Safety: Marine Batteries - what does fast vs. slow charging mean?

A good quality battery charger like the Century CC1206 will handle all of this for you. It’s a proper multi-stage charger, and begins by applying a ‘bulk charge’ to the battery to bring it up to 80% capacity. For the remaining 20%, the battery chargers will switch to an ‘absorption charge’ mode – reducing the current and topping the battery off gently to ensure it receives a full recharge. 

Once the battery is fully charged, the charger will then switch to a ‘float charge’ mode to keep the battery fully charged whilst you’re not using it.

Safety: VHF radio or cellphone? What is the difference?

We understand a cell phone is a great tool to have while out on the water, but the answer is simple: VHF radios are a form of communication that will ensure your distress messages are broadcasted, and you are more likely to get a quicker response for help.

VHF Radios give you a group protection system with surrounding boats that are able to listen in to the broadcast, which makes VHF radio the most efficient means of communication on the water. VHF will help you out, whether it’s a distress call or your engine won’t start, so make sure you always have a working VHF on your boats

Lifejackets: What should I do with my old PFDs that are no longer fit for purpose?

Cut the clips off the jacket, use a knife to cut the front and back panels to render the PFD unusable.

Dump in the rubbish for disposal.

Lifejackets: How long does a PFD last?

If you look after your PFDs and conduct annual checks on them for wear and tear they will last for many years.

Check out our blog on how to distinguish and old and out of date lifejacket here.

Lifejackets: How do I clean my PFD?

Freshwater with a mild soap is best to use when cleaning your lifejackets.

Always hang your PFDs up to dry before stowing away.

Lifejackets: When fitting my children into PFDs what should I look for?

Actually, as all our Hutchwilco PFDs exceed the minimum buoyancy requirements it’s more important to have your child correctly fitted by a trained Boating and Outdoor staff member.

For a PFD to assist a child in the water it must be sized and worn correctly.

Lifejackets: I have some older kapok Lifejackets that are in very good condition, can I still use them?

All kapok PFDs are now illegal in New Zealand and must be retired from use immediately.

Lifejackets: When do I need to change my co2 bottle in my inflatable Lifejacket?

Co2 bottles do not have an expiry date. You must replace the bottle if the jacket has been deployed.

Annual self-checks of your inflatable lifejacket is a must, plus look for key signs of any rust, pitting, or punctures on the bottle. 

If it does show any of these signs then we recommend heading into your nearest Boating and Outdoors store to purchase a replacement Co2 bottle.

Lifejackets: How long will my PFD keep me afloat?

So long as the lifejacket is fitted and worn correctly your PFD will keep you buoyant indefinitely.

(Note: In the case of your inflatable lifejacket deflating, keep the air topped up by using the red oral inflation tube)

Lifejackets: What is the difference between a Lifejacket and a buoyancy vest?

A lifejacket has a neck collar a buoyancy vest does not.

Prices may be higher due to freight (North & South island prices may be different), packaging and insurance in some areas. Accessories shown for illustration purposes only. Pictures may show optional extras. Not all stock carried at all stores but orders welcome. We reserve the right to limit quantities and correct pricing errors. Stocks available until sold out. All prices are inclusive of GST. No responsibility is taken for stock unavailability due to supplier issues. All prices subject to change without prior notice.

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