gas recharge for lifejackets

 Hi guys, tried the search engine but maybe not using correct terminology?

Does anyone know if you can and where you can recharge your inflatable life jackets?

I have 1 auto inflate and 1 manual which are cpl years old now.

I think theyre the marlin brand.

Not sure how to test them, im assuming you weight the soda stream cartridges???

Any help or links to regulatory info, service details on them would be appreciated.


Bradmac73's picture

Posts: 180

Date Joined: 22/03/17


Tue, 2024-05-07 14:21


You can get the recharge kits at BCF or Annaconda among other places for around the $20 mark. Pretty easy swap over, screw one off, screw the other on. Google will show you how if you have any issues.  

The Saint's picture

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Date Joined: 30/01/13

Straith, servicing your own

Tue, 2024-05-07 16:44

Straith, servicing your own life jackets is pretty straight forward and also legal provided they are not for commercial use.

Open out the jacket and thoroughtly inspect for any damage or deterioration.

If all good, unscrew the gas cylinder and ensure it is undamaged and free from rust.

There is a weight stamped on the cylinder. Weigh on a set of digital kitchen scales, cylinder should be within +/- 2 grams of stamped weight.

If all good, replace the cylinder and refold the jacket. I make a point of checking mine annually.

If you do need a replacement gas cylinder most of the boat shops sell them as does BCF.

I haven't done the auto inflate types, but I understand it is just a matter of also checking that the auto mechanism is all in order.

Hope that helps.



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Date Joined: 18/01/12

 Good advice, but just

Tue, 2024-05-07 19:36

 Good advice, but just curious-why bother to weigh the cartridge if you replace it anyway?


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The older you get the more you realize that no one has a f++king clue what they're doing.

Everyone's just winging it.


The Saint's picture

Posts: 462

Date Joined: 30/01/13

 Sorry, I didn't really make

Tue, 2024-05-07 21:00

 Sorry, I didn't really make that clear.

If the cylinder weight is in spec, then screw that same cylinder back onto the jacket. No need to replace with new if cylinder is OK.

straith's picture

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 awesome guys thankyou!!

Wed, 2024-05-08 02:40

 awesome guys thankyou!!

Swompa's picture

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Date Joined: 14/10/12

As plenty have said, its easy

Wed, 2024-05-08 12:26

As plenty have said, its easy to screw out the old and screw in the new,just make sure the firing pin is in place.

It may also be worth putting one on and pulling the pin to see what they're like when inflated if you havent worn one inflated before just to see how tight you need to have all the straps...

straith's picture

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Date Joined: 25/11/13

 great advice Swompa!I was

Wed, 2024-05-08 18:18

 great advice Swompa!

I was gunna ask if its worth just replacing the old cartridge every year and active the old one just to be sure its still all working??


Swompa's picture

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Date Joined: 14/10/12

 Not sure if every year is

Thu, 2024-05-09 12:48

 Not sure if every year is worth it but at least wearing one when it inflates is encouragement enough to never get into a spot where you need to wear one. 

Just an annual visual check should be enough followed by replacement if there is any signs of corrosion/dampness. 

straith's picture

Posts: 418

Date Joined: 25/11/13

 also can you get done for an

Wed, 2024-05-08 18:21

 also can you get done for an out of date cartridge ??


Posts: 289

Date Joined: 03/08/19

Maybe ask the manufacturer

Thu, 2024-05-09 11:21

 Read online advice from various marine departments here and overseas that the lifespan of a jacket in normal condition, with regular servicing, would be around 10 years. That could vary depending on usage and storage. Not sure if that 10 years is a legal thing though, but maybe more a guideline unless the manufacturer specifies a time, in which case it would likely be reagrded as no longer fit for purpose after that. I service mine at home annually and at 7 years in an open center console they look a bit faded but otherwise all good. Have had one with a slightly corroded CO2 cylinder, which I replaced. Some manufacturers specify a replacement timeframe on the CO2 cyclinder (and the Solas light if fitted) at 5 years. So you might want to check with the manufacturer of your jackets if they say anything specific about lifespan of the jacket or any replacement parts.

straith's picture

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Date Joined: 25/11/13

 Ok cheers, I will have a

Fri, 2024-05-10 08:39

 Ok cheers, I will have a close look, tbh im happy to pay for a new cartridge yearly for peace of mind.

Wasnt really thinking about it until other day when i went out to the fads on a sloppy day and was wearing mine as usual but thought... hmmm how would i know this thing will work? long way out to be treading water for any length of time.


davewillo's picture

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Date Joined: 08/09/16

 I'm going to add this to my

Fri, 2024-05-10 11:03

 I'm going to add this to my winter maintenance schedule. I've done it ad hoc before but pays to put this in the same category as flares, fire extinguisher etc.


 PGFC member and lure tragic