Clearly you have experience with this bib and I do not question your experience. I just have a hard time seeing how elastic, even tight elastic can seal out water when it is trying to seal against whatever clothing you are wearing to stay warm. Good kayaker type splash tops that have the large neoprene band at the waist do not seal up well enough to prevent water intrusion when you are in the water. Water does not rush in, but it is coming in. I have no idea how long you would have before the water leaking in would cause a serious problem and suspect that is a function of just how tight you can stand that jacket waistband to be.
The reason I want people to be aware of these key details in wetsuits/drysuits/splash gear is that in a cold water swim situation things can get really out of control fast. Time is of the essence when you are in cold water and then even after getting everything under control you still have to survive the return trip. So knowing what you are up against is critical.
On Puget Sound some of the best sailing is through late fall, winter and spring when the wind can be perfect. Weirdly in summer the wind often lightens up and becomes more flukey. So having the right gear to play in these colder conditions makes all the difference and also makes it really fun.
NACRA 5.2 #400
This End Up
Original owner since 1975
I understand and was skeptical myself
equip failure of this nature can be fatal
This is a kayaker's dry suit. these guys would be dead - quick if it didn't work
When used with a dry top - it becomes a drysuit
you curl in a neoprene flaps several wraps. With flaps on both the bib and the dry top .. nothing is getting in or out of that
see the pdf (steps 1 through 4, the other steps of to add a kayak skirt)
with only a spray top (with neck and wrist gasket/flap)- its pretty much the same
Without a spray-top/dry top .. .just wearing the bib (and SOME kind of light jacket/shirt (like in the spring):
if you fall in during a capsize, fall overboard, walk in ... you can go up to your armpits and no water can get into the bib. If your tops get totally soaked... you can accumulate water above the neoprene
if you get thrown in and all your body goes underwater : the elastic waistband is such a major part of this gear that it does in fact seal up pretty tight -
I guess water could eventually pool and wick in i depending on what your wearing above and underneath i.e. water gets in your spray top/shirt... accumulates around the elastic and possibly trickle in - you'd have to be in the water a long time without pfd)
if you are wearing jeans underneath (as i have done in the past) and a sweater of fleece that is crossing through the upper and lower part, creating a path for water - this could be an issue in the sealing up (use of the correct gear would eliminate this risk)
All that being said:
i live in fl - and have sailed a lot
I have pretty much given up on sailing in any weather that calls for this gear
Edited by MN3 on Jan 14, 2018 - 10:50 AM.
I use a mid-graded set of Kokatat dry paints (some synthetic multilayer but not Goretex) -- they seal well at the top and have built in socks that lend themselves well to socks inside and overshoes, booties, or sandals. I waffled on the dry bibs, and ultimately went with the dry pants. They have stayed dry thus far even after several wet launches. I think they'd leak a bit if I trod water in them without a dry top, but I have been very impressed with the wide neoprene waistband.
I have a Kokatat drytop from paddling that is utterly watertight. The goretex helps breathe, but it still gets warm fast... that said, with the inner 'skirt' of the jacket against my skivvies, and the wide, flat neoprene waist of the pants velcro-cinched tight over that skirt, and the wide, flat neoprene waist of the drytop velcro cinched overop all that, everything stays dry from outside water ... though a good sailing session generates internal heat.
I have a spray top that velcro-seals at the sleeves, and overlaps the waist... it lets water in when I swim, but is good for between times when it is too cold to wetsuit and too hot to drytop. The pants stay almost perfectly dry throughout, and the jacket drains pretty well out the bottom when I haul myself up on the tramp.
YMMV, but either way, be safe out there. I recommend testing your gear out on the shore BEFORE you NEED it to work perfectly. I learned the same way in paddlesports... gear up, paddle flat water, and do wet exits and recoveries with all your gear. Pulling the handle on the spray skirt can be intimidating, and it is worse yet when you're learning in cold water, moving fast, with rocks around you, while you're upside down.
My friend who has the gor-tex bib (mine isn't) has a pool
he tested the heck out of his bib years before i got mine
I tested mine in his pool in florida (5 years ago or so)
- it was so weird:
at first i felt 100% wet after walking in but it was just the cold water pressing against my skin through the bib
after walking out, and taking off the bib - i was 100% dry
Edited by MN3 on Jan 16, 2018 - 10:05 AM.
I trolled my head through the rocks to test my gear when I was learning to WW kayak. I stayed dry, but decided that WW kayaking was a crummy way to watch the fishes in the bottom of the river. I will take my nice 7' wide, 16' long cataraft anywhere and when the whole thing goes inverted I will just swim behind it down the river. Learning to high side on the cat has been endlessly helpful skill on the raft too.
So I agree, test your cold water gear in a non-threatening place first. I'm a full figure guy. Getting that waistband tight enough to stop leaks would likely make my eyeballs pop out.
NACRA 5.2 #400
This End Up
Original owner since 1975
Since all of Austria is in the cold Canadian climes, may I suggest you find a crew member for each side of you, to help keep warm - especially while you are sailing the catamaran.
While ashore, a nice fluffy quilt should be enough for the three of you.
Prindle 18-2 #244 "Wakizashi"
Prindle 16 #3690 "Pegasus" Sold (sigh)
AZ Multihull Fleet 42 member
(Way) Past Commodore of Prindle Fleet 14