Oct 24, 2010, 6:12 PM
Post #1 of 8
1992 vector ii
i recently saw a vector ii from 1992 thats supposedly in very good shape. im a newbie so i was wondering what you guys thought about me possibly buying it. oh i checked the sizing and the canopy size it will hold and they are both good for me. im mostly worried about the age and the velcro closures.
Calendar age means very little, however you should ask a local rigger to inspect it for wear, sunlight damage, runway rash and pay him/her to replace most of the pile Velcro. In comparison, hook Velcro wears out at about one/third the rate of pile Velcro, so probably does not need repalcement. While he is working on the Vector, ask your rigger to carfully inspect the BOC and seriously consider installing a bridle cover.
Before buying anything at all talk it over with your instructors and several riggers. I have seen multiple people suffer remorse after buying gear that was ultimately not appropriate for them in some way and then they have to start over with their gear search after spending a lot of money for no reason.
If you have not finished your entire AFF/AFP program yet then its too soon to be looking at gear.
I have a 1992 Vector II that has at least 3000 jumps on it and is in fine shape. However I don't think I could ask more than a couple hundred dollars for it. As Riggerrob said, the velcro needs to be maintained and the hook may indeed be worn out. If it is it is a very complex (expensive) replacement procedure. However just getting the rigger to patch over the old hook is viable. If you think you want to do a lot of freeflying you may want a rig with better bridle protection.
Replacing the hook Velcro for the main riser covers can be difficult ... unless your irgger knows how to cheat by sewing through the back pad. Then he has to know which side to leave the slack on ... Hint; hire a grumpy, old, grey-bearded master rigger who has replaced Velcro on a few dozen Vectors.
The "20 year rule" primarily applies to pilot emergency parachutes containing round reserve canopies. Remember that there was a bad batch of acidic mesh in the 1980s.
Also consider that ZP fabric was introduced during the late 1980s, so that any older mains - made of F-111 fabric - are now considered obsolete. F-111 canopies may still be airworthy, but only a fool would load an older F-111 canopy more than one pound per square foot. Which also means that loading an older reserve (Raven or Swift) - more than one pound per square foot - will soon result in ankle injuries and medical bills far exceeding any money you "saved" on a cheap reserve.
Mind you, any gear - jumped steadily for 20 years - will be worn out. Again, ask your local rigger to inspect any second-hand parachutes before you buy.