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Old 18 January 2001, 02:00   #1
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Winter RIBBING!

OK, so is anyone else out there boating during the winter or are we just the foolish ones?! We're planning to go out on Sunday with a local dive club for an informal boathandling day and the long range forecast talks of Wintry showers on the East Coast! Ribbing in a blizzard will be a first for me!

Alan
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Old 18 January 2001, 03:16   #2
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Alan

I hope you've got plenty of warm clothes, and a really good pair of gloves. I went for a ride on my push bike today, and that was quite enough!

Brrr

John

-- This is the cue for Youri to pop up and tell us warm it is in California at the moment!
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Old 18 January 2001, 04:20   #3
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I think you can safely assume I'll be wearing numerous layers of fleece under my drysuit, a balaclava, skiing goggles and gloves. In fact a fair impression of the Michelin man!

Alan
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Old 18 January 2001, 16:06   #4
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Our RIB Allycat became an ice breaker ( a role normally reserved for her owner at
parties !) last weekend at Hodson Bay on Lough Ree.

Got some nice pics with the digicam .

We had to break through about 10 metres of one inch thick ice to launch at
/ break out of Hodson Bay . For those who, like me , haven't had the
pleasure of ice breaking in a fibreglass hull before this , it makes a
really weird noise as you plough through - sort of like someone breaking
bottles off the bottom of your hull . It was an absolutely beautiful , sunny
, flat calm / glassy day on Lough Ree with another 5 or 6 boats also out
enjoying a bit of January boating . Water temperature wasa nice and warm +2 degrees C midlake .

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Old 19 January 2001, 04:07   #5
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Being involved in yacht & dinghy racing in the summer means that we do most of our ribbing in the winter, from running powerboat courses to trips across the North Channel to Portpatrick (Scotland). Last year four RIBs from Bangor N.I. were the first visiting boats to Portpatrick in the new year. At one stage icicles were forming on our faces from the freezing fog! The hot ports went down very well that day.
At least going somewhere gives you a goodd reason to be out. We also run dinghy racing every Sunday through the winter, and sitting about doing rescue can be MUCH colder...
I've found that mittens are a much better job than gloves on a RIB - your fingers seem to help keep each other warm. One thing I havent cracked yet is how to do 30 knots in a hailstorm without you face getting beat stupid...
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Old 19 January 2001, 06:14   #6
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"One thing I havent cracked yet is how to do 30 knots in a hailstorm without you face getting beat stupid..."

I guess that is one of the times when wearing a helmet with full face visor is a smart move. Trouble is I don't like that idea for all sorts of reasons so I make do with a balaclava and skiing goggles. Still bloody hurts sometimes though!

Alan
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Old 19 January 2001, 08:21   #7
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Having raced old class 3c offshore & used
both open face with a visor & fullface helmets I would feel that my head would be
even more top heavy than it is. As in most
rib,s there is little or no neck support.
I would like to try the sort of helmet that downhill snowskiers use.Somthing that like
that may be the cure for face stinging rain
& hail.Any other thoughts out there.
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Old 19 January 2001, 16:05   #8
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In Finland we have a lot of snow mobile riders and they have pretty nice and WARM equipment for snowmobiling. I think those masks, underwear, gloves, collars etc. could be very useful for winter ribbing too!
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Old 21 January 2001, 18:36   #9
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I have found The Zurich range of Powerboating / Ski sunglasses sold by Ravenspring www.ravenspring.co.uk to be excellent at protecting the eyes in hail / sleet .

Be sure that you get the gradated ones though ( so you can see where you are going on dark winter days !).

Best wishes ,
Stuart

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Old 22 January 2001, 02:47   #10
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I'm not keen on wearing a helmet either.

My preferred solution is to use dirt-bike goggles (just like ski goggles, but with clear lenses), a Musto hat with fleecy ear flaps, and a polartec fleece tube to cover the neck and mouth. That just leaves my nose exposed, but I haven't worked a way round that yet!

Goggles and glasses (and windscreen and instruments) all get a good application of Rainex to keep the water off.

John

PS So how was it Alan?
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Old 22 January 2001, 16:34   #11
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John,

I am very impressed by someone who can go for a ride on his push bike at this time of year, and be home in time to post a message at 8.16am (your message dated 18th Jan), so I am delighted to be able to point you in the right direction for some nose protection.

Here on the Isle of Man a few of us use our boats all year round, and over the years have tried all sorts of headgear.
Convential helmets are too heavy, and whereas some of the new carbon fibre types are very light, they are heavy on the pocket! Gecko helmets are still uncomforable in my opinion (the mk 9 is an improvement, but still not good), so we use the Musto type cap with ear flaps, as you do.

The Zurich/Ravenglass sunglasses are very good for bright days, but for dull weather I find that the Aqua Sphere goggle mask by Technisub really is the business. They are essentially a pair of glasses with a clear face seal attached. Very comfortable too. The head strap also helps to keep the Musto cap on!

As for your nose, the best protection is provided by a neoprene ski-mask. Very light and flexible, it covers your cheeks, nose, mouth and chin, and is secured by a velcro fastner. Wonderfully warm and good protection from rain etc. Any good ski shop will stock them - try Snow & Rock on the web if you're stuck.

We've had a reasonably good winter afloat so far. At the weekend some boats made Donaghadee, and over the Christmas period we managed two trips to Strangford Lough for lunch infront of the fire in the Cuan Hotel.
More often than not Sunday mornings involve a trip around the south of the Island with a stop for coffee on the Calf of Man, and home in time for lunch.

Forecast isn't good for the coming weekend.

Allen
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Old 23 January 2001, 03:44   #12
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Allen
To be completely fair, the message you mention was actually posted at 9.16am -- I had set the time wrong for this board! It's now fixed though, and I have been out for a ride today already . . .

I'm not naturally the sort of person who leaps out of bed early and exercises for the sake of it, but I've become so revoltingly unfit that I thought I ought to start preparing early for round Britain!

Good idea about the ski mask. I saw some ages ago in a climbing/outdoors shop, but hadn't thought of it for ribbing.

Cheers
John
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Old 23 January 2001, 08:11   #13
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Hmm, interesting, I thought I posted a message last night but its not here this morning!

Anyway, Ribbing on Sunday went ahead. It was dank, cold and windy. Not the most enjoyable conditions in the world but its always fun being afloat. Well at least whilst you can still feel you hands and feet it is! Taught the Divers high speed boat handling and let the Dive club RIB do the low speed stuff. You should have seen them bouncing around the marina!!

My own thoughts on headgear etc are to use a fleece balaclava which has neoprene face mask and nose shield plus woolly hat and skiing goggles. Ski goggles are the yellow tinted jobs that work in poor vis. I do have my own version of the Musto hat that John describes except that its olive green, was marketed as a "tractor drivers hat" and I bought it for a fiver at a farmers mart! And my friends laugh at me when I wear it. John if you are lucky I'll bring it out over Easter!

What I would like some advice on is gloves. I don't have a decent pair of waterproof gloves that are insulated enough to wear in the winter so usually resort to Ski gloves which of course get sodden. Any tips?

The piece of kit that did stand up well on Sunday was my new Ericsson R310 waterresistant mobile phone. After 4 hours in a damp drysuit pocket it appears fine. More than can be said for the last phone that was subjected to the same treatment!

Alan
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Old 23 January 2001, 08:51   #14
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Aha! Someone else who kills mobiles in RIBs etc. I have so far got through a range of Ericcson GA628s, T18s and 2 T28s in the last year due mainly to salt on the bottom connectors or in the mic. There are 3 current phones which I am thinking of next - the R310 , the Nokia 6250 and the Siemens M35. The first two are huge compared to my last T28 and my current Trium Mars. Anyone got an already dunked M35?
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Old 23 January 2001, 09:53   #15
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Alan W

I have used fleece lined drysuit gloves for the last few seasons, and initially I thought they were the answer.

However there are some major problems:
- if you wear them for a long time they get very wet from perspiration
- they take forever to dry out
- pushing GPS/phone buttons is very difficult with them on
- they are very awkward to get on when your hands are wet

I reckon the best answer is simple fleece gloves with a medium duty rubber glove on top. They are easy to get on and off, waterproof, dry out quickly (you can even wring them out), warm even when wet. There were some good ones for sale in Oban last year, but I didn't get round to buying any. I'm on the lookout now . . .


Alan M

I didn't know that the M35 was out yet. It's the same size as a C35, so it's going to be impossible to use with gloves on. I'm tempted to go the whole hog and get an Ericsson 250 Pro -- OK, so it's a bit of a brick, but it's very solid and has a good handsfree speaker!

John
-- Or should I just give in and change my name to Alan too?
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Old 23 January 2001, 12:16   #16
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Alan,

The best way to keep your mobile phone dry is leave it at home!

Gill make an excellent pair of gloves. I think they're called 'Helmsmans'Gloves'. Something like that anyway - they are dark blue with a velcro band on the cuff.
I am in my second season with a pair and have found them to be warm and comfortable and (as long as you don't let water run down your wrist) waterproof. They cost about £35 I think.
Allen
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Old 23 January 2001, 12:41   #17
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John, what can I say, its a popular name!

Ref. Mobiles, my Ericsson SH888 died at Scotrib two years ago. The replacement Motorola cheapy died a much more inglorious death down a toilet last week! (don't ask.) I looked at the Nokia 6250 but it was £150 (with a new connection) as opposed to the R310 which was a tenner! Time will tell whether the goretex membranes etc will stand up to the wet.

Allen - I looked at the Gill Helmsman gloves at the boatshow and probably should have bought them. I'll look at them again. Its the winter thats the problem - during the "summer" I can get away with neoprene diving gloves.
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Old 24 January 2001, 15:29   #18
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Maybe I'm missing something here? When it's cold, I wear divers neoprene wetsuit gloves-perfectly warm (alright it's a little warmer in the West Country-but not by much). What's wrong with using those? Quite cheap as well.
As for mobile phones ! What are you all doing out there? Ringing up your mates and shouting "Whaaasaatt" down the line? The only time I use one from the boat is at the end of the outing, as you enter harbour/mooring/slipway, to make a short call say, to home. At that point taking off a glove and keying a number should not be a problem.
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Old 25 January 2001, 08:22   #19
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Brian, the neoprene gloves just don't cut it in January on the East Coast I'm afraid. It must be nice for you types on the balmy subtropical Devon coast!

Mobile is essential kit, backup to the VHF (when in range) and I find it such a pain contacting my broker by link call!! :-)

Alan
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Old 25 January 2001, 14:15   #20
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Listen, if it's that cold on the East Coast in January-count me out!
Mobiles. Two thoughts.
One. IF (and I agree it may be too late now) you get another drysuit, why not specify chest zip (and come to that, "comfort zone" zip as well) and then keep your unit inside your suit. Could be interesting I suppose if someone rang you when you were not expecting it. Still there is always text messaging isn't there?
Two. How about a "belly bag". Rubber rollover top with clip fastening. Very waterproof-no problems. Clips round the waist. Could also hold fags. credit card etc boubly handy in case you fell overboard, your mates roared off into the distance and you wanted a really long chat with you broker and be tempted over you trading limit!
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