Opinions on PDF, Harness, & Tethers? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 28 Old 07-11-2012 Thread Starter
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Arrow Opinions on PDF, Harness, & Tethers?

Hello-

I have read the following, there is allot of good info here, as well as all the links within this thread: diy safety harness

I am not addressing jacklines in this post.

I'm looking for a system for use on open ocean & cruising. After reading the above I think a separate inflatable PFD and separate harness would be the best method and using a double tether (3' & 6' lengths) with Kong Tango (Tango Carabiner : Rock Climbing Gear : Rockclimbing.com) clips all around.

I would make the tether, see right hand example here: Sail Delmarva: jacklines tethers and harnesses also see: Sail Delmarva: The Case for Softer Tethers using 1" flat webbing (see: Mountain Tek - Technical Rescue Equipment, Inc.) and a Screamer (Yates SCREAMERS ) with Water, Larks Head, & Overhand Loop knots (as mentioned in the Delmarva blog ref from top most thread). Any foreseeable reason not to make this tether?

The inflatable PDF; I'm thinking to go with a Mustang MD0450 (MD0450 Automatic Inflatable Lifejacket with LIFT and Hammar Inflator :: Mustang Survival). This has the option to add this harness (MA1900 Removable Harness for MD0450 :: Mustang Survival). Keeping with the idea that I believe I would find myself wearing the harness alone in tropical zones a benefit. I could incorporate it into the PDF when anticipating weather. Question here is, do you think this harness is suitable to wear alone? Would a different brand be a better choice for the harness even if it was not made for use with the 0450?

Overall opinions?

Thanks,
Robes-
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post #2 of 28 Old 07-11-2012
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Re: Opinions on PDF, Harness, & Tethers?

I would add a personal epirb to the above set up.

But there are two rules when sailing offshore on your own.

Rule 1 Stay on the boat.

Rule 2 See rule 1
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post #3 of 28 Old 07-11-2012
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Re: Opinions on PDF, Harness, & Tethers?

I am a big fan of integrated PFD and harness. Earlier this year, I did a 2 week cruise with a fair amount of heavy weather and the one crew member that had a separate jacket and harness was constantly fighting to get that arrangement on and off - to the point where he finally gave up and used one of our spare Type Vs.

And of course, jacklines are a must, but you said you didn't want to address that.
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Re: Opinions on PDF, Harness, & Tethers?

The spinlock vest/harness has a good track record and has an integrated spray hood. Expensive, and not USCG approved (but is just about everywhere else)... don't forget a crotch strap. In the end, keep it simple with as little stuff as you can manage to get tangled up in IMHO opinion of course.
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post #5 of 28 Old 07-17-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Opinions on PDF, Harness, & Tethers?

Thanks for your opinions, I forgot about a crotch strap-good idea.
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post #6 of 28 Old 07-17-2012
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Re: Opinions on PDF, Harness, & Tethers?

I once read an article in British magazine about testing safety harnesses. The ran a boat at 4 knots, and had a guy in a safety harness jump overboard. With the tether attached at the centre of his chest , his motion thru the water built up such a huge bow wave, that he couldn't get his head above it, and it threatened to drown him. A few years ago, a guy was drowned that way, by his "Safety Harness" in the Farallones race. Before they could get the boat stopped, he was dead. I'm surprised no one filed a lawsuit against the company which made the "Safety Harness"
Then they tried attaching the tether to the back. Worked well, he was comfortable and could breath, but there was no way he could reach the tether to pull himself in.
Then they attached it to the top of the shoulder. Much better! He could breath, and he could pull himself in.
Another advantage of the top of the shoulder attachement point is it doesn't dig into you when you wear it in your bunk. I use a lashing in front, instead of metal parts , for the same reason.I build mine that way, and wouldn't consider doing it any other way.

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post #7 of 28 Old 07-18-2012
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Re: Opinions on PDF, Harness, & Tethers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by puddinlegs View Post
The spinlock vest/harness has a good track record and has an integrated spray hood. Expensive, and not USCG approved (but is just about everywhere else)... don't forget a crotch strap. In the end, keep it simple with as little stuff as you can manage to get tangled up in IMHO opinion of course.
This is what I have and, for me, is more comfortable than the flat Mustang. The rounded neoprene doesn't dig into my neck. Spinlock is also in the camp that does NOT have releasing safety shackles on their tethers to prevent a dragging. They integrate an S-cutter right into the vest, next to the tether attach point, to cut yourself free without having to manipulate a knife. The shackles that attach to the vest and jacklines are compound, requiring two separate motions to open.


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post #8 of 28 Old 07-18-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Opinions on PDF, Harness, & Tethers?

I'm not sure what to go with on the harness end but my dual length tether will be designed, lengthwise, not to allow me to fall overboard (not long enough). I will not wear a tether that would allow me to fully fall overboard but keep me on the boat, my fear is being trapped by rigging or cabin during a knockdown or capsize. For these reasons I think a load-releasing quik-release maybe a good choice for me such as the Wichard, seen here:
Wichard Large Bail Snap Shackle & Swivel Eye, 3-1/8" Lenth - 2373

I have to consider myself dead if I'm single handing & fall off the deck. Only location at the time may be my life saver. I just don't see myself wielding a blade next to my inflatable in many weather/daylight/night situations, let alone being dragged by the boat. Yet, sh#t happens & I would hope to have one on me, if I could manipulate it would be another thing. I'm thinking a well maintained "lubed" Wichard with lanyard & a careful eye to be sure it is correctly closed before the adventure out could be what I'm leaning toward-

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post #9 of 28 Old 07-18-2012
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Re: Opinions on PDF, Harness, & Tethers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robes View Post
I'm not sure what to go with on the harness end but my dual length tether will be designed, lengthwise, not to allow me to fall overboard (not long enough). I will not wear a tether that would allow me to fully fall overboard but keep me on the boat, my fear is being trapped by rigging or cabin during a knockdown or capsize. For these reasons I think a load-releasing quik-release maybe a good choice for me such as the Wichard, seen here:
Wichard Large Bail Snap Shackle & Swivel Eye, 3-1/8" Lenth - 2373

I have to consider myself dead if I'm single handing & fall off the deck. Only location at the time may be my life saver. I just don't see myself wielding a blade next to my inflatable in many weather/daylight/night situations, let alone being dragged by the boat. Yet, sh#t happens & I would hope to have one on me, if I could manipulate it would be another thing. I'm thinking a well maintained "lubed" Wichard with lanyard & a careful eye to be sure it is correctly closed before the adventure out could be what I'm leaning toward-

Robes
How will you run your jacklines such that you can in no way hit the water if you fall overboard, yet still have the flexibility to reach the mast in a timely manner? Reality is for us, that is about the only time we ever go forward anyways is to get to the mast. That requires jacks run down the catwalk for at least a short period of time, and anything that gets close to the catwalk with any length of tether at all would put you in the water or prevent you from adequately reaching the mast.

Just curious as what you are proposing does not work for us and I am having trouble invisioning how it would work for anyone.

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post #10 of 28 Old 07-18-2012
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Re: Opinions on PDF, Harness, & Tethers?

Robes, KISS and get a pfd with harness built in. If they are separate you will find a time when you are wearing the pfd and want to upgrade to the harness. Now there's more stuff, and like reefing, you probably should have gone below to change but now find yourself too busy to do it. The harness isn't very cumbersome, it helps keep you in the PFD if someone needs to haul you onto the boat. If you really don't like a combination, then I'd suggest getting two pfds, one with harness and one without, so you can just "put on" one device when you do need to change. KISS.
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