Deckware FAQs

Deckware FAQs

My Deckvest 5D and Deckvest LITE label states 150N buoyancy, yet the packaging states 170N?

The Deckvest 5D and LITE are tested to a standard of 150N - the minimum buoyancy of the category - and we are required state this on the label. The Deckvest 5D and Deckvest LITE have an actual buoyancy of 170N. 

The Deckvest 5D is also available in 275N buoyancy for certain applications.

Should I buy a 170N or a  275N Deckvest?

170N is the accepted standard for recreational sailing. It is a comfortable, wearable size that is not too intrusive and it provides significant buoyancy when in the water. The 275N provides significantly more buoyancy so is suitable for larger people and situations where additional weight might be carried, i.e. tools, steel toecap boots, etc.  Remember additional buoyancy and size is not always an advantage as it is heavier to wear and harder to use in the water, i.e. if entering a liferaft, etc.

What size Deckvest 5D should I buy, 1, 2 or 3?

The Deckvest 5D is available in 3 sizes. See here for size guides.

The size 2 Deckvest will fit the majority of customers – around 85 % of our Deckvest sales are a Size 2.

The Deckvest LITE is available in one size.

The Deckvest CENTO is one size, specifically for junior users aged 8 to 15 years old weighing from 20-50kg. 

What is the difference between Deckvest 5D and LITE?

The Deckvest 5D is a high specification lifejacket with integrated deck harness. It comes fitted as standard with these features.

The Deckvest LITE is a ultra lightweight lifejacket which may be used for a wide variety of applications, from inshore sailing, RIB, powerboat, fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding and more. You may add to the LITE many additional features depending on application; including Sprayhood, Pylon™ lifejacket light, Lume-On™ bladder illumination lights. You can also convert this product easily to manual only operation if required. 

Does the the Deckvest LITE have a integrated deck harness?

The Deckvest LITE has no integrated deck harness.

For an offshore lifejacket with harness see the Deckvest 5D. For a deck harness only, see Deck-Pro.

How  do you to fit the thigh straps or order replacements

There are fitting videos in the video section of the site and replacements can be ordered through the store.

Choosing between the Hammar Hydrostatic or UML Pro Sensor inflation system

Both inflation systems are very effective but are suitable for different situations. In general, the Hammar system is better suited to very wet conditions as it relies on water pressure to activate.

The UML system is easier to service and parts are more readily available around the world. They are also very resistant to wet conditions - check out the “How Water Sensitive is a Deckvest Pro Sensor 170N Lifejacket?" video.

For more inflation system information see Lifejacket Inflation Systems Explained

Can I convert my UML Pro Sensor inflation system to Hammar Hydrostatic inflation and vice versa?

No. Unfortunately you cannot do this because they are very different units.

See here for more information on Inflation Systems.

Which re-arming kit do I need, and how do I fit it?

The product pages specify the part number of the re-arming kit that you will need for you Deckvest lifejacket. The UML re-arming kit fits both the Deckvest Pro Sensor and Deckvest LITE lifejackets. Instructions for fitting can be found on the product packaging and in the Spinlock videos.

I find my Deckvest is uncomfortable, have I fitted it correctly?

Correctly fitting and adjusting your Deckvest is key to its comfort. The Spinlock range of lifejackets are designed to be incredibly comfortable and lightweight so they can be worn for extended periods of time. 

Ensure both waist and back adjustment have been used (if applicable). Typically, Deckvest lifejacket should sit higher up the body, the front almost in line with the sternum, and the top should shape and fit around the shoulder, not sitting on the neck. Please see the Spinlock videos to ensure you have it correctly fitted.

The size guide will also help you check you have the correct size product.

 Servicing:  Where, How, When?

The Deckvest is designed to be easily check and maintained by yourself. Follow the videos online for basic and more detailed checks. 

We recommend that you check your Deckvest at least once a season and before any long passages.  If you would rather a professional looked over it then there is a list of approved Deckvest service centres here.

Can the bladder be repaired or replaced?

We do not recommend that a punctured bladder is repaired. However, if your Deckvest has the “button in” attachment on the lifejacket then we can supply a replacement bladder for you to fit. 

I’ve broken my zip, can it be fixed?

The zips on the Deckvest are plastic to ensure they do not corrode. However, they can break if they are snagged or forced. It is possible to replace the slides. Please contact us for spares and instructions.

The elastics on my Mast Pro Harness have worn out.

Non-skid decks and salt water can take a toll on elastics. Replacement leg strap elastics are available here.

Can I fly with my Deckvest?

Although it is often raised as an issue at check in, International IATA regulations state that you can fly with two lifejackets and two re-arming kits as long as they are declared at check in. See Flying with your Deckvest for more information and to download our document to show your airline.

When does the Warranty period start and what is covered.

The 5 year (if registered with TLS) warranty period starts from when you purchase the Deckvest. See Warranty for more details.

Are the Deckvest 5D, LITE, CENTO approved to SOLAS?

No – SOLAS is a commercial standard for abandonment lifejackets. The Deckvest is tested to the International ISO12402 standard that covers wearable lifejackets. Spinlock have launched a Deckvest SOLAS 275 Twin Chamber lifejacket which is designed for commercial use.

Manufacturing Dates

There are several dates printed on the Deckvest. The date on the inside label shows which quarter of which year the lifejacket was completed. Harnesses are often made in large batches earlier whilst firing caps are added at a later date than this to ensure that they reach the stores with the maximum lifetime on them.

Lifejacket vs Buoyancy Aid

WING & FOIL buoyancy aids (also known as PFDs - Personal Flotation Devices) assist with buoyancy, you must be a competent swimmer as they only aid you in the water. Lifejackets are tested to a standard which requires that the lifejacket turns an unconscious casualty over to allow them to breathe.