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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 2:24 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:06 pm
Posts: 359
Location: Spruce Head, Maine
I saw this on Patagonia's website and thought I'd post it here since some may be using this PFD.

"Hazard: Samples of these PFDs have been found that do not comply with the U.S. Coast Guard 15.5lb minimum buoyancy requirement and Underwriters Laboratories Standard 1123. To date there are no reports of accidents or injuries related to the products. Nonetheless, Lotus Designs, Inc. is acting pro-actively on this matter given the potential for accidental drowning, with an under-buoyant product."

http://www.patagonia.com/web/us/patagon ... setid=7574[/quote]


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 6:46 pm 
Yes, they recalled it this summer (or spring). Just when I decided to buy one :-) ... I wonder if their very similar meshback Deepwater (with VHF pocket) and Calmwater (no pockets) are also lacking in those few ounces of buoyancy that were the grounds for recall. People liked them. Deepwater is still available at some stores, - NRS have been selling them discounted for a year, now they only have XS size. At the moment, my modified canoe vest works well for me on high backrests of Longhaul and FC:
Image (not quite apparent on the photo, but 6 panels above the belt have been shortened at the bottom by about 1" (to clear the backrest), and 2 panels below the belt have been removed. May be will add a pocket for gloves and granola bar, and call it a day.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 1:11 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
Posts: 1716
Location: Arlington, VA (i.e. Wash DC)
Has anyone here returned their Mildwater(s)? Has anyone had to use one for it's intended purpose?

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Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:00 am 
chrstjrn wrote:
Has anyone had to use one for it's intended purpose?


Like, for swimming? I don't have it, but there were users' reviews noting adequate buoyancy, i.e. it kept people afloat. Lotus recalled them not because of complaints, but merely because they found its buoyancy less than prescribed. Must have been marginally less. I think, that if I cut more foam at the back of my PFD, leaving a chunk on the shoulder blades (just slightly more than in Mildwater), then I still will be within the prescribed requirements. May be will do this. BC weather is not as hot as in Emirates, so there is not much need. In Baja on trimaran I simply took the PFD off when had to paddle. Yes, this is a sin, but chances to flip over in MK1 in calm weather are near zero, and chances to flip over in a trimaran in calm weather (this is when I have to paddle) are absolutely zero. But Mildwater had those nice pockets... May be they will add some foam and re-introduce it.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 1:40 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
Posts: 1716
Location: Arlington, VA (i.e. Wash DC)
I suppose I should find a piece of metal that weighs 15 lbs, tie it to the PFD, and see if it floats. Or just not worry about it... isn't 15.5 lbs an arbitrary number anyway??

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Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 5:52 pm 
chrstjrn wrote:
I suppose I should find a piece of metal that weighs 15 lbs, tie it to the PFD, and see if it floats. Or just not worry about it... isn't 15.5 lbs an arbitrary number anyway??


Dave here will correct me if I'm wrong - human body has near zero floatation, so very little additional floatation is needed to keep it afloat with head above the water most of the time (and not just on flat water). Somehow USCG have come up with 15.5 lbs for this extra floatation, and made it a law, - may be arbitrarily, but we can't change anything there. I think, they may issue a fine and/or confiscate the "unsafe PFD" - if they wanted to (and knew that this particular PFD did not comply)... Or you will have your insurance claim rejected if anything happens to you while wearing technically unsafe PFD. Oh, well... my canoe PFD with its loose fit (which makes it quite comfy for sailing), and flimsy belt, is probably more unsafe than this re-called Mildwater that is lacking a few ounces of floatation.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 1:14 am 
Site Admin
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:02 pm
Posts: 1035
Location: Astoria, OR
Alm wrote:
Somehow USCG have come up with 15.5 lbs for this extra floatation, and made it a law, - may be arbitrarily, but we can't change anything there.
I think it has to do with keeping the upper body out of the water when it is rough. Some PFDs have more flotation if they have pockets, figuring the wearer might stuff heavy things in the pockets.

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Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
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Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.


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