Lifejackets and Buoyancy Aids



I would like to start by thanking the RNLI for their help in compiling parts of this page. I thoroughly recommend that you visit their site on boat safety. Not only should you be thinking about your own safety, you should also bear in mind that in many places, lifejackets are part of the requirements of being launched.

Lock keepers can refuse access to tidal rivers if you do not have basic safety gear. More importantly - you need to keep yourself and your family safe.

A Guide to Buying a Suitable Life Jacket or Buoyancy Aid


Lifejacket buoyancy is measured in Newtons . 10 Newtons is worth one kilo of flotation. To ensure quality and accuracy all lifejackets must carry the CE or ISO mark. Below is a guide to buoyancy ratings and what they are intended for.

Buoyancy Aid <50N>

This personal flotation device IS classed as a buoyancy aid and NOT a life jacket. These PFDs have minimal bulk and are most suited to strong swimmers who are close to the bank or the shore. They are helpful but cannot be expected to perform so well in rough water. They do not have the flotation to protect a person who is unable to take care of themselves.

Lifejacket <100N>

Meant for people who may have to wait in reasonably calm and sheltered water for rescue. The 100N may not have the buoyancy to help an individual who cannot help themselves and may not have sufficient flotation to turn an unconscious individual onto their back if they are wearing heavy clothing.

Lifejacket <150N>

This is intended for offshore or rough weather. It should be capable of turning an unconscious individual onto their backs and keep them there without active assistance from the wearer.

Lifejacket <275N>

Bad boy this one. Designed for serious offshore cruising, fishing and commercial use. Choosing the right lifejacket is a personal choice. If you do not want a bulky lifejacket you could consider the manual and automatically inflating ones. As usual you will find that they are not the cheapest, but they can be worn at all times aboard without the bulk of many non inflatable life vests.

Check out this International eBAY link for bargain priced new and used life jackets and buoyancy aids

USA Link to For Life Jackets and Buoyancy Aids

A Really Good Selection of Life jackets and Buoyancy Aids From