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Old 03 September 2014, 07:36   #1
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Life Jacket Advice

I'm new to ribbing and wondered if there was any advice on the type of lifejacket for rib cruising? Automatic, self inflating it's a minefield. Also what best for children aged 6 and 8?? Any thoughts much appreciated.
Any recommendations??
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Old 03 September 2014, 07:56   #2
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We have auto's, the wet dissolvy trigger type, not hammar pressure trigger ones. There is a big argument either way between those two. The hammar ones are apparently less prone to false triggering when you get a face full of spray, but I know sailors who have had the dissolving trigger ones for years in vile weather and never had an issue. i'd always go auto though as the thought of being unconscious or impaired due to cold in the water an not being able to find/pull a string does not make me comfortable.

For kids, foam jackets until they are old enough to fully understand how to pull an emergency release, and not to pull it when it isn't needed. No need to worry about it not inflating for whatever reason or then just playing with the very tempting pull cord. Also helps keep them warm in our stunning northern summer months.

Just my thoughts.....


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Old 03 September 2014, 08:00   #3
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Thanks Phil seems like good advice any brand recommendations?
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Old 03 September 2014, 08:34   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil M View Post
We have auto's, the wet dissolvy trigger type, not hammar pressure trigger ones. There is a big argument either way between those two. The hammar ones are apparently less prone to false triggering when you get a face full of spray, but I know sailors who have had the dissolving trigger ones for years in vile weather and never had an issue. i'd always go auto though as the thought of being unconscious or impaired due to cold in the water an not being able to find/pull a string does not make me comfortable.

For kids, foam jackets until they are old enough to fully understand how to pull an emergency release, and not to pull it when it isn't needed. No need to worry about it not inflating for whatever reason or then just playing with the very tempting pull cord. Also helps keep them warm in our stunning northern summer months.

Just my thoughts.....


Phil
+1

I have Kru Sport for me (the previous version of this: Kru Sport Pro ISO Auto Lifejacket) and a couple of 150N Auto lifejackets (similar to this: Commodore ISO Life Jackets) for the missus and guests (various makes but all similar type). I have foam ones (two sizes of this: Baltic Child's 100N Lifejacket 15-30kgs - Only 33.95 - Force 4 Chandlery) for my 6/3 year old boys, for the same reason Phil put in his post.
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Old 03 September 2014, 09:57   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil M View Post
We have auto's, the wet dissolvy trigger type, not hammar pressure trigger ones. There is a big argument either way between those two. The hammar ones are apparently less prone to false triggering when you get a face full of spray, but I know sailors who have had the dissolving trigger ones for years in vile weather and never had an issue. i'd always go auto though as the thought of being unconscious or impaired due to cold in the water an not being able to find/pull a string does not make me comfortable.

For kids, foam jackets until they are old enough to fully understand how to pull an emergency release, and not to pull it when it isn't needed. No need to worry about it not inflating for whatever reason or then just playing with the very tempting pull cord. Also helps keep them warm in our stunning northern summer months.

Just my thoughts.....


Phil
I've had 2 "wet pellet" type lifejackets go off without reason, apart from being wet I only have Hammars now.
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Old 03 September 2014, 10:42   #6
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I had one occasion when two of my crew had lifejackets inflate on board somewhere off Cape Wrath. It was an exciting day with a lot of water coming at us, and it's the only time it's happened to me.

Interestingly one was the pellet design, but the other was a Hammar which shouldn't have gone off but did. Go figure, as they say. I was fine BTW because I stayed tucked behind the windscreen

All my lifejackets are auto, using the old school soluble pellet mechanism, and I'm happy with that choice. Most of the premature inflations that I've heard about have been when kit has been stored wet, not when it's actually in use.

Either way definitely get auto, and definitely foam buoyancy life jackets for kids.
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Old 03 September 2014, 11:15   #7
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As you can see I favour the self inflator and have the family in buoyancy aids with a self inflator and a couple of auto inflate ones stashed in case of any extreme scenario
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Old 03 September 2014, 11:59   #8
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Thanks Phil seems like good advice any brand recommendations?
Whatever brand you buy make sure it's fitted with crotch straps and every time you put the jacket on, make sure they're correctly attached.

I wear a 275n auto-inflate jacket (I defeated anorexia) and if you ever see one of those inflate on someone who's not wearing the straps it will ride up over their head very quickly and become potentially dangerous to the wearer.

The 150n obviously doesn't contain as much buoyancy as the 275n but I'd still advise anyone to buy a jacket with crotch straps - and wear them correctly.
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Old 03 September 2014, 12:05   #9
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I think the resounding advice is a self inflator, but now what about 150N vs 275N. Is this related to your weight or is it better to go with the highest number? Thanks again for all of your advice and help - much appreciated!
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Old 03 September 2014, 12:25   #10
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I think the resounding advice is a self inflator, but now what about 150N vs 275N. Is this related to your weight or is it better to go with the highest number? Thanks again for all of your advice and help - much appreciated!
Johnny, the numbers relate to the amount of buoyancy the inflated jacket will provide and it's extremely important that the buoyancy provided by the jacket matches the individual and the clobber they're wearing.

A 275n for my missus would be potentially dangerous because it would likely 'ride up' over her head and a 150n for me, particularly if I'm wearing a dry suit, could potentially have me in all sorts of bother quite quickly too.

Check out this excellent link to the RNLI 'Choosing a lifejacket' page
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