Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: harness and tether
I personally like the Spinlock inflatable with integrated harness. It fits me well and is comfortable over long periods. Comfort is very important. Crotch straps are also critical and these come integrated as well.
Plenty of people wear non-sailing clothing and it can work. However, sailing foulies do have some important features you may not find in mountaineering gear. Aboard a sailboat, you will be raising your arms frequently, so having snug wrist closures will limit the amount of water that runs down your arm, inside your jacket. Serious offshore jackets have water tight wrist seals. The high neck rolls on foulies is also pretty helpful, as it keeps you remarkably warmer in the wind, which you can find yourself sitting in for a half day. What is comfortable for an hour or two, could make you hypothermic after 10 hours. You lose a ton of heat from the neck up.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.