Expensive? ... damn right. I can't afford one
I use a more reasonably priced Burke PFD/harness... I paid about $150 for it (not including the tether)
You can go cheaper - this one is only about $120
A tether costs about $50 (or more if you want a fancy one).
In fact, you will find prices in USA cheaper than here (Australia). You should check out your local chandlery
- West Marine
, or Defender are not bad. I use an on-line chandlery called Mauri Pro, in Texas Mauri Pro Sailing - Sailboat Hardware, Sailing Gear and Sailboat Equipment
Whatever you buy, don't forget to check that you can get it serviced locally. If you are racing you may need to supply paperwork to show that your harness has been serviced within the last 12 months (especially for Category 1, 2 & 3 offshore
races), so you don't want to have to send your harness away to be serviced. For what it is worth, if you aren't racing serious offshore
races where certified service
is a requirement, self-servicing your harness is fine and won't cost anything.
You might find that your best bet is to talk directly to the guys that you will be sailing with and ask them what they would recommend. They will, no doubt, have a good idea of what is (a) compliant, and (b) good value for money
, and (c) available in your area.