What About GlowFast Tethers?

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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.

Darrell Nicholson, editor of Practical Sailor, grew up boating on Miami’s Biscayne Bay on everything from prams to Morgan ketches. Two years out of Emory University, after a brief stint as a sportswriter, he set out from Miami aboard a 60-year-old wooden William Atkin ketch named Tosca. For 10 years, he and writer-photographer Theresa Gibbons explored the Caribbean, crossed the Pacific, and cruised Southeast Asia aboard Tosca, working along the way as journalists and documenting their adventures for various travel and sailing publications, including Cruising World, Sail, Sailing, Cruising Helmsman, and Sailing World. Upon his return to land life, Darrell became the associate editor, then senior editor at Cruising World magazine, where he worked for five years. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.

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