Manual inflation PFD

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My PFD is a Kru Pro Sport, rated for offshore with hood, strobe, crotch strap and harness. 

It had auto-inflate, which I've disabled because most of my sailing is on my trimaran.  It still manual-inflates with a pull of the toggle.

It also has manual inflation by blowing into the mouth-piece but this is inaccessible unless the zip has been opened, either by the gas bottle or, maybe, by a lucky finger finding the weak point in the zip which, on mine, is out of reach on my shoulder.

This arrangement isn't unique.  Looking at a few PFD's on the market, it seems common.

So, if I go in and my gas inflation fails, I have a problem.

If I have to, I'll modify it to expose the inflator but is there a simpler solution?

Thanks in advance.

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The manual inflator is intended to be used to top up or deflate the vest after deployment, not as an initial means of inflating. I don't think its designed with failure of cartridge inflator in mind. I'd be careful of modifying anything on the vest without conferring with the manufacturer. Best to keep it well maintained; rinsed dried and lubed. I often spray the cartridge and metal parts with Boshield or similar to prevent corrosion.

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I'm not inclined to trust equipment any more than I need to, hence my question.

I maintain my gear but there's no guarantee that the bottle won't come loose, have an imperfection or be empty.  If I'm offshore and accidentally fire my PFD, I'm stuffed because I won't have a spare bottle (airlines don't like gas bottles unless they're part of the PFD).

I'll probably fit an extension tube to the inflator so that it can be blown up manually.  The extension will have to be removable so that the non-return valve can be accessed to deflate the PFD.

I'm aware that in cold water, I'll be struggling to get a breath, let alone blow the thing up.


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