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Old 12 September 2010, 09:59   #1
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Lifejackets

Hi, I am looking to get new lifejackets. I have been made aware of the following:
- Ocean safety-KRU
- Crewsaver (crewsaver.co.uk)
- Seasafe (www.seasafe.co.uk)

Can anyone give me an opinion on these, or even others if they are better.

Thanks,
Cuttlefish
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Old 12 September 2010, 10:43   #2
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Crewsaver are regarded as a leading brand for lifejackets. I've had a few and they are well made, look nice, feel comfortable etc. The only downside is they tend to be quite expensive.

The Kru model which looks like a waistcoat is a great design especially for people who aren't used to wearing a lifejacket - its easy to put on and adjust. I know a few other charter operators use these for that reason and they're something that I will strongly consider buying when the time comes to changing from my current lot.

I am yet to come across a lifejacket that is badly made. Obviously they all have to pass the same type approval etc so are all going to be up to a certain standard. Some as you probably know are much more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. I personally wear a Spinlock which is very comfortable (I wear this for 6/7 hours a day every day during the summer). By contrast I bought a few Typhoon ones a few years ago that were really uncomfortable - they used to rub against the neck which was most unpleasant.

My advice would be to go to the boatshow or somewhere like the marine superstore where you can have a good look at the jacket, try it on, see how easy it is to adjust etc before committing to a purchase.

PS. Something else to look at is cost and availability of recharge kits. Hammer ones can be a bit more difficult to get hold of. Cost probably isn't so much of an issue if you're a leisure user but when using Hammer models commercially it becomes expensive as the recharge kits are just under 30 a pop.
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Old 12 September 2010, 11:17   #3
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I got a set of four Hammar ones (the red Reflex type) from here http://www.lifejackets.co.uk/categor...ic-lifejackets

fit fine seem comfortable enough, not had to use one in anger yet but they seem well made, mine are due for new Hammar units next year

Mine were on special offer at 199 so better value than the current price
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Old 12 September 2010, 11:30   #4
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Been wearing one of these ;

http://www.crewsaver.co.uk/Home/NEW_...ets/index.html

on Sea Safari all summer for something around 1700 miles (ish) - very very comfy in all gear from t-short to full on wet weather gear.

Cant rate it highly enough ( and Steve for getting them ! ) and a bit 'more' than the std 150N.......

Pete
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Old 12 September 2010, 14:47   #5
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Just to add to the confusion, we use these (the rib 150) which are a superb bit of kit - especially because (a) there's back protection, and if you're thrown from a rib there's a fair chance your back will impact first, and (b) in the winter they do have some thermal protection properties. Additionally, because they're manual, you won't get unwanted inflations should you need to enter the water, but you will benefit from the additional inherant bouyancy.

Maybe a bit OTT if you're purely leisure, though, but don't discount the thought.
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Old 12 September 2010, 16:56   #6
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The Best Lifejacket out there.....is a Lifejacket that you wear!

Crewsaver = Only you can use crewsaver parts..

Life Jacket Feature you must get:
  • Automatic Activation
  • Crotch Strap/Thigh Strap - Double or Single
  • Spray hood - Stops you drowning.
  • Life Jacket Light
Hydrostatic - good if you going to get soaked constant, downside to rearm, you need to replace a canister with a 1 inch hole in life Jacket - means you really should do a 24hr inflation test after installing, ie useless if it activates on day out, unless you have spare jacket.

Other brands to consider:

www.baltic.se
www.secumar.com

What clothing you wearing? If Dry Suit regardless what crewsaver says, you should buy a 275N, if not wearing a dry suit 150N lifejacket is sufficient for most people.

If in doubt talk to your local RNLI Sea Safety Advisor, they should be able to talk you through why i stated the above advice.

But make sure it fits you!

regards

Scott
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Old 12 September 2010, 17:18   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPR View Post
If Dry Suit regardless what crewsaver says, you should buy a 275N, if not 150N lifejacket is suffeicent for most people.
Should this be the other way round?
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Old 12 September 2010, 17:25   #8
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275 N = Dry Suit, or Heavy Protective Clothing, Offshore use.
150 N = Normal Clothing, Normal waterproofs.

Regards

Scott
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Old 12 September 2010, 17:36   #9
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Wouldn't a drysuit give additional buoyancy over normal waterproofs by holding air inside the suit? Therefore requiring less buoyancy from a lifejacket?
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Old 12 September 2010, 17:40   #10
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Quote:
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Wouldn't a drysuit give additional buoyancy over normal waterproofs by holding air inside the suit? Therefore requiring less buoyancy from a lifejacket?
the buoyancy is not in the right place, so you need a 275n lifejacket to counter act the dry suit and to make sure it rights you if face down or feet up!
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