Gill buoyancy aids are specifically designed to facilitate flotation when out on the water, without sacrificing mobility. Featuring a snug fit and neoprene and foam elements for maximum freedom of movement, Gill buoyancy aids are ideal for all kinds of sailing.
Gill buoyancy aids are specifically designed to aid floatation across a range of watersports. From the Compressor Vest to Team Buoyancy Aids, each has a snug fit and uses neoprene and foam for maximum freedom of movement. This guide will help you choose the right buoyancy aid for your needs.
WHAT IS A BUOYANCY AID?
A buoyancy aid is a safety device, not necessarily a life saving device.
Typically buoyancy aids that are used for sailing are designed for close to shore or close to a rescue craft. Its an aid to help you on the water and it will help keep you afloat. There are different classes of the buoyancy aid which in some circumstances will help keep you afloat, tilt your head back and keep your head out of the water.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LIFE JACKET AND A BUOYANCY AID?
Life jackets are self-inflating devices. They are normally used for yacht sailing, coastal and more offshore conditions. These are activated automatically once they have touched water but you can self-activate them as a backup. Typically they have a much higher buoyancy rating then a PFD or buoyancy aid and are definitely to be used in more extreme conditions. They are designed to keep you head tipped back and keep you head out the water so if you are unconscious, it would definitely class itself as a life saving device.
A buoyancy aid has inherent buoyancy in the form of its foam panels. This will assist and aid you to help keep you afloat but does require you to do some work as well like threading water.
WHO SHOULD WEAR A BUOYANCY AID?
In really simple terms, anyone on or even near the water should be wearing a buoyancy aid. Its the number one thing people should consider when they are afloat is if they have their buoyancy on. Its no good having it nearby or knowing where it is, you never know when you might need it. Wearing it and having it correctly fitted is really important.
WHAT TYPE OF BUOYANCY AID SHOULD I GO FOR?
Once you have found a buoyancy aid that fits you correctly, Gill offer a Front Zip and Side Zip styles. Choosing the style of a buoyancy aid is purely down to personal preference. The benefit of the Side Zip Buoyancy Aid is that you have a larger front pocket, which is useful if you want to store a Marine Tool, chocolate bar or anything else. The Front Zip Buoyancy Aid is really easy to fit and wear, you would wear one of these like you would a jacket.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT SIZE BUOYANCY AID TO GO FOR?
Getting the right fitting buoyancy aid is really, really important. An incorrectly fitted buoyancy aid is almost as bad as not having one on at all! The first measurement you should go for is your chest size. If you know what size chest you are, this will determine the size buoyancy aid you go for. Also consider what clothing youll be wearing under your buoyancy aid. Are you going to be wearing this in colder conditions where youll be wearing a thicker wetsuit? You may have extra waterproof layers on. What youre looking for is a comfortably snug fit.