
              1973 22 CC Milford, CT USA[br]

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