Johnny F wrote:
Thanks guys. Do you know how the RWO functions under ordinary operation?
Yes, I do. I bought three of these (one each for the wife and two kids). The "plastic piece" is more rubber than plastic. It is very bendable/pliable. Your trap handle slides right past it as you hook up. You really don't even know it is there. It is designed as a keeper for your trap handle so it doesn't fall off the hook as you go out and to keep the hook attached to the trap handle if you do activate the release mechanism. It is removable so you don't have to use it if you don't like it.
Anton is correct that you risk losing the hook if you activate the safety release. The keeper will help keep this from happening, but no guarantees ($42 is cheap compared to drowning). One other possible down side is an accidental activation of the release mechanism. A friend of ours bought one of these for his daughter. Her life jacket was too long to be compatible with the harness. She accidentally activated it twice in one day (at a North American Championship : ( )while out on the wire and ended up overboard both times. My wife and two kids used them for many years and never had that happen. You also need to rinse the mechanism if you sail in salt water (it uses stainless steel ball bearings to hold the hook in place).