Besides getting us out to some great fishing spots, it enabled us to explore some really remote and pristine waterways like the remote corners of Lake Argyle and the estuaries around Cobourg Peninsula.
Having our young daughters on board there was no question that they had their life jackets on 100% of the time - but for Jen and I, we weren't so diligent, and we should have been!
It's not that we were worried about how we looked, it was more that the foam block type lifejackets or sports type ones like our girls have are bulky and get in the way of driving the boat, fishing and generally relaxing. So we stored them under the seats where they were no real use to anyone!
A better solution is a slimline, lightweight self or manually inflating life jacket that you can leave on all day without it getting uncomfortable or getting in the way.
This is essential if you're on the boat by yourself as it only takes a stray wave and a momentary loss of balance and you're in the water watching your boat and lifejacket disappear towards the horizon.
Self Inflating Life Jackets
If you fall in, a self inflating jacket will automatically inflate so you don't drown! Especially valuable if you hit your head on the side of the boat and knock yourself out on the way over the side. Sounds good to me. (Note - It can be used in 'manual mode' as well)
Manual Inflating Life Jackets
A manual inflating jacket is a more affordable option. It's still lightweight and slimline and is inflated by pulling a rip cord
Manual Inflating Life Jacket
Self Inflating Life Jacket
Lake Argyle is 20+ times bigger than Sydney Harbour and at any moment in time there could be less than 10 boats on the entire lake - the chances of someone finding me if I'd fallen in would have been virtually non existent.
So it's a no brainer really - we're taking our tinny with us on holidays after Christmas this year and I'll be adding a few of these self inflating life jackets to our kit.