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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:28 pm 
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Ok guys,

I want to buy some new life jackets for my crew and I for the coming racing season. Maybe even a water proof (resistant) top as well.

What are you guys using and how well is it working. I would like to keep the costs under control but I know I will have to spend some $$$$$$.

Don't forget to mention where you bought them. :idea:

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H20 '96 "20/20 Vision"
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:31 am 
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For a spray top, I really like the Gill stuff. Pro Dinghy Spray Top:
Image
$135
They also have a more basic top for $85

For PFDs, I have two - A Zhik racing "buoyancy aid" ($119) that's not USCG approved (but it is European CE approved):
Image

For USCG compliance, I also have a Lotus Designs "Sherman", but it's not available anymore (Lotus sold their business a couple of years ago; the same people now produce the "Astral" brand of PFDs).

Since the Lotus is nearing the end of it's life, I'm looking hard at the new Extrasport Vortex:
Image
$90

Hobie Cat also sells spray tops and PFDs (made for them by Stohlquist) that are quite good - but I'm not particular to the color (red/gray).

I get my stuff at Annapolis Performance Sailing (http://www.apsltd.com)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:33 am 
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Great, Great info. Thank you Matt.

Will the Hobie association allow us to race with the Zhik? Is it very adjustable so that you could use it with or without a wetsuit?

Also, has anyone used the ExtraSprot Vortex? I was wondering if that bottom plastic clip will get in the way of the harness hook. That is the jacket I was eyeing before I started this thread.

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H20 '96 "20/20 Vision"
Fleet 259 Central Coast California


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:48 am 
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For class racing, there are two ways around the "buoyancy aid" problem.

1) carry a USCG-approved PFD on the boat. It can be stuffed down a port, or attached to the trampoline (zip it up around the hiking strap). The regulation doesn't say you have to actually wear the USCG PFD - just have one.
2) at major events, look for this language in the NOR - "This is an international event; therefore, pursuant to the US Sailing prescription to RRS to RSS 88.2, the US Sailing prescription to RRS 40 will not apply." That means that buoyancy aids are allowed. There is follow-up language in the sailing instructions that reinforces this.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:23 am 
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Location: Jersey Shore
MBounds wrote:
For class racing, there are two ways around the "buoyancy aid" problem.

1) carry a USCG-approved PFD on the boat. It can be stuffed down a port, or attached to the trampoline (zip it up around the hiking strap). The regulation doesn't say you have to actually wear the USCG PFD - just have one.


When the RC flys the "Y" flag, the rules require that sailors do actually wear a PFD. In that case, I would expect that wearing a non-approved PFD would be a protestable offense.

sm


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:07 am 
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Location: Metuchen NJ
I also like the Gill spray tops. I use their pants as well. They have a clearance section on their website that has great savings of their garments. That's how I purchased mine, as well at some of the larger non-Hobie regattas I race in.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:57 am 
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Location: eureka,california
There is a new ZHIK superwarm skiff suit and top that are awesome. $300 for the suit, $200 for the top. It is a 4 layer design that is warm and pretty dry. I just bought the suit and it's great for cold weather.

SuperWarm Skiff

If you sail in cold water then get this suit. As a long john suit it has flexibility to be combined with the technical tops for various temperature conditions. In the super cold, combine it with the SuperWarm top. This may eliminate the need to ever wear a dry suit again.

The new ZhikSkin SuperWarm material is specially made for the Zhik suits, and it is quite simply the ultimate in neoprene available. We have combined the water repellent Hydrophobic high quality outer shell with a super stretchy neoprene, and layer of titanium and a layer of MicroFleece. All four layers build the total solution of weather protection, temperature insulation, reflective inner layer and thermal base layer. All in one material.

If you need to take a pee between races, then bust open the Loo Rip. No need to take the suit off and freeze to death. This Loo Rip feature works in both the mens and ladies suits.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:00 am 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
+1 on the Gill clothing.

I have their "Dinghy Top" which is probably their least expensive top. It only has an elastic waistband instead of the velcro securing, neoprene bottom. But with my gear, it works great to keep the wind and water off. I can wear my stolquist PFD underneath it, so that if the weather changes, I can take it on or off without removing my PFD.

Image

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:34 pm 
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srm wrote:
When the RC flys the "Y" flag, the rules require that sailors do actually wear a PFD. In that case, I would expect that wearing a non-approved PFD would be a protestable offense.
While you can protest anything, winning the protest is another matter. RC's rarely fly the flag and even if they do, RRS 40 says:
Quote:
40 PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICES
When flag Y is displayed with one sound before or with the warning signal, competitors shall wear personal flotation devices, except briefly while changing or adjusting clothing or personal equipment. Wet suits and dry suits are not personal flotation devices.

Quote:
Race Signals "Y" - Wear a personal flotation device.

The US Sailing Prescription to RRS 40:
Quote:
US SAILING prescribes that every boat shall carry life-saving equipment conforming to government regulations that apply in the racing area.

A Zhik vest is a CE-approved personal flotation device. It's just not a USCG-approved one.

You would not win that protest. (Assuming the protestee was carrying a USCG-approved PFD.)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:23 pm 
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Location: Greenville SC
I have the Zhik PFD and highly recommend it. Its WAY better than your basic life jacket. I also have Magic Marine spray tops I bought on clearance at sailing pro shop for about $60 each. I really like them as well. I also have some gill tops, they are about the same.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:33 pm 
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Thanks guys, I bought a couple Gill tops and some Zhik Pdfs.
I look forward to trying them out in Santa Cruz for the season opener.
The wind and water should be nice and coooooooool.

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H18 '89 "Knotty Passion"
H20 '96 "20/20 Vision"
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:58 am 
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Ha, Can't remember what I paid now but I think the Red Gil top was about $85.

Both the Zhik life Jacket and the Gil top was a super success. They went together perfectly and I was VERY warm in the mighty Pacific. My wife was happy and warm so guess who gets to go sailing more often.......... :)

I have used both about 4 times now and I am sorry I waited so long to purchase.

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H20 '96 "20/20 Vision"
Fleet 259 Central Coast California


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:25 am 
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Gill Spray tops. Mauri Sailing Pro. Got a great line of sailing tops.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:00 pm 
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So, I think Gill's website officially sucks. Doesn't recognize anything in the store locator, counter-intuitive selection process.

So, I think my main question is: is the Gill Dinghy top better than the Hobie spray jacket? I'd rather give my Hobie dealer the business, but I do want the best product for me. My needs being windy warm-water cool-wind sailing.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:46 am 
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I can't say for sure, but I'm not sure that there's enough of a difference to buy one over the other. I'm not sure on pricing, and I bought the Gill because it was a good deal at the time, but if you want to support Hobie, you can't really go wrong there either.

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