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Old 17 December 2009, 05:39   #11
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Originally Posted by Polwart View Post
Jimbo - my understanding was that this shouldn't be able to happen with a correctly fitted lifejacket even with no crutch straps so the wearer may not have correctly fitted it. My understanding was that crutch straps were designed to make your position within the jacket more comfortable and ensure that you sat 'higher' in the water so your face was less likely to be submerged by waves etc - but that the normal straps were designed to take the "load" during recovery etc. Perhaps if you are more 'rotund' then your waste is larger than your shoulders though? Hey, RougeWave can you get your lifejacket off over your head without undoing it?
In an ideal world. However, tell that to the crewman that went overboard etc etc.

Lifejackets are almost a "one size fits all adjustable" type, and the possible range of the belts tends to be quite large. When yachting especially, you'll be wearing it over night maybe with your thermal base layer, mid layer, hi fit salopettes, extra jumper, offshore smock, then during the day you're down to your saloppettes and a long sleeved thermal shirt. How many remember to adjust them? How many have them correctly adjusted in the first place, and don't "ease them off a bit as it's more comfortable".

I agree they shouldn't be able to ride up, but a crotch strap is there for the occasions they do, and as you say for recovery. It's clear from reading about Hannah's incident on Glasgow, that there was a fair bit of load on the crotch strap as they tried to recover the chap, and once that parted, it slipped off over his offshore jacket. That's why Clipper have introduced stronger crotch straps for this race

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Old 17 December 2009, 07:06   #12
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Originally Posted by Ian M View Post
Are there any with decent width straps out there
There are various wider straps I have tried, however they are not particually comfortable. There is one brand (cant remeber of the top of my head, but may be seago or baltic or xm) who fit a wider section- bit like the slidey bit on the shoulder strap of a sports kit bag, again not particularly comfortable.

The alternative is thigh straps- 2 straps that are fitted to left and right at the front instead of dead centre. Much more comfortable and just as effective.

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Old 17 December 2009, 11:29   #13
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Seago have wide crotch straps with the sliding thingy. The strap's comfortable, the sliding thingy a bit too wide. I just push it to the back, always wear it under way. Well made with large plastic clip.

Re. checking the lifejacket. One thing came to light after a local tragedy a few years ago, was a jacket that didn't inflate properly because the velcro that holds the thing folded up didn't release properly. I don't know what make of jacket it was or how old. Maybe there wasn't enough gas in the inflator.

I now open the velcro on mine several times a season and re-attach it gently. Surprising how hard it is to open after it's been sat on or stored at the bottom of a pile.
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Old 17 December 2009, 13:01   #14
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Originally Posted by Ian M View Post
I've tried for ages to get a decent, robust, after-market crotch strap for my life jackets. The only ones I have seen, and the ones on my life jackets have a thin webbing strap, maybe 20mm, and snap buckles that are correspondingly small. If I was to be rescued, and the rescuer grabbed hold of my lifejacket, I am sure it would not take much heaving for the crotch strap to fail (either that or do serious damage to certain parts of my anatomy )
Are there any with decent width straps out there
Ian- saw these on flea bay- any good?
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Old 17 December 2009, 14:33   #15
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Crotch Straps

Guys, Thanks for the help.
Jimbo - I think we are of one mind I prefer my safety kit to look, feel and be safe, no matter how it is used (or mis-used!).
Jimbo and Malthouse - The Baltic Ultimate looks interesting, but as I have relatively new Baltic Winners (which I like) it does seem a little extravagant to go out and buy new LJs. Top of the list for next time round though
Doug - thigh straps; possible! I'll have a look round.
Ian - thanks for looking, there is no indication of their width on the fleebay page, I will try contacting them during the week.
Sorry SPR, I did not mean to hijack your thread

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Old 17 December 2009, 14:43   #16
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How about a crotch strap minus the lifejacket?
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Old 17 December 2009, 15:46   #17
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The Seago retrofit strap is broad and sturdy with large well made clips (like a rucksack). The supplied strap pad is a silly thing best consigned to the bin. Pay about 8 ono.
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Old 17 December 2009, 16:31   #18
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No Problem, its interesting to see people views on crotch straps, i remember the clipper incident being disccussed, i think at a meeting and the thoughts were as people have said before, these are designed to stop the lifejacket from riding up, and preventing what the lifeboat crew refer as "Wreaths". NOT as a secondary method of attachment.

I been told its a too common to find a life jacket with a body attached under it, the reason given is lack of crotch strap.

A Spay Hood is essential too if your going to be in the water for any length of time, since when you adopt the HELP postion, ( Cross Legs and bent knees) your body will actually turn towards the waves, and this can be uncomfortable at the least or causes drowning/secondary drowning. Spray hood protects you airways and helps to prevent this.

A life jacket light is essential if you plan to go out in the night or in dusk, if your go over board at night you will find it very hard to be seen without one!

Like wise day/night flares are very useful. to have on your person

The PLB is not the end all solution, but is a part of solution,

I personally waited till i had my personal protection, lifejacket + crotch strap + light - spray hood + vhf and day/night flares aswell as my Hand held VHF radio, before buying a PLB. No point of rescue services finding my dead body!

I would strongly suggest anybody to take the 1 day Sea Survival Course, its very informative, you get a chance to experience wearing your life jacket in a controlled environment.

To be honest it would be a good Team building Exercise for the RIBnet members to do. I organised one via SeaSkills for the sailing club and it was great exhausting work.

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Old 17 December 2009, 19:06   #19
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If you're male, I recommend two crotch straps fastening each off centre for obvious reasons.

Edit: Come to think of it, I recommend the same even if you're not male.
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Old 18 December 2009, 02:15   #20
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Originally Posted by SPR View Post
No point of rescue services finding my dead body!
There is from the rescue services point of view.

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