CREWSAVER DESIGNER, BETH GILL ON THE POPULAR PETFLOAT Find out how Beth’s background and experience bought her to Crewsaver and her involvement in developing the popular Petfloat About Beth… Beth started off by working as a machinist for a clothing manufacturer, which inspired her to complete a master’s degree in performance sportswear. As part of her degree Beth took up a work experience opportunity at Crewsaver, during this time Beth took the lead role on the redesign of the Petfloat buoyancy aid and completed her dissertation on the innovative developments. On completion of her dissertation Beth then joined Crewsaver as a full time employee. When was Crewsaver founded and how has it evolved since? How would you describe the philosophy behind the brand? Crewsaver are experts in the design and manufacture of personal flotation devices for marine use, whether it be for adults, children or even your beloved four legged friend, we will have a lifejacket or buoyancy aid to suit. Crewsaver was founded in 1957 and our brand ethos is ‘safer by design’ which is something that we are passionate about and take to heart. Our design team is always looking to push the boundaries in design to offer the safest products on the market, whilst delivering the ultimate in comfort. This ensures the user wears their lifejacket or buoyancy aid happily for long periods of time. After all, a lifejacket or buoyancy aid is only going to work if worn! What is the story behind the Petfloat? What inspired its design? Here at Crewsaver we want to ensure your loved ones don’t miss out on a day around (and in!) the water with you. Humans shouldn’t be the only species that are kept safe whilst on the water. From the soft foam construction to the development of the ergonomic shape, a lot of the key inspirations for the Crewsaver Petfloat were drawn from the Crewsaver (and Crewsaver’s paddling brand, Yak) buoyancy aid range that I am also heavily involved in designing. Where is this Petfloat designed? What is it made of? The Petfloat is fully designed at Crewsaver HQ in Hampshire, UK the same as all Crewsaver products. The core component of the Petfloat is the super soft foam which ensures that it moulds to the pet’s body and remains comfortable to wear throughout the day. What are the strengths of this Petfloat that truly set it apart? As with all of our products, we have put a lot of thought into the design of the product. We wanted to design something that was as safe as possible whilst ensuring superior comfort. The soft closed-cell foam provides your pet with their own buoyancy aid which works to reduce fatigue when in the water either during an emergency or for general in-water play. The low profile design is comfortable, easy to fit and includes an integral handle that provides a load spreader lift point, perfect for when your pet decides to go for a swim! The Petfloat also comes with a handy pocket for lead and disposable bag storage. How have floating devices evolved and improved over the last few years? The Petfloat has developed into a number of different things, in particular our work with the military has lead us to design a specialist Petfloat for military application and also a Petfloat with an integrated harness point so that the dog can be airlifted if required. Did you test the Petfloat with various types of dogs in real-life scenarios? Absolutely, this is vital for the products development. After an extensive design process, we spent many weekends in Southsea approaching people and much to their amusement… borrowing their dogs to test the Petfloat! We also have a great video on Petfloats which we did with the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) below, you will see a variety of dogs comfortably swimming and staying safe in the Petfloat. Since designing the Petfloat what has this lead on to? The Crewsaver internship opened up many unusual and wonderful projects for me. Crewsaver is the only company to hold an exclusive contract to supply lifejackets to the UK government’s Environment Agency and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and I can proudly say that I have been involved with both. A very recent project of ours and one that has involved over 18 months of development are the custom buoyancy aids for America’s Cup Challenger, Artemis Racing. From built in body armour to spare air integration points these unique buoyancy aids offer the very best in racing performance. A lot of technology found in our leisure range (Crewsaver and paddling brand, Yak) has been inspired from developments made within our commercial sector and also with our top sponsored athletes. For example the ErgoFit 50N Extreme buoyancy aid, as designed for Artemis Racing will soon be made available to purchase, giving everybody the opportunity to benefit from the same advanced safety and performance technology as an America’s Cup sailor! Crewsaver Petfloat Get yours now! Crewsaver Petfloat Get yours now!