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Old 03 October 2013, 09:07   #1
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life jackets..... recommendations

I'm looking at life jackets for use in a 3.3m boat.

I'm thinking of getting some of the auto inflate jackets, what is the most commonly recommended jacket? Best quality for price ect.
Or should I just be searching eBay....
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Old 03 October 2013, 09:11   #2
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I wouldn't buy from eBay, especially not a 2nd hand one.

I would get a hammer unit, especially in a smaller boat, and I love my spin lock.

Make sure you have crotch straps, hood and light - at least!
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Old 03 October 2013, 09:51   #3
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Hammar (hydrostatic) lifejacket are more expensive than regular autos and are supposedly more reliable as they are not affected by spray. In my experience though the cheaper ones are absolutely fine.

Leg straps or crutch straps are very worthwhile, but for inshore use in a SIB then I wouldn't be too hung up about the spray good and light. They're good to have though if you can.

You won't go far wrong with any of the lifejackets on the market. They'll all do the job, but more expensive ones tend to be more comfortable and more durable.

Buying new is good, although there are some bargains to be had when trip boat operators sell their nearly new kit as they replace it each year.
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Old 03 October 2013, 09:57   #4
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Spinlock here too, expensive but very comfortable and don't get in the way, I've found myself leaving it on and realising once I've got in the car!!

Have a look at this re crouch straps, they're very worth while....

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Old 03 October 2013, 10:30   #5
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Good video thanks!

Does spray tend to set off these Auto jackets then??
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Old 03 October 2013, 10:36   #6
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A bought a Secumar Ultra AX Plus (or was it the harness?) having trawled round many stores at London boatshow and asked a senior RNLI chappy for some (unofficial) advice. I had never heard of them either...

What drew me to Secumar stand was its auto/manual configuration option (I was looking for a lifejacket with built in buoyancy plus manual topup and when I found the limited selection they were far too bulky so rules that type out) but after having tried it on and setting it off, I liked how comfortable it was and how well it fitted when inflated.

In use, I don't even know that I am wearing it although ironically have not yet bothered with manual configuration since I bought it.

They also do a slightly cheaper one without the hood, light and harness. Both models come with a crutch strap as mentioned in the video above.

In tests it performs very well as do most life jackets - I think the only criticism is it taking a second or two longer to inflate than some others but I see this as a plus as its less likely to accidentally fire in spray.

I thought it very good value for money, very well made (I found comparing fastening clips between so makes/models quite interesting) and the rearming kit not ridiculously priced.

My only criticism is that I wished it had an external pocket to hold my VHF although, in reality, the harness clip is easily accessible that I clip it on that.

I think it was the one demoed in the above video.
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Old 03 October 2013, 12:47   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aliengravy View Post
Good video thanks!

Does spray tend to set off these Auto jackets then??
Not really....I've been using one for years with no issue.

If you really really push them in wet situations (think really really taking some serious water being pushed up into the jacket) you can set them off.
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Old 03 October 2013, 13:12   #8
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Motor boats monthly did a group test in June edition. They gave ocean safety kru sport the thumbs up. Worth getting a back copy because they also said some of the budget ones do the job too.
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Old 03 October 2013, 13:25   #9
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Does spray tend to set off these Auto jackets then??
No, but they can go off if you're hit by ludicrous quantities of water or you store them somewhere damp.
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Old 03 October 2013, 14:00   #10
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Would you go for this:
Lifejackets-bouyancy aids

or this:
Special offers - bargains - clearance - chandlery and marine equipment - Fox's

Or something else?

Does the extra money really mean extra safety??
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Old 03 October 2013, 14:16   #11
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For us it THIS every time
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Old 03 October 2013, 14:21   #12
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The first one looks really uncomfortable.

This highlights the problem with buying sight unseen.

The most important thing with a life jacket (assuming it meets CE, usage and weight criteria) is to try it on. This will indicate safe fit and good comfort. You can ask for as many 'would you go for' and you will get as many different answers as there are body shapes and fit preferences. Once a life jacket has been chosen to meet CE marking and usage requirements, the rest is simply personal preference and is it comfortable enough for you not to avoid wearing. IMHO.
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Old 03 October 2013, 14:32   #13
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Good advice Ian thanks! That's why I'm looking on Fox's marina site as it's not far from me and I can go and try them on.... It's nice to walk into the store already knowing what the pros and cons of what you're trying on are....

The sport one is nice Ashby but its 160 with the autoinf and hood :O
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Old 03 October 2013, 15:10   #14
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If you're after a more "budget" LJ have a look at Seago - we've had both manual & auto models from them & have found them fine.

In the end you cam spend a lot of money on an LJ, I suppose much depends on how much you're going to wear it. If I had to wear one fot 8 hours every day I'd get a more expensive jacket like a Spinlok: for weekend inshore cruising I think something like a 70 Seago's fine.

Go an try on a few on & see what feels comfortable for fit and pocket. Don't buy blind from the interweb.
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