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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:43 am
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I wanted to see if I could get some opinions on a good, comfortable PFD that will work with a harness and members thoughts on mesh vs vinyl tramps along mfg recommendations.

I'm going to be solo sailing offshore and figured it would be best to wear a pfd when out alone . I'm interested in what members have found to be the most comfortable PFD over (or under?) a harness...thoughts appreciated.

Second question is what members think of, and have experienced with the after-market mesh and vinyl tramps for the 16. I'm not concerned about being class legal. I'm more concerned for comfort and durability. The boat will be covered and on the trailer when not in use...thoughts appreciated


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:15 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:11 pm
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Location: Detroit, MI
These subjects have been beat to death on these forums - have you tried the search function?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:34 pm 
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Location: Liverpool, NY
MBounds wrote:
These subjects have been beat to death on these forums - have you tried the search function?


Damn Matt, this isn't SA!! JK

Any life jacket you wear is good. We just bought West Marine Medalist PFD's. 70 bucks I swear they are Extrasport with the label changed.

Oh yeah STAY away from after market tramps!!!

Go mesh unless you sail in really cold water.

We sail north of Syracuse, NY


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:38 pm 
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Location: Detroit, MI
Tom Korz wrote:
MBounds wrote:
These subjects have been beat to death on these forums - have you tried the search function?


Damn Matt, this isn't SA!! JK

Sorry. I'm tired of winter and I'm cranky. At least I didn't give him the traditional SA newbie greeting. :twisted:


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:28 pm 
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Hello and welcome. I have heard the mesh tramps stretch more not sure if that true. But you will deffinetly get more wet with mesh than vinyl. For life jackets. We just baught the hobie vests and we love them. We have a set of the red and a set of the yellow hobie vests. They are great. If you don't want to buy hobie for the price just look for a kayak vest cuz they are made for sitting. That nice because regular boating vest are taller and are uncomfortable when sitting.
Also it's good practice to wear a pfd alone or with someone all the time. The only time we take them off is when there is no wind and we are just out on a float.
Goodluck!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:53 pm 
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Depending on where you sail ( Army Corps Engineers lakes ) you will get a ticket on the spot for not having a PFD on at all times, even in shin deep water with no sails up so try on several and find a comfy one you can wear all day, for safety reasons above all else. If all else fails and you have to have a new tramp, a one piece bias-cut mesh tramp feels very nice and clutter free - you have to prebend in the side bars in a few inches with ratchet straps and tighten the crap out of the new tramp. I love my factory super tough current Hobie mesh tramp but if you HAD to buy an aftermarket, I really dig SL0. i've bought 3 H16's and a H20, currently have a 20 and a 16.

Please support hobie though, after all, they've innovated the thing you're sitting on having fun! :mrgreen:

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Memphis, TN

1978 H16 (sold)
1986 H16 (sold)
1980 H16 (sold)
1996 H20 Miracle (just right)
Bought another H16. Solid!!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:16 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 10:18 am
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Location: Virginia Beach VA
I find that PFDs for paddle sports work the best. They usually have a short torso and wide arm openings. I'd stay clear of vests for impact sports such as waterskiing, jetskiing or wake boarding and such. As stated earlier they are not very comfortable while sitting and the long torso makes hooking your trapeze wire somewhat cumbersome.

Mesh versus vinyl seems to be mostly personal preference. Both have pros and cons. Sometimes the pro turns into a con. For example, getting splashed through mesh in July can be refreshing. No so much in April.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:17 pm 
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Location: Harsens Island, Michigan
Hi CapeCat, and welcome to the forum!

I agree with Matt, that it has been too cold too long in Michigan. Single digits again today...

I have the Hobie PFD, and love it. It is comfortable while sitting and seems designed to work with the trap harness. If you catch them on sale (sometimes end of season, etc.) you can get a good deal. I was able to do it with the PFD and then a year later I got a great deal on a Hobie spray jacket and long john wetsuit.

Timing is everything.

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1979 Hobie 16 "Orange Crusher"
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:13 am 
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Location: Virginia Beach VA
Hobie vests are (or used to be) made by Stohlquist. Stohlquist PFDs are top quality and offer several models that are suitable for catamaran sailing. I picked up one real cheap closeout online a couple years ago.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:07 pm 
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Location: Knoxville, TN
If you are concerned about durability in a trampoline, there is only one option - original Hobie built. Nothing is stronger or more durable. With trampolines, you get what you pay for.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:38 pm 
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I cleaned the original tramp before I tore the boat down to refurbish and its seemingly in good shape. There are no tears or rips. The main problem is the hiking straps rotted and tore loose at the attachment point. It was just the strap material that rotted. The tramp looks good. It is very stiff though; is that to be expected? Any tricks to rejuvenate a 27 year old tramp? Any idea on what a ball park price would be to sew new hiking straps on? I do really like the Hobie blue color and would much rather spend the money on sails.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:01 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:04 am
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Location: Bowie, MD
I can't remember the last time I actually used my hiking straps....


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:47 am 
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Location: Detroit, MI
jim-doty wrote:
I can't remember the last time I actually used my hiking straps....

I use them all the time on the 16 - mostly as a way to stay attached to the boat doing downwind in the big stuff. Keeps you from sliding forward when you really don't want to.


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