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Old 08-09-2006
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Foul Weather Gear

Hi I'm new to the sport of sailing. I just picked it up this summer and I'm loving it. I live in Michigan and hope to keep sailing through October. I've been sailing JY-15s and Lasers. The weather will start getting pretty cold in a month or so and I'd like to be prepared. I'm wondering what you suggest? Do I need just a jacket, pants, fleece? A wetsuit? I have no idea what would be best. If you could suggest brands that would be helpful too. I'm not looking to spend a ton of money, but I'd much rather spend a little extra now on quality then have to buy something every season or two. I already have a Marmot Precipe Jacket, I use for backpacking, camping, etc. The thing is super water proof and breathable, but I'm not so sure how well the velcro around my wrists will hold out the water. What do you think about something like this? I recognize it's not marine gear, but would it work? Thanks for your help.
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Old 08-09-2006
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The velcro around the wrists is nice but really doesn't keep the water out like a proper latex or ureathane cuff does. If it s raining or you have the boat heeled over, and water splashing into the cockpit, you will quickly get very cold if you have water coming into the jacket via the sleeves. I've worn my Musto jacket when it was snowing and freezing rain and not had a problem with being wet. I think that it is worth investing in decent foul weather gear that has the appropriate design features for a marine environment—like retro-reflective patches, water-tight cuffs, etc.

Marine foul weather gear, layered properly with fleece and such, you can stay fairly warm in even the worst conditions—provided you can stay dry. Water wicks heat away from the body 25x more efficiently than does air. Staying dry in cold weather sailing is the only option.
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Old 08-09-2006
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I posted this on another thread:

Quote:
Some major points to consider:

1) Really good marine use foul weather gear will have things like fleece lined high collars and heavy duty hoods to take the spray and rain and keep it off your face and neck.

2) The marine gear has retro-reflective patches, which make the people far easier to spot, especially in a MOB situation at night. Regular foul weather gear is generally not as heavy-duty, chafe resistant, or waterproof as marine use foul weather gear.

3) Marine use gear also generally has dual sealing cuffs on the sleeves that will allow you to raise your arms but prevent water from coming down the sleeves when you do so.

4) The pockets on most marine foul weather gear is fleece lined for warmth. The jackets are probably better ventilated for the wetter environment than standard gear.

5) Regular foul weather gear also doesn't come with the choice of an integrated safety harness, which is available on many of the marine specific foul weather gear.

This is one instance where the stuff you get for the marine specific use is really far superior IMHO to the stuff that you get at Lands End.

If you're only going out day sailing in fair weather, then it really won't matter...but if you're planning on doing any real sailing, then it will make a huge difference in your ability to stay warm, dry and comfortable. Getting soaked and staying wet, on a long passage, is a good way to get hypothermia and make stupid mistakes that can cost you your life. It is also uncomfortable and miserable.
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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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