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Trapeze harness

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Beginner questions
Forum Discription: Advice for those who are new to sailing
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4466
Printed Date: 03 Jul 22 at 8:42am
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Topic: Trapeze harness
Posted By: simonjohn
Subject: Trapeze harness
Date Posted: 08 Aug 08 at 8:53am
Its sort of a beginner's question: is it ok using a windsurfing harness on the trapeze? (Laser II).    Seems to work ok, but we are very new to trapezing.



Replies:
Posted By: tack'ho
Date Posted: 08 Aug 08 at 8:59am

I had a crew who used to swear by it....but i suppose it's a comfort thing.  To begin with it's fine but I have a hunch as you trapeze for longer you will start to wish you had a bit more support.

But in answer to your question there's nothing too bad about it whilst you get the hang of things.



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Posted By: Contender 541
Date Posted: 08 Aug 08 at 10:02am

In the long run, your back will hate you

 

Windsurfer Trapeze Harnesses are for 'Vertical' Trapezing

Sailing Trapeze Harnesses are for 'Horizontal' Trapezing

 

Its all a matter of support



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Posted By: Black no sugar
Date Posted: 08 Aug 08 at 10:52am
And the hook points upwards on a windsurf trapeze harness, which could have hilarious consequences for the rescue boat's point of view.

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Posted By: tack'ho
Date Posted: 08 Aug 08 at 2:28pm
Not if you take the bar off and turn it through 180 degrees and reattach it!

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I might be sailing it, but it's still sh**e!


Posted By: Black no sugar
Date Posted: 08 Aug 08 at 4:37pm


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Posted By: NickA
Date Posted: 08 Aug 08 at 4:53pm

... or put a sailing spreader bar on it.

I guess it depends on what kind of wind-surf harness you have.  A sit harness might work OK until you need to get really flat to the water, but a waist or chest harness maybe not.  There's a fashion for more upright trapezing (especially on boats with wide racks) but it doesn't work on 5o5's etc (or even on an MPS if you're light ... watch Kit Stenhouse, she can really flat wire)!

Turning it around ... could I put a windwurfer spreader bar on my dinghy harness and save the cost of a windsurfing harness?



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Posted By: alstorer
Date Posted: 08 Aug 08 at 11:33pm
Probabaly, but then you'd have something a bit bulky, with too many straps for what you need.

I think on some twin wire boats helms often wear windsurf "sit" harnesses, as they really don't flatwire much/ever, and the reduced bulk/straps is a good thing for them. But any less support is just going to make it difficult and damage you. There's a reason why they're such different designs.


Posted By: simonjohn
Date Posted: 11 Aug 08 at 11:32am

Thanks for the replies. 

  As far as I know, hooks all point down on windsurfing harnesses

   We use both waist and seat harnesses, as as yet no back problems.   But our trapezing is measured in seconds rather than minutes.



Posted By: NickA
Date Posted: 11 Aug 08 at 2:54pm

"As far as I know, hooks all point down on windsurfing harnesses". 

Oh yes.. of course they do. 

But the hooks are a fat triangle to stop wear on your harness lines, yes?  whereas the dinghy hook is designed to go in a relatively narrow metal loop and I wonder if a windsurfing hook would fit the hole in the loop properly.

Anyway, my trapezing on sunday (F5 in a Javelin) was measured in hours.  And was I glad of those shoulder straps!

Often start out with the shoulder straps loose .. as it makes walking possible.  But am usually cinching them tight by half way up the first beat.

Please try it and let us know..  and if I get a chance to go windsurfing anywhen soon I'll do likewise.



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Posted By: ellistine
Date Posted: 12 Aug 08 at 8:02am

Daft question alert: are you supposed to wear the harness over or under your buoyancy aid?



Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 12 Aug 08 at 8:25am
Not that daft... But if you wear it over I think you'll find that the straps don't stay put, so it needs to be under...
I think there would be a lot to be said for an integrated harness/buoyncy aid... With the harness under the buoyancy, which is conventional, the buoyancy aid may get in the way - that's why you see cutaway buoyancy aids advertised for use with trapeze harnesses.


Posted By: ellistine
Date Posted: 12 Aug 08 at 8:42am
Thanks. We had been wearing ours under but I keep seeing pictures of them being worn over. The only problem I have wearing it under is that the buoyancy aid obscures your view of the hook. I supposed this matters less the more you get used to it.


Posted By: alstorer
Date Posted: 12 Aug 08 at 9:57am

Originally posted by ellistine

Thanks. We had been wearing ours under but I keep seeing pictures of them being worn over. The only problem I have wearing it under is that the buoyancy aid obscures your view of the hook. I supposed this matters less the more you get used to it.

Get one of the rash vests with a hook-hole- neately covers all straps, leaves just your hook poking out.



Posted By: Contender443
Date Posted: 12 Aug 08 at 12:19pm
It is personal preference. I wear my harnes over my buoyancy aid. It just feels right for me.

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Posted By: redback
Date Posted: 12 Aug 08 at 9:44pm
I wear my harness over everything so that I can remove it quickly if necessary.  My only experience of entrapment nearly did for me and it was a buckle on the harness which got caught.  I remember with the last breath in my body that I couldn't get if off because I had a bouyancy aid over the top and yet I'd checked the hook a dozen times and couldn't understand why I was still snagged.


Posted By: tgruitt
Date Posted: 12 Aug 08 at 10:06pm
I wear my harness over my wetsuit with a rashvest on top of the harness. If I wore a BA then I would put that over the harness, never harness over BA, the shoulders dig in too much!

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Needs to sail more...


Posted By: tmoore
Date Posted: 12 Aug 08 at 10:44pm

Originally posted by redback

I wear my harness over everything so that I can remove it quickly if necessary.  My only experience of entrapment nearly did for me and it was a buckle on the harness which got caught.  I remember with the last breath in my body that I couldn't get if off because I had a bouyancy aid over the top and yet I'd checked the hook a dozen times and couldn't understand why I was still snagged.

so in that respect would a rash vest covering everything have helped? this is an interesting debate because my 29er crew wears a harness then a b/a and then his spray top.  when im trapzing i wear a harness and then my b/a. but my b/a is so easy to get off (if i lifted my arms up i could slide it off). i dont understand why you need a b/a, if you cant swim, should you really be sailing? if your knocked out its useless and could hold you face down in the water. if your concious then you can swim. only advntage i can see is if your too tired to swim (which isnt  a problem with decent rescue cover....).

my apologies for hi-jacking the thread.



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Posted By: Ross
Date Posted: 12 Aug 08 at 10:48pm
I have a seriously old nappy harness with string to tighten it up (between the hook and the hip part of the harness) so no buckles in sight. The strap has one of those double 'D' ring things that you double back though with the strap. My kit when sailing goes like this; wetsuit-trapeze harness-spray top- BA

My hook is quite low so I can get away with having it under my spray top.

Tom, when it's windy sailing is pretty tiring and when/ if you capsize having to support youself in the water as well as negociate you way around the boat I would get pretty tired!


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Ross
If you can't carry it, don't sail it!


Posted By: NickA
Date Posted: 13 Aug 08 at 5:48pm
You can get really good no-snag harness hooks now.   No sticky out hook to snag on anything or punch any holes in anyones decks.

So, harness, then bouyancy then a rash vest over everything = nothing whatsoever sticks out to get tangled in the first place.  And you don't need a special rashy with a hook hole.

Had mine a couple of years now and very pleased.  Switched back to a hook for a while and almost immediatedly damaged my mate's boat with it

Back to the flush hook. 


You do have to be a little more positive about hooking into it and it doesn't come unhooked all by itself, eg when you stand in the boat or want to hook into a loose wire before you step out (which is good) but instead the needs a small chop on the trapeze loop with the side of your hand to dislodge it (possibly not so good).

Highly recommended.

PS: a bouyancy aid is a really nice thing to have on when you capsize for the nth time after several hours of sailing!!!!!


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Posted By: Medway Maniac
Date Posted: 13 Aug 08 at 8:02pm

I'm not seeing the photos, Nick.

edit: weird, as my post appeared, so did one photo...



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Posted By: redback
Date Posted: 13 Aug 08 at 11:34pm

That's funny I didn't see the picture either and then when I came back to the page it had appeared.

But to get back to snagging.  Yes I think you're right a rash vest over everything is probably the best way to stop snags.  I certainly wear my bouyancy under my spray top - that way it doesn't ride up and obscure my vision when I'm in the water (which is frequently). 

One day I forgot the bouyancy aid but nobody noticed and oh what a pleasure - so much easier to get up on the board from in the water.  Of course nobody will ever believe me when I say its safer without one!

I know I'm swimming against a tide here and I'll never convince the authorities but I think the safest way to go is with these rules.

  1. all dinghy sailors should be able to swim
  2. they should not wear bouyancy aids
  3. they should not use quick release hooks


Posted By: dics
Date Posted: 14 Aug 08 at 8:47am
I have just bought my first trap harness. It is a minefield. I tried out about 10 different types to get one that was easily adjustable, comfortable and did not have buckles and straps everywhere and gives adequate support. What I noticed with the upper end ones was the buckles were tucked away underneath the harness to prevent snagging. There was one harness I tried that was called something like "The Skiff Harness -  designed for skiff sailing". It had more buckles and straps than a jump seat in an F14! I thought who ever wears this must be pretty good at free diving i.e. holding your breath.
 
So my question is this what is wrong/right with a quick release hook other than the fact you are stuffed if you lose it?
 
What also surprised me was that no harness had a good pocket in which to stash a good knife. The harness I got came with a safety knife that is only any good for cutting a webbing strap but useless otherwise.
I think the suggestion of an all in one harness and BA is really good. That way if you get trapped you can dump the lot in one go and swim out.
 
NickA - I did not see any harness with that type of hook.


Posted By: alstorer
Date Posted: 14 Aug 08 at 8:58am

There's no standard for uick release hooks- nothing saying how much load they should be able to take, or how much load they should be able to release under.

There is, however, supposedly an ISO standard in the works. Chances are current designs may well not meet that. If they re-introduce a rule requiring quick release, then it will almost certainly be to the ISO standard.

 

And I believe entrapments are more likely to involve ropes wrapped round distinctly non quick release limbs or the neck. Certainly, I've always found that if I get a bit stuck during a capsize (even on trapeze boats- though for now I hike) then it's a case of freeing my legs from the mainsheet. Other experience people?



Posted By: Medway Maniac
Date Posted: 14 Aug 08 at 9:18am

The poor guy who died in the 4000 accident last year was trapped by his hook (on the lowers, if I recall rightly).

A q.r. hook might have saved him had he been able to release it (it might not have worked - the twisting load on the hook was enough to bend it). You also have to be in a position/state of mind to release it.

With the hook Nick A shows above, you don't get hooked in the first place. It's available in three forms (spreader and non-spreader) and is or was available from John Waddington  mailto:at@jwaddington9.wanadoo.co.uk - john[at]jwaddington9.wanadoo.co.uk



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Posted By: simonjohn
Date Posted: 14 Aug 08 at 10:13am

I'm pleased my "beginner's" question has started a discussion.  Windsurfing hooks work fine in trapeze loops.

So: another silly question: why the shoulder straps on sailing harnesses?  My waist harness provides plenty of back support, doesn't ride up, is almost buckle-free, doesn't need strapping round my shoulders....what do they do?



Posted By: alstorer
Date Posted: 14 Aug 08 at 10:56am
Try trapezeing flat. If you're right out, they take a lot of weight.


Posted By: simonjohn
Date Posted: 14 Aug 08 at 12:19pm

Flat, arm above head, head getting wet.

  When windsurfing, I can take weight off my feet, body vertical, so if it was going to slip it would do it then.

Hope to do quite a bit of trapezing next week, on holiday with boats, so I'll report back.

Interesting, I thought I'd get a sort of " you can't do that, the surge tickler wont attach to the snaffle grommet" kind of answer, but nothing so definite, so far.



Posted By: alstorer
Date Posted: 14 Aug 08 at 1:08pm

Try, when you're out flat, tightening the shoulder strap a bit, so it takes some of the weight.

 

Also, remember with back strain that it can sometimes strike without warning, but as a result of long term abuse.



Posted By: Merlinboy
Date Posted: 15 Aug 08 at 8:08am
Its when your flat wiring that the shoulder straps help.  I really feel the load on my lower back even with a dinghy harness on.  This is proabably becuase i  havntgot it up tight enough!

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Posted By: redback
Date Posted: 25 Aug 08 at 11:49pm

Yes its true the poor guy who died at the 4000 Nationals did get caught by his hook.  However he was inexperienced.  Years of sailing a wide range of boats has shown me that the hook generally is not the problem and with experience its the first thing you check when caught.

Being a keen 4000 owner I must point out that it is a boat which inverts very quickly and with such force you won't stop it.  Having sailed and capsised an 800 much too many times I have come to the conclusion that a carbon mast is a safety feature since the 800 is much easier to stop from invertion and also easier to right.

The recessed hook system looks good but I sail such a variety of boats I need a standard hook.  The best solution is be aware of where your hook is and check it is clear when you capsise.  If you sail a boat which inverts quickly make a point of keeping clear - ie don't try anything fancy like dropping the kite.  Get some weight on the centreboard before you do anything like dropping the kite, uncleating the sheets or easing the kicker.  And if you have to have an adjustable harness buy one with the velcro flaps which cover up all the buckles.

After all that it is worth pointing out that sailing is a safe sport - it may terrify you at times but generally you just get wet.



Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 26 Aug 08 at 3:38am
Originally posted by redback

Of course nobody will ever believe me when I say its safer without one!

Check out the phenomenum known as secondary drowning. A buoyancy aid makes a big difference in those cirumstances.


Posted By: Hector
Date Posted: 26 Aug 08 at 2:32pm

Originally posted by NickA

But the hooks are a fat triangle to stop wear on your harness lines, yes? 

Nope. They are a triangular because in a big fall, it's easy to get spun right around and with a plain hook that results in the harness line twisting and forming a tornique around the hook. Very, very difficult to remove. The triangle shape means any twisting / tightening of the harness line should result in it being forced off the hook. Probably not well explained but I hope you get the picture.

As someone who's been around I can say that I'd never sail without a BA - saved me at least twice (I can swim but try it in water at 6 degrees - after a couple of minutes your arms start to pack in).

QR harnesses need development but must be the way to go. To clarify I bought one for my daughter - here on balance I decided it was safer than not having one. But I have one harness with and one without. I agree entirely that ropes present more risk of entaglement, but you'd have to be very unlucky to not get out whereas a hook on a shroud??.

And finally the original question. Yes you can, but there's a reason the two are different and it isn't just fashion. Find one that suits you.



Posted By: Medway Maniac
Date Posted: 29 Aug 08 at 10:17pm
Originally posted by redback

The recessed hook system looks good but I sail such a variety of boats I need a standard hook. 

The flush hook works with standard trapeze rings, wide or narrow, though the wide rings seem to work better, just as they do with a normal hook.



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Posted By: NickA
Date Posted: 02 Sep 08 at 4:56pm

Thanks Hector.  Now we know, and also know not to try windsurfing with a dinghy style hook!

My main objection to QR hooks, apart from accidental release potential, which is annoying rather than dangerous, is that they all stick out and therefore get caught in stuff in the first place.  That poor L4000 bloke wouldn't have gotten stuck at all with a recessed "waddington" (like mine) or "bethwaite" hook. 

.. though in truth, all my near entanglements have been neck and arm related and nothing to do with trapezing (head between mast, deck and mast ram was a good one!)

.. and I still don't see how you're supposed to cut yourself free from shrouds and spars with a little knife, or even from webbing and ropes before you drown.



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