Foul Weather Gear--can I use [gasp] Civilian / Lands End stuff? - Page 3 - SailNet Community

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  #21  
Old 08-06-2006
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Just as in choosing a boat, choose the foulies that best suit your sailing.
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  #22  
Old 08-06-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman
I still believe most stuff geared toward the pleasure marine sector is wildly overpriced - foul weather gear being just one of those items. I can't count the number of times I've bought boat bits in chandleries serving the local fishermen here in Asia only to find the exact same item or a near-exact equivalent for 3-5x as much in a "marine" store.
Please don't get me wrong... I'm not saying that retail-priced recreatiional pleasure marine foul weather gear is reasonably priced...but there are serious advantages to buying marine-specific gear, over terrestrial foul weather gear.

The commercial marine foul weather gear is also excellent, and generally much more reasonably priced than the pleasure marine gear, however, it tends to be geared towards commercial fishermen, and does not really fit shorter or smaller people all that well. The pleasure marine foul weather gear is also a good deal better looking, aesthetically speaking, and is better to have if you have to wear it ashore to a higher-end restaurant, than the commercial gear is.

That said, I did buy all of my foul weather gear on clearance or on sale. I bought some very nice Henri Lloyd foul weather jackets for various women I know for $26 a jacket, which were normally priced at $250 or so. But buying the right type of gear is generally a wiser investment than buying the wrong type of gear, and then having to buy the right type after learning why it is the wrong type the hard way.

I don't sail in the tropics, but in New England...so my foul weather gear needs will be different from some one who sails in the tropics. I need something that keeps me bone dry, because, even in the summer time, the water up here can be quite cold, and add 20-30 knot winds to it, getting wet can easily lead to serious trouble.
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  #23  
Old 08-06-2006
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I don't know if it is fact, but I'd been told that LandsEnd started as boating suppliers and shifted into the larger market. The Squall Jacket certainly is a nice way to dress for inshore dry weather but do you want to get them "boat jackets" or foul weather gear?

I have a set of serious Henry Lloyds that I wear in heavy rain or offshore, there's nothing like serious foul weather gear and while you can hunt for model changes and less expensive brands (I caught a closeout) just beware the real cheap stuff.

But inshore and most of the time, I'll be wearing GoreTex instead, from REI or another camping/climbing supplier. Good GoreTex isn't cheap either, there are different warranty levels and clones, what I wear on the boat has their "Extreme Wet Weather" warranty, good sleeve closures, a hood that fits *me* well and a high neck. Not as high as the HL's but...the GoreTex is a blessing in humid weather when the HL's would baste me in my own juices.

I've also got a set of "Extreme..." guaranteed bib pants made by WOOLRICH and sold for hunters, that are probably as good as any foulies I've ever seen. Post-hunting season clearance, way below marine prices. I think I'd trust the HL's more if I was going offshore and had to sit/kneel in water, that's when GoreTex is known to fail. But again, inshore...?

No reason why you shouldn't make compromises, just be sure of what weather you all expect to encounter and make sure that what you are getting will be better than that. I've had the pleasure of "doing my laundry" at the helm, I think everyone here knows what that means and how it feels...in my case I went out and bought the HL's on the next day!

My personal philosophy on sailing is pretty simple. Butt wet? NOT GOOD. Butt dry? OK, we're having fun! If you keep the family WARM and DRY the stand a chance of being happy or at least making the best of it. Let 'em get cold and wet...that's miserable.

Butt dry? PRICELESS.

Good places to find outdoor clothing on sale:
www.sierratradingpost.com
www.reioutlet.com (outlet of REI Co-op).

Last edited by hellosailor; 08-06-2006 at 06:44 PM.
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  #24  
Old 08-06-2006
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Don't buy the hype..

I'm a sailor yes but also a winter alpine climber, tele skier, ice climber etc.. After spending nearly $600.00 on a Henri LLoyd jacket for an offshore trip I was sure glad I had my mountain climbing shell with me! I had a Patagonia Gore-Tex mountaineering jacket with me that I paid $229.00 for that blew away my $600.00 Henri Lloyd. Climbing jackets are designed to move freely. Your arms can move and the hood is articulated as well as the arms. They also have better venting and are lighter in weight. Wearing my Henri Lloyd was like wearing a fire mans suit. Totally uncomfortable! It also did not breathe worth a darn, and the fleece lined collar just collected salt spray and iritated my neck. The collar was so stiff it chaffed my ears until they bled. This was the point where I dug our my Patagonia. Granted it was a windy and wet trip but this is what the Lloyd stuff is supposed to be designed for and the hood was designed like it was an afterthought. Oh crap we forgot to put a hood on this jacket quick send a drawing to the guys in China before they go into production...????!!!

Since that experience I truly feel bad for people wearing "marine foulies". The design of the high altitude gear sold at Patagonia, The North Face, EMS, REI, Backcountry.com etc. etc. is meant to withstand winds of 80+mph snow, ice and freezing rain while remaining easy to move in and waterproof + breathable and abrasion resistant to stand up to rocks, ropes & ice axes. Buy yourself a nice 3 layer Gore-tex shell from North Face, Patagonia, EMS, Mountain Hardwear, Arc'teryx, Cloudveil, Marmot or one of the other quality names and you'll be fine, most likely pay less and be far more comfortable.
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  #25  
Old 08-06-2006
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"Wearing my Henri Lloyd was like wearing a fire mans suit. " Exactly! I'm not sure about the latest versions of GoreTex, but the early ones and a lot of the clones are only water resistant. If you sit in a puddle--as you will on a wet deck or helm--the water comes through. If they get body oils or other contaminants in the pores, water comes through. So...

While even HL make GoreTex gear these days (honest!) there's still a good reason for the bullet-proof heavy laminates, which don't breath but won't leak "period".

Dunno about your hood, the collar on my old HL jacket does a nice job of snugging up around my ears and cheeks, and the hood fits me well too. But hood fits are a very personal affair, arguably the ultimate decision point on what fits. If it is cold I want my watch cap under the hood. If the rain is driving enough to get in my face, my baseball cap with the better visor.

If I had to buy "just one" today, for inshore and nearshore use, I'd go with the GoreTex "Ex.W.W." though. If for no other reason than because you can wear it off the boat all year round, making it that much more reasonable.
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Old 08-06-2006
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The problems with my Henri LLoyd gear...

were freedom of movement, the non articulated hood and the fact that it fit like a trash can & breathed like a trash bag. A hood that can be stored in a collar like on most LLoyd & Musto etc. gear, by nature of the design with heavy fabric, is not articulated. What is the point of a fleece lined collar when you can't build a hood that keeps water off the fleece? What does fleece do? It dries quickly and leaves the salt behind. What does salt do to your skin? It sucks the moisture out then your skin chaps and becomes raw. If LLoyd actually built a collar correctly, that had enough room for your chin to tuck into without strangling you, they would not need a fleece lining. If they built a hood that fit correctly & only your eyes and nose poked out when cinched down for extreme weather you could wear goggles over the hood and be totally dry like I have been in 85-100 mph winds in a freezing rain storm on NH's Mount Washington. When you turn your head from side to side to check wind conditions or whatever else in a LLoyd the hood mostly stays put and does not turn with your head so you look at the inside of the hood with at least one eye! The LLoyd hood did not even work well with ski goggles! Yes I said ski goggles.. If you've not been in rough enough weather to need them than forget I mentioned them but they do work incredibly well in nasty conditions and keep the salt spray out of your eyes. I always have a few pair on board because you never know when they might come in handy.

Poor design, fit and function would NEVER be accepted in the alpine world nor would non articulated sleeves, lack of pit zip venting & over blown ballistic cloth material that prevents freedom of movement & breathability. The weight of the "offshore" ballistic type cloth is 98% unnecessary IMHO. I have yet to rip/abrade any jacket in 35 years of sailing and I've been in numerous offshore races and in some very, very nasty weather.

I would have to say that backcoutry tele-skiing through the trees of the White and Green mountains challenges my gear substantially more than sailing and none of my alpine jackets are made of anywhere near the weight cloth as my LLoyd. The difference is the alpine gear manufacturers actually lfield test, and research, what the high wear points are and reinforce those points only to keep weight down and keep freedom of movement up. Yes I won't deny I have ripped a few alpine jackets but hitting a low hanging, dead branch of a spruce tree while backcounty tree skiing at 18-20 mph would rip any of my jackets including my LLoyd. The only thing most alpine climbing jackets lack is a wrist drip cuff and reflective tape. I wear a Mustang inflatable life jacket at night and in rough weather and it has reflective tape.. I also have a strobe on it so i don't really need it on my jacket too. I'll trade those two features any day of the week for far better freedom of movement, substantially higher breathability, articulated hood with multiple fit draw cords, articulated arms & superior ventialtion while remaining totally waterproof at less cost! Musto, LLoyd and the others need to learn a few things about designing gear & product testing before I'll lay down 600 clams for that over priced under designed "glamour gear" again... Check out the Patagonia site and look at the Skanorak (on page two of the link bellow) and the Chute to Thrill jacket (Page 1). I own them both because the outlet is 10 minutes away and they are very comfortable and far more breathable than ANY "sailing" gear I've ever owned. I wear an older version of the Chute to Thrill more often than not..
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  #27  
Old 08-08-2006
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Thoughtful stuff, guys. Like Hellosailor and Haleakai, I hate the attitude re: boating [won't use the Y word]. It isn't everest. It isn't space. It's water, pure and simple, and most foul weather gear I've worn was long on the label and short on actual thoughtful design. Anything at REI probably goes through more thought, in terms of design, than most boat gear....but the prices are just lunacy, when it comes to sailing. It's what the market will bear.

Not this market.

We should start a forum devoted to sales. Or sail sales. or something.

Death to pretension. Death to full retail.
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Old 08-08-2006
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here, here!

I have been trying to make this case for years! The worst thing about this avocation is the perception that it is a rich man's sport.

One of the ways I have fought back is to have my own equivalents made here in Asia. For example, I had my own drogue made at my favorite canvaser in Bombay (the woman who runs it has gotten use to my "odd" requests). It did the job when I deployed it in an Indian Ocean storm. Ok, so I copied a popular design for personal use (and WTF is there to a drogue anyway). I paid US$30 vs. the US$160 I would have paid for "the real thing"
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Old 08-08-2006
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"The worst thing about this avocation is the perception that it is a rich man's sport."
AH, but it IS. In most of the world, having any amount of "free time" and "extra money" to pursue a hobby or sport other than swatting flies, makes you RICH compared to many people.
Rich compared to the Astors and Gateses? Maybe not. Rich compared to most of the rest of the world? Yes.
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Practical Sailor recommended West Marine Explorer's a year or two ago. It might be worth going to their site and looking for the article to answer that question. I have a set of Patagonia's that have lasted forever and work great but they don't make them anymore. Not much help there.

I view foulies like mountain climbing ropes. When you REALLY NEED them you don't give a s__t what you paid for them.
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