we all need them onboard, and they are usually so bulky, im always having a hard time figuring out where to store them. Im thinking about making a kind of raised v-berth so i can store them underneath that. how many are you guys carrying onboard usually, and where are you keeping them??
In my V-berth, I have a separate closet that is part of my head. I have a shelf on it, ontop I have all my PFD's ready to go and under the shelf I have my first aid box, SAT Phone, DC plugs and all safety gear in there. Works out great, a nice little safety locker. I will definitely put a closet in my next boat for the same reason. Its just ready to go and stowed away neatly. I hate those zipper bags because you can only fit 4 or so in there but also the zipper breakers and my thing is what if you put it out on deck in an emergency and it starts to blow away...
I love it when people on the 4th of July show the USCG their PDF's still in the plastic bag! Love it! They are so easy to blow away and skim the surface of the water like that. I saw a demo once, maybe outside of bass river...
I have mine on a piece of bungee cord that is under my washboard down forward.There were some small knees every 4 feet or so,drilled a hole and run the cord like a clothes line,thru the center of the life jackets.I have a hook on one end to undo to remove them foe use,hopefully never have to .I have a shelf on the port side right next to the cabin door that my survival suits are on so I could grab them without having to go down forward.I know of a few lobster boats that have survival gear in a fish tote with a cover on top of the house.Doesnt look the best but a good place if you are sinking.I know of a friend that went below to get survival suits and ended up going down with the boat,could have possibly been avoided if gear was stowed above.
3 Inflatable (2 automatic, 1 manual)
1 Float coat
2 Type 1 Child
12 Sexy Orange Rectangles for everyone else
Inflatables are worn during the races and are always close-by (usually hanging out on the couch when we're hauling) with the manual one up forward usually on a bunk.
Float coat is on its coat hanger in the head.
Child Type 1's are in a mesh bag which hangs out under the galley top.
Sexy Orange Rectangles: 2 are loose and ready to go, the others are in storage bags (with those wonderful zippers, just as soon as I find better material I'm going to make my own bags for them) and all are tucked up forward of the crash bulkhead where the anchor locker is (always chuck the anchor from the side so that area is now storage, there is extra cordage below the pfd's though).
Also: 1 Survival Suit, resides in it's orange bag on my bunk, or next to the Type 1's under the galley top. 20" and 24" Life rings, which when are not in use they hang out on the crash bulkhead, when required the 24" is ready to go riding on the couch.
I wear a kayak vest when I'm solo or with my kids. I don't care what I look like as long as I'm safe. I have a kayak vest for the wife, the kids have the neoprene strap through the legs type (always wear except swimming). I have five or six cheap orange ones that are CG approved. A big CG orange throw ring mounted with 30' rope attached, and a throw cushion that doubles as a seat cushion. I have thought about bungee cording the cheap ones into the cuddy to make them organized, but I saw a video of a boat going down (taking on water) and it was gone in less than five minutes. I think the loose ones will be easier to grab in an emergency- or they will float out if door is open on cuddy.