rock climbing harness as a sailing harness - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 09-21-2009
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rock climbing harness as a sailing harness

Hello all

I will be installing jacklines on my boat this fall and wonder what people think about using a rock climbing harness as a sailing harness? The main difference between the two being the sailing harness is a chest/over the shoulders style of harness while the rock climbing harness is awaist stlye of harness. I ask becuase I already own a climbing harness but not a sailing harness.

Thanks,
John
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Old 09-21-2009
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This is a very bad idea. The reason for the attachment point at the chest on a sailing harness is so that you will remain upright if you go over the side. With a low attachment point like on a climbing harness, you can spin around and end up upside down in the water. There is not much air to breathe when you are upside down in the water.
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Old 09-21-2009
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If you mean is the climbing harness suitable for getting you up the mast, then I would say no problem.
I regularly use my rock climbing harness for going up the mast, and I have no problems whatever with it. I have found it excellent and secure for this purpose.

I agree with Allanbc that it is NOT suitable as a replacement for a safety harness, to be attached to your safety lines, for exactly the same reason he states.
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Old 09-21-2009
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/\/\ +1, not a suitable replacement. Would also probably get pretty annoying to move around the deck efficiently in a rock climbing harness.
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Old 09-22-2009
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Thanks for the replies, I suspected as much so far as falling over boat head first.
So my next question is...
Currently I have on board the traditional vest style life jackets, any thoughts on the integrated inflatable pfd/harness vs. a separate harness and inflatable style life jacket?

Thanks again for the responses.
John
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Old 09-22-2009
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I KNOW others will disagree, but I personally really like the integrated harness and inflatable PFD. In the short time before I purchased mine I had a seperate harness and standard PFD, both which came with the boat. I found it annoying to have to take of the PFD to but on the harness, then put the PFD back on as conditions are deteriorating. I know myself, and figured if I already have the harness on as a part of the PFD, I am much more likely to pick up the tether and clip in when needed. If I need to go forward for a minute and things are marginal, I would be more likely to go without the harness then to take the time to take off the PFD, put on the harness, then put on the PFD again.

I know many people will argue that wearing both is redundant and unnecessary, and it very well may be, but I like the added security myself. If for some reason I am hanging off the side by the harness and need to un-clip to get back on board or something, I like knowing that I will have the PFD as well if it is needed. Paranoid may be, but since they are integrated it is no big deal.

However, I currently sail in cool climates where wearing the PFD all the time is no big deal. I do still have the separate harness and could see using it alone on hot days, especially if the weather is good, but I am harnessed in since I am the only one on deck... we will see when that day comes
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Old 09-22-2009
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I have an integral harness on my PFD and really like it. Not the best for bouy racing, D rings get caught on cleats, but I've been otherwise happy with it.
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Old 09-22-2009
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Nix on the rock climbing harness, but keep the wire gate biners!

Standard climbing biners can't handle the salt and will quickly seize; I trashed quite a few retired climbing biners this way, mostly on utility/unimportant uses.

However, the wire gate biners do quite well, are as strong as the SS biners, are much cheaper, and are much less likely to put a hole in your gel-coat.
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