Re: Offshore PFD / harness opinions

Danny and Yvonne SIMMS

Thanks Ian, I have long held the veiw that to go overboard in a tethered harness would be fatal if the boat wasn't stopped very quickly even in calm water, in a seaway with 30knots or more of wind, (which is when you are most likely to go over)it doesn't bare thinking about. Now you have pointed out a further issue. I have always thought the crotch strap, while uncomfortable, would have overcome the breathing/blood restriction issue. Your test suggests otherwise. Proper fitted adjustment would be important. However even then the drag would make it well nigh impossible to position yourself, even for the young and fit. Those of us North of 65 may have a bit more trouble. I am even more determined not to fall overboard now.
The Amel ability to adjust almost everything from the cockpit is clearly our greatest and critical safety method.
Kind regards
SM 299
Ocean Pearl

On 17/10/2022 19:50 Ian Park <parkianj@...> wrote:

12 years ago whilst sitting out bad weather in Navarre (Portugal) I decided to do some experiments with life jackets/ harnesses.
This was based on my earlier experiences in rock climbing in the late 1960s before climbing harnesses we’re invented. You tied on directly round your waist using an Italian hemp rope waist line and a Tarbuck knot in the new nylon 3 strand climbing rope ( you could never attach nylon rope to nylon rope!). Later you just tied the nylon rope round your waist with a bowline.
BUT if you ever fell of an overhang you had 4 minutes to attach a prussik loop and get your foot in it to take the weight off your chest. After 4 minutes you were unable to use your arms because of the blood supply restriction. Then it was just half an hour before you’d passed out and died through lack of blood to the brain.
Sorry about the long winded tale, but - I got my wife to haul me up off the deck with a chest harness, a life jacket with crutch strap and a full body harness. The only one I could say was comfortable for more than 3 minutes was the full body harness designed for working at height. Bear in mind this this was just my own weight- no drag from the water!!
The sailing magazine thought it a very good illustrated article, but declined to publish.
I have long held the view that if I go on deck in rough weather it’s the full body harness and no life jacket.
I just can’t see why the industry has not come up with life jacket incorporating a good sit harness.
You ought to be able to be hauled up your mast in comfort in a life jacket if it was suitable for MOB. At present the standard only requires a crutch strap to prevent the jacket riding up while floating.


Ocean Hobo SN96

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