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Expert Advice

sailing life jacket

Guide to Choosing a Foam Filled Sailing Life Jacket

What is a sailing life jacket? A sailing life jacket is one you will wear when actively sailing.  Forget about the big orange offshore vests and the cheap ones sold by the half dozen in a plastic zipper storage bag.  Neither of these are designed to be worn consistently each time you go out sailing.  What we are talking about is a foam filled vest that is comfortable and happily worn every time you go sailing.  In these vests you […]

Gill Life Jacket

Understanding the Different Types of Life Jackets

No matter where you are sailing in the world it is important to understand what type of life jackets or PFDs (Personal Flotation Device) you have on board and available to you.  There are four common standards that are found in life jackets (or vests) around the world which we will discuss.  Other standards exist, but they are generally derived from one or more of the following: US Standards – USCG Approved International Standards – ISO European Standards – CE […]

How to Choose Life Jackets for Kids & Infants

We will walk you through essential sizing and fitting tips to get the best USCG approved life jackets for kids of all sizes while explaining the 2 common PFD (personal flotation device) types for kids. Sizing Life Jackets for Kids Fit is important in keeping a child’s head above water, so do not get a too-big life jacket thinking he or she will grow into it. Sizing for a youngster depends on his or her weight (not chest size, as it does with […]

What is a Sailing Buoyancy Aid

What is a sailing buoyancy aid and is it right for you? Sailing buoyancy aids are becoming increasingly popular in the United States for three simple reasons: They are smaller and more compact than traditional life jackets. They contain less foam and are cut to afford more freedom of movement making them comfortable and easy to move around a boat in (especially when racing). Minimalist designs have limited pockets, straps, buckles and attachments giving them a ‘clean’ exterior that is less likely to […]

Guide to Choosing an Inflatable PFD | Expert Advice

Why choose an inflatable life jacket? Traditional life jackets use inherently buoyant materials, such as foam (or Kapok), to keep the wearer afloat. Inflatable life jackets, as their name indicates, use inflatable bladders to provide buoyancy. Inflatable life jackets are less bulky than traditional life jackets and more comfortable to wear. When not inflated, the bladder is compact and lightweight. Inflatables come in a variety of performance ratings. Many are USCG approved while some carry European certifications instead. The specific USCG rating of life jacket […]

how to choose sailing gloves

Guide to Choosing Sailing Gloves | Expert Advice

What are Sailing Gloves & Why Should You Wear Them Sailing gloves help protect your hands from abrasion and blisters that often occur when handling lines. Different gloves offer various levels of additional grip, padding, and protection. When choosing gloves, like any sailing gear, it’s important to consider the type of sailing you do and your position on the boat. There are two standard glove styles: ‘fingerless’ or ‘short fingered’ and ‘three-fingered’ or ‘long-fingered.’ The more popular of the two, […]

How to Install Stand Up Springs & Boots on a Block | Expert Advice

What are Stand Up Springs & Boots? Common sailboat block accessories, stand up springs and boots are meant to keep a block upright. Metal springs come tapered or straight in various sizes to fit a range of blocks. Stand up boots made of PVC are offered in large and small sizes and black or gray. After installation when the line running through the block is slack, the block will not collapse on its attachment point (deck of the boat, traveler car, etc…). Why […]

How to Choose and Use a Trigger Sailboat Shackle | Expert Advice

Trigger release shackles come in various sizes and configurations that are ideal for jib or spinnaker halyards, spinnaker sheets and guys, and tack lines; or jobs where you would want to release the shackle under load.  More efficient than the snap shackle, the trigger shackle has a streamlined design with no external parts to catch, so they run smoothly. The release mechanism, the trigger, is located inside the housing of the shackle making it very unlikely that it will catch […]