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Team Hardcore (Scotland)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm in the market to buy a self inflating like jacket for small boat inshore fishing. I do most of my boat fishing in Loch Etive and Sunart so i'm never far from the shoreline!

I've had a look online and found some many different makes and models.

Whats a good one to go for?

Cheers
 

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They'll all be CE marked and all use one of three makes of firing mechanism, so you can't buy a bad one as such. Unless you're going to wear heavy weather gear, a 150N will be all you need - everyone no matter what their weight on land weighs about 5kg in the water.

What you tend to find is that the more expensive ones have more durable covers and come complete with the extras that you will otherwise need to buy separately.

What you must ensure it has are crotch straps (on a cheaper jacket you may need to buy them separately) - without it's better than nothing but not a lot. If you're going to be out in any more than 1 foot high waves, also get a spray hood (generally only come built in on the pricier jackets and you usually have to buy separately) and it should also have a light - again sometimes need to buy separatey - even if you don't boat at night, that doesn't mean someone might not be trying to find you in the dark.

I'd avoid a Hammar type (you can't successfully service them yourself) look for one that has a UML firing mechanism rather than a Halkey Roberts as the firing bobbin needs replacing only every 3 or 5 years (5 years on a Crewsaver) against the Halkey Roberts which needs replacing every year. The UML is also a lot less fiddly to replace.

If you go for a harness model, even if you don't wear a harness, you get a much stronger buckle and the harness D ring can also be a good place to attach a kill cord.

I'd also look for a velcro burst mechanism - the zip ones tend to open all the way and are then a pain to reclose when you're just opening them for the monthly check of the bottle.

One of the most important things is that it's comfortable, so perhaps best to try some at a chandler rather than ordering on line - some of the waistcoat styles such as Kru or the latest Crewsavers (expensive!) feel nice on, and they're the only type you can adjust once wearing them - not got one myself yet, but I will do when they need replacing.
 

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Team Hardcore (Scotland)
Joined
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2,629 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They'll all be CE marked and all use one of three makes of firing mechanism, so you can't buy a bad one as such. Unless you're going to wear heavy weather gear, a 150N will be all you need - everyone no matter what their weight on land weighs about 5kg in the water.

What you tend to find is that the more expensive ones have more durable covers and come complete with the extras that you will otherwise need to buy separately.

What you must ensure it has are crotch straps (on a cheaper jacket you may need to buy them separately) - without it's better than nothing but not a lot. If you're going to be out in any more than 1 foot high waves, also get a spray hood (generally only come built in on the pricier jackets and you usually have to buy separately) and it should also have a light - again sometimes need to buy separatey - even if you don't boat at night, that doesn't mean someone might not be trying to find you in the dark.

I'd avoid a Hammar type (you can't successfully service them yourself) look for one that has a UML firing mechanism rather than a Halkey Roberts as the firing bobbin needs replacing only every 3 or 5 years (5 years on a Crewsaver) against the Halkey Roberts which needs replacing every year. The UML is also a lot less fiddly to replace.

If you go for a harness model, even if you don't wear a harness, you get a much stronger buckle and the harness D ring can also be a good place to attach a kill cord.

I'd also look for a velcro burst mechanism - the zip ones tend to open all the way and are then a pain to reclose when you're just opening them for the monthly check of the bottle.

One of the most important things is that it's comfortable, so perhaps best to try some at a chandler rather than ordering on line - some of the waistcoat styles such as Kru or the latest Crewsavers (expensive!) feel nice on, and they're the only type you can adjust once wearing them - not got one myself yet, but I will do when they need replacing.
Thats exactly the information i was looking for mate.

Thanks a million!
 

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I have the seago ones myself and must admit they are great really comfortable to wear and have the crotch straps for the £48 or so they were great value for money.:clap:
 

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I wear a Crewsaver Crewfit 150N with sprayhood and twin crutch straps and I can forget it is on.
Snap!

Got three Crewsavers, I also have one Seago which is comfortable to wear and 4 Ocean Safety ones for guests which are not quite as comfortable around the neck - hence my suggestion of visiting a chandlery rather than buying on line.

The latest Crewsaver waistcoat types are even more comfortable though - just can't justify replacing any jackets at the moment.
 

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I have a few manual seago ones which are fine, but when I got the new boat this year I decided to get myself an auto Kru one. Seems fine unless you are wearing it over a t-shirt. There is a sewn in strap bit at the back of the neck which is really really irritating. Have to keep hauling half my t-shirt up under it to stop it rubbing on my neck. Will have to come up with a better solution - if I ever get out on the boat in the sunshine again!! Aside from that it seems a decent enough lifejacket. Don't think it has crotch straps though. In fact I'm sure it hasn't. Pretty sure the seago ones have a single crotch strap. I never considered using it before I read this thread to be honest... hmmm..something else to sort out now...
 
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