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Old 03 February 2018, 06:39   #1
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Crewsaver 275N

I have one of these... except a harness version not with the plastic buckle.

Crewsaver Crewfit Red 275N Automatic Lifejacket - Marine Warehouse Ltd

which has twin crotch straps. My last 150N lifejackets had a single strap which clipped on at the front in the middle, and was very effective at holding down the front of the jacket. Not tried it in anger but it prevented the jacket riding up.

The new jacket has twin crotch straps, and as seen in the photo, they clip on at the sides, and can ride freely along the chest strap so will naturally sit under tension at the sides of your body.

Having tried it on, this gives me no confidence at all in the effectiveness of the straps, as you can still pull the front of the jacket right up even with both straps on and reasonably tight. They make a small amount of difference but are nowhere near as effective as the single. I am pretty sure that if inflated and in the water the jacket would ride quite high up, it couldn't come off of course but doesn't seem to be keeping it in the position that I think it should.

Am I missing something here, doing something wrong, or is it just a bit of a rubbish design? It seems to be assembled correctly as shown in the website photos, with the back of the straps joining together at the back of the chest harness and the two loose ends going on at the sides.

At the moment I'm minded to cut them off and modify it back to a single that clips at the front.

Thoughts please?
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Old 03 February 2018, 06:44   #2
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I'm not sure if it's me or the way the description is written but you are passing both straps through your legs and not around them?

Works the same as a single and usually better as doesn't allow for a twist action.
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Old 03 February 2018, 07:36   #3
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Advantage of 2x crotch straps as I see it is they don't cut across the family jewels and as such can be a bit tighter,which should help prevent the LJ from riding up when inflated.

I have a new Seago with 2 x strapsand it's quite comfy.
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Old 03 February 2018, 10:05   #4
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Stephen, I've used one of these for many years and it fits nicely, I'm not sure of the insecurity you are describing. It fits just like a single crotch strap JL except you balls are not trapped so it's considerably more comfy to wear. Keep the waist and crotch straps reasonably tight so they have no tendency to drift.

That's a good price, I might invest in a new one - good find!
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Old 03 February 2018, 19:04   #5
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Unfortunately it wasn't at the good price when I bought it!

I don't know why it didn't work but unless the straps were tight enough to make your voice go up a couple of octaves, you could lift it up so that the bottom of the bladder was almost level with your face. To my mind he straps really need to be stitched close to the front, so they can't slide back around the chest strap.

By good fortune I had a dig around and appear to have ended up with a spare single strap, so it has now been modified to the same setup as the previous ones. Seems good otherwise. Problem solved anyway!
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Old 03 February 2018, 19:24   #6
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I had one of these as well..bought in 2010 - no issues with the straps (for me),
and it had (I thought) done good service. I put it away in 2013 and used a different LJ
for a while, but later on in 2013 the Crewsaver was pressed back into service.
For the start of the 2015 season it failed my inflation test, and was leaking
air badly around the inflator mechanism.
Am sure you do test your LJ from time to time but when mine failed
it rattled me a little. LJ was manufactured in 2009.
Worth a quick test if you haven't done so.
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Old 04 February 2018, 04:16   #7
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This one is brand new so I haven't checked it, but I do check the others (which are Marinepool 150N Hammar jackets). I only normally open them up to change the inflators and do an inflation check then. All 3 were fine on a 24hr inflation test when I changed the inflators for new ones a few weeks ago, but what I did find when I opened them up was that the gas cylinders on all 3 of the old inflators were slightly loose. Because they were Hammar jackets with the cylinder inside the bladder, they would still have worked, but it surprised me. Two of the jackets have had very little use, one almost no use, and I know they were good and tight when I put them in there as I changed the inflators myself last time, so it must have been vibration on the boat that worked them loose. Certainly something that needs checking more often in future.
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Old 04 February 2018, 05:30   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BogMonster View Post
This one is brand new so I haven't checked it, but I do check the others...
Your experience with loose cylinders is common. I remember cases where shop bought jackets have been found to either loose or missing cylinders. Worth a look as you say!
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Old 04 February 2018, 08:00   #9
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The cylinders seal down onto a rubber washer, after a time the washer looses its shape and becomes indented by the pressure of the cylinder; a wee tighten is in order occasionally.

Stephen, if you look at the diagrams of a floating person being supported by a life jacket, you'll notice that the bladder is almost level with the water surface whilst the torso hangs downward. What you are feeling as wrong may well be a design feature.
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Old 04 February 2018, 18:53   #10
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Quote:
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Your experience with loose cylinders is common. I remember cases where shop bought jackets have been found to either loose or missing cylinders. Worth a look as you say!
The new inflators were ordered with new cylinders this time, they came assembled, and I would say they've got a drop of threadlock on them as they didn't want to come loose when I checked them, so I didn't persevere. A small container of Loctite would probably be a good investment at service time.
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