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Orange survival suits

Noddy

Member
Joined
22 Jun 2005
Messages
621
Location
Thames Estuary
I just know that oneday I am going to be cold and wet - regretting writing this post. But here goes:

I question the role of these suits for a single hander.

Something to keep you warm and comfortable - therefore operating at a reasonable level of competence/endurance is a desirable thing (good breathable foulies). But I suspect these will be too uncomfortable and hot for usual wear. Rather they seem to be designed for immersion/survival.

The important question then becomes - How long will they keep you alive in the water temperatures you are having your accident in? (Hypothermia is what kills you). It needs to be long enough for rescue to arrive.

The thought that provokes this question is the sentiment sometimes expressed by single handers that they do not wear life jackets because going overboard in the middle of an ocean is fatal and it will just prolong the agony.

Alternatively Roger's lighweight suit is really being used as foul weather gear rather than as a survival suit.

Your thoughts?
 

Independence

Member
Joined
7 May 2007
Messages
527
For my failed attempt earlier this year I actually bought a dry suit. I only wore it a couple of times and mainly when I got a bit nervous about something. I had originally thought it would be useful for any cold wet nights when I was near the coast and had a need to be on deck for a significant amount of time. Apart from my feet getting very sweaty I found it a really good investment and am happy I bought something relatively substantial. I was surprised that even with the boat rolling about I could still get into it!!!

Having done a sea survival course last year it was commented upon that even in a life-raft (if you carry one) getting into it as dry as possible will significantly increase your survival chances. I'd already decided to buy one at this stage but that signed and sealed it for me.
 

JunkMing

New member
Joined
12 Mar 2007
Messages
39
My immersion suit is certainly not used as foul weather gear (something that these days I hardly ever need on Mingming - didn't need to put my oilies on once during the last 38 day voyage - I use the Hasler expedient of a cheap motorway service station-bought lightweight nylon jacket for doing stuff from the hatch in wet weather).

Mingming is unsinkable, but if holed she would of course take a lot of water before stabilising at her new waterline - where exactly that would be I don't know and hope I never find out. Repairing and pumping out a boat that is well awash would be an extremely wet job, that would lead to real risk of hypothermia over time. Before sailing into cold northern waters I therefore bought this immersion suit. I keep it very handy and have impressed upon myself the necessity of getting into it immediately, before doing absolutely anything else, should we start taking water. That will keep me dry and warm while I then do whatever has to be done to rectify the situation.

It would be poor preparation to do everything possible to ensure the maximum seaworthiness and survivability of the vessel, but then not be able to match that at a personal physical level.

Roger
 

andlauer

New member
Joined
15 Mar 2007
Messages
310
Location
Paris France
Bonjour
The best way to keep dry is to jump inside the dry suit prevently before you really need them.
There is a very good product design for professional single handed racers.
It is the Cotten TPS. It is a survival floating thermal and dry suit but with a harness and separate gloves. You may wear it as a storm oily. You just wear a thin polar under it and boots. Almost all the mini skipper wear them in hard weather.
It looks like a weatsuit but have a dryfilm "titanium"?
I had a volontary bath with it and it is really confortable.
http://www.guycotten.com/index.php4?rub=37&Ztype=COMBINAISON
It is also expensive but you mays find some second handed for 450 euros.
Eric
 

andlauer

New member
Joined
15 Mar 2007
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310
Location
Paris France
Not really a must for the "folles nuits Parisiennes", I'm afraid.

Wearing the TPS you look, at best, like a teddy bear!

It may go as far as "Casimir" a french 70's TV monster for kids entertainment.

That's why I practice single handed sailing !

Eric /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 

Noddy

Member
Joined
22 Jun 2005
Messages
621
Location
Thames Estuary
Sea anglers use a flotation suit that often costs less than £100.

They seem to be designed to be used by guys standing around in the freezing cold on charter fishing boats all day.

I would need a breathable one though. I tried a non breathable flotation suit out in a F7 wind over tide in shallow water. Made me ill. The suit was bright orange and my face was bright green. Took it off - seasickness disapeared.

Of course this is different to the immersion suits (or abandonment suit as Roger's is called). What are the water temperatures like between here and the Azores?

Paul
 

2nd_apprentice

Well-known member
Joined
18 Mar 2007
Messages
2,480
Location
Berlin
I once bought one out of similar considerations as Roger mentioned but it's a bit clumsy. Perhaps I'll take it to the "Hi-Speed Alteration" tailors here? Hmm don't think so
 

tarik

Member
Joined
27 Mar 2004
Messages
725
Location
Broadstairs Kent
Paul,


What sort of price range are these 'suits' going for - I seem to remember an advert in PBO some time ago for second hand ones going for about £50.00 can that be right???



Many thanks


David
 

Independence

Member
Joined
7 May 2007
Messages
527
David,

I bought a brand new Crewsaver Hyperdry Neo Pro Part Breathable Drysuit for £200 with a fleece all in one under garment thrown in foc.

I thought I was worth £200!!!

I found it remarkably comfortable and got less sweaty than wearing my normal wet gear which is not breathable at all. Only problem is when you want to go for a pee when you need to have practiced a bit of yoga to save taking the suit off, but it can be done.

On saying that I only wore it a couple of times and preferred conventional wet gear on the odd occassion it was needed.

Paul
 

Noddy

Member
Joined
22 Jun 2005
Messages
621
Location
Thames Estuary
[ QUOTE ]
What sort of price range are these 'suits' going for - I seem to remember an advert in PBO some time ago for second hand ones going for about £50.00 can that be right???

[/ QUOTE ]
One of my great pleasures in life is exposing (and finding ways around) the rip off pricing policies of some of the people who predate on our sport.

http://www.cheaplifejackets.co.uk/en-gb/dept_17.html

But seriously, ocean survival is a serious business. I don't really know how these would compare with the more expensive kit discussed on this thread. Its not something I would take for granted, but I wouldn't be surprised if they turned out to be just fine.

Cheers
Paul
 

Noddy

Member
Joined
22 Jun 2005
Messages
621
Location
Thames Estuary
[ QUOTE ]
Are we talking about the same thing?

[/ QUOTE ]
Nope!

A survival (or abandonment) suit seems to be designed so that the wearer can bob about passively waiting to be rescued. They seem to be more restrictive and hard to move about in but offer loads of thermal protection so that you can endure the real killer - cold.

My understanding of the cheapy flotation suits is that they should provide some insulation and some flotation but be less restrictive so that you can get things done.

I guess this comparison is being made because I questioned the use of survival suits for our type of sailing vs one piece foul weather gear.

Bobbing about in the North Sea under the cameras of the media awaiting the helicopter is one thing. One man without his boat in the middle of the Atlantic is another.

Personally, I would like to take all the kit I can, and put it all on at the first sign of heavy condensation on the windows. However, like many I am on a very tight budget so I like to try and think through these things.

Cheers
Paul
 

tarik

Member
Joined
27 Mar 2004
Messages
725
Location
Broadstairs Kent
Paul,

Thank you very much for that info I have sent away for one of their brochures and will do some comparasions with similar products. I have to say that if the ISO and EN figures compare then I'll get one - at that price it would be rude not to !!

Very many thanks for your response.


regards


David
 
G

Guest

Guest
Re: the £50 suits

Maybe I'm being a smiggen thick (and negative) here, but the blurb reads:
"Sealed against water entry at the legs, sleeves and thighs they have 7 pockets, 2 of which are fleece-lined. They also have adjustable neoprene cuffs in the sleeves for extra comfort."

So - seals at legs and sleeves (ok so far) - but at the thighs (???). And fleece-lined pockets !

But no neck seal. So what happens when (not if) the damp salty stuff starts trickling down yer neck .....

Also - if your suit DOES take in serious water, won't those thigh seals ensure that your legs remain more buoyant than the rest of the suit. Good way to drown yerself, methinks ?

Unless I'm missing something, I reckon these would be ok on the boat, but not in open water.

Colin
 

gag

New member
Joined
6 Jan 2006
Messages
107
Whirlybird Services Ltd at Dyce Industrial estate by Aberdeen used to do ex helicopter reconditioned survival suits for £50.
Made by PSC.
The other half bought one and its a professional bit of kit but not something you would wear unless necessary.
 

gag

New member
Joined
6 Jan 2006
Messages
107
PS - The Whirlybird suits have vents fitted so you can't float upside down !!
 
G

Guest

Guest
[ QUOTE ]
PS - The Whirlybird suits have vents fitted so you can't float upside down !!

[/ QUOTE ]

No chance of getting sunburnt on the soles of your feet then ? /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Another option for paddling around a water-logged boat and a mighty useful bit of kit in it's own right, is a set of chest-high waders.
There's a shop around here (Boston) who make these up for the local trawler-men. They use a kind of thick but flexible PVC material (in a subtle day-glo orange), welded directly to a pair of bog standard PVC wellies. Not expensive, and extremely useful if you're into trailer-sailing - or landing shell-fish.

But - not a great deal of use if the boat sinks ....

Colin
 
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