Life belts and bazingos When the weather conditions are not the best; when the waves start to rise threateningly and make boat and crew dance; when you are sailing at night; when you want to be psychologically calmer. Here are all the cases in which you should wear the safety belts boat, which, according to the legislation, should always be present on board. In this section of our online shop dedicated to the sale of accessories for navigation we have therefore decided to cut out an entire section dedicated to life belts and bazingos, so as to provide our customers with all those important devices that, on board, can sometimes make the difference in safety. In this section you can therefore find lifejackets for sailing boats and professional safety belts, of different types and different sizes. We are talking about safety devices for the whole family, and therefore both for adults and children, as well as for animals. That's right: in our HiNelson e-commerce you can also find a life belt for dogs and cats, so you can travel in peace even with our four-legged friends. In any case, our team has selected high quality devices, built with the best materials. When it comes to safety, in fact, nothing should be underestimated or taken underestimated, much less when it comes to the nautical world. Safety belts boat: here's why wear them Today it seems really incredible even just thinking about it, but until 1988 seat belts were not even mandatory for cars: it is only since the law 111 of that year, in fact, that Italian motorists are required by law to fasten that crucial device. Everyone knows, after all, how long it took for Italians to really accept the use of seat belts when driving. At sea, the rules are certainly different - as we will see later - but in recent years we can still appreciate a certain increase in the number of sailors equipped with any necessary safety device, such as life belts, harnesses, elastic umbilical cords and so on. Next to the classic life jackets, in short, should never miss the essential life belts for boats, which - in extreme synthesis - allow us to hook up to the boat in order to avoid accidental falls overboard. There are conceptually two devices that provide this protection, which must be used together: on the one hand there are precisely the safety belts (or rescue harnesses) while on the other hand there are elastic umbilical cords. But how should these important tools be used? What is their correct use, to avoid being thrown into the water in bad weather? The safety harness for boats must be made of resistant materials which, once worn during navigation, must allow at the same time comfort, freedom of movement and safety. In most cases we talk about adjustable life belts, with special metal buckles that allow you to lengthen or shorten the suspenders and the belt that surrounds the body at waist level. It should be emphasized that the safety belt should be personal - each passenger should therefore know the characteristics and position on board of their safety device, adjusted to be worn and used quickly. The focal point of every boat safety harness is, of course, the stainless steel rings, to which the safety straps or elastic umbilical cords with carabiners are attached. Especially in rough seas, we recommend the use of double safety straps, which allow you to move safely on the boat without ever having to detach completely - one of the two carabiners would always remain firmly attached to the boat.
Life jackets that integrate safety belts
During the last few years, interesting products have also arrived on the market that combine two different personal safety devices: we are talking about life jackets with safety belts. Until a few years ago, it was necessary to wear both a safety harness and a life jacket to ensure a situation of total protection. This certainly did not encourage the use of these personal protection devices, nor did it facilitate movement on board, let alone in an emergency. Therefore, some manufacturers have decided to integrate two different instruments, in order to give more comfort to sailors and to make the preparation in case of emergency faster. In a nutshell, these are inflatable or self-inflating jackets equipped with a special safety belt with a ring, to allow fast and practical attachment to safety belts.
The choice of the umbilical cord
In our e-commerce you can find a wide choice of umbilical cords and safety belts for boats. But which one should you buy? What are the factors on the basis of which it is necessary to choose the ribbon to attach to our safety belt? First of all, it is necessary to check the length: an umbilical cord that is too long, in fact, could cause us to end up in the sea in the event of an accident, thus largely nullifying its very reason for being. It is often tempting to exceed the length in order to achieve a wider range of action without having to unhook oneself: to achieve an even better result and in complete safety, as anticipated, one can instead choose for a double ribbon, so as to detach only one karabiner at a time, thus moving in total freedom with maximum safety - thus following the same principle of mountain routes. The standard length, in any case, is 2 metres. In addition to the choice of the webbing itself, it is advisable to focus on the type of carabiner. In fact, there are also carabiners that, in addition to the safety, are also characterized by the quick release, to detach very quickly from the link with the boat, for any eventuality.
How to install the lifeline in the boat
The safety belts, through the umbilical cords, must obviously be connected to a stable element on the boat. The perfect way to carry out this operation is to use lifelines, i.e. highly resistant belts that, crossing the deck, cover the entire line of movement of the passengers: in this way it is possible to move from one point to another of the boat in complete safety, whatever the emergency situation. It should be noted that the installation of lifelines can be done in total autonomy, without having to contact specialized technical personnel. There are in fact only a couple of rather precise rules to be followed, if respected, the lifelines in question will be effective and safe. First of all, the lifelines must be able to withstand tugs of up to 2 tonnes, which means that 'home-made' lifelines are not suitable for this task. It is better to buy proper lifelines, which must be attached to equally strong fixing points on board. In boats built recently, these attachments have already been provided by the boatyard. If not, it will be necessary to provide for the positioning of these hooks by oneself, which must be installed in the right places and on solid supports, capable of resisting without problems even considerable forces. But how and where are lifelines installed? The objective is to have a single belt that covers the entire perimeter of the boat, so as to allow maximum movement without the need to continuously detach and reattach the umbilical cord: once the safety belt is worn, in this way, it will be possible to move from stern to bow and vice versa, both to port and starboard, almost 'forgetting' the safety belt and its carabiner. To make this possible, the tendency is usually to start the lifelines at the stern, roughly where the cockpit begins, and then anchor them centrally at the bow and return on the other side to the parallel point at the stern. In the case of very large boats - and therefore with a large beam - there is a tendency to set a single safety belt from the bow to the foot of the mast, and then continue from there with two separate lifelines, one on each side, to the stern. That's not all: to ensure greater safety, the lifelines should be placed not outside, but inside the foredeck. In this way, passengers wearing lifejackets can feel really safe. These are the main rules for the installation of lifelines along the length of the boat. However, it should not be forgotten that those in the cockpit or at the helm should also be fitted with lifejackets, which is why a lifeline should also be fitted in the cockpit.
Maintaining safety belts
Both lifelines and safety belts are subject to a certain amount of wear and tear when installed and exposed to the sun and weather. Ultraviolet rays and saltiness are not in fact allies of these fabrics, which should be rinsed with fresh water on a regular basis. In all cases it is a good idea to change the lifelines of your boat every two years, so as to offer a safe coupling when you go to use the life belts.
The regulations concerning the safety belts on boat
The regulations speak quite clearly: the boat safety belts must always be present on board. We are therefore talking about navigation beyond 6 miles, but also navigation within 300 meters from the coast and in waterways, as the life belt - one for each person on board - is part of the minimum safety equipment, along with the classic lifebuoy with a rope. More in the detail, as reported by the Directorate General for Maritime Transport and Internal Waters in Circular n.4866 of March 19, 2009 "the units that navigate in the range between 300 meters from the coast and up to six miles or inland waters, must have on board life belts conforming, as a minimum requirement, to the performance level 100N" while instead "the units that navigate beyond 6 miles from the coast must have on board life belts conforming, as a minimum requirement, to the performance level 150N". The bazingo for climbing the mast There are many reasons: for cleaning reasons, to install or fix the radio antenna, to check the tension of the shrouds, to have a look at the wind station, to check the halyard pulleys, to oil the mainsail rail... in short, there are almost never any reasons to climb to the top of the mast. Unfortunately, there are many sailors who, in performing this operation with improper tools, have ended up falling from several meters in height, causing - in the best cases - serious injuries. In many other cases, however, the outcome has been far worse. That's why, in order to climb the tree and carry out this routine work in peace and quiet, it is necessary to use essential safety equipment, first and foremost the bazingo. It's not just a matter of preference: the regulations themselves define tree climbing as work at height. You only have to look at Legislative Decree 81/2008 to realise this, which defines work at height as all actions carried out above a height of 2 metres. The minimum, therefore, is to obtain the right equipment: strong ropes, karabiners, rungs, harnesses and banzigos (also known as bansigos) in accordance with standards, so that you can climb and descend in complete safety. The advantage of wearing a banzigo is obvious: in addition to the high level of safety guaranteed, the comfortable position that this device offers allows you to carry out operations in comfort and without haste, where instead a simple harness could make things more tiring.
Our HiNelson online store offers a wide range of devices related to nautical safety: not only life belts, safety belts and harnesses, but also life rafts, inflatable jackets, life jackets, light buoys, distant signals, satellite emergency locators and special thermal clothing.