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post #21 of 24 Old 12-08-2012
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Re: Immersion Suits

No experience with an immersion suit but used to dive for abalones off the Northern California coast with water temps in the low 50's. I wore a 1/4" full wet suit with a good hood and gloves. After fighting the surge and getting bashed on the rocks I got tired before I got cold. I could do a little over an hour and then had to rest. I also dove in Lake Tahoe in the winter time, water in the low 40's, and could stay in for an hour or so before my hands started to get numb. The wet suit may take a little longer to get into? I guess immersion suit are on the market for a reason?

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post #22 of 24 Old 12-08-2012
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Re: Immersion Suits

I'm pretty cheap guy, I don't make much, and what I make I prefer to spend sailing. However, I have very expensive dry suit. It is my only piece of nasty weather protection. It is so universal. I can it wear it in about any condition. I use it to clear a bottom. I'm going to clear my boat's bottom tomorrow, and I'm in New York City. I use it while sailing. I used it while delivering Oceanis 43 to St Marteen last year through the storm Sean, I wearied it through storm Irene while sitting on my boat, I sailed many of the tough small boat races in one. the only annoying point is that the gaskets need replacement every two years.
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post #23 of 24 Old 12-09-2012
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Re: Immersion Suits

Quality dry suits can be found for reasonable prices at the end of summer kayaking season around here. I was an active kayaker (and still enjoy it) so I have two dry suits. One was $600 used from a local outfitter (Kayak Academy), the other was about $300 in the return pile at Seattle REI and required a single patch. Both are Kokatat Goretex suits and I'm comfortable wearing them all day for multiple days in a row (and would do that while kayak touring). Retail on these are around $1000-$1400 depending on the options. Kokatat has the best warranty in the business and will service them for a long time, making it easy to get a decade out of one suit that has regular use.

This is a good time of year to try out your immersion gear and see how it works, at least in the northern hemisphere. With wool long underwear and a drysuit I'm good for about an hour in 40 degree water (colder than our local salt water) and PNW winter air. I've also used a two-part 7mm wetsuit (so 14mm of neoprene over my torso) in similar conditions while scuba diving and I was a lot colder. With the drysuit I had a lot more dexterity than I did with the wetsuit.
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post #24 of 24 Old 12-09-2012
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Re: Immersion Suits

As mentioned earlier in the thread, the full survival suits allow survival, but not too much else. They are quite bouyant and those gloves are almost like baseball mitts and there is no way one could press single buttons on any device. Here's a picture of me floating in freshwater in my suit (a Helly Hanson offshore coldweather suit, which I almost overheated in since the water I was in was warm)

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