FAQs Lifejackets

Frequently Asked Questions

The difference is the level of buoyancy or flotation provided – a 275 Newton having a higher level of buoyancy being nearly double that of 150 Newton.

A 150 Newton should only be used where light weight clothing is being worn and no heavy tools being carried. It is not recommended to the used with a flotation suit or a dry suit as it is possible that it will not self-right you in conjunction with this type of clothing.

A 275 Newton should be used where heavy weight clothing is being worn or tools are being carried, or when wearing a flotation suit of dry suit.

The key protection factors of a lifejacket are that on water immersion it will:

  • Self-right you if you fall in face-down and / or unconscious
  • Will support your head and upper torso above the water level to minimize the risk of drowning

Less than 30 grams, which is very little. The common perception is that a 275 Newton lifejacket is a lot heavier and more cumbersome than a 150 Newton, but this is not the case.

Newton buoyancy basically relates to the amount of upward force or uplift provided by a lifejacket (or flotation suit / buoyancy aid) in the water.

1 Newton = approximately 1 tenth of a kilo (100 grams)

So a 50 Newton buoyancy aid will give 5 kilos of additional uplift in the water; a 150 Newton lifejacket will give 15 kilos of additional uplift; a 275 Newton lifejacket will give 27.5 kilos additional uplift.

Not necessarily. Generally speaking larger than average people have more inherent buoyancy in their own bodies and greater lung capacity than smaller people so the additional buoyancy required to support you in the water and self-right you is sometimes less than with a smaller person.

It is strongly recommended that a 275 Newton lifejacket is worn in conjunction with a flotation suit to guarantee self-righting in the water. The inherent buoyancy in a flotation suit (or the trapped air in a dry suit) will counteract the buoyancy of a lifejacket. Consequently a 150 Newton level of lifejacket is not always guaranteed to turn you as it has less force.

Inflatable life jackets, which offer both comfort and safety but require more maintenance due to their components, here are the steps recommended for an annual check:

Step 1: Inspect the exterior of the jacket for visible damage to the protective covering and straps.

Step 2: Open the jacket and inspect the bladder, CO2 cylinder, trigger mechanism, and inflation mouthpiece for any visible damage.

Step 3: Weigh the CO2 cylinder to ensure it has the correct weight, as indicated by engravings on the cylinder.

Step 4: Check the expiration date of the cellulose tablet. These tablets typically have a lifespan of up to 3 years, so they should be replaced every other year to ensure the jacket functions properly.

Step 5: Inflate the bladder and let it sit overnight.

Step 6: If the bladder doesn’t hold air, contact MariTeam for assistance.

Step 7: Record the date of the check in the service log located inside the jacket.

Step 8: Clean the protective covering of the jacket if necessary.

Step 9: Ensure the CO2 cylinder is securely screwed into the trigger mechanism and pack the jacket according to the instructions in the user manual, making sure the trigger cord is outside the protective covering for easy access.

Additionally, it’s wise to keep spare parts for life jackets on hand, including CO2 cylinders and cellulose tablets, to replace worn or expired components promptly. Regular maintenance and checks ensure that life jackets function properly when needed, providing essential safety on the water.

The life / replacement period on the operating parts is as follows:

  • SOLAS light: 5 years
  • CO2 gas cylinder: 5 years
  • United Moulders Firing Cartridge: 3 years
  • Halkey Roberts Cellulose Bobbin: 2 years
  • Hammar inflation mechanism: 5 years

NB. This is assuring there is no interim damage or corrosion to these parts within this period. If there is, then they should be replaced at this point.

This depends on the nature and frequency of use (if being used in a leisure environment on an occasional basis and providing it is well looked after and serviced regularly then it may well last for tens of years.

If being used in a heavy duty commercial environment on a regular basis then it may only last 1 – 2 years.

It is strongly advised that it should be. Otherwise you fall into the water, the tendency will be for the lifejacket to come up over your head with the force of inflation and the impact of the water. Then your lifejacket will not be giving you the correct protection and / or supporting your head out of the water.