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Old 21 March 2007, 17:30   #1
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Life Jackets

I have an auto life jacket I want to convert to manual activation. If I remove the auto mechanism by unscrewing it will the manual bit still work ?
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Old 21 March 2007, 19:25   #2
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If I was you, to be 100% safe/sure... test it.. the canisters are only about £12 - others will probably give you a definitive answer, but i'd try it myself so I knew for sure.
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Old 22 March 2007, 03:58   #3
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Converting Life Jacket

Hi Biggles,

Any particular reason for trying to convert an Auto to Manual?

I for one would only ever use an Auto inflation Jacket.

A couple of summers ago I was invloved in an man overboard incident and I firmly believe that the auto inflation jacket saved a mans life.

I am just curious to your view on the matter.

Cheers
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Old 22 March 2007, 04:22   #4
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If you do, probably a good idea to put a label on the jacket, so others know it isn't an auto anymore..
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Old 22 March 2007, 06:21   #5
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Originally Posted by Biggles View Post
I have an auto life jacket I want to convert to manual activation. If I remove the auto mechanism by unscrewing it will the manual bit still work ?
Yes it will.

Easy way to see for yourself is to take off the auto mechanism, and remove the gas bottle. Look into the opening where the gas bottle goes, and pull the manual toggle. You'll see the sharp spiky bit moving up as if to fire the gas.

John
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Old 22 March 2007, 06:22   #6
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I for one would only ever use an Auto inflation Jacket.
I'd be interested to see you getting into the water to clear a fouled prop then!

For normal use I agree that auto lifejackets are definitely preferable to manual, but there are some situations when a manual might be a better tool for the job.

John
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Old 22 March 2007, 15:46   #7
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kevin,

Reason for doing it because of the numerous accidental discharges I have had over the years from minor dunkings. Starting to get expensive.

I have now started to buy manual lifejackets.

Yes It might cost me my life one day if I knock myself unconscious. But I or someone who doesn't go out on the boat so much might also have problems under an inverted boat with not being able to get out from under it.

Bit of six of one and half a dozen of the other.

John. Will do as you suggest as a confirmation check over the next few days.

Nick.
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Old 22 March 2007, 16:11   #8
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Yes It might cost me my life one day if I knock myself unconscious.
Or can't find or pull the toggle because of thermal shock, panic or general disorientation.
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But I or someone who doesn't go out on the boat so much might also have problems under an inverted boat with not being able to get out from under it.
Rather less likely IMO
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Bit of six of one and half a dozen of the other.
More like 10 of one and two of the other I'd say!

John
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Old 22 March 2007, 17:08   #9
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Hi Biggles,
Have you thought about purchasing a "HAMMAR" lifejacket?
A Hammar Auto jacket will only activate in 10cm of water, it's pressure sensitive. I think this is the type to have on a rib as it's extremely unlikely to go off accidently when covered in spray. It also has the manual toggle activation as well..... not cheap though, but it is a life preserving aid.... hence priceless.
Don't forget to fit a Seago or Crewsaver spray hood to the jacket..... trust my advice, I've been there!
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Old 22 March 2007, 17:24   #10
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Or can't find or pull the toggle because of thermal shock, panic or general disorientation. Rather less likely IMOMore like 10 of one and two of the other I'd say!

John

Not necessarily. On an open RIB maybe but on most boats with cabins it's the other way around. There was a classic example a whole ago when a plane crashed onto a beach - the lifejackets WERE manual but the passengers panicked and inflated them anyway - many drowned because of it.
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