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  #1  
Old 05-28-2008
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xort has a spectacular aura about xort has a spectacular aura about xort has a spectacular aura about
hydrostatic inflatable vest

My web search only turns up Mustang hydrostatic inflatable life vests. Are there any other makers?

Also, anybody with good or bad user experiences with the hydrostatic system?
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Old 05-28-2008
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I have a mustang survival MD3184 (hydrostatic) w/ harness. It's been great so far but I haven't had to inflate it yet. When I did my searching I went Hydrostatic because of concerns a salt tablet could be affected by spray, humidity, or rain.

The people at mustang are also very good if you need to call them
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Old 05-28-2008
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Practical Sailor reviewed this month Xort.
Look for Revere, they were the winner of price/function and had models that count as type 2 and 3 even when not worn.
I have WM brand and love them - light and comfy - but only type iv and only 16.5 (minumum required) pounds floatation.
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BTW, the WM PFDs are made by Mustang IIRC.
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Old 05-28-2008
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I sailed as crew on a Catalina 27 for the Swiftsure "Classics" race this past weekend. It was windless and we quit without finishing. As we were motoring home, one of the crew (leaning on the lifelines) fell overboard. He was wearing the Mustang Hydrostatic vest. It inflated instantly and kept his head well out of the water. The water was very cold and completely took his breath away. His only complaint was that the collar inflated so high around his head that he couldn't hear our comforting words of encouragement as we came back to get him.
The one thing we all noticed was the challenge he will have re-arming it. The entire mechanism needs replacing because the gas cylinder is inside the inflatable portion of the vest. It will be interesting to see how much a re-arm kit costs and how difficult it is to do.
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For an MD3184 the rearm kit can be had for around $50 (it's just under $50 here on SailNet). I took mine apart just to inspect it. It doesn't look too hard to do.

The other nice thing about hyrdrostatics is they are 5-years maintenance free if not inflated, though obviously you need to blow it up to make sure it still has its integrity.

Here's a picture of the rearm kit:
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That is the one for his PFD. I wonder how many re-arms can be done before the plastic bits become worn out?
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Um... it isn't like you have to replace the arming kit every day... if you can get ten re-arms out of it... you've probably had the thing for 10 years, or are really clumsy and need to tether yourself to the mast. At that point, it is very likely that something new will come along by then.

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Originally Posted by Plumper View Post
That is the one for his PFD. I wonder how many re-arms can be done before the plastic bits become worn out?
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Old 05-28-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plumper View Post
That is the one for his PFD. I wonder how many re-arms can be done before the plastic bits become worn out?
ZERO - you replace the CO2 cartridge and all the plastic bits as a unit. Even the locking ring is part of the unit.

On earlier models you could simply replace the CO2, but no more.
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I picked up two SoSpenders World Class Series from Amazon $139, for times we are on the Puget Sound and found them very comfortable to wear all day.

The Salt Tablet is very protected and the quality seems to be very good.
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