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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:32 pm 
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Hi,

I just purchased the TI on Saturday, and won't even take delivery of it for a couple of weeks. Once I get some lake experience, I'd like to tackle the Pacific off of Morro Bay. I've been reading about sailing harnesses (aka safety harnesses), the harness/strap mechanism designed to keep your boat from sailing away without you if you fall overboard.

The thought occurred to me: Why ever allow yourself to leave the boat, why not just strap yourself in with a seat belt? I did some online searches, including this forum, but didn't find much. Certain types of paddle surfboards seem to use them with (obviously) quick release mechanisms. Given the unlikeliness of the TI ever flipping over, it seems like a seat belt would be relatively safe, especially if the alternative is being tossed into the same water occupied by the shark whose taste-testing of the boat caused you to fall out in the first place!

As long as one follows good safety practices (again, a quality quick release mechanism, not using seat belts while entering/leaving shore, etc.), it seems like a seat belt would be preferable to a sailing/safety harness. I think 99% of the time I'll just be sitting in one spot. If I do need to move around, I could also have a safety harness as a backup. Yeah, it's more potentially-entangling straps than just having one device. But, my real question is: What are the pro's & con's of using a seat belt in the TI?

Thanks! :D

Dave


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:21 pm
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
On my AI's and TI, I mount a surfboard leash for each seat. I use it when going out solo, or with a group in rough conditions. Just remember not to wear launching, landing or in shallows.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:56 pm 
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Location: Boynton Beach, FL
Hi Dave.

One problem with seatbelts on a TI is the danger when we need to get off our rear ends. For example, driving from the back seat, each time we need to raise and lower the centerboard, we need to get up and lean forward towards the front seat. Our bodies will have a higher center of gravity and are at greater risk of falling off the boat.

Other examples include...
- Rudder gets tangled on something. Need to lie down racing rear along the stern to fiddle with the rudder.
- Deploying and retrieving the anchor. Easier from the front seat.
- Catching a fish

Each time I go out in the ocean, I now wear a safety harness strapped to a jack line run between the forward cross bar and the stern padeye. The jack line allows us to move along the entire length of the boat without ever needing to detach from the boat.

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2010 Hobie Tandem Island
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:40 pm 
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Location: South Florida
I like that idea, Marc. I've been thinking about something similar.

Keith

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:47 pm 
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Hi,

This is Dave, the submitter of this question. Based on the responses so far, it seems clear I would always want to be tethered in with a safety harness. Then, when I sit down, I would secure my seat belt.

Again, I understand that this is a fair amount of strapping but it seems like good peace of mind, knowing that when that pesky shark does suddenly sample my boat, I won't present him with an unexpected but welcome hors d'eouvres -- me!!

Thanks to the responders so far!

Dave


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:44 pm 
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I think the seatbelt is a BAD idea! Your PFD will not work if you're strapped in unconscious upside-down in any water craft.

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Last edited by KayakingBob on Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:09 pm 
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Location: Lake Macquarie NSW AUSTRALIA
Good to revisit some of these thread topics. My setup is much the same as Bob's only with spiral wound leash. I must admit though that I don't usually have it on if I'm within swimming distance of the shore. ( I know, I may regret that one day as the AI goes sailing off into the distance ). A jack or cartinary line also sounds like a good idea as long as it's designed well and isn't just another line to get tangled up on as you are scrabbling around upside down. Have you got a pic of your setup Marc ?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:04 am 
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Location: Point Lookout, Maryland
No seat belts here, but both of us are going to be attached to the TI this year with jack lines.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:34 am 
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Location: Kailua, HI
reconlon wrote:
Image

I really like this coil "keeper" idea you have there! Nice

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:20 pm 
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Location: Virginia Beach, VA
I am not sure that a Surfboard leash is strong enough???

There is a lot more mass pulling the boat like a TI. Next time you are out there fall over backward when the boat is in full sail. This is the only safe way to tell. I have had this dream of watching my boat sail away as I am floating in the water.

I use a off-shore harness safety lanyard strapped around the middle crossbar. It has a quick release shackle that can be tripped under load. On my life jacket I have sewn in a d-ring through the straps and into the jacket fabric. This is all on my Port side. The lanyard is long enough to allow me to reach the TI mast and with the old rudder, hang over the stern to unhook the rudder bungee.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:39 pm 
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Been done :)

http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=31296&hilit=leash

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:35 pm 
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There are different grades of surfboard leashes. I'd say that one made for 40 ft waves is going to work ok as a human tether. Heavy duty model 10' long should do the trick!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:53 pm 
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Thanks, reconlon, for the link to the September 2010 forum discussion on this topic, a lot of good information there. Being new to this sport, I hadn't even thought of having a dive knife but it sure makes sense.

Based on the 2010 discussion and based on this discussion, the best solution regarding safety seems clear now: It depends.

It depends on:

* One's sailing experience, both in general and on the boat in question
* A frank self-assessment of one's abilities
* Where the boat will be used and under what conditions
* What risks one is willing to take
* Past experiences with safety practices that have and haven't worked
* Military background, if any -- I'm sure this develops a better mindset to plan for *and* handle emergencies.
* Recommendations from others
* And many other factors

Thanks for everyone's suggestions! I know what I'll be doing safety-wise, at least initially. I'll then evolve it from there as I learn more.

Dave


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:43 am 
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instead of being leashed to the boat, I have been trying to think of a way to have a break-away cord attached to the cleat releasing the sheet ... de-powering the boat

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:17 am 
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PassWind wrote:
instead of being leashed to the boat, I have been trying to think of a way to have a break-away cord attached to the cleat releasing the sheet ... de-powering the boat
Even with the sail de-powered, light wind can push a boat faster than most people can swim. Our first hint of this problem, was when a friend rolled up the sail and jumping in to cool off when the wind dropped. He could not catch his drifting AI swimming, even without his PFD on. I had to 'catch' his boat and stop it from drifting further, so he could swim to it.

An 8' or longer line (surf leash) should keep you far enough out of harms way if the boat flips, but still keep you with your boat, for self rescue, or easier locating in rougher waters. A harness sounds good, as long as it won't keep you under the boat in a flip, or hanging half off of one if you slip off. A easy one-handed access to a sharp knife is always a good idea with lines on the water.

We use to go out early, before the wind in the morning to snorkel off the AI's until the wind came up. More than once, when the wind came up, we could not see others still in the water more than 30 feet away, once small white caps developed. Scott (the fish), who always swam the longest, finally agreed to wear a bright pink swim cap, so we wouldn't accidentally run him over in those conditions! With strong winds, you could be 100 feet from your boat, drifting away, and we could find your boat, but not see or hear you.

Everyone needs to make their own choices. Points to ponder...

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