Originally Posted by Richard B
As far as life jackets go, always buy the "Hammar" type auto inflate jackets for use in a RIB. The soluble salt type are not really suitable for use on an open boat and can go off if left on board or in a humid environment.
Although it is true that there have been occasional instances of this happening, I absolutely wouldn't agree that it makes this sort of lifejacket unsuitable for use on a RIB. They are fine!
Many people have gone huge distances in horrible conditions with this sort of lifejacket with no problems.
The only time that I have had a lifejacket inflate prematurely was when we took a large wave over the bow off Cape Wrath a few years ago. There were four of us, all wearing auto gas lifejackets. Three were the conventional sort and one was a Hammar. Two of them fired, one of which was the Hammar!
I would have no hesitation in using a conventional auto gas lifejacket on a RIB. I wouldn't bother paying extra for one with a harness either as it's not necessary -- you're not going to be clipping onto anything.
I do agree with getting an automatic lifejacket though, and wearing it!