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  1. #1
    DrivingZiggy's Avatar
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    Question Now that we're almost on the water...

    We have to consider the stuff we NEED.

    PFD: I'm fat--right at 300 pounds and 5'10". DaWife is 5'4" and 120. So I guess probably any of them will work for DaWife, but in my case, I'm sure there are many considerations to take into account that I don't know about yet. Any brand/style better than the other? Any brand/style the wimmins like better (for themselves)? Any brand/style better suited for fat people? I've been looking and really, the only brand I recognize is Body Glove. But now I'm seeing O'Neill, X2O, Stohlquist, Jet Pilot, and others. I see straps vs. zippers. I see pockets. What should we be looking for?

    GPS: I will probably not need this immediately, but I will need it to follow Gator's trails and also for the Bahamas trip. I checked with my friend who has a yacht, and he recommended the Garmin 545. But when I looked it up on Amazon, I was all YOWZAAA! when I saw the price. I could almost get another PWC for that! Can I do this more economically--or should I splurge on this unit? I'm already a Garmin fan as I have 7200 in the big truck and a 2595 in the little truck. But it also seems that a lot of water people really like Lowrance.

    Other apparel: Long sleeves? Long pants? Hand and foot protection? We have some long sleeve T-shirts--is that good enough? For shoes, DaWife is always wearing flip-flops and I have a pair of Crocs Tookali which is like sandals but mostly rubber. Do we need to invest in purpose-made garb to protect ourselves?

    Anything that I've missed: Please feel free to chime in with recommendations of stuff that you've found that have made the sport more pleasurable. Keep in mind that I'm old (54) and don't have that real need for speed like so many of the speed junkies on here. I'm sure the FX HO will be plenty fast for me.

    Any other tips and tricks for a beginner.


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Proper footwear, not slip on stuff. You want reliable grip, especially in sudden circumstances.

    Lots of good choices in water compatible footwear, some of it specifically marketed for PWC riders.

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  4. #3
    DrivingZiggy's Avatar
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    Thanks!

  5. #4
    Sea-Donkey's Avatar
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    Safety glasses are a good idea for late rides when it's not bright enough for shades. Bugs can be brutal.

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  7. #5
    DrivingZiggy's Avatar
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    Nice tip! I wouldn't have thought about that. But when we bought our bicycles, we got some free lights for them, it was either lights or something else. We chose lights. Now it seems like almost half the time we're riding at night. So, good tip. We might get caught later than we had planned and it's best to be prepared!

  8. #6
    bryantjopplin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrivingZiggy View Post
    Nice tip! I wouldn't have thought about that. But when we bought our bicycles, we got some free lights for them, it was either lights or something else. We chose lights. Now it seems like almost half the time we're riding at night. So, good tip. We might get caught later than we had planned and it's best to be prepared!

    Well I used my phone to follow and track the gps. I just downloaded the maps from Google maps app, then used Google tracks app and tracked the whole ride. I have sent gator info from my phone. I also used a portable battery charger to keep the phone alive.

  9. #7
    Fink's Avatar
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    I like to wear a synthetic shirt under my PFD. They dry really fast. I'm also a fan of shark skin pants, the paddle pants and paddle shorts are designed for a seated position and are cut higher for APB*. You might want to look into at least some neoprene shorts for "Da Wife", and probably yourself as well.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    *APB, Anti Plumber Butt:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #8
    @JC's Avatar
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    I bought the Yamaha PFDs for myself, my wife and daughter. They fit well, are somewhat stylish and float test just fine. I also got a pair of water shoes, you don't want to ride in flip-flops, slip-ons or bare feet IMO. Added a wetsuit, a JetPilot tour coat and Oakley H2O googles for cold weather riding and seaspecs for normal days so I don't lose my good sunglasses.

  11. #9
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Other gear

    There have been some prior threads which covered a lot of this. Perhaps someone can dig up the links and post them here.

    I can tell you that my own watercraft have a nearly full front storage bucket (in each machine), with lots of 'hope I never need it' stuff and a bunch of 'use it almost every time we go out' stuff.

    Per watercraft

    Anchor, anchor rope
    Tow rope
    Dock lines (several, perhaps in different lengths)
    Dock fenders

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Good quality high output waterproof LED flashlight
    (I currently use Fenix brand and carry a predecessor to the Fenix E15.) Very compact and the Lithium battery provides reliable power even with extreme conditions. The LD-12 or similar would also be a good choice, powered by AA type battery.

    In my case the compact flashlight is clipped to a split ring right on my PFD. That way if I end up in the water I can use it to signal others, should the need arise. Safety gear stored onboard the watercraft is only helpful when you are actually still on the watercraft, or able to get back to it.

    I use several split rings to attach other small items to the PFD. One is my 'wet' wallet, which has some cash, a single credit card, basic ID, in a quickly drying mesh wallet. My leather wallet full of paper and other cards does not go riding.

    I also attach the watercraft lanyard to my PFD. This is a personal choice, but I prefer to always have both hands I unencumbered, rather than use a wrist strap. I keep a spare lanyard in the storage compartment, as sometimes a lanyard can break or disappear into the water.

    Spare PFD. Never know if you want to give someone a ride, or rescue.

    We carry our smartphones (iPhone) on the water. There are very nice fully waterproof protective cases available, made by companies like Otter. We always have the phones in protective rubberized shells, but ours are not waterproof, so the phones also go into something like a DryCase. I actually just found the DryCase product online today, so I may upgrade from the simple DryPak pouch I currently use.

    I have large dry bags for carrying spare clothes, beach towels, shoes and such. Useful when we stop somewhere and want to get out of the wet riding gear.

    I am sure I am missing a bunch of categories, but this is a start

    Oh yes, SeaSpecs riding glasses. Buy them three at a time!

  12. #10
    @JC's Avatar
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    Yeah agree with the above, don't forget the Hull Huggers and I bought this as well Kwik-Tek PWC dock lines, both have worked very well to launch and dock and fit easily in the front storage. I carry my phone, ID and car key in a ziplock with a little floaty inside...

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