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Do you check your lifejackets?

  • #1
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,074 mod Steve

    So, I got this email today, thought I'd share it as it is common sense.

    Also like to know how many of you regurlarly check.

    (Note, the email is specific to the type I use for offshore)
    2020 Lifejacket Pre-Season Advice
    Spinlock advise checking your Deckvest Lifejacket annually at a minimum, even if you feel your Deckvest has had little use. For lifejackets used more frequently checks every 3 months are advised. These checks can be made yourself at home following our instructions. Alternatively if you are unsure we have accredited service centres globally who can service your Deckvest.

    Key points to check:

    OUTER FABRICS – Rinse or wipe with freshwater and check for any cuts or tears, signs of abrasion or potential heat and chemical damage. Do not use any harsh chemicals to clean the jacket as this may damage the materials. Assess all stitching areas for damage or tearing along the seam. The outer fabric can be subject to more stress than you may consider, even during storage.

    BLADDER – Inflate your lifejacket using the Oral inflation tube. Leave the jacket for 24 hours in a dry controlled environment. Any decrease in pressure during this time may indicate it is unsafe. Check the oral inflation tube for leakage whilst the bladder is still inflated by placing the tube underwater and checking for bubbles indicating loss of air. If any signs of leaking are discovered take your lifejacket to your nearest service centre for repair.

    COMPONENTS - Check over all components for signs of damage and wear.

    PYLON LIGHT - Ensure the Pylon light is still functioning by holding the test button. If there is any sign of corrosion at the terminals this will indicate damp wet conditions may have activated the light inside the cover, running down the battery.

    LUME-ON LIGHTS - Test your Lume-On lights by applying water to the terminals, again if corrosion is present damp conditions are likely to have run down the battery. If the unit is broken remove the old ones and replace with new.

    SPRAYHOOD - Ensure the sprayhood is still attached and all stitching are buckles are secure, check there is no degradation to the fabrics. If significant damage is found this can be replaced by yourself.

    FIRING UNIT - Ensure all firing head indicators are showing 'Green' and there is no corrosion. If indicators are 'Red' the firing cap, cylinder or both will need replacing. Check the Expiry Date on the firing cap, if this has expired replace immediately. Ensure the firing head and CO2 Cylinder are screwed tightly into place.

    CYLINDER - Ensure there is no corrosion on the cylinder and around the join to the firing unit. Make sure the cylinder is screwed in hand tight.


  • I check mine, not every year which I should, but every couple of years - thanks for the reminder!

    Doing a check a few years ago I discovered a couple of pin hole leaks in the bladder of a jacket :eek:, from the folds inside the outer cover - that concentrated the mind wonderfully, I can tell you!

  • Check every year, have a reminder in the phone.

    Youd be surprised doing the inflation test, I've an older jacket that looks more worn than the others but it always holds excellent pressure the next day.

  • Every year myself as well. Although annoyingly the only jacket I've had to bin was because the zip disintegrated when opening it up to check the bladder :rolleyes:

  • Steve wrote: »
    Also like to know how many of you regurlarly check.

    I don't!!! But, I will this season!

  • I check mine every time I put it on, and routinely check the components, bladder and service date.

    Plus, if you are sending yours away to be serviced be sure to check that the gas bottle has been screwed in tight, because if it comes back to you in the post the service people will leave them unscrewed to prevent them going off in the post if they encounter damp conditions.

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  • Been quite some time since there was a family boat that we actually used*, but we always did a detailed check at the start of the season. Generally only had jackets on kids (which I was one of for a lot of this) when doing calmer water stuff which I would now see as a bad idea. Also, if you've ever read Catch-22 you suddenly decide to check stuff more often!

    *there is still a quite nice hand-built punt with an offboard mount back home, but it probably hasn't seen water since about 2003.

  • Kenny was actually my instructor when I did my day skipper on the day we did the man overboard drills co-incidentally enough. Good thing to practice.

    I remember a while ago when the guys were giving those talks thinking I'd like to attend - It didn't suit me, so it's great they recorded it. I watched it this evening.

    Interesting lecture alright.