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Thread: Survival / Immersion suits

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    Default Survival / Immersion suits

    What type of Survival Suits do you carry in the boat and where did you buy them? Looking to take one more item off of the list of things that I should have.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I bought a couple off ebay and one off CL. Mine are similar to this one.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/STEAR...ssoriesQ5fGear

    I have one for each person on board when I go to PWS.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    I believe mine are Mustang immersion suits, gumby type. Bought 'em off craigslist brand new in the bags for a few hundred a piece a couple years ago.
    BK

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I have a combination of survival suits. Mostly they are neoprene "gumby" suits, I believe Sterns. I also have a couple of mustang suits. The mustang suit was nice to put on when I had to make a long run from a mooring buoy to shore last year in the inflatable with a slight blow and breeze.

    If you don't want to spend an arm and a leg, e-bay and craigslist are good sources. The average price I paid was $125, and with 4 adult sized suits and 2 kids sized suits that was quite a savings. Just watch the auctions and don't get carried away on bids. I picked up both the kids suits in Anchorage from a guy whose kids had outgrown them. It also reminds me I need to a get a few larger suits as I don't think the kids will fit the kids suits anymore.

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    Redden Marine AKA The Gear Shed in Homer has an Anchorage store and good web site. I just ordered 5 Sterns suits on sale for 189 and also an ACR handheld EPIRB.

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    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    Donít have one, not enough room on the boat. I think if my boat was cut in half it would still float anyways. You need considerable space to put one of these things on anyways, and a 22ft C-dory only has enough space for one person at a time to put one on. If we ever decide to make a run for Kodiak or Middleton I would take some along, but just donít see the need. Our dink is always attached to the roof cabin with two quick release straps, that is our best defense if the boat goes down but canít imagine that happening easily.
    Donít me wrong, I commercial fished in the gulf years ago and know the value of having survival suits at the ready with waxed zippers. Fact is we almost used them on return from a 24hr halibut derby, thatís another story.
    If someday we get a larger boat with the intent of traversing the gulf I would most definitely have survival suits onboard.
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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Be careful buying those ebay or CR suits. Many of them are quite old, the zippers may not be any good and the seals and neoprene can be dried out and will not seal. Whats you life worth?? or better yet whats your kids lives worth?? Read the book "Fatal Forcast" and you see why a guy needs a good suit when the **** hits the fan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    Be careful buying those ebay or CR suits. Many of them are quite old, the zippers may not be any good and the seals and neoprene can be dried out and will not seal. Whats you life worth?? or better yet whats your kids lives worth?? Read the book "Fatal Forcast" and you see why a guy needs a good suit when the **** hits the fan.
    Yeah no doubt, these computer jockeys can't separate themselves from their lifeblood long enough to shop local. If they would bother to get the courtesy CG vessel safety inspection (required), they would learn most survival suits inspected are rendered as garbage, even though they look perfectly fine.
    Hey Steve (can we use 1st names anymore?) on a side note, do you have any 5 and 1/4 60md patch web? Oh and I need a couple connecter corks too if you have em.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    Yeah no doubt, these computer jockeys can't separate themselves from their lifeblood long enough to shop local. If they would bother to get the courtesy CG vessel safety inspection (required), they would learn most survival suits inspected are rendered as garbage, even though they look perfectly fine.
    Hey Steve (can we use 1st names anymore?) on a side note, do you have any 5 and 1/4 60md patch web? Oh and I need a couple connecter corks too if you have em.
    Fullbush - Before I reply with what came to mind I will ask if your response was aimied at me? Sounds strange coming from a guy with 1520 posts in 1 year.

    Thanks for the reply Steve - Good input in a positive manner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rambling raven View Post
    Fullbush - Before I reply with what came to mind I will ask if your response was aimied at me? Sounds strange coming from a guy with 1520 posts in 1 year.

    Thanks for the reply Steve - Good input in a positive manner.
    Not aimed at you at all but if you want some I'm not picky

  11. #11

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    Rambling Raven,

    Potbuilder's advice in carefully looking at used survival suits is valid. Give a tug on the glued seams in the suit as this will let you know the condition of the neoprene and the glued joints. Also, the suits will have a manufactured date stamped somewhere inside the suit to give you a true age of the suit.

    After looking around at used suits and looking at a number of old crappy survival suits, I ending up buying new Sterns I590 suits from Redden Marine, Gear Shed in Homer, as they had the best prices and cost maybe $50-$75 bucks more than what I was seeing on the used market.

    As my kids grew in size, I was able to replace their kids suits with adult sizes with used suits. I found a couple of suits that were only two years old and in new condition off of Craigs List and saved some money. You can be patient in looking for used survial suits as they come up for sale all the time. Just wait for the right deal you are comforable with.

    One of the used suits was a Mustang Ocean Commander with is not a neoprene type suit. It uses a more flexible fabric, has built in boots, and a removable thermal lining. It is easier to move around in but costs quite a bit more than the Stearns neoprene suits.

    One last comment, I would look at adding some type of signaling device to the suit such as an ACR Firefly to aid being seen in the water.

    Doug

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rambling raven View Post
    Fullbush - Before I reply with what came to mind I will ask if your response was aimied at me? Sounds strange coming from a guy with 1520 posts in 1 year.
    Funny, I thought it was aimed at me, but I was not going to say anything since I figured Bush was just getting a bit bored since Muttley isn't giving him the love these days.

    I had not heard of Redding Marine, thanks for the tip. I looked at their website though, and it says FOR WHOLESALE ONLY in Anchorage. Since it is caps, I guess I will have to wait. Hopefully they will start selling to the general public here in Anchorage, another alternative would be great and I have heard good things about the Gear Shed. That price on the survival suit is as good as it gets. I personally carry 5 adult universals and one kids, so I am already stocked, but that is as good of a price as you are going to get.
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    Raven, I'd also caution you on the used suit thing, one thing some don't realize that the areas where a suit has been folded sharply like the arms, legs etc. actually becomes locked in wrinkled, and weaker for keeping you warm. Older suits will be bad that way, new ones not as bad.

    There are probably tons of suits that are for sale out there, owners swearing,
    "It's never been out of the bag (!)"
    which is almost more of a reason to not buy, if they are not regularly pulled out, hung for a while, relubed zippers, etc. it's not worth buying.

    Kudos to you for wise boating, "one more thing off the list,..." that list is sure long isn't it?

    As to your question, I'd swerve towards Stearns, or Mustang brands, personally.
    Having worked with lots of different types, these seem the best
    If you have the money, you might look at the "Commander", I think it is Mustang that makes one, it's not quite as "Gumby Thick" neoprene as the others, has good gloves, intended to have at least one guy who can function a little better to help others,

    Well Made, spendy tho probably not critical but good thinking on their part

    http://store.hamiltonmarine.com/brow...24/4,6974.html

    Edit: Whoa, quite a bit more spendy than I thought, still a good idea tho, in case you get an oil company job in the future
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Looks like Redden Marine ships out of Bellingham Washington on line and have a good price on the Stearns I590 Cold Water Immersion Suits - $190 for the universal size and 200 for the small adult. $840 for 4 of them shipped to Fairbanks - Best price so far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    Kudos to you for wise boating, "one more thing off the list,..." that list is sure long isn't it?
    That is a really long list but fortunately when it comes to the safety end of things there isn't much else I don't have on board. Haven't found any where to buy 2 feet longer and 2 feet wider at a reasonable price.

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    you might check LFS in bellingham, but prob about same price as there just down the road from redden. they carry alot of stuff also

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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    The potbuilder can buy from Redden in anchorage, maybe we could get some kind of group buy going if you guys are interested. I'm not really interested in getting one suit at a time, just too busy this time of year, but next time i'm in there i will ask about a price and we'll see where it goes. Let me know your thoughts on this.

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    A couple of days ago I received a card in the mail from the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association that they where going to conduct an Emergency Procedures & Onboard Safety Drill course in Fairbanks. In this course you put on an immersion suit and get in a life raft so that should be pretty cool. The class is offered in many different area's of the state. Hope to see you there.
    To All: I just signed up for AMSEA's "Emergency Procedures & Onboard Drills Course that's scheduled in Fairbanks from 6-9 PM, Fri, 18 Mar 11 and 8-4 PM, Sat, 19 Mar 11. It's a free course for Comml and Charter Boat operators and $170, otherwise. It will be hands on drill so you need to bring your emersion suit. We are to meet at UAF School of Fisheries in the Oneal Bldg, Rm 201, on Yukon Drive. Call AMSEA @ 907-747-3287 or email www.amsea.org to sign up. The Instructor is Mark Young @ 907-590-3454. It's open to the public also.

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