Hobie Cat Forums

It is currently Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:30 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:38 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:10 am
Posts: 732
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hello everyone. I have been looking for a used drysuit for quite some time now to be able to go out sailing this spring. I found a retired coast guard rescue swimmer who is selling his gear. He has a drysuit for $100. He said it has only been used a few times and when he put it away 10 years ago he conditioned the cuffs snd zippers. He says it is in good condition.

Would this be something that would work for sailing my Hobie 16?

Image

_________________
Zach


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:50 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 159
Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
I don't know much about rescue diver suits but most modern ones are breathable. This one is 10 years old so it would be worth verifying that this is so. You will be wearing it 'most' of the time on top of the boat so comfort is important.

I also wonder if the zipper locations are going to be comfortable for sailing vs. diving but honestly, I'm only speculating. I never had one on like that.

Couple of things though. It is older so pay close attention to all the cuffs and especially the zippers. If he was a coast guard diver, perhaps he did know how to preserve them for so long unused, but it bears checking. At $100 bucks, you could actually afford to replace the cuffs and still be getting a good deal but you want to know that up front.

Also, carefully check even the body of the suit. I don't have to mention "for leaks" but at 10 yrs, the material or seams may have started to break down, even though it was in storage. Seams may be weakened and ready to let go. Only you can say for sure though when you inspect it.

Here is something that some people miss.... check the sizing of the cuffs, including the neck. Sometimes the cuff rings have been trimmed short to make a bigger hole. The sizing will need to work for you. If he turns out to be a much bigger (thicker) man than you, check for trimming for sure. Trimming is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as it created a good fit for you too.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:59 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:10 am
Posts: 732
Location: Indianapolis, IN
I really appreciate the advice! He says it is not a breathable dry suit. I'm not all too concerned about this because I plan to use a wicking bottom layer and other technical clothing to hopefully keep the moisture away from me. I'll probably only use it a few times a season and probably not for an all day sailing session.

I wish I could do an inflation style leak test when I go to see it but I doubt that would be possible.

I'm also concerned about the seals ("save the baby seals!"). If I have to replace those, my cost starts creeping up toward an amount that may not be worth it to me, especially if it isn't a breathable type.

_________________
Zach


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:46 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 5:40 am
Posts: 410
Location: Metuchen NJ
you know, $100 for a government spec drysuit is a good deal. even more so if it was properly conditioned for storage.

be aware that as a non-breathable suit, you body moisture will wick to the suit's inside, perhaps condense and get your under layer wet. if its warm enough to sweat.

_________________
Chris
'88 H18SE Arís


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:48 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:45 pm
Posts: 133
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
If you're only using it a bit, a non-breathable one can be a very good deal. I have one I've been very happy with.

Like others have said, inspect the gaskets carefully- any nicks or dry spots (where the rubber looks like orange peel instead of smooth) are red flags that gasket will need replacing soon.

Bring your trap harness and life jacket and try them with the suit- make sure that none of the zippers create pressure points under them.

you can do a little bit of a leak test- put on the dry suit, and when you zip it up, try to trap as much air inside it as possible. Then crouch down, and the drysuit will inflate. Listen/feel for leaks, and if the owner will let you, bush some mild soapy water over the seams and watch for bubbles- just like you would leak testing a hull! Minor pinholes and cuts in the middle of panels are easily repairable, but any seam leaks are a red flag.

One other thing to consider- if you sail alone, front zip drysuits are much easier to put on by yourself (zipping up your own back zip suit requires extreme flexibility or a hook). And if you're going to be wearing it for long, a "relief zipper" is a really good benefit!

Good Luck!
Steve

_________________
1990 Hobie 18SX #2077


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:37 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:45 pm
Posts: 1661
Location: Northfield Minnesota
Pass.
You will be miserable in that thing if it doesn't breath. Even when its cool out, I'm still quite sweaty in mine regardless of what my base layer is, and its breathable. I'm not really a sweaty guy either.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:15 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:27 pm
Posts: 546
Location: Central Oregon
x2...I would keep on the hunt for a used Kokatat Goretex if you really want a drysuit!

_________________
1980 H16
1997 Wave


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:27 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:32 am
Posts: 287
You can do a leak test while keeping it dry. Put it on, and zip it up. Squat down, and it will bulge out like the Michelin man. If it stays bulged out, and you don't feel air escaping past the seals, it should work okay.

I've worn a non-breathable one for many hours, and it's not that bad. That used to be the only kind available. The zipper was invented for space suits. Better than not having one. Of course, the breathable ones are more comfortable.

I always burp mine, and that's a good way to quickly test the seal. Put it on, and walk out in the water. All the extra air will get squeezed up to the top. You can open the neck seal to let the majority of the air out, or not to test the seal.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group