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Old 28-07-2006, 08:39   #1
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Unplanned PFD Test

West Marine Offshore 4000 PFD was armed and stowed inside its original plastic front/mesh back package on the upper crew berth. Heavy rains somehow found their way inside the boat (that never happens ) and wet the bunk and the gear on it.

No problemo... I'll just take these soggy things topside and let 'ol Sol dry them out. Funny thing but 3 hours later I went up and found the PFD had inflated - it looked like 10lbs of s*** stuffed into a 3lb sack. Hmm - I don't remember falling overboard.. Maybe I'm not supposed to inflate this thing inside the package? Go figure...

Let's see - water plus sun = steam, so the little auto-inflator dissolving pill did its thing and fired the cartridge. Dang it....

At least the thing held air the way it should have.... I should start a new TV show.. ASSV 'America's Stupidest Sailors Videos'....

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Old 28-07-2006, 23:04   #2
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Aloha Mark,
At least now we know the things work. Will have to store them in a dry place though, huh?
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Old 29-07-2006, 05:47   #3
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Yeah, and wait until you see how much those little "pills" cost. Better yet, what to you see what the CO2 cartridges cost!
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Old 29-07-2006, 13:55   #4
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The pills are cheap enough, but $20 a pop for the cart brings the re-arm price up to a nice dinner. I haven't found anyplace else that sells the "marine" 30-gram carts with the wide necks, somehow the paintball industry seems to have conveniently skipped that size.

Decisions, decisions...<G>...
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Old 29-07-2006, 14:46   #5
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$20 bucks a pop, that will be close to forty here in NZ then.
Hmmmm, maybe I should remove all those Co2 thingys and tell crew if they want to inflate, they have to blow. :')
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Old 29-07-2006, 15:09   #6
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I was able to get the CO2 cartridges a lot more reasonablly by buying a box of 10. I'll have to look through my receipts to check on the vendor. Seems like I could get them for $10 each at that price.

Keith
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Old 29-07-2006, 15:40   #7
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Box of ten?? in the 33 gram size, or the more common 12-16-25 gram sizes?

33 gram seems vastly excessive for the amount of lift the vests using them provide, since diving bc's use smaller sizes and get *more* lift out of them. A conspiracy to force users to buy large and undiscounted supplies, no doubt.<G>
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Old 29-07-2006, 16:56   #8
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The units I have say 38 Grams on them. They have a screw on fitting as opposed to the push on fittings. I am sure there is a bit of overkill there, but, on saftey devices I don't mind overkill.
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Old 29-07-2006, 18:04   #9
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38, even better. I'm told the bayonet fittings (what you call push on) are a newer style. Overkill is nice but AFAIK the 25 gram size an provide 50+ pounds of lift, and the conventional Type5 PFD only provides 34 pounds of lift, meaning the 25 gram is already nearly a 200% margin.

"More is better" doesn't play for me, especially when it is hanging around my neck.<G>
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Old 29-07-2006, 20:33   #10
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Had the same problem with the Waste Marine PFD. In the instructions it says that you are to replace the white powder things every year. I plan on taking the rings out at the end of the season so as to prevent the accidental misfire. the rings are much cheaper than the cylynders.
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