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offline2004 03-15-2005 05:47 PM

Toddler and PFD''''s or Harness
Last year with our 8-month-old daughter we purchased a 33'' cruiser for the Chesapeake. As our daughter was not truly mobile she was able to spend the majority of the time below deck or on my wife''s lap in the cockpit. This season will definitely be a different story.

We have read many postings and articles that seem to suggest that a harness and tether (in addition to safety netting) actually provide more freedom and protection for a toddler as opposed to a bulky PFD. Most of our cruising is day/weekend sailing.

1 - my wife and I are looking for input from people who have tried this

2 - does anyone know where we can find a good harness for a 2 year old. All of the ones online seem to be for parents who cant keep track of their children at the mall.

Thanks! Matt & Amy

jbanta 03-16-2005 06:30 AM

Toddler and PFD''''s or Harness
Harness and tether is a GREAT way to protect a little one BUT it doesn''t meet the standards of the law. Chrildren under 12 (at least in my political location) are required to wear a PFD at all times in or around your boat while in the water except when in a fully enclosed cabin. I say do both I believe in the valueof tethers 150%

duffer1960 03-16-2005 08:30 AM

Toddler and PFD''''s or Harness
We kept our 2 and 3 1/2 year olds in life jackets at all times. Not the bulky orange ones, but the zipper and buckle Mustangs (I think) with the head floation pad on the back. We also added the lifeline netting - the best thing we did - so we wouldn''t have heart attacks every time one of them went near the edge. We also bought harnesses and teathers, marine types, not from Babies R US, but never needed to use them. If the weather was bad enough, we just kept them in the cabin.

ghostsailors 03-16-2005 08:07 PM

Toddler and PFD''''s or Harness
We liveaboard and sail with our 2 yr. old and 4 yr. old. They always wear their life jackets whenever on the docks or on deck. We also have the lifeline netting and I agree with Russ, it''s the best thing we did. Once the life jackets get a little worn in, they are pretty comfortable. We have the yellow mustang jackets that Russ was talking about. They are great! My son forgets he has it on sometimes when he comes down below. We don''t have tethers for the kids yet, but we don''t plan on doing any extreme sailing and if the weather gets bad, we will just go down below. We will probably re-think everything when we go off shore, but what we have now works great here in the Pacific Northwest.

Best of luck

S/V Ghost
Seattle, WA

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