Question on Auto Infatation Vests

Discussion in 'Boat Safety' started by Spider, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. Spider

    Spider New Member

    Messages:
    610
    State:
    Hamburg, PA
    This may sound stupid but I've never used on of the auto inflation vests and am wondering something. If you would happen to be caught in a heavy rain and get soaked, would that set the vest off? I'm only asking because I can't find anything that explains how these vests work for automatic. Seems that if they work by an area getting saturated, it would be possible for it to go off when you wouldn't want it to. I've been soaked already to the point of dripping water from clothing.
    I'm just curious as I want to buy another boat (started looking) and am thinking of getting two of these type vests.
     
  2. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    I understand that this has been a problem in the past with some models. However I think some companies has made some up grades. I've had no problems with the one I bought. Its automatic or manual.
     

  3. Spider

    Spider New Member

    Messages:
    610
    State:
    Hamburg, PA
    I went o look at Cabela's vests. I bought the manual inflation models. After reading the certification info the auto/manual didn't appear to be what I'd need. The auto/manual specified "USCG Approved Type V" with "Type III performance". The Manual specified "USCG Approved Type III". What's up with this? I would think the auto.manual would be a safer vest than just a manual. The only thing I can think of is maybe the webbing (belt) design or fastening may be the reason in that it may be an unsuitable desigbn to meet requirements. Anyway, if I'd get stopp by Waterways Patrol with the Auto/Manual I know they would look only at the "Approved Rating" and not the performance. Not a big deal but those particular Cabela's Auto vests are pretty much usless in a motor boat.
    I bought thier brand because of salke prices and addditional promotion discount, I got two of them at $64.95 each. Better than over $100 or even more.
     
  4. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
    Spider not to rain on your savings. But what is going to happen if, Say you fall and hit your head? Your out cold and not able to pull the manual release? Or you have a heart attack? And not able to activate the manual vest?
    Now the auto's I bought 2 of them the year after they were released. And that was the reason, If I fall in and not able to activate the unit. It will for me.
    Also I have fished in rains that caused the auto bilge pump to stay on most of the time. and never had one to go off. The piece that has to get wet. Its up and under the vest. So unless your standing on your heat. It should not go off.
    Hope you enjoy your savings. But I was thinking of saving a life when I bought mine. Of If I am dead, My famously will not be waiting for them to drag for me.
    PEte
     
  5. olefin

    olefin New Member

    Messages:
    3,908
    State:
    Texas
    I've had a Sospenders high-performance auto PFD for several years. As far as the auto going off in rain, I've been in light rain and had no problem.

    I'm with ShilohRed, I'm not out for cutting cost when it comes to my life saving equipment. I want the very best made.
     
  6. BailBonds

    BailBonds New Member

    Messages:
    282
    State:
    Indiana
    I have a manual unit. Probably should go with the auto. I know several guys that fish in horrible conditions on Lake Michigan with the autos and never had a misfire. If it does go off just recharge it and consider it a test fire. Not cheap to recharge but may seem like money well spent if you're ever floating.
     
  7. Spider

    Spider New Member

    Messages:
    610
    State:
    Hamburg, PA
    I surely will not argue the Advatage of the auto over Manual. I haven't checked the rating of brand name vest yet. For now, I needed something to get out on the water and will only be fishing "No Wake" areas. Chjances of needing an Auto are very slim. I may very well go to an Auto when the time comes that finances will allow it. Righth now I pretty much used up my stash cash. The brand name vests were just plain out of my reach at the moment. At least I have something that I'll wear, regular life jackets suck.
    Thanks for the input,
    Larry
     
  8. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    From what I understand, the sensor is under a flap that protects it from the rain while being worn. Go into the water, and water gets under the flap and causes the PFD to inflate. But I have heard of people leaving their auto inflate PFD laying out in the rain and havng it inflate. Guess it ain't rainproof upside down.
     
  9. Spider

    Spider New Member

    Messages:
    610
    State:
    Hamburg, PA
    Sunday was the first time I ever wore an inflatable vest. The matter of auto/manual is pretty much irreverent right now because I bought the manual (for now). Anyway, I'll actually wear this thing much more than I ever used to wear a jacket type. It was about as comfortable as I think a life vest can be. I liked the much better maneuverability you have and they are much cooler.