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Old 11 January 2013, 09:17   #1
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Poor build quality of life jackets.

I have a couple of Typhoon manual life jackets which I paid about 48 each for they are a nice simple design but imho the quality of the inflatable bladder seems very poor and which is very similar to those kids water wings from the 80's era you know that thin plastic stuff.

Anyway some time ago whist checking to see if they would stay inflated after use, one of them had a leak which was a very fine pin hole directly behind the gas bottle which I presume was caused by the gas bottle banging against the bladder after falling off the seat on the rib or being dropped on the floor or whatever. Not good

I also have a more expensive Crewsaver crewfit 190n LJ the bladder is a bit better quality but not much, but the gas cylinder does have a neoprene sleeve which covers over it .( Much better idea ) however!! I have just purchased a re arming kit ( don't ask ) and while fitting it there is a crappy little and very brittle green plastic clip which goes over the manual pull spring which broke while clipping it on

How do some of these LJ get passed for the ce mark ?? they appear to be poorly built and not very hard wearing for normal boat use, I am not sure what LJ these rib ride company's and commercial users use but they must get some stick, more so than from us leisure users. Does the quality actually get any better the more expensive you go and how much do you have to spend to get a half decent LJ.

I personally would feel a lot safer wearing a PFD at least there is no worries if it will inflate or stay inflated when you really need it.

p.s. make sure that you check and inflate you LJ on a regular basis.
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Old 11 January 2013, 09:59   #2
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Interesting Post Kerny ...

My view would be that a LJ if used in anger it is a one use only bit of kit - hence the bladder doesn't need to be that strong when its out of its protective sleeve/ outer.

I treat all my jackets with care - lets be fair my life could depend on them.

I know Steve (250 on here) has had very good reliability on his customer jackets which are changed and in use 7 days a week through the summer, but their make/ name escapes me right now. ( maybe Polmaris ? ) .

We as crew use the 190n crewsaver jackets ( we tend to wear more kit than customers normally would ) which again I thnk have been very reliable and passed thier tests when needed .

The green plastic clip I'd want to be weak as I think it breaks off if you pull the manual trigger. ( it does on my personal ones - and they 'home tested' by me about every six months as they are only ever used on my own boats) and haven't shown signs of wear etc, but then the bladder is a definate fabric and not just plastic like arm bands the kids had years ago.

I'd still take LJ over a PFD for a lot of stuff - just to know if I am out of it my face will be upwards and not just left tp chance........
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Old 11 January 2013, 10:37   #3
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lets be fair my life could depend on them.

The green plastic clip I'd want to be weak as I think it breaks off if you pull the manual trigger.
That's my point Peter, your life does depend on them, they don't appear to be rugged enough, and as you know on a boat things do get knocked about a bit if for example, If I had not checked my LJ and I would have needed it, it would have let me down and believe me I do look after my kit. Its possible that it could have happened while stored inside my bench seat ( I do not always wear the same LJ ) and the bouncing about of the rib caused the gas bottle to puncture the bladder but this shouldn't happen for a life saving piece of equipment.

As for the green plastic clip on my 190 n , I still thing that there could be a much better design of clip it's far to brittle.
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Old 11 January 2013, 10:50   #4
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( I do not always wear the same LJ ) and the bouncing about of the rib caused the gas bottle to puncture the bladder but this shouldn't happen for a life saving piece of equipment.
Thats interesting .. I always wear the same one - of the six I have , 2 have never been worn at all , the other 4 - all have lights but only two have spray hoods. I always wear the same one (of the two with lights & hoods) .

The rest live in a nice warm cupboard in thier special bag with some silica gel sachets ont here to keep the humidty / dampness out/ down.

I wonder then if I am just paranoid about caring for stuff as a result of wearing parachutes in a past hobby - stuff will always get knocked or dropped on occasion and unless you check the jacket each week there is always a risk I guess ? If the bladders were hypalon youd never get them round your neck
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Old 11 January 2013, 11:10   #5
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I use / sell SeaSafe life jackets, you can get these personalised ! they have zip fit inspection of bottle.

the green safety indicator is pretty brittle by design but some may be more than others.

For 9.95 + consumables, a jacket SeaSafe based IOW will service your jacket - you can drop these into a local service centre and they will send to SeaSafe on your behalf.

I just happens - I am a Service Station in Scotland !

http://www.seasafe.co.uk/lifejacket_...rogues_gallery

The Rouged Gallery if Lifejackets.

RNLI Guides on Lifejackets

http://www.sprmarine.co.uk/content/u...fety-info.html

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Old 11 January 2013, 11:51   #6
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For information PFD stands for Personal Floatation Device - this is a generic term used to describe both Lifejackets and Buoyancy aids.

The main difference between a lifejacket and buoyancy aids is that a lifejacket is designed to turn an unconscious person face up on entering the water.

A buoyancy aid is not guaranteed to do this and is as the name describes, an aid to keeping you afloat.
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Old 11 January 2013, 12:54   #7
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Quote:
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I use / sell SeaSafe life jackets, you can get these personalised ! they have zip fit inspection of bottle.

the green safety indicator is pretty brittle by design but some may be more than others.

For 9.95 + consumables, a jacket SeaSafe based IOW will service your jacket - you can drop these into a local service centre and they will send to SeaSafe on your behalf.

I just happens - I am a Service Station in Scotland !

Rogues Gallery

The Rouged Gallery if Lifejackets.

RNLI Guides on Lifejackets

Useful Downloads - RNLI Sea Safety Leaflets - Rescue Laser Flares & Sea Safety

regards

S.
Hi Scott, WoW I can't believe the state of some of them LJ in Rogues Gallery that's a real eye opener

BTW what are the bladders like on the SeaSafe models, I also like the zip to check the gas bottle.
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Old 11 January 2013, 14:02   #8
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A buoyancy aid is not guaranteed to do this and is as the name describes, an aid to keeping you afloat.
As a technical point a lifejacket is not guaranteed to do so either. it has been tested to do so with a dummy (no clothes IIRC) in a pool of calm water. It might turn you over but it might not and your loved ones won't even get the money back on the jacket if it doesn't.
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Old 11 January 2013, 14:18   #9
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As a technical point a lifejacket is not guaranteed to do so either. it has been tested to do so with a dummy.
That will come as a relief to the OP
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Old 11 January 2013, 14:36   #10
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Quote:
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That will come as a relief to the OP
Very funny
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