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Just got a new PFD vest with the auto-inflate CO2 cartridge. Since I've never had or used one of these devices before...how many times will it inflate before I have to "re-arm?" I hope it's not "1 and done" like my bear spray!

Thanks for any input

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Its one and done.  Do your research now in order to know whats the correct re-arm kit some makes can be confusing.  Just went thru this when mine got knocked into a deck full of water.....had to go without it for a week or so till I got it sorted out

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Be careful. The arming kits have expiration dates on them. I have a couple of Mustang PFD's that are 10 years old. When ever I need to rearm them West Marine has to order the kit because its no longer a stocking Item. It you buy several kits and sit on them they may reach their expiration date before you use them. Mine uses the old bobbin style activator. seems they deteriorate over time. As said above humidity will cause them to discharge. Wore one back in a rain storm on my redfish.....(forgot it I had it on) never discharged it was pouring down rain. Would have bet money it would have gone of if you had asked me before. Write down the kit number if its new....my old ones have been superseded and changed a couple of times, it can get confusing after a couple of years.

Or....you can just keep buying new PFD's....but they aint cheap as you know.

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Which one do you have? Does it have a hydrostatic release or a salt pill? The pills will deteriorate and inflate with rain or moisture. The hydrostatics need routine maintenance. Keep extra CO2 cartridges and/or salt tablets if needed. Keep them in sealed, dry places. Also I’m sure you know this but I’m going to put it out there for those that don’t. That Type V does NOT count as a PFD unless it’s being worn. If you have 3 inflatables and 3 people on board, all MUST be wearing them to be in compliance. 

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One and done.  Grandkids grabbed one off my porch and jumped in pool.. scared the bejesus out of them!   

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13 hours ago, Nag Juice said:

Which one do you have? Does it have a hydrostatic release or a salt pill? The pills will deteriorate and inflate with rain or moisture. The hydrostatics need routine maintenance. Keep extra CO2 cartridges and/or salt tablets if needed. Keep them in sealed, dry places. Also I’m sure you know this but I’m going to put it out there for those that don’t. That Type V does NOT count as a PFD unless it’s being worn. If you have 3 inflatables and 3 people on board, all MUST be wearing them to be in compliance. 

I have a nice Type II model from Cabela's that cost $119.00.

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Most of this have the option to remove the automatic feature and manually activate. Mine have activated with the humidity of Southwest Florida and the manual feature bypass the “salt” that disolves and you just pull a tab. Down side is if you get knocked out of boat and are unconscious they will not activate. Airlines use a manual because just imagine the headache of trying to keep all of there inventory in a charged state. Mine charged didn’t last more than 3-6 months but it was unpredictable so I vote foe just manual operation.

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1 hour ago, Mike45q said:

Down side is if you get knocked out of boat and are unconscious they will not activate.

It's a conundrum, for sure. On the other hand, we lost a good friend this summer in AK when their boat flipped and his unit auto-inflated while he was under the boat. Got hung up and never made it out. Son wearing the manual got out from under the boat before inflating and lived.  No good answer that suits all situations, but we have both (Mustangs), even if we have trouble deciding which to wear.

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On 10/29/2018 at 10:17 PM, BrownBear said:

It's a conundrum, for sure. On the other hand, we lost a good friend this summer in AK when their boat flipped and his unit auto-inflated while he was under the boat. Got hung up and never made it out. Son wearing the manual got out from under the boat before inflating and lived.  No good answer that suits all situations, but we have both (Mustangs), even if we have trouble deciding which to wear.

Sorry to hear that. I friendly safety reminder of what we are doing can be dangerous. I have to manual Mustangs we keep on the boat.

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