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· Telstar 28
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T37Chef-

You could get that harness, or you could spend about a fifth the money and get a regular rock climbing harness at REI or EMS or something like that... The Spinlock Mast Pro harness is made by Petzl, who makes regular rock climbing gear. You can buy a regular rock climbing harness that does pretty much everything the MastPro does for a lot less money.

I wouldn't recommend using the Mast-Pro or any mast-climbing harness for a sailing safety harness for one major reason. Climbing harnesses attach fairly low on the body, below the center of gravity, unless you get one of the full-body harnesses. That means that you're likely to get dragged in the water face down by it...since it is below the center of gravity on your body... :)

Safety harnesses for sailing tethers are upper body harnesses and need to go around the upper torso above the sternum. This is why many of the PFDs with integrated harnesses, like the Mustangs and their WM cousins are not for people shorter than 5' 8". While their literature doesn't say this, the fine print on the PFDs instructions CLEARLY DO.

If the harness extends below the base of the sternum, the harness is on the floating ribs, rather than the ones attached to the sternum, and if you fall overboard-the forces transmitted by you falling from the jackline to the tether to the harness can break the floating ribs and cause serious internal bleeding that can possibly kill you.

Just some food for thought....

BTW, if you want a PFD with a good safety harness and are relatively short, the Spinlock Deckware Pro and Deckvest seem to be the best choices... I use a Deckware Pro for that reason. However, neither is USCG approved. :)
 

· Telstar 28
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The one thing I've noticed on the Spinlock Mast-pro harness is that the thigh straps are a bit wider, which makes them a bit more comfortable... but given the price difference...they just ain't that comfortable.

Glad to help T37Chef. :)
 

· Telstar 28
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Good point, but usually not as much a worry with sailing harnesses, since they're only under load when the excrement hits the impeller and you're overboard, which is why I don't mention it. The broken ribs usually make the fact that you can't breathe easily a less important issue.

Back in the old days rock climbers would use chest harness - this was WAY back. A good number died from asphyxiation when the harness was too low; the ribs could not expand. You don't want to get dragged by a low fitting harness - you can't breath.
 

· Telstar 28
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But the breathing problem can be trigger at less than body weight and often comes as a surprise. This has struck climbers and sailor alike. What can happen is that heavy clothing prevents the harness for sliding up into the armpits.
A properly sized and fit harness shouldn't be low enough to cause breathing problems when not under load in any case.

I also witnessed a teenager falling out of a climbing harness from ~ 100 feet up - it ended badly. I was ~ 50 feet from the impact zone. He did not follow the instructions and did not double the belt back. That experience made me a bit of a stickler for harness fit, particularly on children. Like shoes, a harness should be bought based upon fit, not fashion, price, or features.
No argument there.
 

· Telstar 28
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That's why my crew has dedicated PFD/Harnesses. :) Just keeps the problems down to a minimum.

But sometime crew just grabs a harness from the bin, without fitting. In the climbing example above, the kid had grown.
 
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