Buying Guides

YouBoat aims to provide you with some information on some of our items, where there is some choice, and you aren't sure which product is best for you.

  1. Lifejackets
  2. Dinghies & Tenders
  3. Liferafts

1. Lifejackets

When buying a lifejacket, you need to ask yourself 2 main questions. Firstly, what kind of boat you will be using (sailing or motor) and secondly, where you will be going (offshore, coastal or inshore).

Harness or no Harness? - If you will be on a sailing boat, then usually you will need a lifejacket with a harness. This is a loop at the front of the jacket that allows you to clip on a safety line, for moving around on deck. A harness is not usually required for a motor boat.

Buoyancy? – You will notice that different lifejackets provide various levels of buoyancy. For example, some are 150N and some are 275N, so which one do you need? Most coastal and inshore sailing will only require up to 180N. If you are going further offshore and are carrying more weight, then you may consider a 275N to hold you further out of the water. a 180N lifejacket with a sprayhood may also be suitable for offshore sailing, depending on weight.

2. Dinghies & Tenders

Our inflatable dinghies come in assorted sizes, with either an airdeck floor or a slatted floor. An airdeck floor will be more comfortable, although will make your dinghy slightly heavier. Both are easy to inflate and deflate, and will come with a storage bag. Regarding size, you need to think about how many people will be regularly using the dinghy at one time, and where you will be storing it. If there are just 2 of you, then you may want to think about a 2.1m or a 2.3m. If you want to have a bit more space for added passengers and luggage/shopping then consider a 2.6m upwards. If weight is an issue and you struggle to pull the dinghy up the beach, a helpful add on would be the dinghy wheels that screw into the transom.

3. Liferafts

Once again, the liferaft you need depends on where you intend to go, and how many people you have onboard. In general, if you are participating in recreational boating on a non-coded vessel, then the Standard Liferaft will be the best option for you, assuming you stick to coastal and short offshore voyages. All liferafts come in a valise (soft bag) or canister (hard case) option. If you intend to keep the raft somewhere on deck or rail mounted, then you will want a canister. If you will keep the raft in an easy to access locker, then you will want a valise. A valise liferaft will be slightly smaller in packed dimension and slightly lighter in weight.