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Old 02-12-2007
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I like the Musto gear for offshore work. I am hard to fit, since I am relatively short but have fairly large shoulders and a very large neck. My suit is size is a 44 XS, and I wear dress shirts that have an 18" neck on them, but I'm only 5' 4".

The Musto MPX I have is cut so that I can wear it with three or four layers underneath without much problem. The only issue for me is that the sleeves are a bit long on me...but once I've snugged up the cuffs, that isn't really an issue anymore.

The double cuffs, a latex or neoprene inner one, and the jacket sleeve outer one are key for keeping dry, as if you're reaching up to adjust something, a jacket that doesn't have double cuffs will often let water run down your arm and soak your torso.

Gloves—I wear either a set of Serius gloves, which I got at REI, or when it is colder or I don't need as much fine dexterity, a heavier neoprene set of Stearns gloves I bought at a commercial fishing supply house.

For colors, I'd agree with CD—Red or yellow only... Blue, green, black, grey, or white can easily blend into the ocean. Yellow is marginally better than Red, since it is more visible at night. Also, make sure that the jacket has SOLAS-approved retroreflective patches on it.

For a PFD/Harness, the one I use everyday is a Spinlock Deckware Pro harness/PFD. Unfortunately, at least when I bought mine, it wasn't USCG approved yet.... but it is SOLAS approved. Unlike most other PFD and harness combinations, the harness on the Spinlock is extremely easy to get in and out of and very easy to adjust to various thicknesses of clothing. It also comes with a few things that are really a requirement for a bluewater PFD—thighs straps, so you can't fall out the bottom; a safety whistle; a strobe; and most importantly, a sprayhood. The sprayhood helps keep you from drowning in heavy seas, by protecting your face.

They have a newer design out called the Deckvest, but I like the older one better. The Deckvest has less buoyancy (150N vs. 180N) and the leg straps are optional.
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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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