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We just bought our first sail boat and I am in the process of getting it rigged up with jacklines and looking for harnesses for our 2 and 4 year old daughters. We currently have two Stohlquist Nemo PDFs for the girls. I have looked at harnesses from West Marine and Crewsaver but I can't figure out how they should wear these with their PFDs. From what I have read they should wear the harness under the PFD. Both harnesses have either a D-ring or loop in the front. It seems that having that plus the attached tether under the PDF will be rather uncomfortable. The other concern is that the tether will either need to come out of the top or bottom of the PDF thus potentially causing a problematic drag position in the water. Can you please share more about your ideal PDF and harness set ups?
 

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I never felt the need to use both together. Either PFD or harness (yup, I know the law, just ignored it as it does not address harnesses).

There were a few times in very foul weather where I would have my girl wear both; comfort wasn't really important and there were no complaints.

And as you well know, there is no replacment for parental supervision. Heck many guests must be watched.
 

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when our son was young, we went with a small adult pfd, and went to a climbing gear shop, like REI. We purchased an appropriate size, for some reason they have a better selection of sizes, climbing harness and a 15" sewn strap with D rings on either end.

He put on the harness and looped the strap in the D rings of the harness, then put on the PFD and then fed the strap around the front of the PFD and we used a climbing caribiner, real one - not one of the cheap key ring ones. and then used a regular tether on that caribiner.

This allowed him free run as long as he was tethered and still kept the tether mid chest, and outside the PFD, where it should be.
 

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Harness first, PFD if needed in addition. The tether should be able to come through the PFD just above the waist where the ring is. More important IMO would be that the tether is short enough that they cannot get out of the cockpit. No need form them to go forward in bad weather anyway. If they do use the jack lines its probably (should be) in relatively benign conditions anyway. Our two girls prefer the harness over the PFD for obvious reasons, especially on a hot summer day ;)
 

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You can't tell well in this photo but the tether is fairly short, attached just below in the cockpit to a pad eye. She can attach the tether from the companionway to the pad-eye, to the jack lines if allowed, and so on. They feel very secure when wearing them, as do I :)



Yes, Olivia is tired in this photo, I think we were off the Jersey coast in this picture headed South for Atlantic City.
 
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