Re: A simple gear question for a new sailor
The sailing gloves prevent trashing your hands while playing the lines. That simple. I have horses and sail. I sailed and raced all last season, and there were 2 races when the wind was up (and I singlehand), that I'd have KILLED for gloves. Buy cheap leather tight fit gloves. Weightlifting gloves work, if they are light colored. fingerless is good, because you'll still be able to tie knots. These are not for warmth.
If you are skipper, or mainsheet, guy, you're index knuckle, and palms will get trashed. Mostly from releasing the traveler and/or mainsheet (playing the puffs). If you are grinder for the jib, self-tailers or proper tail/winch will keep you from trashing your hands. Rope burn is real, and hurts a bunch.
For 90+ % of my sails though gloves are unnecessary.
Hull #68 S2 7.9 on our little landlocked puddle, Lake Wallenpaupack, PA.