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Continuous Webbed Harness
07-16-2005, 01:08 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-16-2005, 01:11 PM by WIdiver_Paul.)
#1
Continuous Webbed Harness
Okay, you DIR people, I have a bone to pick. My off-the-shelf Explorer came with the familiar continuous webbing ubiquitous to DIR culture. Trey has several reasons citing the importance of this, but i'm curious how many of you secretly have an issue with this practice. After diving on a boat this week requiring backmount and having to nearly drown myself to shed my gear and watching others neatly unclip one shoulder from their harness and smoothly roll out of their doubles, i'm committed to rewebbing and installing a stainless harness clasp under my right arm in front. Anyone wanna bite?

[Image: harness1_r.jpg]
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07-16-2005, 03:42 PM,
#2
Re: Continuous Webbed Harness
I haven't had to remove my gear in the water since I went the route of the continous webbing.  Trey (that is sort of funny for whatever reason) claims if you need to get out of it in the water, you unbuckle and go over your head with it while face down in the water.  I think I would keep my reg in my mouth while attempting this feat, as well as making sure there was enough air in my wing to keep it afloat.    I agree that the buckle would make for easier removal, but this is DIR, not DIE Wink  That is of course "Do it easy" and I am in no way saying death is imminent if you aren't DIR.
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07-16-2005, 04:05 PM,
#3
Re: Continuous Webbed Harness
(07-16-2005, 03:42 PM)Chris H link Wrote: I haven't had to remove my gear in the water since I went the route of the continous webbing.   Trey (that is sort of funny for whatever reason) claims if you need to get out of it in the water, you unbuckle and go over your head with it while face down in the water.  I think I would keep my reg in my mouth while attempting this feat, as well as making sure there was enough air in my wing to keep it afloat.    I agree that the buckle would make for easier removal, but this is DIR, not DIE Wink   That is of course \"Do it easy\" and I am in no way saying death is imminent if you aren't DIR.

I have to say, it was pretty amusing watching Paul thrash around in the water trying to remove his harness - twice each day all last week.  We were diving from a boat with no ladder, so you had to remove your gear to get back in.  I think I saw him try nearly every technique imaginable (except scissors) - he always got out, but never looked easy.  And we were fortunate enough to have glass-calm conditions most of the week - I hate to think what it would've been like in heavy seas.

I tried switching to a continuously webbed harness this spring, but I just couldn't manage to get it off without a struggle.  On land it's not too bad (though I popped a dry glove ring one time), but the "face down in the water" thing just didn't work for me.  I ended up swapping back to my old harness with the clip on the left strap.  To me, the possibility of it failing is pretty remote (far less than the possibility of me getting bashed by the boat while trying to remove my harness in heavy seas).  Even if it were to fail, the harness remains in place well enough that I could complete a dive.  If you're really concerned, put a d-ring above the clip and keep a spare double-ender around to hold your harness together should the clip fail.

Ethan
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07-16-2005, 06:37 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-16-2005, 06:44 PM by WIdiver_Paul.)
#4
Re: Continuous Webbed Harness
Thanks for the tip on that one, Ethan, methinks i'll be doing that with the extra ring if I don't feel confident about getting the web back in there after trying to dismount below the surface. I would think actually that a left-mount stage bottle would connect your left side to the "open" part of a left side modded harness enough to keep things in place long enough to get in a place out of flow or to the surface where you can fix things or try again.

If you're curious where I got this idea for the "extra" harness waist clasp, just wanted to point out I saw it in a picture of another prominent cave diver. Sheck Exley. I beleive this was from "Caverns Measureless to Man"...
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07-18-2005, 12:01 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-18-2005, 01:28 PM by Chris H.)
#5
Re: Continuous Webbed Harness
If unclipping the harness allows you to "roll out" of the doubles, why do you think they would stay in place with a damaged/ broken buckle during thie dive?    I would think this would be cause for a serious pucker factor. 
The following was taken from the GUE web page
" Individuals are occasionally confused into believing that convenience at the surface is a more important concern than safety during the dive. It is never a reasonable trade-off to accept a potentially fatal risk in favor of a minor convenience."

You guys can dive however you want, as can anyone else.  The clip isn't DIR for reasons that have been argued on many diffferent boards.

(I edited the last comment about moving this from the DIR thread to the equipment thread.  It does pertain directly to something that the DIR crowd is very set on.)
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07-18-2005, 01:48 PM,
#6
Re: Continuous Webbed Harness
I've only had to remove my gear in the water over one weekend's worth of dives off Door Co.  I had less problems with that than I do on the surface getting out of the gear.  All I really need to do is to remember to remove the bungied second and inflator on my drysuit. ;D

Perhaps your shoulder straps are too tight?  You should be able to get a few fingers height under a shoulder...

I should say that I've never had a quick clip of any form come apart while diving, but I also don't feel the need to invite the possibility in either. 
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07-18-2005, 08:57 PM,
#7
Re: Continuous Webbed Harness
Quote:If unclipping the harness allows you to \"roll out\" of the doubles, why do you think they would stay in place with a damaged/ broken buckle during the dive?    I would think this would be cause for a serious pucker factor.

Even after undoing the clip, it still isn't as simple as Paul makes it out to be - there's still the right strap, waist strap, and chest strap holding it together.  While the harness wouldn't be particularly stable, I don't think I'd have too much trouble keeping it on my back to complete a dive.  If I wanted to roll and squeeze through restrictions it might be more of a problem, but I really don't do serious cave-diving (or underwater acrobatics) in backmount. 

Next time I have a chance, I'll give it a try - undo the clip and see how stable the harness is.  Perhaps I'll move the other d-ring above the clip like I've been considering and see how well the "double-ender" trick works as well.

Quote:The following was taken from the GUE web page \"Individuals are occasionally confused into believing that convenience at the surface is a more important concern than safety during the dive. It is never a reasonable trade-off to accept a potentially fatal risk in favor of a minor convenience.\"

I'm really not talking about convenience at the surface, I'm talking about safety at the surface.  I believe safety at the surface should be a major factor in gear design, since a significant fraction of dive accidents occur at the surface.  Being able to quickly get out of your harness is essential if you're diving from a ladderless boat in rough seas.  Of course there is always the option to be safe and not dive from such a boat, but you have to pick where to draw the line - if I wanted to stay safe I could just never leave the house.

Quote:You guys can dive however you want, as can anyone else.  The clip isn't DIR for reasons that have been argued on many diffferent boards.

That's fine - I personally don't really care what is considered DIR and what is not.  Most of my technical diving has been sidemount in caves and I'm really just getting my feet wet when it comes to wreck diving.

I just think that, in the context of me diving from a small boat with no ladder in Lake Michigan, it is safer to dive a harness with a clip than to dive a continous harness.  Both choices present risks - with the clip, there is the risk that the clip will fail and you won't be able to safely complete the dive.  With the continuous harness, there is the risk that you will be injured on the surface while attempting to remove your gear.  I'm more concerned about the latter than the former.

Indeed it has been discussed in many places before, but I've generally ignored the discussions because they were discussing diving in different situations than I dive.  In a cave, I think the balance of risk would turn the other way - with a significantly reduced chance of injury on the surface, the risk of clip failure (however remote) would dominate and I might end up using a continuous harness.  In this case, however, we're discussing harness configuration while diving in the Great Lakes (cold water - drysuits and perhaps glove rings) from small boats with no ladder.  What is the best configuration then?

Quote:Perhaps we can move this to the equipment section and keep the DIR section on target?

I think it's a reasonable topic for the DIR section - the description says "Talk about DIR practices, gear  configuration,..."  I think that's what we're doing here.  What would there be to talk about if there weren't any disagreements?

Quote:Perhaps your shoulder straps are too tight?  You should be able to get a few fingers height under a shoulder...

I'll check that again next time I'm in the water - it is possible that I have it too tight, since I do prefer the feeling of a snug harness.  I'm guessing not though - when I first tried my harness, I had to tighten it down a bit because it was flopping around. 

Quote:I should say that I've never had a quick clip of any form come apart while diving, but I also don't feel the need to invite the possibility in either.

I have had clips fail (3-4 fin buckles, before I switched to Jets), but it has always involved smaller clips, extreme cold (well below 38 degF) and usually also impact or improper clipping (misalignment).  There is also always the option of using a stainless weight belt buckle instead, though I think I'd be more likely to accidently unbuckle it.

Ethan
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07-19-2005, 04:41 AM,
#8
Re: Continuous Webbed Harness
Given your only problem is removing your gear at the surface, why create or invite multiple problems with extra d-rings, clips, and buckles.  I would focus on improving on the one.  And considering you really don't do much of this diving why a permenate change to your gear?
If the day comes down to safety and getting out of my kit I would value it as my life vs cutting a piece of webbing....  I can afford the webbing.

Because it was only mention that you tried everything.....  The difference between in the water and on the boat is the gas in your wing.  Deflate the wing, chicken wing your right arm out, then reach over and inflate the wing while pulling out your left arm.  Most people are to afraid they'll lose there gear to deflate the wing at the surface.  Clip on line from the boat to a d-ring if your not comfortable with it.
Rescuing someone with a broken buckle was one of my most memorialble trimix dives to dates, but I learned from it....

Good luck  find a plan and stick to it.  10 dives in 5 dyas tring something new each time will make you a jack of all trades master of none
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07-19-2005, 06:46 AM,
#9
Re: Continuous Webbed Harness
Little less gas in the suit also makes it easier to slip out.

I've dove off of lots of small boats with no ladders and never had a problem- except from getting tired of dragging the doubles up afterwards. Wink

Also helps to take the time to really get your harness dialed in so that it fits you perfetly. This takes more time than something like a Transpac, but is worth it in the end.

Jon
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07-20-2005, 12:40 PM,
#10
Re: Continuous Webbed Harness
There's been some good ideas, but none I hadn't thought of and actually tried in the water. Tried looser harness (too loose and sloppy); less wing inflation, more inflation, more and less drysuit inflation, vertical and horizontal position on the surface. I think with the amount of underwear we have to wear up here and thick gloves it's far from Doing it right not to have a stainless release on one chest strap. When you have to unclip everything, remove necklace, free the long hose and breathe off it while trying to pull a set of doubles over your head, makes me wish for the old ski parka BC.

Will be modding my harness and posting pictures for all to admire (or criticize).

Thanks guys.
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