Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Foul Weather Gear - Sailing In Comfort

Captain John explains the foul weather gear features that keep you comfortable in any sailing conditions...

Guest blog by Captain John
Captain John Jamieson, a regular contributor to the Daily Boater, is author of Seamanship Secrets and publisher of the popular boating education website

Do you feel like a clam on a hot day, trapped in your foul weather gear? Is your expensive sailing outerwear clothing doing its job to keep you dry in heavy weather sailing conditions?

If you’re wearing heavy resin coated sailing clothing, you trap moisture next to your skin. When you sweat, you lose moisture at the rate of one to four pints every hour. You need a breathable fabric to keep your skin dry in any sailing weather.

On a cruising sailboat, you need three layers of sailing clothing for complete comfort. The skin layer wicks moisture from the skin. The middle layer provides insulation. Outerwear clothing forms the third layer for protection in foul sailing weather...
Skin Layer
Wear polyester fabric next to the skin. Polyester underwear wicks perspiration away from the skin to keep you dry. Buy polyester athletic socks to keep your fee dry inside sailing boots.

Insulation Layer
The middle layer must build a wall between the polyester fabric and the outerwear clothing layer. In the old days, sailors chose wool because it provided warmth, even when wet. Today, look for the latest fabric - polyester fleece - to give good insulation without the weight of wool.

Outerwear Layer
Sailing jackets, bib coveralls and sailing boots make up the outerwear gear for sailing crews. For comfort, look for these features before spending your hard earned dollars:

Sailing Jackets
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Waterproof, taped seams with YKK zippers
  • Nylon mesh lining inside jacket and hood
  • Hood offers full range-of-motion
  • Storm flaps covering zippers and pockets
  • Combination elastic and Velcro wrist cuffs
  • Elbow patches, reflective tape

Sailing Bib Coveralls
  • Waterproof
  • Medium to high breathability
  • Adjustable elastic and Velcro ankle cuffs
  • Quick-release suspender snaps
  • Storm flaps covering zippers and pockets
  • Deep pockets big enough to stow your favorite paperback
  • Knee and Butt patches
  • Waist pants should have an adjustable web-belt

Sailing boots
  • Non skid rubber souls
  • Fit under bib coverall trouser cuffs
Now you know how layers provide the key to comfort in foul weather sailing gear. Encourage your sailing crew to pack for coastal cruising with these methods in mind.


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