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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I love fast boats, drag boats in particular. I was raised around them, my dad, my uncle, and there friends all had flats back in the 70's. I can't get enough of them, I go to races, IHBA, NJBA, Camp Far West, V-drive club outings. What I have noticed over the years is the great difference between pro drags and places such as CFW. Spend any amount of time at the races, and you see how much attention goes into driver safety. From teching of the boat, and the safety gear, to twin rescue boats, with divers and paramedics on hand.
Saturdays tragedy at CFW has prompted me to write this. I love CFW, I really cut my teeth there and learned how to drive. My first boat was a jet, my second was a Mr. Ed hydro I bought in 1995. Before that boat ever went out, two custom Lifeline chute vests were made, one for me, one for my girlfriend. I've worn that same vest ever since. Back then we wore some old hand me down Bell open face helmets I got from my dad. I eventually upgraded to my Arai motorcycle helmet. Now I have a new Bell SA 2005 so I can pass tech.
It tears me up inside when I go to places like CFW and watch some of the guys hop into some real beasts, blown injected hydros and flats capable of sub 8 second times with $35.00 ski vests and sunglasses. What bothers me more is when I see them put passengers in with them. I'm reading these posts about the CFW tragedy this weekend and how some people are saying how it is the first wreck they have ever witnessed and how it is burned into their minds. If you guys went to pro races you would know this happens on an all to regular occurance. Racers are lost to often, and you don't have to be in top fuel for it to happen.
One guy posted how he never felt like he could afford a nice jacket. I look at these high dollar machines and say to myself, ok this guy has between 10 to 20k minimum wrapped up in this boat and there is a ski vest lying in the seat. I don't understand how someone can spend so much on a boat, then rationalize not being able to come up with the money to buy safety gear that could well save their life.
I also feel there is peer pressure at the local lake. 9 guys out of 10 are running without helmets, I'm gonna look like a queer with one on. Bullshit. Your going to look smarter then the other 9 guys. I occasionally do a little testing at a local puddle in my home town called Calero reservoir. I launch my dragboat, put on my chute vest and my helmet. I probably freak out the fishermen, wakeboarders and such, but I do this for my safety. I also stay very clear of all of them.
Alot of pro racers wont do this type of stuff at a local reservoir, and with good reason. As much as I love it, it makes me a little nervous without the safety crew there to rescue me. I could go on, but this post is getting a little long winded, I'll wrap this up and get down off my soap box. I dont know that all the mandatory safety gear would have saved this guys life or not this weekend. Maybe it would have given him a chance. My wish is that some of you lake guys would take a lesson from pros and realize safety gear is not optional.
It is said that a wise man learns from his mistakes, whereas an unwise man does not. But a truely wise man learns from the mistakes of others. Please don't let this tragedy be in vain. Everyone realize these machines we love so dearly have the ability to take your life in an instant, this may be fun, but it is no game. Do yourself and your loved ones a huge favor, buy good safety gear, use it on every pass, at every lake. Install a whirlaway, safety collars, kill switiches, those pressure pop off thingies for the jet boats. Give yourself your best chance for survival.
God bless the family and friends of the man who lost his life this weekend at CFW. My heart goes out to you, you are in my prayers tonight, F1~

 

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Safety

AMEN
Do you think when I raced I did it for fun?????
Yes, and I wanted to drive my family home, after the races.
When I finish the restoration and launch my 1955 Mandella twin prop-twin rudder speed ski boat my passenger and I will be wearing the latest safety equipment. I will be doing this for our safety, and to salute racers that have recieved their last checkered flag.
HARLAN ORRIN
 

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Well said it sad that it takes something bad to happen befor people start to think about saftey. I race my self and any time i drive my boat i where all of my saftey gear. My heart go's out to this mans loved ones. I hope every one now knows that saftey is number ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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I love fast boats, drag boats in particular. I was raised around them, my dad, my uncle, and there friends all had flats back in the 70's. I can't get enough of them, I go to races, IHBA, NJBA, Camp Far West, V-drive club outings. What I have noticed over the years is the great difference between pro drags and places such as CFW. Spend any amount of time at the races, and you see how much attention goes into driver safety. From teching of the boat, and the safety gear, to twin rescue boats, with divers and paramedics on hand.
Saturdays tragedy at CFW has prompted me to write this. I love CFW, I really cut my teeth there and learned how to drive. My first boat was a jet, my second was a Mr. Ed hydro I bought in 1995. Before that boat ever went out, two custom Lifeline chute vests were made, one for me, one for my girlfriend. I've worn that same vest ever since. Back then we wore some old hand me down Bell open face helmets I got from my dad. I eventually upgraded to my Arai motorcycle helmet. Now I have a new Bell SA 2005 so I can pass tech.
It tears me up inside when I go to places like CFW and watch some of the guys hop into some real beasts, blown injected hydros and flats capable of sub 8 second times with $35.00 ski vests and sunglasses. What bothers me more is when I see them put passengers in with them. I'm reading these posts about the CFW tragedy this weekend and how some people are saying how it is the first wreck they have ever witnessed and how it is burned into their minds. If you guys went to pro races you would know this happens on an all to regular occurance. Racers are lost to often, and you don't have to be in top fuel for it to happen.
One guy posted how he never felt like he could afford a nice jacket. I look at these high dollar machines and say to myself, ok this guy has between 10 to 20k minimum wrapped up in this boat and there is a ski vest lying in the seat. I don't understand how someone can spend so much on a boat, then rationalize not being able to come up with the money to buy safety gear that could well save their life.
I also feel there is peer pressure at the local lake. 9 guys out of 10 are running without helmets, I'm gonna look like a queer with one on. Bullshit. Your going to look smarter then the other 9 guys. I occasionally do a little testing at a local puddle in my home town called Calero reservoir. I launch my dragboat, put on my chute vest and my helmet. I probably freak out the fishermen, wakeboarders and such, but I do this for my safety. I also stay very clear of all of them.
Alot of pro racers wont do this type of stuff at a local reservoir, and with good reason. As much as I love it, it makes me a little nervous without the safety crew there to rescue me. I could go on, but this post is getting a little long winded, I'll wrap this up and get down off my soap box. I dont know that all the mandatory safety gear would have saved this guys life or not this weekend. Maybe it would have given him a chance. My wish is that some of you lake guys would take a lesson from pros and realize safety gear is not optional.
It is said that a wise man learns from his mistakes, whereas an unwise man does not. But a truely wise man learns from the mistakes of others. Please don't let this tragedy be in vain. Everyone realize these machines we love so dearly have the ability to take your life in an instant, this may be fun, but it is no game. Do yourself and your loved ones a huge favor, buy good safety gear, use it on every pass, at every lake. Install a whirlaway, safety collars, kill switiches, those pressure pop off thingies for the jet boats. Give yourself your best chance for survival.
God bless the family and friends of the man who lost his life this weekend at CFW. My heart goes out to you, you are in my prayers tonight, F1~

This post should become a Sticky on all the boat forums. At the least, it needs to be bumped to the top weekly. RIP, Frank.
 

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i read the post 3 times, great advise. i feel like a whiner when i plead to some of our local hot boaters to put their jacket on as i kid them it wont do much when it is stored under the bow. how ironic as i sit here at my desk now working on the estimate to repair a dear friends boat that his beautiful daughter was killed in last year. for the love of god guys put your vest on.
 

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Living in a cage of fear
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Great post! A perfect analysis.:)devil

While the red Sanger is my first hydro, and the fastest I have owned, it is not my first "drag boat".
I have always just had a quality, everyday vest. (Not a wal-mart special)

However, after one trip last June on Shasta in the Hydro (5 minutes by myself, 10 minutes with Debbie in the passenger seat) we realized that things where different now.
I NEVER got on it seriously, but it was evident this was a different ball game.

Debbie asked Me about safety gear, did I need all the stuff we saw guys wear at the races?
"I don't know, they are required all that stuff to race".

"But whats the difference? They have rescue boats and divers, seems to me like you need even more than they do." Was what she said.
So we looked at the Lifeline site.
"No way, a grand for a vest? We can't afford that"

Well, She then told me if we can't afford the gear, we can't afford the boat.

I now have a chute vest, Shoei helmet, and shorts. Also installed a Merc. tether switch for the Mag. The boat has not left the trailer since last June. But is ready to go now! (Although I have ran about $100.00 in race fuel through it in the driveway)
I am so glad she put her foot down.
Her gear is next. She will probably claim the boat as her own once she gets her stuff.
I swear, She NEVER lifts!!
 

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Break Out Another Thousnd
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So we looked at the Lifeline site.
"No way, a grand for a vest? We can't afford that"

Well, She then told me if we can't afford the gear, we can't afford the boat.

I now have a chute vest, Shoei helmet, and shorts. Also installed a Merc. tether switch for the Mag. I swear, She NEVER lifts!!
Smart gal you've got there! She have any sisters? Turbowog needs a girlfriend. (that thinks like that) :)hand
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
About three or four months ago, I drove an hour to look at a used vest a guy had for sale. It's colors matched the new paint scheme I was thinking of doing. Unfortunately it was a little small for me, so I didn't buy it. It was a Lifeline chute jacket in mint condition with carrying case for $300.00. It's cert had just expired, but still a smoking deal. Their out there, be patient, keep your eye out, they pop up all the time. Dragboats.com classifieds, E-bay, Craigslist, Drag Boat Review classifieds. There's a few guys in here selling some race boats right now I can think of off the top of my head, I bet they would sell their jackets! You don't have to spend a grand if you have patience. Happy hunting!;)

P.S. There's a few other ways of getting good equiptment for less than 1k. I was talking with Bill at Lifeline last month, and he said charcaol colored jackets were big sellers a year or so ago, and he had some left over in large he was willing to sell at a mildly reduced price. Second, you don't absolutely need to have a chute jacket. Some people are actually against them for recreational lake use. They say in a lower speed accident, you may not be thrown clear enough of the wreckage, have the chute get tangled up in the boat and take you down. There's nothing wrong with a Lifeline non chute jacket, they are way better than a ski vest at half the price of a chute vest. They have the super tough materials and construction, all the floatation in the front to float you face up if you are unconscious, and the crotch straps to keep it on you in a high speed impact. A very good choice for the budget minded, built to your size and custom made to match your boat. Now you know some options. F1~
 

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Living in a cage of fear
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Smart gal you've got there! She have any sisters? Turbowog needs a girlfriend. (that thinks like that) :)hand
She does have sisters! 2, but they are married and are scared to even hear our boats start up on the trailer.
Deb is the wild child!

We should be at CFW for the 4th.
Been sayin' that forever and something has always stopped us. So, we are going and I ain't jinxing it by talking about going any more!:)hand:)hand
 

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Living in a cage of fear
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About three or four months ago, I drove an hour to look at a used vest a guy had for sale. It's colors matched the new paint scheme I was thinking of doing. Unfortunately it was a little small for me, so I didn't buy it. It was a Lifeline chute jacket in mint condition with carrying case for $300.00. It's cert had just expired, but still a smoking deal. Their out there, be patient, keep your eye out, they pop up all the time. Dragboats.com classifieds, E-bay, Craigslist, Drag Boat Review classifieds. There's a few guys in here selling some race boats right now I can think of off the top of my head, I bet they would sell their jackets! You don't have to spend a grand if you have patients. Happy hunting!;)

We are ordering her stuff new. She is worth it.:D
 
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