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post #1 of 15 Old 02-12-2007 Thread Starter
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Best Offshore Foulies?

I'm soliciting opinions as I line up my first blue-water delivery crewing opportunities here. I'm thinking my Goretex rain suit I use bicycling will not cut it in the Atlantic in April.

I have had some success with Henri Lloyd bib overalls and like the Helly Hansen gear, but I had heard very good things about Jeantex, a German company that more than one vendor has suggested is better than some other companies, where the quality is not what it once was.

I'm a big, gorilla-shaped bugger, especially in the neck, chest and shoulders, so fit is important. I anticipate the usual layers beneath the foulies.

Cost is not an issue if the value is there, as I realize I'll own these foulies for years and in all weathers. If I'm doing tricks at the helm with water coming down the deck, I need to stay warm and as dry as possible.

I prefer a separate harness/PFD rather than integral. I already have a decent pair of Gill sea boots, but welcome suggestions as to gloves.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
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post #2 of 15 Old 02-12-2007
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My OPINIONS (Thry are only opinions, so take them as such)

I have really been impressed with Gil Products. Their offshore stuff is nice.

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs.../11051/11209/1

Depending on the model, it is my undersatndin Lloyd makes the West Marine stuff??? THat is what I was told. I personally own the Third reef stuff. Ok for what we do. Long time offshore, I would go with the Gil Products. As far as Bibs, here are the Gills:

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs.../11053/11209/1

If you are heading south, I would save my money on awesome offshore geat and get a really nice, thin jacket. Goretex, big pockets, etc. That is about all you will wear. It was not unusual to see me in my bathing suit bottoms and a full jacket on top!! Just me, though.

- CD

PS I would not buy a grey outfit. Not sure why they even sell those. Red or yellow only.
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post #3 of 15 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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post #4 of 15 Old 02-13-2007 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad
If you are heading south, I would save my money on awesome offshore geat and get a really nice, thin jacket. Goretex, big pockets, etc. That is about all you will wear. It was not unusual to see me in my bathing suit bottoms and a full jacket on top!! Just me, though.

- CD

PS I would not buy a grey outfit. Not sure why they even sell those. Red or yellow only.

Thanks, CD. I already have a number of decent jackets and even "rain pants" as I cycle year-round in Toronto, which means I get pelted with slush three months of the year. (Not this year, though.) The jacket and jockstrap look will suit me fine...once we clear coastal waters!

Red or yellow or orange were my only choices from day one.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
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.
My, what a little tank you are, Sir! I'm built like a soccer hooligan, and I take 18 1/2"! But I'll check out the Musto gear. I get them confused a bit with Mustang, which is not the same thing at all.

Not American, and don't care about USCG approval. I find they are about five years behind the curve anyway, as befits their governmental origins. SOLAS is the gold standard, and that's good enough for me. That Spinlock gear is unlike anything else I've seen outside a rockface-supply store. I wanted at least a crotch strap with any harness I bought (I just have a brutal old Likiris at the moment, with a Wichard tether, both past their prime), because I fear going over and *inverting*, surely not an ideal scenario if the boat's making seven knots... If the D-ring can "hang high" the odds of that to my mind are greatly reduced.

I'll check it out. I like their deck hardware, but I had no idea they made harnesses.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente
Not American, and don't care about USCG approval. I find they are about five years behind the curve anyway, as befits their governmental origins. SOLAS is the gold standard, and that's good enough for me. That Spinlock gear is unlike anything else I've seen outside a rockface-supply store. I wanted at least a crotch strap with any harness I bought (I just have a brutal old Likiris at the moment, with a Wichard tether, both past their prime), because I fear going over and *inverting*, surely not an ideal scenario if the boat's making seven knots... If the D-ring can "hang high" the odds of that to my mind are greatly reduced.

I'll check it out. I like their deck hardware, but I had no idea they made harnesses.
Actually, the Deckware series of gear is made in partnership with Petzl, the climbing hardware manufacturer... so I'm not surprised it reminds you of rock-climbing gear.

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post #7 of 15 Old 02-14-2007 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
Actually, the Deckware series of gear is made in partnership with Petzl, the climbing hardware manufacturer... so I'm not surprised it reminds you of rock-climbing gear.
I checked out that harness and it just goes to "large" or 46 inches in the chest.

That's not going to cut it. I'm a 48-50 in a suit and add a couple of inches for that for foulies, sweaters, etc. I'm about the size of that Brad van Liew distance sailor.

Maybe I should e-mail him...
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I no longer use...

Marine foulies and use alpine climbing gear. I have owned both Lloyd and Musto and my wife has a Gil but prefers her Arctyrx jacket to the Gil. Of all the marine foulies the Musto is best but still not as comfortable as an alpine style ascent jacket. Both my Lloyd and Musto are uncomfortable and hard to move in and it feels like I'm wearing a firemans suit. The heavier marine foulies also don't breathe worth a darn due to the extra heavy (read overkill) fabric..

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post #9 of 15 Old 02-14-2007
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Valiente-
This is one of the few really good reasons to get to any of the really large sailboat shows. A good fit, especially in the collar and hood, is priceless and it makes the difference between loving and hating your foulies. Go to a show, take a bag full of bulky clothes, and do some trying-on.
I suspect that if you email about the harness size, they will find a way to make one up for you with a larger chest strap.
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post #10 of 15 Old 02-14-2007
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I have owned both Henri Lloyd and Musto offshore. My Lloyds were the old style pre-Gortex/breathable fabrics but indestructible. My Musto's are lighter and more comfortable - no feel for idestructablility as they are only 2yrs old now. Both are great suits get the one that fits better. As far as harnesses go, get an inflatable lifejacket with a harness, you are not working bow on a 50' ocean racer - you are doing a delivery, the climbing harnesses are more comfortable if you are doing acrobatics at the bow and up the mast -- you should not have to do either on a delivery.

Safety is the driver, the inflatable lifejacket with whistle, strobe etc is more important and having the harness built in is that much better. Also don't forget a good tether -- ideally with two leads [on short one long].

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