As for wearing skiing or climbing gear while sailing, that is also silly. As a skier and climber I have to say that both those sports require a completely different way of dressing because they are activities where one works hard all the time. If I wore those clothes sailing I would freeze. They are purposely designed for extremely sweaty sports. something that sailing is not. Climbing is all about light. Skiing is all about looks. No one skiis in the rain!
The real challenge of yachting gear is living in it for days at a time with activity levels varying from the low end (helmsman) to short bursts at the high output end (foredeck). It is material that doesn't get clogged with salt (like goretex does) and dries fairly quickly. It is good design that breathes and allows multiple layers underneath because of the different levels of activity by the various crew members at different times during a watch. It is tough. It is designed allowing for lifejackets and harnesses. What did Francis Joyon wear on this last little cruise? Ski pants and rubber socks?
With all due respect I have spent far more time, in temps well below 0 degrees F, in "silly" alpine gear and been PLENTY warm while not "sweating" as you put it.
Such as a four day February traverse of NH's Presidential range including Mt. Washington. Mt Washington is one of the coldest and deadliest mountains in the US due to it's freak positions at the convergence of multiple weather patterns. Do you think we are "sweating" while sitting in camp at night when the temp drops to 22 BELOW ZERO F with winds racing by at well over 60mph in our "silly" alpine gear? Sorry but I've yet to experience, or sail in, weather even approaching 15 degrees F let alone 22 BELOW ZERO. Your statement makes no sense from a practical point of view. oh I do ski in the rain & freezing rain and snow...
The fabric weight of the outer material the jacket is made of makes virtually no difference in real warmth. It is the air space trapped by "layers" that make the real difference in warmth. The outer "shell" of the jacket is designed to do three things: 1) keep water out, which Gore-Tex does 2) stop wind which Gore-Tex does and 3) to be breathable which Gore-Tex is.
Adding a thicker outer fabric such as in a Musto, Lloyd or Gill off shore rated garment only limits the breathability of the jacket and also restricts movement and agility.
I have owned and do own top line jackets from "marine" foul weather gear makers and alpine makers and find my alpine gear to do everything my offshore stuff does just a lot more comfortably. The hoods for instance are actually usable on alpine gear and are mere afterthoughts, in my opinion, on most, if not all, off shore jackets. The only area where an off shore jacket wins is drip cuffs but I have never had that become a problem even in massive seas and high winds.
Take for instance a fleece lined collar from an off shore jacket. Think about it? What does polyester do? It wicks moisture and creates a "dead air" space for insulating purposes. OK so now we have a large piece of fleece sewn to a waterproof, breathable nylon collar to which any moisture, if the collar is actually designed correctly, which mine was not, should wick through in the form of "vapor" so it can pass thought the breathable membrane of the outer fabric.
So what happens to the salt from the spray on your face or collar? Yes, you guessed it, it sticks to the surface of the fleece, more importantly the side facing your skin, because salt is not "moisture" or convertible to vapor from body heat so it sits there sucking any last bit of moisture out of your skin until your neck gets dry, chapped and irritated. Been there done that, ask me how I know this...
Please be careful with your contradictions as well. You stated "It is material that doesn't get clogged with salt (like goretex does) and dries fairly quickly."
Just for reference the top of the line gear available from Musto & Lloyd, the top two makers of offshore gear, IS GORE TEX! The rest of the garment line ups, for true "off shore" capability outerwear from companies like Gill and West Marine, is made of FAKE, KNOCK OFF or IMITATION water proof breathable Gore-Tex "like" material. Here are just a few of the top line off shore capable jackets:
Musto - MPX Off Shore Jacket
Musto - MPX Off Shore Race Jacket
Henri Lloyd - Gore-Tex Ocean Racer Jacket
Henri Lloyd - Gore-Tex Ocean Racer Jacket
Gill - OC Ocean Racer Jacket OCJ2
- Fake Gore-Tex called 5-Dot
Gore-Tex does not "clog" as so stated, unless ruined by improper washing, but does become less and less breathable with thicker and thicker outer fabrics that need to be "pushed" through.
The "leaking" of Gore-Tex, some people claim to have experienced, comes from the outer fabric "wetting out" from the lack of replenishing the DWR coating & thus severely limiting the breathing of the Gore-Tex and it's ability to push the vapor through a wetted out nylon. This resulting wetness is what you get wet from sweat condensation &NOT because the Gore-Tex let water molecules pass through it's membrane.
To be sure ANY of these garments work as designed they must periodically have the DWR (durable water repellency) re-applied. If your outer shell is "wetting out" it's time to replenish it's water repellent capabilities. I have been using NikWax products on my foul weather gear for years and the stuff still beads water like it did when it was brand new. Always use the NikWax wash first though before applying the TX Direct water repellent coating. NEVER wash Gore-Tex with a detergent and always use an approved cleaning agent such as NikWax - Tech Wash
or Ivory Snow powder if you must use a "grocery store" cleaner.
NikWax makes both a spray and a wash in version of their DWR and it's called TX Direct!
P.S. Part of the reason I understand a little about outdoor gear is because I have been involved in the product testing phase (read free gear for about an hour or two's of report writing!). Below is a sampling of some of my jackets. These are some of my alpine climbing jackets...