What do you need to take with you out on the water for any given day of sailing? Well, the prudent among us would include a set of foul-weather gear, maybe some boots, a hat, a few sundries like sunscreen and sunglasses, gloves, a knife, maybe a handheld VHF, and perhaps a vest, jacket, or change of clothes. OK, just tuck all that under your arm and jump aboard. But if you want to make sure you still have all those items after you're done—and you don't want to incur the ire of the boat owner—you're better off toting it all in a good seabag.
That's where Douglas & Gill's Wet/Dry Bags come in. Like fast food, these bags come in two sizes—large and jumbo. Constructed principally of 600-denier, waterproof nylon, these bags have six separate compartments for stowing personal gear. When wearables get wet or a little rank—as can happen after several days at sea—you can tuck them away in a separate waterproof compartment. One end compartment has a mesh bottom for items that need to breathe, and the other has a convenient, zipped security pocket for small documents, a wallet, or keys, and a holster for the ever-present cell phone.
Perhaps the most important feature on these rectangular bags is the strong, waterproof bottom (made of a flexible PVC) that wraps the outside lower half of the central compartment. This material protects your gear from exterior sources of moisture, but it's also dimpled to allow the bag to grip on wet surfaces. Only two caveats on this feature: the manufacturer uses two pieces of material here instead of a single one (which would be more secure from the standpoint of water penetration), and though the seams are tightly stitched, they are not sealed with glue or tape.
Inside the compartments, there are no raw edges since each seam is covered with piping, so it won't chafe on your gear and it won't fray. Another good feature—the bags have strong webbing as carrying straps, each sewn in to enhance the support for heavy loads. For additional comfort, a shoulder strap snaps on by way of quick-release clasps made of durable plastic.
Douglas Gill offers its Wet/Dry Bags in a blue/gray/black color scheme. The large bag measures 24 1/2 by 11 by 11 inches, and the jumbo 32 by 14 by 14—enough space to satisfy the needs of most sailors, whether you're on a daysail, or a lengthy passage.