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Old 03-02-2010, 08:12   #1
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Safety Harness Shopping - Options?

While everyone talks about the value of using a harness and tether to "stay on the boat" it seems the options for purchasing a stand-alone harness are quite limited. West Marine no longer carries them and an internet search doesn't pull up too many hits.

Have inflatable vests with integral harnesses replaced them?

Curious to hear your opinions as well as some recommendations for brands, etc., if they exist.

Mike
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:18   #2
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I have a couple of basic cruising harnesses manufactured by ANCRA International bought a number of years ago. Consists of a webbing harness and attachment ring and tether. I had a look at their website but I can't see these items there.

The ones I have are fine but I always wear an integral pfd and harness - not much bulkier and a lot safer!
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:45   #3
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Mike, Few years ago I bought some 2" black webbing (like jackline material) and some D rings to make a few custom
harnesses to suppliment the intergrated ones I have on board. Will try to make this winter. Have good design (in head) complete with offset crotch strap. Just a thought...
also check Chetco Marine Supply in Oregon, have not checked
but there should be others as well. Hugo
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:00   #4
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I think Sailrite has kits and/or patterns so you can build your own... One thing you may want to consider is reading some of the earlier maritime safety related posts - particularly the one about Ouzo's loss (Marine Accident Investigation: Ouzo)

Wearing the inflatable harness with a crotch strap seems to be the way to go in case of bad things happening in a hurry.

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Old 03-02-2010, 10:12   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeandrebecca View Post
Curious to hear your opinions as well as some recommendations for brands, etc., if they exist.

Mike
Defender still sells the mustang Sailing Harness and the STE STE Sail Safety Harness and the Plastemo Adjustable Safety Harness

Spinlock sells the deck pro Welcome to the Spinlock Website Harness

And the climbing guys have them:

www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/full-body-harnesses/voltige

www.petzl.com/en/pro/verticality/harnesses/work-positioning-and-fall-arrest-harnesses/chester

Or you can do what the Volvo boys do and splice up your own in about a half hour with some spectra single braid rope - lighter, stronger, cheaper and more comfortable than all the above.
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Old 03-02-2010, 14:18   #6
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I think I have to say NIX to these climbing chest harnesses

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Defender still sells the mustang Sailing Harness and the STE STE Sail Safety Harness and the Plastemo Adjustable Safety Harness

Spinlock sells the deck pro Welcome to the Spinlock Website Harness

And the climbing guys have them:

www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/full-body-harnesses/voltige

www.petzl.com/en/pro/verticality/harnesses/work-positioning-and-fall-arrest-harnesses/chester

Or you can do what the Volvo boys do and splice up your own in about a half hour with some spectra single braid rope - lighter, stronger, cheaper and more comfortable than all the above.
The Volage is just to hold you vertical when worn with a seat harness. These go way back and are not rated to be worn separately. It's in the fine print.

The Verticallity harness looks like it would take your teeth out if you fell. Additionally, it is not rated for use separate from a seat harness.

Climbers have not used chest harnesses in 50 years; the impact of a vertical fall will either break ribs or cause slow suffocation. Chest harnesses are not OSHA approved... although seat harnesses aren't either. You can fall over backwards, particularly if over weight.

The Mustang is a good harness. I had one, years ago. It was stolen from the deck.

I have used a rope harnesses too, but I wouldn't fancy hanging from one. It hurts. So do rope seat harnesses.
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Old 03-02-2010, 14:38   #7
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I have been using a Black Diamond harness for climbing aloft (singlehanded) - it has worked quite well - has the parts that go around the thighs - is this what you mean by a 'seat harness' by any chance? I am not sure about using it as a safety harness on deck however.... it seems the my Sospenders is better suited for this purpose.

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Old 03-02-2010, 15:07   #8
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The thing of it is, Iv'e been climbing for 30 years and remember when these products.

...were rolled out. Things were still developing then.

Note that 2 biners are needed on the Mustang style harness: one to hold the chest closed (locking) and one to attach the tether. Otherwise, the harness falls off every time you unclip.

I can't agree with the statement that an inflatable is as comfortable. It is not. The difference is that at 90F I will wear a simple harness, but I will not wear an inflatable. I will not wear a crotch strap; let someone post that has fallen on one. I've seen climbers fall on poorly adjusted seat harnesses; it's not pretty. I will make sure my chest harness fits well. I actually wear my harness under my weather gear">foul weather gear, because it will not fit well over it (but then again, on a cat I hardly ever need foul weather gear, even in mid-winter).

Yes, we keep 2 vests available in the cockpit. They can go on in seconds.

Personal choices that I believe are safe, based upon many years on the water and high in the mountains.
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Old 03-02-2010, 15:18   #9
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Yes, that is the definition of a seat harness.

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Originally Posted by Sailndive345 View Post
I have been using a Black Diamond harness for climbing aloft (singlehanded) - it has worked quite well - has the parts that go around the thighs - is this what you mean by a 'seat harness' by any chance? I am not sure about using it as a safety harness on deck however.... it seems the my Sospenders is better suited for this purpose.

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There was a time when that was called a "swami with leg loops", but I reminisce.
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Old 03-02-2010, 15:25   #10
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Thanks for all the replies everyone.

Even though several models were listed at Defender it looks to me as if only 1 is really in stock in different sizes.

I guess my point is that I thought there were (used to be?) multiple versions of these harnesses available. That doesn't seem to be the case today, as evidenced by the fact that you guys are suggesting rock climbing harnesses or creating your own from webbing or rope.

There are of course inflatable versions with harnesses built in. We just purchased two Mustang hydrostatic ones at the Toronto boat show. Is this what everyone is using these days?
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Old 04-02-2010, 15:23   #11
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Quote:
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Thanks for all the replies everyone.

...There are of course inflatable versions with harnesses built in. We just purchased two Mustang hydrostatic ones at the Toronto boat show. Is this what everyone is using these days?
That's what I am using - both in FL and in Minnesota, (at Lake Minnetonka and Superior) - Unlike in FL, the MN race committees have 'lifevest required' rules for certain conditions - the inflatable with harness - IMO - is much more comfortable to wear.

For FL, I must agree that it is sometimes too hot for inflatable types - I have a large collection of regular harnesses for just such conditions.

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Old 09-02-2010, 11:58   #12
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. . . not rated to be worn separately.

Yes, I know, but NONE of the sailing harnesses would ever be rated 'to be worn separately' in the climbing world.

I have used a rope harnesses too, but I wouldn't fancy hanging from one. It hurts. . .
I only mention this because it's what many offshore pros (volvo race) wear. They have their fancy and expensive (and uncomfortable) spinlock gear for the publicity shots and then put on their spectra line harnesses when they get serious.
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:35   #13
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Do you have a link to an image of one of these spectra line harnesses that you are talking about?

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Old 09-02-2010, 13:35   #14
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Having done The industrial construction thing in the past, I'm acquainted with the various osha approved harnesses available. From what I've seen they seem to be much more robust than the marine versions. The fall harnesses have leg straps, not just a crotch strap. They aren't overly uncomfortable for hanging suspended. Some are downright comfortable. All lanyards and attachments are double locking failsafe design to meet OSHA code. That being said I've made harnesses out of simple 3 strand nylon. Simply a figure 8, where the cross is on back and two loops are attached together in front of chest with lanyard, must be tailor fit to individual wearing.
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Old 09-02-2010, 16:42   #15
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Agreed. Sailing is far different from climbing...

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I only mention this because it's what many offshore pros (volvo race) wear. They have their fancy and expensive (and uncomfortable) spinlock gear for the publicity shots and then put on their spectra line harnesses when they get serious.
However, I wanted to point out that they are specifically designed to pull you forward toward the rope, not support vertical loads, not even body weight. The "Voltiage" style figure-8 harnesses can slide off over your shoulders, since they are not designed to prevent that. Try it. I own one (different model) and have used it climbing.

Rope harnesses are safe in that sense; a single line around the chest, and then shoulder lines to hold it up.

What ever harness you get, put it on and them hang from it for a few moments. Can you worm your arms out of it? Is it total murder? This is the only way to test the fit and to be sure, and it is easy to do.
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