Thanks both for your prompt and most welcome advice in your replies. Ovey, I used SSB CB for years so am aware of radio protocols, and know the phonetic alphabet to a Tango
I can't wait to launch and try it out. (I would leave my VHF on channel 16 to receive any Coastguard weather updates or warnings). Wilk, it is our only boat, so not a tender for a larger craft, and I see the point and understand the reasoning by it. When I say manual, they are very lightweight, but pull the cord and you have a full size on your back life preserver, so that is why we chose them. We are in our sixties and not super fit, so it beats blowing them up
(though I did blow them up with just huff and puff to check how they feel and fit). The automatic ones would prolly go bang the second a little spray hit it, so that was a no-no
I assume you are thinking that they tend to restrict movement when deployed and it would be difficult to re-enter the SIB? My hope is that they will not need to be deployed, and treading water/breast stroke may get me (or my other half) back to the boat in the event of a de-camp.
We have a couple of dry bags which we shall stuff with dry clothing etc. and I have a GoPro which is waterproof, and a Canon DSLR which isn't, so will refrain from taking the DSLR out until I can see what the experience is likely to suggest....