THE BOAT DOCTOR
How do I keep my automatic life jackets from inflating all by themselves?
A:Hi Tom. First of all, which specific models do you have? Some are full-time automatic. Others are manual/automatic (m/a). And there are other variables. If you have m/a models, read the directions for disabling the auto feature of the inflation device. If they are automatic only, then they are getting wet or defective and need to be replaced, or are the wrong type of inflater for your use. (Older auto models might inflate in rain or spray, which is not good for some kinds of boating.) In that case, a manual model may make more sense. Or newer auto models have a hydrostatic release, which inflates under water pressure, not wetness. It will not inflate until it submerges a couple of feet. This makes hydrostatic-release models more suitable for wet decks and wet weather than older models with the dissolving pill.