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In addition to the design features to which Sailingdog refers, the fabrics used on good sailing gear are usually heavier than on backpacking waterproofs. This is because sailing gear has to deal with the weight of green water and not just rain and generally needs to be more abraision resistant wheras overall weight is much less of a concern (afterall, unlike a backpacker/mountaineer, most of the time a sailor is sitting down or at least standing still)*.
* A bowman on a Volvo boat may disgree with this, but that's why Gill and Musto etc make light weight smock style oilies.