How to Manually Inflate an Automatic PFD - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-30-2015 Thread Starter
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How to Manually Inflate an Automatic PFD

What do you do if your inflatable PFD doesn't inflate when you hit the water? I jumped in using my expired inflation unit and while putting the PFD back together I kept thinking it would be very challenging to try to figure out how to inflate it while wearing it treading water. I figured out how to do it and made this video to share:


Even if you know how yours inflates without being charged you might benefit from some of the gotchas that I encountered trying to blow mine up.

After having experimented with my PFD I've started recommending to my friends that they try to orally inflate their own. One final warning from the manufacturer:

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WARNING: Use only a previously fired hydrostatic inflator to perform this test. DO NOT test with a fully armed hydrostatic inflator as double inflation may occur, possibly resulting in cell damage.
“Cell damage.” That is code for “explode”. Don’t explode your safety gear.
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Last edited by vtp; 03-30-2015 at 08:03 PM.
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-30-2015
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Re: How to Manually Inflate an Automatic PFD

wow... when did they put the zipper on? I have velcro closures on my mustang much easier to open.

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post #3 of 5 Old 03-30-2015 Thread Starter
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Not sure. Mine was made in 2011.
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-30-2015
Learning the HARD way...
 
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Re: How to Manually Inflate an Automatic PFD

My MD3184 (just like the one pictured) was purchased new in 2007. It also has the break away zipper. I replaced the hydrostatic cartridge in 2012 (5 years old) per manufacturer instructions.


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USCG Licensed OUPV Captain, ASA 101/103/104/105/106/118 Instructor - Also certified in Marine Electrical Systems
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-30-2015
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Re: How to Manually Inflate an Automatic PFD

ahh..ok. I just checked my basement. I have a 3084. I rearmed it last season.

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