Legality of inflatable PFDs and self certification

Submitted: Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 18:08
ThreadID: 104411 Views:3157 Replies:3 FollowUps:7
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I have two Marlin brand inflatable PFDs. All inflatable PFDs must be certified on a regular basis. The cost for this commercially can be about $80 each. I self certified my PFDs which can be acceptable if it is done in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications, however I could not find the documented procedure for Marlin brand so I used the Burke document instead. According to an official of Qld Boating and Fisheries this is not legal unless I use Marlin documentation. What he did say was to satisfy legal requirements was to have stored in the boat the cheapest legal foam PFDs while using/wearing the inflatable ones. If I am asked about the certification of my PFDs I should say ‘these are not my PFDs, the ones you seek are stored here’ and show the cheap ones. To qualify this, I am satisfied that my inflatable PFD is safe and will operate as it should if needed even though technically it is not legal.
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Reply By: Lyn W3 - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 19:10

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 19:10
Is this what you are looking for:

Marlin inspection and self certification
AnswerID: 518510

Follow Up By: Mikee5 - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 19:16

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 19:16
Thank you Lyn that is great. I am thinking it is fairly new on the net as I looked hard 2 years ago. I can self certify legally with that. What I said above may help people with other brands of PFDs where such a page is not provided.
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FollowupID: 798375

Follow Up By: John and Regina M - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 21:29

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 21:29
And demonstrate Google is your friend.
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FollowupID: 798386

Reply By: The Bantam - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 23:47

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 23:47
This issue of self certifying PFDs has been extensivly canvased on the various boating & fishing forums.

Yes indeed in QLD for you to self certify the manufacturer of the PFD has to provide instructions on self certifying that particular PFD.

It is considered that if the manufacturer does not issue instructions, the PFD is not suitable for self certifying....the truth however is the manufacturer is engaging in a restrictive trade practice and protecting its revenue from certification.

That be as it is, the rules are in QLD, as they are.

NOW
there is a problem with your self certified PFDs.....having them in the boat is an offence.

Like so many other safety items.... not compliant or non effecive safety items are forbidden to be carried........It does not matter how many compliant PFDs are on board, carrying a non compliant PFD is an offence.

A specific example that is often raised concerning this is people using old PFDs and cushions or fenders.....if an item could be mistaken for an operative safety item but is in fact not compliant......that represents a offence.

It may sound silly......but this matter has been well and truly canvased and the authorities have been very specific in their statements concering this.

SO...if you get a floating copper or boating & fisheries officer who is enforcing to the letter of the law.....your perfectly safe, non complaint, self certified PFDs could earn you a fine.

For anybody purchasing inflatable PFDs.....make sure what routes are open to you for recertification before you buy...and get it in writing.

Because of the way the recertification is specified, some of the cheaper inflatables can only be considered disposable, because it costs more to have them certified by the specified route than it does to buy a new one.

That is why I baught a "Stormy"....the local dealer recertifies at a reasonable price, you can self certify and every single part of the jacket or vest is available as a spare part.

cheers
AnswerID: 518517

Follow Up By: Lyn W3 - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 07:36

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 07:36
Bantam,
I'm sure Mikee5 will certify his PFD's in accordance with the Marlin recommendations and will be fully legal in no time.
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FollowupID: 798403

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 10:03

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 10:03
That may be so, but the matters in my post remain for those who can not obtain manufacturer published instructions.

The matter of carrying non compliant safety equipment remains for everybody.

There are a great many people who think they are all fine and beaut because they have "enough compliant gear" on board.

Not realising carrying non compliant gear is an offence in its self.

SO...if you have additional non compliant life jackets, flares, EPERBs or ayhthing else that can be specifically idetinfied as safety equipment because it is specified in the rules or implied under the General safety obligation.
Get the stuff out of ya boat or risk a fine.
On the matter of flares.....even the possession of expired flares anywhere is an offence.

cheers
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FollowupID: 798409

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 10:07

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 10:07
As for the recertification of my inflatable.

I take it to a certified agent once a year.

For less than $50 I get a tag and a certificate that no one will argue with.
I don't have to maintain logbooks or the other documents of proof that are required for self certification.

cheers
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FollowupID: 798411

Follow Up By: Lyn W3 - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 12:48

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 12:48
Just wondering Bantam if you have a check list you complete every morning before you get out of bed?
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FollowupID: 798418

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 14:01

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 14:01
No but if I am going to do something I make it my business to know what the rules are and what my responsibilties are.

All that I have posted above is pretty simple and fairly well known.

These issues have also been very well canvased in both the boating & fishing press and the boating & fishing forums.

Make no mistake people are being zipped for these "offences".

cheers

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FollowupID: 798422

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 08:41

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 08:41
Personally I would read the Marlin procedures in depth to make sure that I didn't leave anything out in my self certification. It's fine to legal but to forget or not do an important step could be deadly. Just watch the TV show about plane crashes and see what happens if the wrong certification procedure is used or a step omitted, all-be-it by accident or inattention. Okay it is a bit different but the outcome could be the same.

My safety is more important that just being legal.

Happy sailing

Phil
AnswerID: 518525

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