Is the Crewsaver brand a priority for your parent company Survitec?
It sure is! Crewsaver is Survitec’s leading lifejacket brand. If you’re not familiar with Survitec, it’s a global Survival Technology solutions provider, whose purpose is to protect lives. Collectively we have innovated many industry firsts including the 1st inflatable liferaft, 1st gas operated lifejacket and 1st Marine Evacuation System! Our Crewsaver brand is heavily integrated across Survitec’s portfolio. You can find Crewsaver products not only in use by recreational sailors, but also by military personnel, search and rescue teams, lifeboat crews, offshore operatives, on-board passenger ships and in many more applications!
What kind of sailor is Crewsaver’s main focus?
Whether it’s your first time in a dinghy or your 100th single-handed circumnavigation attempt, we really do have a lifejacket (or buoyancy aid) to suit everyone and every situation. However, this year we are reinventing protection with our new lifejackets arriving later this year. This lifejacket range is suitable for multiapplication but has a design focus for use by weekend cruisers, performance racers and professional offshore sailors.
Have you seen the boom in pandemic boat sales reflected in your leisure range?
We’ve had a strong couple of years and the pandemic had a part to play in this. The most significant increase in demand has been for our general watersport products such as buoyancy aids. This comes down to more people opting to stay home and taking up new water-based sports. One of the biggest sports to gain popularity is paddleboarding due to how accessible it is.
You offer lifejackets, marker buoys, liferafts, tenders and wearable garments such as drysuits. How can you compete with specialist manufacturers in each area?
When it comes to Survival Technology, every detail counts and every stitch matters. For lifejackets, this means we have honed a highly specialist knowledge in buoyancy construction and textile technology. When it comes to other inflatable products, our teams already have the dedicated skillset to master these. We also collaborate with specialists from other Survitec brands including Hansen Protection for immersion suits and RFD for liferafts.
Do you offer a lifejacket for female sailors?
We take a ‘formfit’ approach to lifejackets. After all, very few of us fall into that stereotypical male or female body shape. Meaning our lifejackets can be comfortably worn by all genders. During the development of our lifejackets, we ensure we have a diverse range of test subjects regarding size and shape. We strive for our lifejackets to be fully inclusive, so the ability for our lifejackets to mould to the shape of the wearer (opposed to the other way round), plus the inclusion of manual adjustments are essential.
What innovations has Crewsaver brought to the lifejacket in recent years?
We pride ourselves on our pioneering history. One of our noticeable innovations is the world’s first gas operated lifejacket. However, more recently we’re super proud of the EXOLOK. A locking device which goes on to a Crewsaver lifejacket’s cylinder to prevent it from coming loose. A simple, yet effective solution to a problem faced by all lifejacket brands.
Where can customers go for a Crewsaver lifejacket service?
For leisure use, we recommend an annual service at an approved service station. Simply head over to our website to find out where your closest one is.
What advice would you offer sailors in the market for safety kit?
Expect the best, prepare for the worst. No matter your circumstances, be sure to choose your lifejacket carefully. Whether you are selecting for yourself, family, crew, or colleagues, you should consider worst case scenarios and the type of lifejackets everyone should be wearing for their ultimate safety overboard.
Would you support UK boat registration and official yacht safety checks?
Absolutely, we’re all about protecting lives at sea and we would support anything which makes boating safer. We already work with several companies that offer yacht safety checks, and this is even more prevalent in the yacht racing market where there is official guidance on what products are needed to compete.
Survitec produces surgical gowns for medical procedures on commercial ships. Was the company involved in producing PPE?
Yes, Survitec manufactured PPE for frontline workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. We were selected by the UK Department for Health and Social Care as a key partner for the NHS. As a result, over 140 additional staff were hired to support this critical work. We are incredibly proud to have delivered over one million sterilised surgical isolation gowns to the NHS.
Crewsaver has been nominated for two British Yachting Awards in consecutive years. What can we look forward to in 2023 and beyond?
In addition to our new range of lifejackets (watch this space), we’re really excited to announce we are spearheading a fundamental shift in how we design and produce our products and packaging. Part of this is swapping our plastic packaging to fully biodegradable bags. We anticipate seeing an annual reduction in plastic packaging of 16,400m2. Which is the equivalent surface area of 13 Olympic-sized swimming pools!