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Old 03-27-2006
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Question Foul weather gear; what type to buy?

First, the backround: I sail an older Catalina 38 on the Great Lakes, mainly Lake Erie. We have previously only cruised but we are going to try racing this year. The only foul weather gear we have had is from our motorcycle days; very waterproof (rubber coated nylon?), not very breathable, and BLACK (not the color I would want to be wearing if I were in the water). We want to upgrade, but have limited budget. Also having to buy two sets really adds up. I received a sales flyer from a major marine retailer that had an ad for the following described jacket (this is the shortened version):

...provides great waterproof protection, but is now breathable..... Perfect for a day on the water or weekend trips in moderate conditions. The breathable...fabric with a hydrophilic coating is treated with a Durable Water Resistant (DWR) finish, so water beads up instead of soaking in.... The gear is fully lined, with a free-hanging nylon taffeta lining... to keep you dry and comfortable.
  • Best for daily use in mild/moderate condition, light wind, rain and spray
  • Ergonomic cut, breathable fabric
  • Two layer, breathable, coated Oxford nylon, DWR finish, fully taped seams
  • Hydrophobic interior chemicaly transfers the water vapor from the inside to the outside
  • High breathability
My questions are: Does anyone have any experience with this product? If so, since it says "Best for daily use in mild/moderate condition, light wind, rain and spray," how dry does it keep you in a strong rain? How about while on the rail when racing in a chop? If you don't have any experience with this, but still know something about it, please let me know.
I'll be honest, the reason I am interested in this product is because of the price. My next choice, described as "Designed specifically for coastal cruising and racing" costs exactly twice as much. I know, you get what you pay for, but we can't pay for a whole lot.
According to the descriptions, I should be more comfortable in item 2, but is item 1 good enough?
Any and all opinions are appreciated. Thanks
__________________
Sincerely,
Russ Duff
Catalina 38, Hull #112
"AVANTURA"
Lake Erie
Grosse Ile, Michigan
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