Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    London
    Posts
    80

    Default Safety of automatic life vest

    Hi,
    as someone very cautious, there is one thing that makes me worry - safety of automatic life jacket. I never used one, last time I was on serious cruise was 2005 (7 days on Baltic) and turned out things changed since then.
    I am bit worried that automatic lifejacket may fail, could someone explain me how they are design to be 100% reliable?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Me Edinburgh, boat JWD
    Posts
    5,090

    Default Re: Safety of automatic life vest

    If the auto function doesn't work then pull the toggle. If that doesn't work blow in the tube.
    Maybe you should wear a solid life vest instead?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Home - Sothampton, Boat - Gosport
    Posts
    10,013

    Default Re: Safety of automatic life vest

    Nothing is 100% reliable, but regular servicing and, especially, making sure the cylinder is screwed home firmly makes my jackets reliable enough for us to trust our lives to them.

    The capsule has an expiry date, but I once serviced a jacket whose capsule had expired seven years ago. I tossed it into a bowl of water and it went off with a satisfying pop, so was still perfectly functional.
    Steve
    Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    South Wales and Bristol Channel, UK
    Posts
    2,465

    Default Re: Safety of automatic life vest

    Inflatable Life jackets have to be inspected and maintained; I do this every season. However, there are Buoyancy Aid jackets that are practically maintenance free, used by windsurfers and others. I use buoyancy aid jackets when I am on the dinghy; very practical, quick and less to worry about.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Scotland.
    Posts
    14,185

    Default Re: Safety of automatic life vest

    You still don't need to use one unless the laws in your cruising area state that you do. To alleviate your worry you can educate yourself, for example : -

    https://www.rya.org.uk/knowledge-adv...ifejacket.aspx
    https://www.pbo.co.uk/expert-advice/...fejacket-17599

    Or just Google "how to inspect a lifejacket" and lots of information will be available to you.

    In general you are quite right to be concerned, especially if you rely on a lifejacket supplied by someone else as you have no idea if they really have inspected it. Rather than blind trust, a bit of research will allow you to make an easy check without much hassle to at least verify that everything looks OK.

    Of course, if you get entangled in the yacht, you could be dragged under and drown as the yacht sinks (even if the lifejacket inflates), so it's best to keep things in perspective.
    "'...contradictions .... are deliberate exercises in doublethink." Orwell from 1984

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    The Known Universe
    Posts
    1,074

    Default Re: Safety of automatic life vest

    Quote Originally Posted by BlowingOldBoots View Post
    You still don't need to use one unless the laws in your cruising area state that you do. To alleviate your worry you can educate yourself, for example : -

    https://www.rya.org.uk/knowledge-adv...ifejacket.aspx
    https://www.pbo.co.uk/expert-advice/...fejacket-17599

    Or just Google "how to inspect a lifejacket" and lots of information will be available to you.

    In general you are quite right to be concerned, especially if you rely on a lifejacket supplied by someone else as you have no idea if they really have inspected it. Rather than blind trust, a bit of research will allow you to make an easy check without much hassle to at least verify that everything looks OK.

    Of course, if you get entangled in the yacht, you could be dragged under and drown as the yacht sinks (even if the lifejacket inflates), so it's best to keep things in perspective.
    Holy malony B.o. B happy days , don't put the poor soul of sailing
    But all good advice a basic check and understanding of your life jacket should see you 99% ok
    Flying birds have no master

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    340

    Default Re: Safety of automatic life vest

    Bought the missus a new shaped L J . All singing, started to show her the quick safety details (powerboat 2 level) to find the co2 cylinder was about 3 turns undone.
    Read up on the RYA service you life jacket already posted even if brand new.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    340

    Default Re: Safety of automatic life vest

    Stood on a tender on Davits once to reach the belly straps. It twisted leaving me 8í in the air looking at the bathing platform below, needless to say I did not stay 8í up for very long.
    Hit bathing platform, it was originally head first but turned head away, bounced and twisted, hit the water, life jacket went off and pinned me under the bathing platform with just a 3Ē air gap and slight waves continuously closing that gap.
    It takes a bit of effort to push under to get out from the the bathing platform when the life jacket is holding you up

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    London
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Safety of automatic life vest

    Thanks for your answers, I will go to local chandlery today and ask them to show me details of release mechanizm. I am not worried about maintenance, I am more worried about some weird fault that would prevent inflation. I will definitely consider old, foam ones instead of pneumatic. At least those can't go broke.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Boat (now back in) the Clyde
    Posts
    5,412

    Default Re: Safety of automatic life vest

    Quote Originally Posted by slawosz View Post
    Thanks for your answers, I will go to local chandlery today and ask them to show me details of release mechanizm. I am not worried about maintenance, I am more worried about some weird fault that would prevent inflation. I will definitely consider old, foam ones instead of pneumatic. At least those can't go broke.
    Not sure what is behind your worry. The main risks with automatic lifejackets are (a) loose gas cylinders and (b) not being properly checked/serviced annually. Address these and should be fine. Plus two tiers of fallback in worst case - as stated earlier.
    Canít see the chandlery can show you anything about the firing mechanism that canít be better seen online.

    More importantly, what is your intended use for these lifejackets. There are times when solid foam style lifejackets are better (eg in dinghy sailing) and times when gas inflatable are better (eg yacht sailing). They are not generally interchangeable

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Latest YBW News

Find Boats For Sale

to
to