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Old 07-24-2007
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What type of clothing to buy

Just started sailing. I am 54 years old. I have passed my RYA Level 2 dinghy sailing course which covers the usual basics. As yet I have not purchased my own boat. I thought I would get some experience under my belt first.

I am planning to join a particular sailing club which lets members use club dinghies under guidance. It is also likely that I could be invited to act as crew for other members who have larger yachts. The club is based at the mouth of a river which opens into a tidal estuary and dinghies are always taken out of the water after use. This usually involves someone getting into the water.

I need to buy some gear but the question is what ? Should I go straight for a wet suit? On my course we we provided with jackets, salopettes ? This was fine until the capsize drill. I live in Scotland so temperature is not usually that warm. Any thoughts ?
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Old 07-24-2007
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I dunno 3H. All I can really recommend is good goggles. I prefer goggles like you use on a motorcycle that are lightly reflective but not too much tint. Can't help you beyond that.
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Old 07-24-2007
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Wool socks, booties for sailing, long sleeve shirt that wicks mosture away and drys quickly, like for backpacking, polar fleece as middle liner and a dry suit. That might be overkill, but I hate being wet and cold if I can help it.

Last edited by GySgt; 07-24-2007 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 07-24-2007
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A dinghy dry suit might work very well for you. I would look around and ask around, see what others have chosen and ask them why, whether it is just cost or there are specific reasons for what they've chosen.

One thing you can be sure of, a good knit "navy" watch cap will be good. Keeps your head a bit warmer even when wet, especially if you get a decent tightly knit wool one.
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Old 07-24-2007
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I used to poke fun at "Captain Jack" (Jacques Costeau) for wearing a red beanie all the time. Then I found out, even if you have a wetsuit hood, when you pop out of the water and there's that icy winter breeze blowing, your soaking wet wool watch cap makes a HUGE difference.

Now I just pursue the Holy Grail of watch caps: One that fits my head without a lot of stretching, is windproof, and is knit from a good wool. Small caps that stretch too tight and get too breezy? Easy to find. Heavy synthetics? Easy to find. A really good, nice wool cap that isn't "One Size Fits None" ?

Not easy to find! I may yet have to learn to knit. And that scares the hell out of me.< G >
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Old 07-24-2007
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A dry suit is a good outer layer, especially for smaller boat sailors, where you tend to get very wet or capsize with some frequency.

You should also invest in good synthetic or silk underwear, which will stay warm when wet. Polar fleece is a good under drysuit layer for insulation, and also keeps you warm when wet. Good gloves, 1-3 mm neoprene is good—1 is a good summer weight in colder waters, and 3 mm is good for colder weather. A good fleece or wool hat is also very useful.
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Old 07-25-2007
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Thanks for advice

All
Thanks for replies. I'll continue to watch others and assess what's normal here.


I have vision of me standing outside clubhouse already wearing googles, gloves, drysuit and wooly hat hoping someone asks me to crew !

Maybe I'll keep just them in the car.
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Old 07-26-2007
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I would take the time to look over other people and see what they are using for the specific area. I'd probably look at the older well used items more than what appears to be off the store rack with the price tag still showing items.

I recall a guy walking into a local golf club with nickers, knee high socks, a wood argyle sweater and a nice white wool French type cap and saddle back shoes..... now this is in Florida.... I think he understood that his attire was not realistic for the local environs and made him look like a magazine ad for possible Scotland. Americans just don't use nickers....

Those now doing what your interested in doing probably have a handle on what is best to use in the local area... it sure will not be like the West Indies where just short of nude is more practical when out for a short splash in a dink or sunbird.
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