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BigMoe 10-24-2006 05:42 PM

Children's safety
Could someone give me some advise on where to purchase safety harnesses for young children. I have a 5 and 10 year old who will be new to sailing.


sailingdog 10-24-2006 05:57 PM

Any good marine chandlery will have safety harnesses for children. I got mine at either or worst marine.

Surfesq 10-24-2006 06:47 PM

Your child must wear a life jacket. So you should just tether the rear of the life jacket to the lifeline.

Jim H 10-24-2006 06:55 PM

West Marine sells them, but they are spendy:

I've been tracking Ebay to see if they come up for less $$$. Surf's idea isn't bad, but the life jackets my kids wear (Mustang) aren't set up to withstand a shockload. The West Marine harnesses look safer and look easy to wear under a life jacket.

Of course, I'm thinking of going offshore with kids. For the protected waters we sail, we don't worry about harnesses for the kids (age 7 and 9)-- but they always wear lifejackets.

Jim H

sailingdog 10-24-2006 06:58 PM

Most life jackets do not have a sufficiently strong anchor point for use with a tether.

Surfesq 10-24-2006 07:33 PM

I disagree. Kids weigh very little. I used one with my daughter for 3 years. Now my buddy is using my daughter's set-up.

sailingdog 10-24-2006 07:51 PM

Maybe in the case of the five-year-old, but a ten-year-old may be heavy enough that the PFD doesn't have the strength to support him, especially if he falls across the boat from the windward side to the leeward... which may result in shock loading of many times his actual body weight.

Faster 10-24-2006 08:11 PM

Just another opinion.....

I would hesitate to tether children down in anything but extreme conditions. I think it's better to get them accustomed to moving around on the boat and learn how to cope with the motion. Ten year-olds are most certainly old enough to start helping out with the sailing as well.

On any reasonably equipped boat there should be enough security in the cockpit and within the lifelines for all but the youngest children. They must learn the first 3 rules of sailing at an early age:
#1 Stay on the boat
#2 Stay on the boat
#3 - Stay on the *&%$# boat.

If they learn to rely on a harness, the first time you decide it's not necessary is the day they'll go over the side. We sailed with our kids from "days old", only tethered them in once about age 4 or 5 in a lumpy crossing - in all the time we cruised with these kids not once did anyone go overboard by accident. They grew up learning "one hand for the task, one hand for you".

Surfesq 10-24-2006 08:39 PM

Both of you guys are idiots with way too much time on your hands. (nice guys but idiots). Any child under 14 must wear a life jacket according to the USCG Regulations. You cannot substitute a harness for a life jacket. So get the combination if you must have a child in a life jacket.

Faster 10-24-2006 10:15 PM

Surfesq is calling other people idiots with too much time on their hands?!.....and the definition of irony is?

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