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Choosing The Right Lifejacket - Expert Advice from O'Sullivan's Marine

12th May 2020
Choosing The Right Lifejacket - Expert Advice from O'Sullivan's Marine

O’Sullivan’s Marine stock a large selection of life jackets and buoyancy aids for adults, children and infants available from some of the leading brands. We have all types, from inflatable lifejackets in automatic and manual versions with or without an integrated safety harness, foam life jackets, SOLAS folding commercial lifejackets to 50N foam and neoprene buoyancy aids. But which is the right life jacket to suit your type of activity and experience?

Lifejackets and Buoyancy Aids are tested and rated to specific European Standards and split into CE categories. These are the universal criteria that define each product and the environment they are suitable for. Life jackets and buoyancy aids are measured in pounds or Newtons.


lalizas fit and float bouyancy aid osmarineThe Lalizas fit and float buoyancy aid

50N Buoyancy Aids – ISO 12402-5

Designed mainly for active surface watersports for example dinghy sailing, kayaking, kite surfing, in sheltered water where help is close at hand. These are suitable for competent swimmers and provide support to conscious people. We have some of the best value foam buoyancy aids on the market, Fit & Float, Pro Race, Performance buoyancy aids in a range of sizes, a range of 50N neoprene buoyancy aids. We even have your pets covered with Pet Retriever Buoyancy aids.


100 Newtons of buoyancy is the standard minimum for Lifejackets. It is sufficient to keep most people afloat with their mouth comfortably above the water For offshore and coastal sailing, where sea conditions can be severe and rescue can take longer 150 Newtons is the recommendation.

foam lifejacket osullivans marine ireland 767The Lalizas foam lifejacket

100N – 150N Foam Lifejackets – ISO 12402-4

Designed for dinghy sailing, sportsboats, powerboats (Including RIBs) for inshore and coastal waters. These are suitable for swimmers and non-swimmers and give reasonable assurance of safety from drowning in relatively calm water. Our Lalizas range of 100 and 150N foam lifejackets have a large flotation collar which is designed to turn the user face up and support the head. Foam lifejackets for babies, infants, children and adults available.

marinepool lifejacket ireland osmarineMarinepool lifejacket

150N – 180N Inflatable Lifejacket – ISO 12402-3

spinlock deckvest ireland osmarineThe Spinlock deckvest

Designed for yachting, sports boats, powerboats (Including RIBs) for use in all but the most severe conditions. These are suitable for swimmers and non-swimmers. Available in automatic or manual.

Automatic styles inflate when wet or submerged in water. Automatic inflation can be important in life-saving if an accident occurred leaving you in the water, or if you are unconscious in the water.

Manual inflation requires jerking an inflation tab or handle attached to the CO2 cartridge. If you are in a situation where you want to control whether or not the vest inflates, and expect to be conscious, manual inflatables may be an option for you.

Both manual and automatic life jackets are available with or without a safety harness. If you ever anticipate sailing offshore, at night or in seas where you want to use a tether to attach yourself to a jackline or pad eye, even just once, purchase an inflatable life jacket with a built-in harness and tether attachment point.

O’Sullivan’s Marine offer a range of inflatable life jackets from some of the leading brands: Marinepool, Maindeck, Waveline, Spinlock, Plastimo and Lalizas.

Should you need any assistance, our knowledgeable sales team will only be too glad to help with your lifejacket selection, to ensure you get the right life jacket for your needs and are safe on the water.

LIFE JACKET SERVICING – How often should lifejackets be serviced?

Manufacturers, safety bodies and the RNLI universally recommend the importance of regular lifejacket servicing. Inflatable life jackets, for normal personal use, should be serviced every 2 years. Where life jackets are used very regularly or for professional or commercial use, this should be carried out every year. Here at O’Sullivan’s Marine, our qualified staff can service and certify our life jacket brands.

As well as a comprehensive range of life jackets and buoyancy aids, O’Sullivan’s Marine also supply life jacket spares & accessories, from SOLAS approved lifejacket lights, CO2 recharge cylinders and UML cartridges, replacement salt tablets, sprayhoods, to name a few.

Visit our website to browse our full range of life jackets, lifebuoys and other marine safety equipment, and feel free to contact us for advice, or to request a quotation for products that comply with code of practice safety requirements for grant purposes.

Published in O'Sullivan's Marine
Brian O'Sullivan

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Brian O'Sullivan

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Brian O'Sullivan is Managing Director of O'Sullivan's Marine

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