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Old 16 January 2007, 15:39   #1
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Floatation Suits

I'm intersted in getting a couple of floation suits for use on the RIB as a warm alternative to waterproofs. I've seen these mentioned in a few posts and I think there were some concerns on how waterproof these were. So...

- How many people actually use these on a RIB?
- Do they restrict ability to move around much?
- Are they waterproof?

I would go for the full surface suit option but have discounted this due to the effort required to get in and out of it. For longer trips it would be fine (and I may still get one) but for short hops a 2-piece suit is much easier to get in and out of!

Something like:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Fladen-flotati...QQcmdZViewItem
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Old 16 January 2007, 15:53   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by al40 View Post
- How many people actually use these on a RIB?
I do. Although not on warm days or you may cook yourself alive.
Quote:
- Do they restrict ability to move around much?
not in my opinion; its a bit like wearing a ski suit - so perhaps not ideal for gymnastics but at least as easy to move in as a dry suit.
- Are they waterproof? [/quote]
Mine certainly seems to be.

Where abouts are you in Scotland - if you wanted to see one (or try one out) before spending money you are welcome to try my Cosalt one (fits 6ft male, 34 inch waste (Large?)). mine is single piece (boiler suit style). I have also worn the fladden one piece and think they are pretty good too.
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Old 16 January 2007, 16:10   #3
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'Course, if you're short I can always sell you a drysuit
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Old 16 January 2007, 16:36   #4
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I have one like you show from e-bay very warm doesnt restrict movement as you can just wear normal layers of cloths under,its one piece i find suits me.we also use dry suits best of both worlds
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Old 16 January 2007, 16:44   #5
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we have various makes for clients use on winter courses and I use one for fishing if I dont wanna sit in a drysuit all day. Best one I had was a Mullion 20 years ago or so that was provided to me for a magazine test-went for a swim for the photoshoot in the irish sea in it and the floatation worked really well. And it was dry in the rain. That got nicked outa my garage later and I replaced it with a couple of "Mainstream" suits which were, shall we say-not so good. If they saw drizzle or spray and I got wet thru. Current ones are Fladdens and Mustads and they are all warm and dry. For a mail order deal this fishing tackle shop in Morecambe takes some beating-esp if he happens to have some really special deals in at the time.
http://www.gerrysfishing.com/shop_su...ID=150&tabID=1
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Old 16 January 2007, 18:05   #6
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I bought a Mustad suit and an Imax suit (preferred not too look too much like twins when we go out) today.

I want to use the RIB in all weathers, warmly.

Got them in gerrysfishing.com

Will have to wait until they arrive to see comfort, functionality etc.

Hold off a week and I'll tell you.

Ss
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Old 16 January 2007, 18:20   #7
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Thanks for all your replies (and offer of trying your suit Polwart). I think I'll go for a copule of the fladen suits - seem to be good for the money. Could have done with one of those today when I was working on the boat - extremely cold!
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Old 17 January 2007, 01:35   #8
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Mustang flotation suits are pretty much the standard here in Canada, although there are other brands.

http://www.mustangsurvival.com/
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Old 17 January 2007, 02:41   #9
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I found this on Ebay.
its quite amusing............
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d..._promot_widget
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Old 17 January 2007, 07:37   #10
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- How many people actually use these on a RIB? ME!
- Do they restrict ability to move around much? NO!
- Are they waterproof? YES!
I use the Imax, excellent, but the Fladen 2 piece is just as warm. Just make sure you get the most flotation, and perhaps breathable, or as Polwart says, you can really cook yourself!
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Old 17 January 2007, 09:10   #11
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Are flotation suits waterproof in the same way as a drysuit is?

Nick.
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Old 17 January 2007, 09:44   #12
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Are flotation suits waterproof in the same way as a drysuit is?

Nick.
NO. If you go in the water you get wet. They are waterproof in the same way as "oilies" are. But a well designed suit should have some sort of "cuff" on the wrist and ankle which helps slow down the water getting in (so the shock is slightly less dramatic) and more importantly keeps the water that gets in trapped into the suit in a similar fashion to a wetsuit - so it warms up from your body and keeps you warm. Of course as the name suggests it also has a layer of bouyancy material throughout which keeps you afloat; insulates you in the water; and keeps the wind off you when being worn normally.

Mine has a neoprene wrist cuffs and ajustable "nylon" baffles on the legs to keep the water out/in. it also has more pockets than most dry suits do although obviously these are not 100% water tight. Mine also has a waterproof and insulated hood to keep you warm and dry. (Also reduced wind noise so you can hear the crew screaming).
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Old 17 January 2007, 10:13   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polwart View Post
They are waterproof in the same way as "oilies" are.
Meaning that in bad conditions you'll get wet. Maybe not soaked, but not dry either. Some floatation suits are better than others, but the only way to ensure that you actually stay dry is to wear a drysuit.

Floatation suits are generally more comfortable than drysuits, and are particularly good on those freezing cold but calm days that you get with a winter high pressure weather system.

I've got a couple of Cosalt floatation suits which were pretty good value for money, but when it's horrible they're no substitute for a drysuit in my opinion.

John
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Old 17 January 2007, 10:33   #14
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Meaning that in bad conditions you'll get wet. Maybe not soaked, but not dry either. Some floatation suits are better than others, but the only way to ensure that you actually stay dry is to wear a drysuit.

Floatation suits are generally more comfortable than drysuits, and are particularly good on those freezing cold but calm days that you get with a winter high pressure weather system.

I've got a couple of Cosalt floatation suits which were pretty good value for money, but when it's horrible they're no substitute for a drysuit in my opinion.

John
JK, I would agree with most of that. But unless you have the for a breathable dry suit you are going to be wet anyway! A decent float suit will keep the water out unless you are getting buckets of water over your head (then it will find its way in the neck) - it will keep 99% of spray out.

Added to the comfort and ease of putting on/taking off a float suit I really only see the benefit of a dry suit if one or more of the following applies:
  • you are planning to go in the water (e.g. tubing, boarding, swimming, etc)
  • you have to go out and stay out regardless of the conditions (e.g. rescue boat work)
  • you need to go in the water to launch and recover
  • you are into extreeme ribbing (F6+ or far offshore, in reality most people here are not)
  • you have a fettish for rubber
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Old 17 January 2007, 11:35   #15
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Originally Posted by Polwart View Post
But unless you have the for a breathable dry suit you are going to be wet anyway!
Yes, that's a good point. I'd definitely choose a floatation suit over a non-breathable drysuit.

John
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Old 17 January 2007, 12:07   #16
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Thanks guys. I'm now even more convinced on the floataion suits. The warmth is an important factor (especially for the wife who feels the cold).

As polwart says, dry suits are not ideal for most cases when I'll be in the RIB anyway.

I guess the 2-piece is the best compromise as you can take off top or bottom half and loose some of the heat (although I would not wear just trousers for safety reasons)
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Old 17 January 2007, 12:31   #17
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Quote:
JK, I would agree with most of that. But unless you have the for a breathable dry suit you are going to be wet anyway
if it rains we get wet in our breathable ravenspring drysuits anyway !
Floatation suits can be more comfortable than having a neck seal gripping your Adam's apple if you're fishing all day. A bit of towelling as a scarf around the neck works wonders for keeping dry cos its usually a dumping wave down your neck that gets you wet! We were using floatation suits on a 10m rib test in Holland the other month cos we had them with us to work on the windfarm out there. First wave over the bow went down m'neck cos I'd forgot the towel-second blew the auto lifejacket, but according to the marina wind guage and the weather buoy it was blowing a 9, gusting 10 with 6.5-8m waves
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Old 17 January 2007, 14:48   #18
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I use a musto HPX drysuit. Fully breathable, inflatable, waterproof, just like wearing good quality ocean suit with regards to mobility, will generally keep you alive for a while longer in cold water..............downside price.

I use the boat on my own a lot and in winter as well, so it makes perfect sense for me. It also keeps my other half happy knowing I've taken reasonable steps to protect myself !!!!!!!!!!!!

richard
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Old 23 May 2007, 11:28   #19
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Found this thread on a search.... and looking at one of these

http://www.uk-fishing-tackle.co.uk/p...FQjnlAodghT41A

seems to be a very good deal so I have just ordered one, has anybody got this exact type, any views? It has to be better than jeans, a fleece and a waterproof jacket anyway

It also says it meets the standard for an immersion suit so I figure it should be pretty warm.
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Old 23 May 2007, 12:06   #20
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I use them daily. They are good but definately not waterproof. They tend to leak through the zipper area when it is really rough(buckets of water) even though there is flap that covers the zipper.

As they get older and the sun breaks down the fabric they tend to leak a little more.

You have way more mobility in the 2 piece compared to the 1 piece and they both stay as dry as each other.

All in all they are pretty good
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