Originally Posted by Mextli
If you can't afford auto life jackets you should at least use the standart non inflatable ones.
A non-inflatable one? I assume you mean like this:
150N Air Foam Lifejackets and Life Cribs from Crewsaver
They have inherent bouyancy from the jacket plus bouyancy by manually filling from the tube. They wont turn you on your back until manually inflated so if you bang your head as you go over its possibly no better than a manual! (except they'll find your body).
They have no spray hoods etc. And are bulky and cumbersome.
Oh and that particular model is £120!! You might find it cheaper elsewhere or cheaper second hadn on ebay (but beware old ones that are past their best!)
The ultimate would be:
Baltic M.E.D./SOLAS Rescue Lifejacket
If you have a spare £600!
Auto inflation 150N lifejackets cost ~£40-50 upwards. You wont get a spray hood etc for that, but you should be able to get an auto with a hood and crotch straps and add a light seperately for under £100, leaving you £20 spare to get a second cylinder.
Parmaris Raider Lifejacket 150N with Harness for Yachting Boating
Jacket, crotch straps, light & hood - <£90
Extras that can be added to any jacket:
Lifejacket Light Uml Sea Flash Water Activated
Parmaris Spray Hood Standard 150N 275N
Not recommending specific products just providing examples
If your going for a non-inflatable jacket I'd want to know what your chances of rescue are? Are there other boats going out with you? Will you single hand? Will you have a handheld VHF in your pocket so if you get seperated you can seek help.
As for the RNLI - they use a foam + inflation model because they expect their guys to go in the water but not to want 150N+ of bouyancy round them. Its going to be unusual that an RNLI guy ends up in the water by accident, unconscious and the rest of the crew can't return to his possition is seconds...