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 Catalina/Capri 25/250 Sailor's Forums
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 Re-arm auto-inflatable life jacket
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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5008 Posts

Initially Posted - 07/16/2022 :  06:47:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some time ago I purchased three West-Marine branded auto-inflatable inshore life jackets during a promotional sale. They’re very comfortable and as long as you inspect them yearly, they work well.
This week in the heat, one of them went off in my parked car. The thermometer read 120°F in the parked car when I returned from lunch.

Now I need to re-arm them.

Does anybody have any experience with these, or suggestions on what OEM brand West Marine used? I imagine that another company manufactured them and stuck a WM tag on them. I need the bobbin and the dissolving pill actuator for the unit, assuming that the CO2 cartridge is pretty standard across the board.

Now looking at Defender and West, prices on-sale for auto-inflatable PDFs are $180-250 each. These were $99 back in the day.

Thoughts?

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT

Voyager
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5008 Posts

Response Posted - 07/16/2022 :  07:40:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Comparing the parts, it appears that I need something like a 33g CO2 cartridge and a bobbin kit like this

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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3929 Posts

Response Posted - 07/16/2022 :  08:04:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Does anybody have any experience with these, or suggestions

Yes, Don't leave them in a hot car.....
Couldn't resist but are these re-arming kits universal? If not and they are model spesific do you have a WM model # somewhere on the jacket? That kit you are looking at says it comes with directions.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound



Edited by - islander on 07/16/2022 08:05:58
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bjoye
1st Mate

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92 Posts

Response Posted - 07/16/2022 :  08:25:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a couple of inflatable pdfs from West Marine. The basic 'inshore' vests use the 'Leland' rearming kit. https://www.westmarine.com/buy/leland--inflatable-life-jacket-rearming-kit-automatic-24-g-1-2-threaded--6975999?cm_sp=Onsite-Recs-_-Frequently-Bought-Together-_-Navigate-PDP Check the size of the CO2 cartridge as they vary from 24g to 38g

The 'Off Shore' vests are made by Mustang and take this kit (or similar) https://www.defender.com/product3.jsp?path=-1%7C135%7C2290066%7C2290076&id=597875

I rearmed all my vests early this year, since all where out of date. The simple 'inshore' vests I think are only good for 3 years, the Mustang vests, 5 years. They don't count as official pdfs if they are out of date.

"Frayed Knot" 1989 C-25 WK/SR #5878
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Stinkpotter
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Djibouti
8864 Posts

Response Posted - 07/16/2022 :  14:48:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bjoye

...They don't count as official pdfs if they are out of date.

Inflatables also don't count if you're not wearing them. (Putting them on after the Coasties spot you doesn't count.)

Before the first time I rearmed mine, I put it on and pulled the cord--thought it was going to choke me! Comfortable when flat is one thing--I've gone back to a traditional jacket.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic/Stonington CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV,
Now on Eastern 27 $+!nkp*+ Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 07/16/2022 14:56:47
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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5008 Posts

Response Posted - 07/17/2022 :  04:52:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My wife and I usually put them on when we arrive, one less thing to forget. And most falls off boats are at or around the dock.
When mine inflated you’re right, Dave, it’s like a boa constrictor, however, they support the back of your neck, and will turn you face up in the water.
Scott - you’re right - don’t leave them in a hot car.
Bill - I brought my old life vest to the store and they had a Leland 24gm unit right there next to the PDFs. Piece of cake to replace. Thanks all!

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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dmpilc
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4593 Posts

Response Posted - 07/19/2022 :  12:06:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had one go off in the car once, hot humid day, windows rolled up while at work. I used to have a stick-on thermometer in the car, one day it went off the scale which maxed out at 150 degrees.) Re-arm kits are not inexpensive. Now, if I think there's a chance to get wet, like working foredeck in a regatta, I'll wear a standard PFD.

DavidP
1975 C-22 SK #5459 "Shadowfax" Fleet 52
PO of 1984 C-25 SK/TR #4142 "Recess"
Percy Priest Yacht Club, Hamilton Creek Marina, Nashville, TN
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bigelowp
Master Marine Consultant

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1670 Posts

Response Posted - 07/27/2022 :  14:07:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Every two years I take my West inflatable jackets to the local West store. They get the correct cartridge -- and even do the replacement for me! Its pretty straight forward as long as you get the correct cartridge.

Peter Bigelow
C-25 TR/FK #2092 Limerick
Rowayton, Ct
Port Captain: Rowayton/Norwalk/Darien CT
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5721 Posts

Response Posted - 07/27/2022 :  15:08:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just bought a Bass Pro Shops automatic inflatable pfd (Model AM 24) at Cabela's on sale for $59.99. The sale is over, but it'll be on sale again at Cabela's or Bass Pro Shop, or, if you don't want to wait, their regular price is $99.99. The recharge kit costs $25.00 and it's easy to recharge when needed. The manufacturer recommends rearming every 5 years.

Steve Milby J/24 "Captiva Wind"
previously C&C 35, Cal 25, C25 TR/FK, C22
Past Commodore
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Davy J
Master Marine Consultant

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1507 Posts

Response Posted - 07/28/2022 :  10:41:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am currently rearming a pair of "SOSpenders" made by Stearns. The PFD's are about ten years old and this will be the second time rearming them. However, Stearns has discontinued the kit. I did discover that the kit is actually made by a company called Leland Gas. It was just a matter of picking the right Co2 bottle, grams and thread size, make sure you get that "automatic" kit with the green indicator.

Edit: link to WM Leland kits
https://www.westmarine.com/search?q=rearming%20kit&prefn1=manufacturerName&prefv1=LELAND

Oops.... see that Bjoye covered this above...


Davy J


2005 Gemini 105Mc
PO 1987 C25 #5509 SR/SK
Tampa Bay

Edited by - Davy J on 07/28/2022 10:50:47
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
5008 Posts

Response Posted - 07/28/2022 :  21:05:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Leland kit for West Marine life vests comes in an inshore version with a smaller CO2 cartridge (about 22 gms) and the larger 33 gm offshore CO2 cartridge. The bobbin or “pill” that releases the pin is what you’d have to check for size and fit.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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