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Old 18-06-2012, 10:05   #1
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Question Auto or manual inflating PFD?

By now I'm sure most of us have read/heard about and discussed the 2011 WingNuts and Rambler capsizes. Oftern cited but no recommendations forthcoming were the inflation modes of the PFD's worn. All Rambler PFD's had their auto-inflate capabilities disabled and there was no loss of life. Do auti-inflate PFD's support the wearing of tethers? if one disables the auto-feature what about getting conked by the boom and going over? (Unusual but everyone's nightmare.) What have you done/what do you think?
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Old 18-06-2012, 10:22   #2
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Re: Auto or manual inflating PFD?

I think if you are going to rely on an inflatable , it should be automatic.... for the reason you state....
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Old 18-06-2012, 10:27   #3
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Re: Auto or manual inflating PFD?

I have auto inflating PFD 1's, They are approved in Australia,

Which all went off when I got wrecked, Brand new, still in the packet that they came in,

The two we had on at the time didnt go off as they didnt get wet,

I believe I can get the canisters refilled with gas, but for the cost of them, I will buy new ones,

I bought the self inflating ones because of that reason, getting knocked out and going over the side,

$67-00 each, brand new,
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Old 18-06-2012, 10:36   #4
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Re: Auto or manual inflating PFD?

I would be careful comparing the Wingnuts and Rambler incidents. The details were quite different.

There are numerous auto-inflate PFDs that have a built-in harness. We use this Mustang hydrostatic inflatable
There are other brands and styles. Try them on before you buy, as some will be more comfortable than others.

The Hydrostatic triggers are a little more expensive than the "dissolving bobbin" types, but they are less prone to accidental inflation. For what it's worth, before I replaced all the (out of date) triggers in my PFDs I tested them in the water. Six out of six inflated properly and held pressure.
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Old 18-06-2012, 11:01   #5
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Re: Auto or manual inflating PFD?

auto all the way.
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Old 18-06-2012, 11:03   #6
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Re: Auto or manual inflating PFD?

There are some situations where you would not want an auto to inflate, kinda double edged sword sorta thing... never mind the autos self inflating due to dampness. sure if i was knocked over unconscious id like an auto, but.....
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Old 18-06-2012, 11:16   #7
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I see no advantages to manual units. None that matter anyway

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Old 18-06-2012, 11:19   #8
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Auto.

Just know how to deflate it in case you're trapped in an inverted cabin or cockpit.
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Old 18-06-2012, 11:23   #9
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Re: Auto or manual inflating PFD?

Maybe price is the only advantage to the manuals. But then isn't you life worth more than the price difference?
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Old 18-06-2012, 11:39   #10
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I did a fair bit of research via the lazy mans library, google, and found no evidence of any deaths attributable to an auto inflate. The closest was the wingnuts incident and even there it was only seen as a possibility.

Seems to me it is a bit of a wives tale with no evidence to support the idea that you can be trapped and die. Obviously it must be possible, but it has not been reported as a cause of death to date.

People dying cause their vest didn't inflate however, has been listed as a cause of death.

Hydrostatic auto inflate for me thank you...
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Old 18-06-2012, 11:55   #11
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Re: Auto or manual inflating PFD?

AUTO!
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Old 18-06-2012, 11:59   #12
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Re: Auto or manual inflating PFD?

The tethers more than likely caused the deaths in the Wingnuts fatalities. When the boat capsized and sunk, the skipper and his girl friend weren't able to release the tethers before they drowned.

I'm more worried about going over the side unconscious than a vest inflating when I don't want it to. I've tried the unconscious thing and fortunately was saved by my quick acting wife grabbing my feet before I actually went overboard. Without her quick action, I'd have been a statistic with a manual inflating vest.

Hard core racers disable the auto inflate because they press on carrying too much sail and going too fast in adverse conditions. Not unusual for them to go underwater on the foredeck in their reckless quest for speed. Their choice is to give up ultimate safety for inconvenient vest inflation.

Just out of curiosity does anyone know the facts about the two people lost in an accidental jibe in the Sydney-Hobart race a couple of years ago?? They went overboard because they'd just come on deck and hadn't snapped into the jack line. Were they wearing vests or just harnesses and, if vests, were they manual or self inflating??
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Old 18-06-2012, 12:06   #13
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Re: Auto or manual inflating PFD?

i've tested my auto many times by jumping in the water. works amazingly fast. i can't see a way it would knock you out. maybe startle you a little bit.
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Old 18-06-2012, 12:16   #14
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Re: Auto or manual inflating PFD?

I have self inflatables, with harness. Will buy new ones before we leave. (10 years old) Used one in ernest when I fliped my inflatable at the dock (engine kicked into gear).

A tragic accident happened recently on the mid BC Coast when a rescue craft running tidal rapids flipped. 2 members drowned when they became trapped under the boat. No word as yet on the why the became trapped.
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Old 18-06-2012, 12:17   #15
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Re: Auto or manual inflating PFD?

Who said anything about the vest knocking you out. I was talking about being knocked out before/as you go overboard. Unconscious in the water without an autoinflating PFD would probably result in drowning. Something that the autoinflate feature would prevent.
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