At last someone has produced a sensible Bouyancy Aid. The bulky, high on the chest style, with straps and pockets everywhere, produced over the past years, has been the scourge of the dinghy sailor. Gill have looked anew at the problem and seem to have a winner.
Capsizing, being thrown out of the boat and then having to heave yourself onto the slippery plate, some way above the water or up over the side, has been the stuff of nightmares, especially for singlehanders - You can tell I speak from experience!
Gill have looked at the problem and have what they call the Compressor Vest at the London Boatshow. The vest was awarded a Special Mention at the recent METS DAME Awards.
The new bouyancy aid is designed to be extremely low profile around the wearer minimising bulk and reducing windage - improving comfort and ensuring ease of movement. A snug fit also ensures the vest is held securely to the body when in the water so that it provides the maximum amount of buoyancy.
To prevent snagging, there are no loose loops or straps. Instead, the waist belt is concealed inside the back of the vest, fastening across the front to a snap-shut buckle on the left side.
Really it's like a modern version of those old-time, zip up the front, tubular bouyancy jackets, that worked fine with a tight Tee-shirt over them.
So for the dinghy or dayboat sailor you can finally capsize and recover again with style - without that Mae West bulge destroying the look of your designer wetsuit - now if only I could go as fast as Ben as well . . . .
Approved as a 50 Newton buoyancy aid to the ISO EN12402/5 standard, the low-profile, PFD (personal flotation device) is made from 3mm neoprene with a Lycra lining. Each foam section is ergonomically shaped and held firmly in place within the vest lining to ensure a close, comfortable and effective fit that moves with the body say the company.
It costs £50.00 including VAT and is available in various sizes and in this seasons hot colours, black and grey.