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  #11  
Old 12-14-2007
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Val-

You don't want to use a climbing harness for a safety harness on a sailboat. A climbing harness fastens around your lower torso, and if you fell overboard, would drag you face down in the water and drown you very quickly. A sailing harness is designed to attach a bit above your center of gravity, so that you will get dragged head up, and hopefully not drown in the process.

A climbing harness makes sense for use as a "bosun's chair" replacement... but not as a sailing harness replacement.

All of the safety gear on my boat, PFDs, Flares, etc are SOLAS grade. The price difference between SOLAS grade equipment and USCG grade equipment is fairly low, and the performance difference is huge.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
I like the Spinlock harness as well, but I wonder if you couldn't get the same qualities in a mountaineer's climbing harness, which seems identical in construction and is manifestly strong enough. You could add the "accessories" as needed.

Secondly, just as there is a disconnect at times between the Canadian safety regs and certifications and the USCG ones, I find that in certain areas the USCG regulations (and the ABYC recommendations, in some cases) are behind those of organizations such as SOLAS. Canadian and U.S. regs are very similar, but they are bureaucratic in the sense that they require endorsements from both countries if they are expected to be considered "legitimately safe" in both countries.

Does everyone need SOLAS-grade gear? Probably not, but I find in what I've read and what I've heard from serious voyagers that the USCG standards are considered "minimums", whereas the SOLAS regs exceed these standards, sometimes by a wide margin. Lifevests, liferafts, and flares, for instance, would appear to be a few examples of where SOLAS is clearly the better standard.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #12  
Old 12-14-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
I like the Spinlock harness as well, but I wonder if you couldn't get the same qualities in a mountaineer's climbing harness, which seems identical in construction and is manifestly strong enough. You could add the "accessories" as needed.

Secondly, just as there is a disconnect at times between the Canadian safety regs and certifications and the USCG ones, I find that in certain areas the USCG regulations (and the ABYC recommendations, in some cases) are behind those of organizations such as SOLAS. Canadian and U.S. regs are very similar, but they are bureaucratic in the sense that they require endorsements from both countries if they are expected to be considered "legitimately safe" in both countries.

Does everyone need SOLAS-grade gear? Probably not, but I find in what I've read and what I've heard from serious voyagers that the USCG standards are considered "minimums", whereas the SOLAS regs exceed these standards, sometimes by a wide margin. Lifevests, liferafts, and flares, for instance, would appear to be a few examples of where SOLAS is clearly the better standard.

The spinlock harness is WAY, and I mean WAY overpriced. Got a great harnes from REI for $35 on sale. Spinlock: $165 BTW, a climbing harness is 10x for comfortable than bosun's chair. As a matter of fact I have yet to be up long enough to get uncomfortable in it. But this thread was about PFD's so: don't use a climbing harness to keep you on the boat! nuff said
SOLAS (safety of life at sea) is more of a international commercial standard, no? I'm sticking with these:


just kidding.
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  #13  
Old 12-14-2007
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check these out

I still wear my PFD from my whitewater kayaking days. It has a built in harness with a ring in back (that way water hits the back of your head and you can breathe in the air bubble- this really does work, at least on rivers and I can imagine a boat dragging would be very similar). Its not bulky feeling at all because the flotation is around your abdomen and back, not your shoulders and face. I wear mine whenever it's crappy out or I'm singlehanding, I don't own an inflatable, and I have a type I if the ship goes down. This isn't my jacket but you'll get the idea:


http://www.outdoorplay.com/store/Pro...&SKU=ELJ_STXTR
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Floatcoat

On our boat we use floatcoats or kayaking vests exclusively - well, except for the full backup set of regular type II's accessible from the deck.

In my experience, when it gets chilly enough to want a jacket, you should be wearing flotation anyway, and nobody seems to object to the bomber-jacket style float coats.

In really warm weather a kayaking vest stays out of the way while it's on.

The problem is kids - our 1-year-old screams bloody murder when we put the PFD on him, and I haven't seen a comfortable alternative.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by md7a View Post
On our boat we use floatcoats or kayaking vests exclusively - well, except for the full backup set of regular type II's accessible from the deck.

In my experience, when it gets chilly enough to want a jacket, you should be wearing flotation anyway, and nobody seems to object to the bomber-jacket style float coats.

In really warm weather a kayaking vest stays out of the way while it's on.

The problem is kids - our 1-year-old screams bloody murder when we put the PFD on him, and I haven't seen a comfortable alternative.
I was lucky with my kid. From about 4 months old he equated life vest with boat.. for some reason he likes the boat, so all happy

Float coats are an awesome idea. In the US Navy sometimes it is the only way to get a sailor to wear a PFD! They use Mustang almost exclusively. In Alaska, the norm is to skip the foul weather gear and go straight to a full one piece work suit. These however, are NOT considered PFD's until worn.. so make sure you wear them!
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  #16  
Old 12-14-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
I'm with TB...

A good PFD will have thigh or a crotch strap. This prevents the buoyancy of the vest from pulling the vest over your head, as happened to Sasha. I have several Mustang PFDs, which have been retrofitted with crotch straps and harnesses, ....

Was the retrofit to the Mustang a DIY or is there a crotch strap kit that one can buy? [I just received a Mustang LIFT vest as a gift.]
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  #17  
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Was a kit that you can get...wasn't a Mustang kit, but a generic kit for retrofitting any PFDs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pegasus1457 View Post
Was the retrofit to the Mustang a DIY or is there a crotch strap kit that one can buy? [I just received a Mustang LIFT vest as a gift.]
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #18  
Old 12-14-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Val-

You don't want to use a climbing harness for a safety harness on a sailboat. A climbing harness fastens around your lower torso, and if you fell overboard, would drag you face down in the water and drown you very quickly. A sailing harness is designed to attach a bit above your center of gravity, so that you will get dragged head up, and hopefully not drown in the process. .
It was a vague supposition based on the superficial resemblance. I have some old but massive Lirikis harnesses, plus an integral harness in my SOSpender auto/manual, but ideally I'd like a harness alone, plus a "floater" vest. This is possibly the best combo for sailing alone or when on night watch, because it doesn't require you to be conscious should you somehow fail to hook on and get washed over, and there's nothing to go mechanically wrong.

I tend to wear floatation vests in the Zodiac for the same reasons...if I get knocked out, I need to float head up and I can't expect my six-year-old to haul me in. Maybe to lash me on...

When there are other crew on deck or at least aware of me moving about the boat, I prefer the "deflated collar" types, because they are cooler and less confining.

One point for those intending to crew: you can't take the cylinders on planes and buying replacements overseas is not always possible.
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Valiente-

Actually, you can take up to two cylinders on a plane... usually as checked baggage... but the exact regulations are airline specific.

The non-PFD safety harnesses I have on the boat I got in an unusual manner. They're made by Henri Lloyd and were normally included in one of their off-shore line of foul weather jackets. I got the jackets on clearance from WM for $26 each...and took the harnesses out and gave the jackets to friends of mine who don't sail. They love the coats... and I got some very nice harnesses for dirt cheap.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #20  
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BTW, the TSA regs on the CO2 cartridges is located here. According to the TSA you can carry two in vests and two spares... However, about half the airlines don't allow them, half do... so you really have to check with your air carrier. Good article from US SAILING on the issue here.

There's some more to read about this here:

Quote:
TSA History - Small CO2 cylinders associated with self-inflating life jackets were initially banned after September 11, 2001 onboard aircraft. During early 2006, adopting polices used by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the TSA began to allow carriage of self-inflating personal flotation devices (PFD) that used CO2 cylinders. Following the liquid explosives threat occurring later in 2006, the TSA reversed their decision again and prohibited passage of these life jackets through airport screening stations. The Safety at Sea Committee of US Sailing requested a formal evaluation from TSA concerning their policy on the life jackets. Following this request and a review by TSA, CO2 cylinders associated with a self-inflating life jacket will be allowed to pass airport screening stations again on 4 August 2007.

Federal Exception for Self-Inflating Life Jackets - The current exception is found in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations Section 175.10 (25), "With approval of the aircraft operator, a passenger or crew member may carry in checked or carry-on baggage no more than two small gas cartridges containing no hazardous material other than a Division 2.2 gas that are fitted into a self-inflating life-jacket for inflation purposes, plus no more than two spare cartridges." TSA screeners should be aware of this change and prepared to allow self-inflating PFD through their checkpoints. A key disclaimer in this entire regulation is that the airline must also approve carriage of this gear on their aircraft. Most airline passengers aren't carrying PFD's on a routine basis and it shouldn't be a surprise that company polices will vary and not be understood by all employees.

A boater wishing to carry a self-inflating life jacket needs to consult with their airline of choose. Some carriers allow the PFD's to be in carryon baggage, others permit them as part of checked baggage and many prohibit them outright. Check company websites and call ahead of your planned trip. A recent check of published company policies produced these results:
  • Alaska Airlines - No mention of self-inflating life jackets in their baggage policy
  • Continental Airlines - Accepts one carbon dioxide (CO2) powered inflatable life jacket as checked or carry-on baggage. The life jacket may be packed in a checked or carry-on bag or carried as a single item in lieu of a checked or carry-on bag
  • American Airlines - No life jackets inflated by CO2 cartridges allowed
  • Delta Airlines - Accepts one self-inflating life jacket that contains one small carbon dioxide cylinder as checked baggage only
  • Northwest Airlines - CO2 cartridges are allowed in carry on and checked baggage for self-inflating life vests. Two cartridges may be installed in the life vest and two spares may be carried. CO2 cartridges may not be carried for any other purpose.
  • Southwest Airlines - Allows self-inflating life vests with two small gas cylinders and two small spare cylinders in checked baggage
Remember these regulations may not be applied consistently and may change. If a TSA screener prohibits an inflatable PFD from passing their checkpoint, ask for the supervisor and refer to 49 CFR 175.10 (25). Boaters often attach knifes or place flares in their PFDs, don't go anywhere near the airport until these are removed from your life jacket. Be familiar with the baggage policy of your air carrier.
Please note that you should remove any flares or knives from the PFDs before trying to bring them aboard a plane.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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