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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    7,014

    Default Re: Life-jacket: New, Old or Refurbished?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boathook View Post
    If they hold air for 24 hours I would rearm. Some of mine have bottles with rust stains and as long as they are the correct weight I reuse them.
    That's what I do. Only thing I would add is that I write the weight in indelible marker on the bottle when I weigh it.

    Current lifejacket dates from 2010. Probably time to replace it in 2020.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    South Wales and Bristol Channel, UK
    Posts
    2,226

    Default Re: Life-jacket: New, Old or Refurbished?

    Quote Originally Posted by MM5AHO View Post
    Annually I inflate each one, (using a pump to the mouthpiece) and rest for 24 hours. They must stay as hard as inflated. Failures I cut the bladder to make them un-usable. Close visual inspection of seams, bladder, tapes, straps, buckles, zips etc.
    I disconnect and inspect the gas bottles. I wrap mine in insulation tape as I find the most frequent cause of failure is corrosion, and the thin zinc plating doesn't last long with salt spray / dousing. I weigh them and compare with last weight, written on the tape.
    The use indicator is removed and the firing pin and lever tested. The water activated firing system (varies with system) is replaced on its written expiry date. Reassemble the lot and pack properly. Write on the label the date tested, and then they're ready for following summer.
    On board carry a supply of pre-wrapped cylinders, and a selection of safety clips, water activators etc. all in a ziplock plastic bag.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    S.W. France
    Posts
    6,557

    Default Re: Life-jacket: New, Old or Refurbished?

    My only problem with a LJ was with the mouth inflation valve. It was an old Beaufort. I tried it in the pool and it was fine. No porosity and stayed up. So I continued to use it.
    Except, when I actually needed it, having gone MOB, the valve blew out of the tube. There was no sign of degredation of the rubber tube, but I was left to swim, in full kit, around 400mtr to shore. I binned it on the way home and bought a couple of manual gas jobs. (I mostly sail small boats, so autos are not interesting, as one might capsize and an inflated LJ would inhibit recovery)
    Lent them to a friend who was having a couple of guests out for the day. They capsized and one of my LJs failed because the wearer pulled the cord across, rather than down. This broke the plastic mounting and the pin blew out, releasing the gas. The mouth inflation would have worked, but the wearer was very experienced and not too concerned as he was trying to right the boat. They got fished out by a ferry, after firing off the reds.

    I still have the LJs, but with different gas valves.

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