What About GlowFast Tethers?


In response to your request regarding safety tether knowledge or suggestions (see Safety Tether Warning, Inside Practical Sailor) please test and include information about Glowfasts HLR Safety Line system.

Matt Breckenfeld

Irish Boat Shop, Inc.

Charlevoix, MI

We did short review on the Glowfast Tether (see A Second Look at Safety Gear, PS August 2015) and the link to this review now appears in the blog post you mention. The Glowfast has a modified three-ring release that is used in skydiving gear and other high-load applications. It is the only true release-under-load system we’ve tried, but resetting it is tricky (Glowfast has an online video to teach). Even if you felt perfectly confident with resetting the tethers quick-release arrangement, we would still recommend a quick-release snap-shackle at the harness end. (The Glowfast comes standard with a cow hitch at the harness end.) The snap-shackle would let the wearer quickly disconnect and reconnect if he became tangled while working on deck. Reconnecting on the fly will not be possible without making this change.

Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on sailboats and sailing gear for more than 45 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising. Its independent tests are carried out by experienced sailors and marine industry professionals dedicated to providing objective evaluation and reporting about boats, gear, and the skills required to cross oceans. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser who has been director of Belvoir Media Group's marine division since 2005. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license, has logged tens of thousands of miles in three oceans, and has skippered everything from pilot boats to day charter cats. His weekly blog Inside Practical Sailor offers an inside look at current research and gear tests at Practical Sailor, while his award-winning column,"Rhumb Lines," tracks boating trends and reflects upon the sailing life. He sails a Sparkman & Stephens-designed Yankee 30 out of St. Petersburg, Florida. You can reach him by email at practicalsailor@belvoir.com.