Life Jackets… A Crucial Safety Device That Could Save YOUR Life!

by Ian Kuhl on May 4, 2016

in Canoes | Kayaks, Chandlery, Featured, Fishing Adventures, Franklin Marine, Marine Safety

Life jackets are an essential piece of safety gear that are designed to keep you afloat should you (or your child) get knocked overboard.

Adult lifejackets are rated in floatation units called Newtons (N) – with 150N being the mandated floatation for an adult lifejacket intended for use in coastal waters.
Children’s lifejackets are rated according to their weight (i.e. 15 – 25 kg).

Over time, lifejackets deteriorate – most last about 10 years before they need to be replaced.

The two types of life jackets are Foam (standard) and Yokes (inflatable).

Yoke - Inflatable Life Jacket

Yoke – Inflatable Life Jacket

Foam Life Jacket

Foam Life Jacket







Foam jackets are a standard life jacket that is filled with foam and requires little to no maintenance over long periods. This is the main advantage, but they are bulky and can be a hassle to wear over some clothing, such as a large jacket.

Yokes are inflatable life jackets that are a lot smaller and lighter to wear. They contain a compressed gas bottle, which when released fills the bladder with air – which gives the jacket its buoyancy.

Yokes can be worn over a big jacket, and they are out of the way until it is needed.

Inflatable jackets are available in both manual and automatic flavors – with both having a manual pull string to use in the unlikely case that the automatic release doesn’t work.
You can also inflate a yoke by blowing it up like a balloon to save having to buy a replacement bottle.
Yokes intended for offshore use have harness points.
They are basically one size fits all – with the only variation in sizing being long or short, which is equivalent to small and large.

There are two different types of automatic lifejackets, one being the standard, which inflates as soon as it gets wet, and the other; Hammar, which does not inflate until it has 150mm of water pressure on top of it.

Hammar - Inflatable Life Jacket

Hammar – Inflatable Life Jacket

There are variations of yokes that are built into wet weather jackets. These are known as ‘Stormies’. Like a standard yoke, they come in both manual and automatic flavors, can be blown up by hand (or mouth) and could save your life.
Stormies are sold in standard clothing size (S, M, L, XL, etc.).

Stormy - Inflatable Lifejacket in a Wet Weather Jacket

Stormy – Inflatable Lifejacket in a Wet Weather Jacket

So – out of the thousands of different types, brand and sizes of lifejackets, which one do you need?
It depends on the individual, the environment and the budget – of course!
We invite you to our shop in Franklin where we will help you find the best fitting life jacket for you or your kids.
We suggest bringing the person who will be wearing the jacket so that we can find the perfect fit.

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