The other point is that most consumer rain gear doesn't have specific features that are really needed on marine sailing foul weather gear.
These features include things like:
Inner and outer cuffs for the sleeves, where the inner one is made of neoprene, PVC or latex, and can be tightened down to prevent water from running down your arm when you reach above your shoulders to adjust a line or grab something. The outer cuff prevents water from getting in to your sailing gloves as easily.
Retro-reflective tape patches, which is crucial in an MOB situation at night or in bad weather. Also missing on consumber rain gear are atachment points for strobes and whistles.
Large, hand warmer-type fleece lined pockets are also not typical on most consumer rain gear.
Proper ventilation is usually missing.
A good hood and high, fleece-lined collar are invaluable in heavy spray or driving rain. The collar on most terrestrial foul weather gear is pathetic and can't protect your face from driving rain.
The pants have to have a high bib and back, to prevent rain and spray from driving up under the bottom of the jacket and soaking your clothes.
The pants also have to be designed to accept boots and cinch down around the tops of the boots, to help keep your feet dry.
The list could go on quite a bit more.... It also depends on where you're sailing... Here in New England, where the waters are pretty cold for most of the early part of the season, and don't warm up all that much even in high summer... good foul weather gear is the difference between enjoying a wet day out on the boat, and being hypothermic and miserable.
If you're sailing off-shore or on longer coastal passages... good foul weather gear is even more important than if you're daysailing, as you need to stay warm and dry to stay healthy. You won't always have the resources to recover if you get seriously chilled.... People who are seriously chilled, hypothermic and miserable tend to make mistakes that can cost them their lives as well.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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