Monday, December 22, 2008

First Look: Spinlock Race Tether

When our Spinlock rep was in the shop last week we also got to take a look at the new Race Tether. Spinlock recently started offering a range of tethers (you know the things that keep you connected to the boat when it's trying to toss you off in the middle of the Southern Ocean) and now they're coming out with the Race line. They're made of thinner webbing that's still plenty strong enough to do the job and sport a lighter weight buckle at the boat end of the tether. Spinlock says they're 28% lighter than the standard version.

There are three varieties; a straight webbing single clip, a stretchy webbing single clip (pictured above) & a 2 clip Y with one stretchy and one straight leg. We only got to check out the one shown above. Spinlock tethers use a fairly standard safety clip to prevent accidental opening but are unique in offering only a luggage tag style harness connection shown to the right. Basically their argument is that if you're getting dragged by the boat you won't be able to release a clip anyways (that's pretty true, you need at least a small amount of slack in the line that probably won't be forthcoming) so you might as well have a 100% secure connection. Obviously a knife needs to be carried to cut yourself away in the event that happens.

The tether seems pretty cool. They're expected to be out this spring but I don't know what they're going to cost yet. I think if any small amount of extra weight savings is important to you, than these are the tethers for your boat. If you're not as keen on weight savings than I don't know that these offer much over the standard version - but they sure do look faster.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention here that jacklines should be set up so the aft termination is at least as far forward from the stern as the length of your tether at max stretch - in the event you are washed down the entire length of the boat this will prevent you from ending up in the water

Click here to learn how Spinlock Race Tethers compare to other tethers on the market.

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