America's Cup: PFDs and a New Venue

Author:
Publish date:

PFDs and a New Venue

Keeping an MOB victim afloat was only the beginning of the design brief for these jackets

Keeping an MOB victim afloat was only the beginning of the design brief for these jackets

While windage has long been a concern aboard high-performance sailboats, racing a full-foiling catamaran at 40-plus knots takes the question of streamlining to a whole new level. Same thing with safety: when sailing in gale-force apparent winds, every little bit helps.

It was with this in mind that Spinlock, working in cooperation with Sir Ben Ainslie’s UK-based Land Rover BAR team, has created what it calls “the most technologically advanced lifejacket in the world,”a flotation device that is designed to both minimize drag and maximize safety.

On the performance side, the BAR T2 vest has—we kid you not—been subjected to “rigorous wind tunnel testing” to ensure it creates as little wind resistance as possible when it’s blowing over the 40 knots.

On the safety side, in addition to the usual buoyancy, the BAR T2 includes D30 motorcycle-grade shock-absorbing body armor as well as an integral emergency air cylinder and knife. Equally important, the jacket has been designed so that it can be easily removed should it become caught on, say, a line or piece of hardware in the event a sailor becomes trapped beneath an inverted hull.

“We’re not just trying to conform to rules and regulations … we’re trying to help people perform better,” says Spinlock CEO Chris Hill. “We look at the crews as athletes, and we look a how to minimize the [impact] of staying safe. The traditional form of life jacket is no longer suitable for these guys so it needed a new approach.”

For more on the new lifejackets, visit spinlock.co.uk.

October 2016

Related

IMG_0173

Electronic “Flares” for Cruisers

The United States Coast Guard requires that all boats operating in coastal waters or on the high seas carry a selection of visual distress signals. Almost invariably, such signals include the pyrotechnic type, either handheld or fired from a flare pistol, but surely there are ...read more

M2-HOOK-TOP-AND-CHAIN-1

Gear: M2 Chain Hook from Mantus

Stay Hooked Chain hooks on anchor snubber lines tend to fall off when you least want them to. Not so this latest example from Mantus. The M2 Chain Hook is secured to the chain by a simple elastic strap, so it won’t come off when the snubber loosens. Made from corrosion-resistant ...read more

shutterstock_349918991

Successful Surf Landings with Wheels

“Ready to take the dink ashore?” Never had those words invoked as much anxiety as when my husband, Jeff, and I first moved to the Pacific Coast. Why? Because we had exactly zero experience with dinghy surf landings, and the possibility of being flipped upside down along with our ...read more

Sail2010_597

How to: Find Good Values on Charter Vacations

So, you want to find a great deal on your next charter vacation? Sure, you can scour the internet, hope for Black Friday deals or ask friends. But an even better way to find good prices on charter boats is to go to a boat show. Not only do charter companies like The Moorings, ...read more

leadphoto

Know How: Dinghy Modification

The rigmarole of stretching a cover over a dinghy in choppy water prior to hoisting it on davits can become a very wet business if you’re not careful. Leaning right over either end, trying to stretch a cover over the bow and stern pods can quite easily result in a head-first dip ...read more

25980

Catnapped Aboard a Racing Multihull

It was after midnight when I realized my daysail with Tony Bullimore aboard his giant record-breaking catamaran, Team Legato, was not going to plan. The big cat was en route for a December dash from England across the Bay of Biscay to Barcelona and the start of a drag race ...read more