Inflatable PFDs in the south: Manual or Automatic? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 32 Old 05-16-2012 Thread Starter
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Inflatable PFDs in the south: Manual or Automatic?

I am looking into "investing" in some inflatable PFDs for the First Mate and myself. I am leaning toward automatic for obvious boom-to-the-head reasons, but I have seen some concern about those in high humidity environments.

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post #2 of 32 Old 05-16-2012
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Re: Inflatable PFDs in the south: Manual or Automatic?

the triggering device is a compound that disolves when it gets wet, which lets the hammer down on the co2 cartridge. Ive not heard of humidity causing it to disolve

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post #3 of 32 Old 05-16-2012 Thread Starter
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Inflatable PFDs in the south: Manual or Automatic?

Hopefully this will be easier than the "fin vs. full keel" discussion.
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post #4 of 32 Old 05-16-2012
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Re: Inflatable PFDs in the south: Manual or Automatic?

Automatic - No issues with premature inflation even in rain.

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Inflatable PFDs in the south: Manual or Automatic?

That's good to know. I was ready to pull the trigger on a couple of West Marine automatic PFDs today, but one of the reviewers said that they found inflated PFDs when they pulled them from their lockers. The reviewer was from Louisiana, where Humidity calls home. We are one state to the north, where she vacations during the summer.
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post #6 of 32 Old 05-16-2012
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Re: Inflatable PFDs in the south: Manual or Automatic?

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Originally Posted by itsaboat View Post
That's good to know. I was ready to pull the trigger on a couple of West Marine automatic PFDs today, but one of the reviewers said that they found inflated PFDs when they pulled them from their lockers. The reviewer was from Louisiana, where Humidity calls home. We are one state to the north, where she vacations during the summer.
Could have been an older review?

Some good deals out there. I just paid $89 for auto inflate w/harness made by Revere (show price). Sailnet sells them at a competitive (non show) price. Quality seems good.
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post #7 of 32 Old 05-17-2012
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Premature Inflation

A little more info.

We did have one (out of 3) "pill" automatic inflatable WM premature inflate in our boat locker but after 5 years, but the the "shelf life" on these things is 2-4 years, depending on Vendor. The Hydrostatic ones are less likely to premature inflate.

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post #8 of 32 Old 05-17-2012
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Re: Inflatable PFDs in the south: Manual or Automatic?

I have a hydrostatic one that has been stored for a few years in MD and MO. No issues with premature inflation. Humidity in MO was over 80% relative for most of last summer.
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post #9 of 32 Old 05-17-2012
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Re: Inflatable PFDs in the south: Manual or Automatic?

Does it matter if the auto-inflate device is stored upright? Maybe condensation dripped in?

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post #10 of 32 Old 05-17-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Inflatable PFDs in the south: Manual or Automatic?

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Does it matter if the auto-inflate device is stored upright? Maybe condensation dripped in?
That is what I was wondering as well. Here is the link to the West Marine review. Third one down, written 3/17/2012.

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