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Old 15 September 2009, 16:09   #1
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Which buoyancy aid or lifejacket?

My kid brother has a small SIB which he uses in the harbour and close to the shore.
He was asking which would be best a buoyancy aid or lifejacket?
For what I do a lifejacket is best but what would be best for him and which one?
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Old 15 September 2009, 16:49   #2
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Hi

If he is not jumping in to the water and getting very wet a life jacket is usefull as they allow you to float the right way up.... also they are much more comfortable to wear compared to a bouyancy aid. If on the other hand he plans on been in the water a bouyancy aid might be the better option
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Old 15 September 2009, 16:51   #3
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Lifejacket-always IMO. Personally I'd use a manual gas one for a small sib .
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Old 15 September 2009, 17:01   #4
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Lifejacket-always IMO. Personally I'd use a manual gas one for a small sib .
Thats what I said when he first asked, he doesn't jump in and out of the boat and intends to stay in it if possible.
Are Crewsaver still one of the best? I've got a PBO with a review in but its in a pile with a load more complete with Land Rover mags too.

Any recommendations?
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Old 15 September 2009, 18:50   #5
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Lifejacket-always IMO. Personally I'd use a manual gas one for a small sib .
Thats a very definite answer there...

I'm not convinced of the benefits of a manual gas one - but if you go auto gas then a pressure rather than moisture activated one would be better. The major selling point of a L/J over a bouyancy aid is it is supposed to turn an unconscious casualty the right way up (how sure that is may be another issue). But if your unconscious you can't pull the toggle on a manual jacket. There have been a few people drowned wearing manual jackets which were functioning - but for some reason they seem to have paniced (cold shock?) and not triggered it.

Bouyancy aid offers better wind protection/warmth than a lifejacket for routine use.
Bouyancy aid's don't "fail". Gas inflation jackets of all sorts need careful attention to ensure cylinders don't work loose, rust etc and that bladders don't leak. if you do "fire" a l/j on a long trip you really need to carry a spare cylinder or two - which with no lockers is a PITA. If I am not mistaken Chewy's bro is quite young - still at school? In which case the cost of using it may mean he waits longer to pull the cord than you or I?

I would consider a canoe style bouyancy aid with pockets etc....

I guess another factor may be when else he might use the same jacket - does he sail (dinghies or yachts)? will he be going out with chewy? does he canoe? etc...
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Old 15 September 2009, 18:56   #6
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Thats a very definite answer there...

I'm not convinced of the benefits of a manual gas one - but if you go auto gas then a pressure rather than moisture activated one would be better. The major selling point of a L/J over a bouyancy aid is it is supposed to turn an unconscious casualty the right way up (how sure that is may be another issue). But if your unconscious you can't pull the toggle on a manual jacket. There have been a few people drowned wearing manual jackets which were functioning - but for some reason they seem to have paniced (cold shock?) and not triggered it.

Bouyancy aid offers better wind protection/warmth than a lifejacket for routine use.
Bouyancy aid's don't "fail". Gas inflation jackets of all sorts need careful attention to ensure cylinders don't work loose, rust etc and that bladders don't leak. if you do "fire" a l/j on a long trip you really need to carry a spare cylinder or two - which with no lockers is a PITA. If I am not mistaken Chewy's bro is quite young - still at school? In which case the cost of using it may mean he waits longer to pull the cord than you or I?

I would consider a canoe style bouyancy aid with pockets etc....

I guess another factor may be when else he might use the same jacket - does he sail (dinghies or yachts)? will he be going out with chewy? does he canoe? etc...
I'd use a manual gas because on a small SIB it's very easy to fall in/over while disembarking (just when you don't want an auto to go off), but you're unlikely to be going fast enough to knock yourself unconcious if you go overboard while underway.
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Old 15 September 2009, 19:06   #7
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Some good reasons for both.

He is usually with the harbour or around the beach both of which have other people on the water.
Cost of replacing the cylinders isn't an issue and he wouldn't hesitate to fire the jacket. He will come out on my RIB and I do go in the water so he will to when he's with me.
He wants to get a doughnut to use behind my RIB and a BA would be good for this too.

Is he best off having one of each once he can afford it?
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Old 16 September 2009, 04:26   #8
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think for him if he is only in the harbour and he is on his own a good bouyancy aid or a foam lifejacket his size would be ok ,downside with gas inflation is that if wet they need a good rise out and a bit more maintaince and usually at a young age they are not always that carefull about not getting things punctured or meticulas at cleaning /maintaining critical things,if wet and its not rised out and dried proper left a few weeks firing mecanisims may corrode up ,when we are using my sib we just use air/foam lifejackets ,might be a bit more bulky but they are lesss fuss also offer a bit more protection from cold and getting banged about ,and will better stand anchors /fuel tanks ect getting dropped or dragged over them ,
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Old 16 September 2009, 04:53   #9
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On the basis of experience with my kids I would recommend a foam lifejacket when using a small sib on a beach.
The foam Life jacket keeps them warm and there is NO chance of it failing once it is correctly fitting and worn. A crotch strap will insure that the lifejacket does not go over the childs head.

I use auto inflating life-jackets from Crewsaver (by far the best in my opinion) when they are not likely to get wet (eg in RIB or Yacht).

We in Ireland have introduced a Law whereby all passengers and crew in small boats MUST wear a PFD.

I would also recommend that you capsize and turn your SIB turtle and practice escaping from the upturned hull with the kid. The life jacket makes it difficult to escape from under the upturned hull and it helps their confidence to know that there is an air pocket under the hull. Pop under the hull and have a chat and a laugh in the air pocket, discussing what your plan for exit is.

Cheers
T
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Old 16 September 2009, 05:33   #10
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What foam Lifejacket is that Mart? Looks ok, not too bulky either.
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