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Old 06-10-2014, 17:30   #1
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Benefits of a Survival Suit in Cold Water

Reading on another thread (The Sea is a Harsh Mistress - Cruisers & Sailing Forums) of a mayday call, and then of calling off the search effort, it started me wondering.....

the water temperature there was only 14C, about 58F. Survival time in that water, without protection, is probably only 6 hours at best.

How many of you who sail in colder waters carry survival suits when you cruise?

Clearly if one is swept overboard without warning it'd do no good, but if you knew there was a high likelihood of having many hours in cold water, there may be opportunity to don one. Do you carry survival suits?
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Old 06-10-2014, 17:42   #2
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Re: survival suit?

We carry two gumby survival suits. One for me and one for my wife. Started doing it when we brought our Hunter down to southern California from San Francisco. Also have a life raft, dinghy on davits, ditch bag... you name it, we have it. 2 EPIRBs.

Sea temp 58 degrees... you won't last more than an hour unless you weigh 500 pounds.
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Old 06-10-2014, 17:53   #3
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Re: survival suit?

I have an immersion suit that I take on winter deliveries,neopreme lined ,mostly used by fishermen in northen lattitudes,increases you survival time in the water significantly,and you can wear it all the time unlike a survival suit.
good for about 4-6 hours in 7C water
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Old 06-10-2014, 18:46   #4
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Re: survival suit?

I have one gumby suit. I would like a couple more.

Steve.
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Old 06-10-2014, 22:29   #5
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Re: survival suit?

I carry two with easy access in the lazzerette.
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Old 07-10-2014, 00:32   #6
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Re: Benefits of a Survival Suit in Cold Water

2 adult, 2 child size. Most sailors I know have spent more on their life jacket/harness and foulies than a gumby suit costs. Can be found cheap on EBay or Craigslist. Fishermen often sell them, usually unused. Silly not to have one at the price.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:19   #7
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Re: Benefits of a Survival Suit in Cold Water

Since the most likely use of the suit is if you fall overboard, I don't think they will do you much good unless you wear them all the time. In that case it would seem that you would be far better off with an immersion suit or a good kayak/diving drysuit since you could actually still function on the boat. Gumby suits, not so much.

Also, sailboats unlike really large commercial fishing boats, often seem to sink pretty fast. Would you have time to grab the suit and don it before going into the cold water?

We take our diving drysuits in cold weather/water since we can live in them if necessary with enough mobility and (relatively) easy off and on for toilet breaks, etc.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:33   #8
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Re: Benefits of a Survival Suit in Cold Water

I carry two gumby suits. Not real easy to use. But they are there. As said above they readily available cheap on eBay.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:35   #9
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Re: Benefits of a Survival Suit in Cold Water

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Originally Posted by IdoraKeeper View Post
I carry two gumby suits. Not real easy to use. But they are there. As said above they readily available cheap on eBay.
Not doubting you, but define cheap, and what is the shelf life?
I plan on always staying in warm water, I'm allergic to cold, but if cheap, maybe not a bad idea.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:09   #10
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Re: Benefits of a Survival Suit in Cold Water

If you keep them away from UV i.e. in a bag, they last like a wetsuit that you don't use. The zippers and seals must be periodically lubed. Check eBay, I bet some shrimpers are cycling some out that are unused. Price ought to be 1\2 or less boat buck. Warm water will kill you too, just more slowly.
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Old 07-10-2014, 13:16   #11
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Re: Benefits of a Survival Suit in Cold Water

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Originally Posted by accomplice View Post
...the water temperature there was only 14C, about 58F. Survival time in that water, without protection, is probably only 6 hours at best.
Actually, survival time might be closer to 6 minutes than 6 hours if you're not wearing a life jacket.

After that, you will start to lose the use of your extremities as your body redirects blood to the core and shuts down peripheral circulation. You won't be able to hang onto or pull yourself along a line. Next you'll lose the ability to climb a ladder. Eventually you won't be able to swim or tread water.
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Old 07-10-2014, 13:30   #12
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pirate Re: Benefits of a Survival Suit in Cold Water

More time to reflect...?
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Old 07-10-2014, 13:38   #13
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Re: Benefits of a Survival Suit in Cold Water

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More time to reflect...?

Check out the number of Alaskan fishermen who have been rescued after long periods of immersion in very cold water.
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Old 07-10-2014, 13:41   #14
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Re: Benefits of a Survival Suit in Cold Water

they have saved many a fisherman. better have a plb also I suppose...
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Old 07-10-2014, 13:54   #15
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pirate Re: Benefits of a Survival Suit in Cold Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Check out the number of Alaskan fishermen who have been rescued after long periods of immersion in very cold water.
Backs up what I said... stop thinking negative..
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