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  1. #1
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    Default Survival suits - popular amongst yachtmen?

    So, that's been a century's worth of Titanic adaptations, all shown within the same 36 hours...

    ...I still can't help thinking (as I have since I first saw A Night to Remember), that whenever I go any distance aboard any ship in any weather, I'll make certain my wetsuit is in my luggage. I reckon the prospect of being frozen, is at least as bad as drowning.

    Sailing a yacht offshore (or anywhere in cold seasons), one would want to have a liferaft or tender, if the worst happened...

    ...but if just getting as far as the tender may mean a dunking in debilitating single-figure temperature water, isn't a 'survival suit' a reassuring bit of kit? Isn't it actually rather basic equipment?

    I know yachts rarely sink - but whether one falls o/b, escapes as one's boat is flattened by shipping, or collides unsurvivably with a mid-Atlantic submerged container - my impression is that in these lifejacketed days, hypothermia kills more mariners than drowning.

    On the internet, I found lots of very expensive oil-rig workers' suits, mostly over 600. Are there any in use, by forumites?

  2. #2
    planteater is offline Registered User
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    I have a two piece Fladen fishermans flotation suit which should keep you alive and afloat in cold coastal waters. It cost about 120 and is very reassuring in the winter. It is way too warm to use in summer, however,
    Last edited by planteater; 15-04-12 at 18:26.

  3. #3
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    I use a two piece suit for winter racing - its better insulated than anything else I have tried. But if I were as concerned about safety / survival as you seem to be, I would not go sailing anyway.

  4. #4
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    Razorfish is offline Registered User
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    Hmm...I thought so too and got a surplus neoprene one off Ebay for 35 ages ago. It has integral mitts and boots with a tight fitting hood. To be honest, it takes a bit of getting into but if I was contemplating using it in anger I suspect that motivation levels would be high.

    I also have a Mullion X4 suit for working in 'orrible weather on commercial vessels/rigs. I have never used it sailing but it would be very warm and dry in the winter. Its very much like the angler type floatation suits but in safety orange.

    There are ex-RAF drysuit type immersion suits on ebay and the other non-neoprene membrane survival suits too. Both are likely to be easier to get into and I remember trying the latter once and it was much easier to don.

    If I was venturing offshore I think that I'd have one with me + a liferaft as its exposure that is going to get you if you do have to get into the thing.

    Lets face it though, what really is the risk of needing one when pottering around the coast? Anyone want to buy a use survival suit? :-)
    Fifteen men on a dead man's chest
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  5. #5
    prv is offline Registered User
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    Stavros carries a one-size-fits-all neoprene immersion suit for every person on board, and finds an unwitting victim to put one on by way of demonstration at the start of each voyage. It seems such a no-brainer for serious survival - if I went a bit further afield than I do, I'd definitely put something of that nature on board. No room on my little boat though, and not really much need.

    Pete

  6. #6
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    Billjratt is offline Registered User
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    So, yes or no? You've got them, but no-one seems to be totally convinced...
    I've had two memorable experiences - the first on a sailing dinghy,single-handed, when I kept on capsizing due to the weather conditions, and eventually didn't have the strength to right the boat, so just hung on to the hull and gradually slipped into cozy, letharic, comfortable, sleepieness.
    Luckily, I was noticed and towed ashore.
    The second was again single-handed in my first keelboat (a corribee). The weather began to worsen and I remember arguing with myself as to whether I should have a lifejacket or any other prolonging device or should just make it quick should anything go wrong. If I'd had a problem, there was no way of raising the alarm, so nobody would get to me even in the increased window that these devices/suits provide.
    Possibly if you go the whole way and always wear a survival suit with an Epirb embedded, some good spirited soul will come looking for you - but don't hold your breath.
    If you're not prepared to get skint knees, don't buy roller skates.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancrane View Post
    ...I'll make certain my wetsuit is in my luggage...
    isn't a 'survival suit' a reassuring bit of kit?...
    What are the odds of you wearing your wet/survival suit when your boat is run down ? I'm guessing you won't be wearing it off watch since the first thing we do on going below is taking off our oilys. If swept overboard in view of another crew member than possibly a survival suit would be the thing but I doubt many yachtsmen would put a wetsuit on after the first couple of times...

    Boo2

  8. #8
    prv is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boo2 View Post
    What are the odds of you wearing your wet/survival suit when your boat is run down ? I'm guessing you won't be wearing it off watch since the first thing we do on going below is taking off our oilys.
    I got the impression he was talking about going on a cruise ship or a ferry, not a yacht. Which makes an even more hilarious picture - the slightest bump or change of engine note, and Dan's running up and down the corridors in his rubber goon-suit

    Pete

  9. #9
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    They probably do a fetish cruise where he'd blend in.

  10. #10
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    Have 2 x ex oil rig survival suits on board. They were offered to me gratis so seemed like a no brainer. They're a serious bit of kit and I doubt I would ordinarily justify buying them. They take up quite a lot of space - which is why i only have 2, not the eight i was ofered! But good to know they are there if required.

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