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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Seat Harness woes

    As has been mentioned in previous harness debates I have been using a very unfashionable seat harness with a sliding elasticated hook design, this has been repaired over repair with wire, braided fishing line and anything else to hand for some years.

    This one is an old fanatic (the harness not me)

    It may be going on 18+ plus years old, and I love it to bits. The movement of the hook is about 65mm in each direction, side to side which self-centres due to the elastic webbing, there is no vertical movement at all, very snug and comfortable.

    About a month ago the stainless hook finally gave way as I was finishing a session at Rutland water, totally gutted to say the least.

    A new seat harness was purchased but sadly not with any kind of sliding hook. Itís a Dakine Reflex which seems well made and is very comfortable to wear.

    To say I struggled to sail would be an understatement, the lack of movement in the hook became a physical torment to my back, hips knees and arms.

    The kit was my usual 8.6m x15 and 144 isonic which I have sailed many many miles with and enjoyed tremendously, but without my old hook I was struggling like a nooby. The ability to move hips and weight constantly adjusting body position with the new static hook was impossible, is this why sailors complain about wearing out harness lines as all the movement is done by moving the hook about on the line ?
    I am still 100kilos and have never worn any lines out in all the years of using this sliding hook system.

    No one makes these any more, it looks as though Heath Robinson may be about to cast an eye over the old one. Or Iím done.

    Gutted of Yorkshire

  2. #2
    Super Moderator na-omi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Back end of a boat
    might be worth trying one of the roller spreader bars if yours isn't fixable:

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    DK used to do a kit for that, a sliding bar conversion kit. I am sure the Grumpy one can tell you more. It was just a bit of webbing with the 2 quick release buckles on the ends and you put a smaller spreader bar on. Alternatively the T6 and similar still have a sliding spreader bar but that means switching to a silly waist harness.
    Last edited by phill104; 13th August 2014 at 01:45 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Billyboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    I've just gone from a sliding to a fixed hook in my waist harness and was very surprised how much difference it made. I definitely struggled a bit at first, but most people use fixed hooks now so I take the view that its just a question of adapting technique a bit.

    After using it for several hours now I'm pretty happy with it. The point is that it doesn't move, so best not do anything that requires some sort of movement of the harness hook! Because of this I have found that I can load up the harness in the same way as before, e.g. to power upwind, without so much exagerated twisting of my body. Once I get used to it some more I think I will actually be more comfortable than I was (but old habbits die hard and I have to conciously stop myself twisting too much at the moment!). I partiaularly like the fixed hook when sailing stacked as I feel a much more direct connection to the rig through the harness, making taking the strain using my bodyweight rather than my arms a bit easier.

    I have also had to get longer lines - from 28" to 30" - but I suspect I might even go to 32" now...

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Thanks na-omi, that looks ok but wont give me the body movement i probably need.

    Its difficult to explain the feeling of hip movement that i get with the old one.

    Thanks Phill, hopefully yoda will have some input latter.

    Thanks Billyboy, i get what your saying but i may be too set in my ways (stance issue)

    A very cunning plan is set in motion to proquire some new parts, the new parts will no doubt be over 15 years old. It will rise like a phoenix from the ashes, hopefully.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    You may find that in order to adapt to a fixed hook you would be better placing your harness lines closer together. The narrower you position them the less the harness line restricts your movement left and right and the hook does not move from the centre point of the line. If you have your lines any more than say 2 fists apart there will be a lot more pressure from the harness when you try to twist.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Graemef's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Seabrook Kent
    There is/was a kite, I use it on my shorts harness, I absolutely would never use a fixed hook by choice, or a waist harness for that matter.

    I shall go google, see if I can find it online, I don't think we have any left, it may be available by the DK direct site.

    Couldn't find it on any of the usual European suspects, but
    This is what you need.
    Last edited by Graemef; 13th August 2014 at 06:47 PM.

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