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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #41  
Old 01-06-2008
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A lot of good ideas on this thread.

One of the best and cheapest investments I made years ago was in a pair of goretex sox ($40?) If you wear a very thin pair of synthetic, cashmere, or merino sox underneath that will protect them and als help wick moisture away. You can wear deck shoes right over them or put another pair of sox over them if you want to wear sea boots (Dubarry's are awesome). Sometimes I wear neoprene boots with thin soles over the goretex sox because the feel under foot is so much better and less clumsy if you are working on deck aggressively. Obviously you need to fit everything properly in advance otherwise if things fit too tightly poor circulation will work against you. I cannot say enough about having "happy feet".

I also kitesurf in very cold water. The Ocean Rodeo Pyro Pro suit has a front entry zipper and lots of reinforcement, goretex panels in armpits and neck area. I had a non-goretex drysuit before and I am now much happier with the goretex version...well worth the extra cost. I can layer up under the drysuit as needed for every conceivable wind/air/water temp combination. The drawback of a drysuit is that it requires proper care and maintenance and replacing seals from time to time. You must take really good care of the zipper because replacement is very costly. Plus repairs often need to be done by someone with the right materials and know-how.

I also use a neoprene surfing hood that has a dicky style collar and that help enormously, sometimes with a neoprene beany under that as well...The collar on the hood helps shed water away from my neck.

Hands: always a challenge to keep warm when air is below 40F, windy, and water temp below 50F. Neoprene gloves often constrict circulation. I often just wear a cheap ($2) pair of fleece gloves, sometimes with rubber gloves over them (either thin nitrile or loose fitting, high cuff heavy duty rubber gloves.

I've kitesurfed in 35F air (or below) with 45F water plus 20kts+ winds and my body has been plenty warm. The first thing to go cold are the hands and then feet, only because I cannot wear really thick footwear or gloves when kiting, bit for sailing that's not as much of an issue.

If you are not working vigorously and not generating lots of body heat I find that keeping your body super warm reduces the tendency for hands and feet to get cold. Once hand and feet are cold it's almost impossiible to rewarm. If you get overheated you can cool of quickly by taking your hood off.

A company called "Mystic" is making some "dry gloves" that I would like to try soon.
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  #42  
Old 01-06-2008
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Umm... that's because, if your body core temperature drops, the body will reduce circulation to the arms and legs to reduce heat loss—leading to the hands and feet getting cold... Once you become hypothermic... it's a bad situation and if you're not dressed properly, it ain't gonna get better.
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If you are not working vigorously and not generating lots of body heat I find that keeping your body super warm reduces the tendency for hands and feet to get cold. Once hand and feet are cold it's almost impossiible to rewarm. If you get overheated you can cool of quickly by taking your hood off.
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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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  #43  
Old 01-07-2008
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Greetings Group,
Just had to contirbute to this thread. I live and work on the water, live on a 37' sailboat, work looking after a remote fly-in fishing resort on the Central Coast of BC, Canada. Everything in this area (including the postoffice) floats. I have to get out in everything, if there are relieving lines to be strung, or another lodge needs help. I have tried most different types of wet gear, and investigated when they didn't work as advertised.

gor-tex (note lower case - generic name like kleenex)
I have found this type of fabric sadly over rated for our use. This fabric is know as micro-pore. A laminated fabric that has little holes in it that will not let liquid water through, but will let water vapour through. How efficient this is depends on the difference in vapour preassure between what's next to your body, and what's outside. At sea level in the rain, the atmosphere is almost super saturated, so there will be minimal transfer. At the top of a mountian - works great. Also Gor-Tex (brand name) is heavily controlled and you have to be licenced to make anything out of it. You pay big bucks for the name. If you feel you have to have micro-pore fabric, look at other brands as well.

As an alternative to the usual brands, look to hunting wear; particularly that make for waterfowl hunters. It is excellent stuff - at least as good as sailing; warm, flexible and very hardy. And generally much less expensive. AND if you look you do NOT have to get it in camo (ewwwww).

The one item of clothing that is NOT mentioned in here, that is the #1 choice among those of us here that live and work on the water, is the cruiser suit - aka a floatation suit. Not the survival kind, the next lighter one. Warm in ALL conditions (the floatation acts as a very good isulator). It will not breath or allow air circulation so if you work hard in it you will get wet by your own sweat (and I don't care what's been said, I have tried Gor-Tex and it gets me wet from the inside as well). BUT, and this is the big but, you will still stay warm!!!! I will take wet & warm over dry & cold.

The cruiser suit brands are different in flexability and the current favourite up here is the one made by Helly-Hansen. Mustang and Buoy-o-Boy also make them. There may be others in other parts of the planet that I have not seen yet - so investigate. If you are sitting at the helm most of the time, this is The Answer. If you are working the fore deck, I would use the hunting clothing (layered - but that has been delt with previously). In North America try Cabela's. They even have inexpensive micro-pore stuff.

This is a great forum, I love reading it as there is a minimum of flaming and getting off topic. Keep it up.

R
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Heat loss through the head with cites. Ending that discussion.

USCG's Federal Requirements and Safety Tips for Recreational Boats

Hypothermia

Immersion in water speeds the loss of body heat and can lead to hypothermia. Hypothermia is the abnormal lowering of internal body temperature. If your boat capsizes it will likely float on or just below the surface. Outboard powered vessels built after 1978 are designed to support you even if full of water or capsized. To reduce the effects of hypothermia get in or on the boat. Try to get as much of your body out of the water as possible. If you can't get in the boat a PFD will enable you to keep your head out of the water. This is very important because about 50% of body heat loss is from the head.

The Wilderness Medicine Newsletter - Frozen Mythbusters, Nov/Dec 2004

Now, what about hypothermia and heat loss through the head?
If the hypothermia victim is not shivering, they are at rest, and the heat loss through the head remains about 7%. But, this is important, if they are shivering, the percent of heat loss via the scalp can increase to upwards of 55%, so protecting the head well is a very important part of treating the hypothermia patient. And as you can imagine, the primary defense against the cold and hypothermia is vasoconstriction of the peripheral circulation, this shunts blood to the core, reduces circulation to the skin, and increases the percent of heat loss through the scalp.

#1 The difference is that the shivering hypothermia patient is indeed exercising, but they do not vasodilate the peripheral circulation; the shivering muscles increase metabolic demand and cardiac demand so the patients do increase their cardiac output; therefore, they do increase cerebral circulation; therefore, they do increase the percent of blood loss through their head.

#2 How does being in water change the equation?

Life-preserver, personal flotation device (PFD), research has shown that when in the water, if your head and neck are wet, you cool faster. This is why modern PFD’s hold the person in the water with their head and neck out of the water; even if unconscious, to decrease the rate of heat loss into the water.

#3 What difference does hair on your head or facial hair make?

None. In order for hair or fur to provide a protective thermal barrier, it has to be much denser than what we humans grow and it has to be in layers of different types of fur to provide a thermal barrier. Beards are great, but they do not keep you any warmer. And bald is beautiful.

Mariners, I've enjoyed reading your thoughts about how to keep warm. It gives food for thought. However, you do lose 50% of your heat through your head as you can see and Wilderness answered the why.

Mamu, the sailor.
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  #45  
Old 01-07-2008
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thank you mamu good reading
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  #46  
Old 01-09-2008
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Heated socks arrived but haven't had a chance to try them out yet.

I will report back later!
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  #47  
Old 01-10-2008
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BTW, IIRC, water is about 20x as efficient at wicking heat from your body as air is... so staying dry is very key to staying warm. Carry a couple of changes of warm clothes in a waterproof bag... even if it is only a big ziplock baggie. If you get soaked, and get a chance, switch into dry clothes ASAP.

Yes, I know this is basic common sense... but you'd be surprised at how many people forget it when they're out sailing.

Also, avoid alcohol, since it dilates the surface blood vessels and makes your body lose heat faster and it tends to dehydrate you. Avoid caffeine for the same reasons.
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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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  #48  
Old 01-10-2008
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14x is what I've seen quoted, but who's counting? By all means avoid the caffiene, but seek out the coffeepot, it is often in a warm and dry location.
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HS—

I've seen figures as low as 14 and as high as 26...so I figure 20x is a good average. Hunting down the coffee pot is an excellent idea, especially if it is full of hot coffee... Hugging it for warmth is usually frowned upon though.

IIRC, it varies with salinity and temperature. At 25˚C, the thermal conductivity of air is 0.024 W/m K), pure water 0.58 (W/m K), and salt water a bit less than that. It goes down a bit as the temperature decreases IIRC. BTW, .58/.024=24.167. A couple of pages for reference. LINK, LINK, LINK
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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)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.

Last edited by sailingdog; 01-10-2008 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 01-16-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
Heated socks arrived but haven't had a chance to try them out yet.
Ahhhh ...

It is cold tonight and my feet were getting cold and so the little hamster wheel started turning in my brain and I thought ... heated socks arrived + feet are cold + get off butt and go get them and figure out how they work = warm feet. So, I went and got the socks and figured them out and now I am wearing them.

My quick review is .. pretty nice.

They are not "hot", but very mildly warm. In fact I wasn't even sure they were working at first, and then I checked all the connections to make sure they were wired up right, and then I checked to make sure I was giving them enough power. But then they started to warm up some, not a lot, but just a kind of warm comfortable feeling. I really have to use the back of my hand to even feel any heat generated by the socks it's that subtle, I can't feel the heat with the palm of my hand. But the overall effect is a very pleasing warm pair of feet, especially around the cold toes area.

Whether they work on a boat or not I have no idea, but they seem to work pretty well for writing reviews of heated socks in front of the computer.

If I had boots on, or shoes, I'm pretty sure I would have to turn the controller down so they wouldn't get too hot. As is they are very comfortable. Hmm, I bet the heated glove liners would be really really nice outside when working on something.

Edit, I put some boots on and the socks do get a bit warm if you have them all the way up, but even with boots on it isn't uncomfortable. Nice ...
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Last edited by wind_magic; 01-16-2008 at 12:28 AM. Reason: added boots
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