Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: British Columbia
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?
A British sailing magazine did tests on harnesses, by traveling at 4 knots and having the person in them jump overboard. The shock from the tug, when the tether came tight, was minimal. ,With the tether attached to the chest, the person being towed had such a huge bow wave build up in front of him, that it was impossible for him to breath and it threatened to drown him quickly. That happened in a recent Farallons race, and the person drowned before his crew could slow the boat down enough for him to breath, or get his head above his own bow wave. That should have resulted in a law suit against the manufacturer of the harness. They would be building them very differently today, had that happened. It's just a matter of time before such an incident results in a huge law suit.
Next they tried attaching the tether to the back of the harness. That kept the occupant alive , but made it impossible for him to pull himself back in.
Then they tried attaching the tether to the shoulder. That not only allowed the occupant to breath , but it also allowed him to pull himself back in. That was the best option, the one I use.
Manufacturers of safety harnesses don't do any such testing, they just copy what everyone else does.
I have eliminated the D rings, for a lashing, as they are far more comfortable in your bunk. Attaching the tether to the top of the shoulder also stops it from digging into you when you are single handed, and in your bunk on a squally night.
Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"