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Old 25-08-2014, 17:54   #1
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Suggestions for Safety Harness Please?

For the past decade we have been using Sospenders inflatable harness. I hate them. They are so uncomfortable that after a 4 hour watch my neck aches. They are hot in the tropics and now not staying velco'd closed. I want to change back to a straight safety harness which I gave away when we departed in 05.

Without getting into a discussion about the merits of an inflatable harness can anyone recommend an old fashion web harness? We use to have a pair of harnesses made up by my brother in law but like I mentioned we passed these on a decade ago.

I see a number of makes available so hopefully some of the Folks on this forum can suggest a brand that they have used and like

Thank you

Chuck




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Old 25-08-2014, 18:17   #2
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Re: Suggestions for safety harness pls?

My decades old harness+ PFD is also SOSPENDERS. so I know about the device and the discomfort of the design and materials.

Switlik makes simple rugged harness. Very highly regarded by many sailors.

Search, probably available at west marine and other sources.

That said, I would not expect any "decades" old safety gear to be without some wear or faults, especially if is used regularly or in marine environment.

Instead of just a harness, I would rather try a newer design inflatable by a different manufacturer.
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Old 25-08-2014, 18:22   #3
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Re: Suggestions for safety harness pls?

I have the West Marine inflatable with built in harness. It's OK if you don't put anything in the pouch, but if you put in a knife, and hand held, it too will strain your neck after a number of hours.
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Old 25-08-2014, 19:40   #4
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Re: Suggestions for safety harness pls?

Chuck, do you want them with crotch straps, or w/o? One of the CF posters mentioned some Canadian ones that do have them. Or perhaps some are available of Chilean manufacture?

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Old 26-08-2014, 06:19   #5
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Re: Suggestions for safety harness pls?

They're mostly pretty similar. Here's a good, basic one...
Stearns STE Sail Safety Harness

That said, I have a Revere automatic, inflatable PFD with built-in harness and my wife and I both find them very comfortable.
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Old 26-08-2014, 06:28   #6
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Re: Suggestions for safety harness pls?

There are an awful lot of advantages to combining life jacket and harness functions, so I would suggest trying on some of the latest generation PFD's before going back to the stone age with a separate harness.

What will be comfortable for you is an individual question, but you might start with the new Crewsaver one which you put on like a vest (many people speak highly of it), or the Spinlock one which is very compact, hardly bulkier than a standard harness alone, and very comfortable for most people.

Since I sail in cold waters and often with a lot of weather gear">foul weather gear on, I use an extra large capacity (275 newtons) life jacket made by Seago. It's not an expensive or very modern one. I think I paid about $250 for it. It's actually fine -- I don't find it uncomfortable at all, despite the bulk necessitated by the jumbo gas bottle and larger bladder. My only complaint might be that storage is a little paltry. I carry a PLB, knife, light, and some other stuff in it, and the storage could be better organized. It has a built-in spray hood, which is a feature which is much to be recommended.
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Old 26-08-2014, 06:30   #7
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Re: Suggestions for safety harness pls?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Chuck, do you want them with crotch straps, or w/o? One of the CF posters mentioned some Canadian ones that do have them. Or perhaps some are available of Chilean manufacture?

Ann
Whatever you buy, whether it is a PFD or just a harness, don't buy anything without crotch straps. We know already since the '79 Fastnet disaster that life jackets or harnesses without crotch straps are practically useless. Imagine a parachute which you put on just around your waist -- that's the same idea as a life jacket without crotch straps.
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Old 26-08-2014, 08:17   #8
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Re: Suggestions for Safety Harness Please?

For a pure harness, no life jacket involved, I was never happy with anything offered in the marine industry, Larkas and the like. I found a parachute Drop Zone facility with a certified Parachute Rigger, told her what I wanted and she made it up. It was perfect and it was 45 bucks. I have had the same harness "re-webbed" twice over 20 years by similar Certified Riggers, both times less than 35 bucks. The harness is constructed to Parachute harness standards, I trust it and it's comfortable so I wear it.
My system is designed to keep my center mass from leaving the deck but I have hung in the harness to test it without issue. It's a simple chest harness with shoulder straps. It adjusts to wear over a tee shirt or foul weather gear, with harness adjusters, and attaches with a pair of D rings.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:33   #9
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Re: Suggestions for Safety Harness Please?

Any chance of a photo? Might help in having a rigger make one u.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:39   #10
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Re: Suggestions for Safety Harness Please?

WE use this one: Spinlock. All the weight is on your shoulders, not your neck so basically you don't feel it at all - even after a long watch

https://www.spinlock.co.uk/en/catego...vest-5d-hammar

I don't know if they are USCG approved - they have all the approvals in the EU

EDIT: it apprears that the spinlock deckvest lite is USCG approved (from their website)
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:35   #11
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Re: Suggestions for safety harness pls?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Whatever you buy, whether it is a PFD or just a harness, don't buy anything without crotch straps. We know already since the '79 Fastnet disaster that life jackets or harnesses without crotch straps are practically useless. Imagine a parachute which you put on just around your waist -- that's the same idea as a life jacket without crotch straps.
I don't believe that statement bears logical scruteny; oft repeated, but not examined. Like any experiment, it is bounded by the conditions of the test. The true conclusion is ONLY that harness can come off if worn loosly over baggy layers and foul weather gear. I don't belive a well-fitted harness worn by a fit person over a thin shirt has this tendancy to come off. I think that too has been proven, by warm water sailors and the climbers of the past.

So the key is to NOT wear a harness over foulies and to fit it properly. I often wear the harness under my jacket, with the neck zipped open and the tether fed between snaps. With a hard top, it works just fine. Otherwise, I might fit my jacket with a pass-through (clip inside and out, perhaps). Too bad gear manufacturers can't figure out the most obvious practical safety matters. Personally, I find testing programs in this regard to be a humiliation to the marine industry. Montaineers would not accept safety gear that blatently fails due to lack of real world testing. Just pitiful.
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:43   #12
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Suggestions for Safety Harness Please?

We use this one with the integrated crotch straps and have been very happy with them for the most part.

https://www.spinlock.co.uk/en/catego...vest-5d-hammar


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Old 03-10-2014, 11:39   #13
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Re: Suggestions for Safety Harness Please?

I bought 2 of these.. One for me and one for my wife..

I haven't used the harness portion as I only sail on a local lake (bought with thoughts of the future). We both find them pretty comfortable and they were relatively affordable. In the future, I will probably add a crotch strap.

Deluxe Inflatable PFD (Manual with Sailing Harness) MD3052
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Old 03-10-2014, 13:12   #14
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Re: Suggestions for Safety Harness Please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chouliha View Post
I want to change back to a straight safety harness
I used this one for a decade - it is well made and works nicely:

SOSpenders Safety Harness

But some time ago I met up with some volvo racers and they all made their own custom fit harnesses. If you look at the one above, you can see it is fact not a very complex construction and very easy to make. You can make it fit better, and be lighter and less bulky (use dyneema for the 'suspender' parts, still use nylon for the chest strap), and you can make it with no metal parts (use soft shackle closures) so you can sleep in it and not even know you have it on, and you can integrate crotch straps (which you could also easily do to the above store bought one). So that's what I have been using for a while now and I have never looked back.
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Old 03-10-2014, 14:57   #15
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Re: Suggestions for Safety Harness Please?

^^ Post a picture of the home-built variation?

I've sewn harnesses that sound similar; since I don't change size, I saw no reason for our summer harnesses to be adjustable, for example. Loosing the metal would be nice, and cooler would be nice.
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