On-board safety must be regularly maintained to ensure effective protection. But as a study by the Association for Sea Rescue Equipment has determined, many boaters don't understand how to properly maintain their life jackets. Most boaters consider a visual inspection of the life jacket, checking the trigger element and the buoyancy gas cartridges, maybe unfolding the floating part of the life jacket and cleaning the equipment as "maintenance." However this is by no means enough, because these activities are defined only as "self-maintenance". "These visual inspections should be carried out but have nothing to do with professional maintenance," said Ralf-Thomas Rapp of the Association for Sea Rescue Equipment (FSR).
Attention: It is very important that you have your life jacket serviced by a professional, licensed service station. A professional service includes a 16-hour leak test of the inflated jacket, the activation of the automatic trigger mechanism in water, a check of the manual release, the replacement of the seals, checks of the buoyancy gas cartridge or further checks of the seams and fittings. For this work, original spare parts and specialized tools such as torque wrenches are necessary as well as special skills which are taught to service station employees by the manufacturer in seminars. Only service stations whose technicians have completed this seminar are authorized by the manufacturer.
Tips for sailors: Professionally maintained life jacket will receive a confirmation test badge, similar to the TÜV (MOT) logo on your car.
If you have questions about maintaining your life jacket, need a new life jacket or other safety equipment and sailing gear products, please browse through our boatoon.com Online-Shop or contact our professional advisors.