Re: Inflatable PFDs in the south: Manual or Automatic?
I have used the original auto-inflate SOSpenders for 20 years with no accidental inflation. We do test the auto-inflate every 3 years and then we have to replace the cylinder and salt tab trigger thing. I live in the humidity capital of the world, the Gulf coast of FL.
I think the auto-inflate is a great feature for the most likely scenario of going overboard where it will inflate when you are too disoriented to do it quickly. When we have tried them, they tend to keep us upright very well.
I especially like the built in harness on the SOSpenders whereas a newer Mustang does not have a built in harness. In the summer here, the inflatables are the only life jackets that can be worn as anything else is simply too hot. My inflatable is such a part of me that I always forget to take it off when I get ashore and often myself walking into a restaurant wearing it. I have also attached a water activated light to each one. Mine has my personal EPIRB on it too,
I currently have two child auto-inflate SOSpenders but my kids are now grown. If anybody needs them, let me know.