PFD thread brings up another question, a better for swimming PFD.

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Squidly-Diddly, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    Something besides rather blocky chunks of foam crudely encased in roughly sewn heavy fabric and external strapping.

    I'm thinking of lots of spandex and contoured foam, sort of a cross between a wet-vest and a PFD.

    Prob would be it would get hot and sweaty, so in it 'dry' state it would need some provision to hold most of it off the body's surface, with a pull cord that would snug everything up with one good pull when in the water.

    Bonus is it would double as a torso insulator in cold water.

    Surely there is some possible improvement in the shape of a non-swimming (human) animal's shape and center of buoyancy that could be improved.
  2. portacruise
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    portacruise Senior Member

    Why not use inflatable PFDs? I've used them to swim under water to retrieve submerged items when not deployed, and they are the most adjustable comfort plus non sweaty. Almost all turn an unconscious body face up when deployed because of the chest bladders and no back floatation. They can be worn partially inflated by mouth if danger is expected, and still have enough buoyancy and more comfort because the bladders conform to body motion.

  3. Barry
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    Barry Senior Member

    Just a side note on inflatable PFDs
    In Canada and the US, they must be worn when on the boat to satisfy the requirements of carrying one properly sized PFD per person on board. Ie if they are just stowed on board an inflatable PFD does not meet the requirements
  4. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    I'm thinking of something that would be outlawed in swimming competitions because it would enhance swimming AND be a PFD at the same time.

    Face and chest up seems to be the way to go for PFDs for unconscious wearer, so floation would be on chest. Maybe something that would act like a surf board nose strapped to your chest, and could allow the wearer to easily body surf on any handy waves to extend swimming distance?

    I'm thinking most PFD emergency situations happen close to shore and the waves tend to also be to heading for shore.

    I remember from my childhood body surfing days a small kickboard made a huge diff in being able to catch waves.

    No idea what the stats are, but I've got this fear that many "man overboard" situations could also involve a puncture of an inflatable PFD, and I'm sure even more involve getting wet before donning a PFD and a deflated model wont be all bobbing on the surface as much when everything gets dumped in the water suddenly.
  5. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    to get people to actually wear them they need to be attractive, comfortable, not interfere with sitting or moving around (such as paddling or rowing), light weight, and warm in cold weather, and cool in hot weather. And is should also be comfortable to wear in the water, keep the face up, etc. And preferably would not interfere with getting a sun tan.

    I am not sure something like that is even possible, though the inflatable ones come close. Part of the problem is the flotation comes from displacing water with something lighter than water, hence they will be bulky. I wonder if there is some cleaver way to use strips of flexible foam that some how increases its bulkyness (displacement) when in the water. That would eliminate the need to inflate it, and keep it simple and reliable.
  6. KJL38
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    KJL38 Senior Member

  7. JSL
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    JSL Senior Member

    Make a streamlined suit sewn (or glued) from bubble wrap.

  8. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    I'm thinking of vertically striped/spripped vest where the strips are 1/4 Moon shaped to hold them off the skin for dry wear, with fashionable externally visible gaps between the strips. Girls could go 'topless' and muscle men could still show off. It would still turn a wearer face up. Then, when a cord was pulled it would flatten against the skin and close up to become a streamlined wetsuit that would be optimized for body surfing and standard back up/belly down face-forward head-up swimming.

    Pulling part way snug would seal out wind and make it low profile enough to wear under outer garments.
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