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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #51  
Old 01-20-2008
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Warm and Dry

I agree in general with Dog's recommendations with one exception. Legs make a big difference in keeping warm. Torsos sweat a lot more and you have to continually adjust layering. Legs don't sweat as much and warm legs help your toes and also reduce the layering changes because you feel warmer without sweating.

I spent 4 weeks in Antarctica on a 54' sailboat. Normal gear - always polypropylene socks and synthetic underwear - Cabela's silk blend underwear is light and incredibly warm. Then, if it's cold enough, fleece pants, vest, and jacket. I wore a thinsulate bib over that. Then offshore foul weather gear. I usually had at least 2 pairs of socks (3 for diving). Thinsulate gloves and poly liners.

Here in Texas, if it's chilly, I find the socks and underwear above works with outer socks, jeans and a flannel shirt and fleece jacket. A fleece vest is great because it keeps you warmer but vents the heat too. Bibs are nice for the same reason as they keep your legs and torso warm but easily vent excess heat. Cabela's has thinsulate bibs that can substitute for pants if you need to go on deck in a hurry.

My two cents - varies for everyone but I would NOT skimp on foul weather gear. Get coastal or full offshore breathable gear, with seals to go around your foul weather boots. Being dry and warm makes all the difference in being able to stay above deck and handle the boat. A casually stashed windbreaker is miserable when the weather turns.

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Old 01-20-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomaz_423 View Post
I agree with Dog that head is important, only IIRC 40% of body heat is lost through your head, not 60%.
Since head is perhaps about 10% of surface it really does not matter if you loose temperature 4 time faster or 6 times faster - it i important to remember to protect hour head.
Dog, As I am not sure in my number - could you provide your source - I do not have the book here, but I think 40% is from a diving school and was consistent with my previous knowledge from scouts and climbing.
I haven't posted in a while... just lurking around, but I thought my First Aid background could help here. You're pretty much both right... heat loss to the head is 50%. I quote:

"Blood flow to the head comprises about 20% of the body's total cardiac output and cannot be restricted significantly by vasoconstrictive responses. This means that the heat loss from the uncovered head can account for as much as 50% of the body's total heat production at 4oC. Mother was right, if your hands are cold, put on your hat! Conversely, if your skin is hot, shade your head."

This is from "Regulation of Heat Gain and Loss" a 1994 study by Dr. Charles Stewart, MD, FACEP

The entire study can be viewed here:
http://www.storysmith.net/Articles/T...regulation.pdf
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Last edited by Looking; 01-20-2008 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 01-20-2008
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Thanks for the link to the PDF.
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  #54  
Old 01-20-2008
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I also have been lurking and enjoying this thread. Some of it is a bit confusing. For example, if you lose more than 50% of your heat from your head then why don't we wear hats before we put the rest of our clothes on. I think that the real figure is somewhat less than 50%. Best headgear: Toque (watchcap) on top of a ball cap. Cheap and warm. You will need more than one if it is raining.

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!

Floater suits - okay but really for the other end of the exercise scale. The fishing guides, whale watchers and rich fishermen wear them around here because they do absolutely nothing but sit, sometimes in the rain.

Wetsuits and drysuits- okay in dinghies. not yachts unless you like spending your day in a pool of sweat and you are only out for a short time. Neoprene socks, like walking in slime. I tried them this past summer. I was better off barefoot.

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?

One fellow did get it right, a pilothouse.

I spent 4 months last summer sailing in the pouring rain between the north end of Vancouver Island and Alaska. My two sets of foulies, both from different but good companies, one goretex the other not, still got soaked but I was dry as a bone inside my pilothouse. Once that Dickenson stove was lit even the foulies dried out.

Last edited by Plumper; 01-20-2008 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 01-21-2008
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I would think the 50% figure comes from a dressed person with a bare head. If we put as many layers on our heads as we put on our bodies in cold weather, the losses would be proportional to area. But even with hats and hoods and goggles, we leave nose and mouth exposed to breath. Breathing must account for a certain proportion of heat loss - cold in, warm out every few seconds.

I still vote for a wheelhouse.
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Old 01-21-2008
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Originally Posted by Plumper View Post
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...

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 01-21-2008 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 01-21-2008
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I think you missed my point regarding skiing and climbing gear. "Sitting in camp at night when the temp drops to 22 BELOW ZERO F" is not skiing or climbing. It is my experience that at that point in the day I am wearing all the clothes I brought and many times I am stuffed inside my sleeping bag drinking hot tea. While that does compare with being a helmsman,the methods of staying warm are completely different. You could hardly steer from inside your sleeping bag with all your clothes on. During the climb up to that camp is when the technical benefits of proper mountain clothing come into play. That is when you are working up a head of steam and are more worried about sweating and getting soaked. I have never worked that hard, for that sustained a period, on any boat.

On the other hand, I have sat at the helm in very cold wet weather, for hours at a time, when good mobility took second place to warmth. Under those conditions the things that make mountain clothing great are in conflict with what makes ocean gear great.

For example, my absolute favourite piece of mountain equipment is my down sweater. It packs down to nothing, weighs a few ounces and is as warm as toast. At the end of the day I slip it on and bask in its warmth. I never take it sailing because it soaks up water like a sponge. On my boat I live in fleece and other bulky things because I have the room to bring them and they are still warm when damp. They also dry very quickly when the chance presents itself.

Your rant about fleece lined collars also doesn't make sense to me. First of all, why make a collar breathable when it is open at the top to the air? Secondly, my Patagonia mountaineering jacket, as well as my Henri Lloyd sailing coat boat have fleece lined collars although with different designs. Finally, I normally wear a fleece underneath both those coats with the collar turned up for even more protection. I like the fleece lining. The salt spray thing...I don't know. What is saltier, sweat or ocean spray?

The Goretex question. As someone else mentioned earlier in this thread, breathable membranes rely on a moisture differential from one side to the other to work. The membrane only allows vapour through, not droplets. So, in order to work, the inside of the garment has to be warmer and more moist than the outside. Then the vapour is carried through the vapour permeable layer. The farther that vapour permeable layer is from the source of the moisture the less efficient it becomes. Once you add layers of insulation underneath (between the creator of the vapour and the membrane) it gets even less efficient. If the moisture condenses inside the membrane it stays there. Therefore, insulating under gortex defeats the breathability. What the goretex then becomes is simply a good waterproof material. Ever wonder why goretex was not successful as a tent fabric? Now you know why. The tent is too far from the source of the vapour and the moisture just condenses on the inside of the tent. Ever read about the challenge of making goretex sleeping bags? It would seem to be a perfect marriage but, as many folks have found out, the bag just keeps getting wetter and wetter from the inside as the moisture you give off overnight condenses in the insulation and won't pass through the outside goretex layer. They are very waterproof though. Goretex is a well marketed gimmck. Forget about breathablity. Think of it as very water proof but the breathablity comes from the design of the garment more than the material. That is why pockets and underarm zippers are important. They make it breathable.

Although mountain clothing will do on a boat, there are things about sailing gear that make it better. My sailing coats are designed so that chest harnesses can be worn under the coat and still be clipped into. They are designed so that my life jacket can be attached to the coat and stays there. It has a nauseating green hood with metalic reflectors so that you can see me (visually and on radar) when I fall off the boat. It has a beavertail to keep my groin warm when I fall in. on the other hand, my climbing jacket has pockets that are accessible while I am wearing a pack. It has pit zips for when I am working hard. It has pockets with thin mesh linings so that when I leave them open they help the coat breathe. It has a snow cuff arounb the waist so that blowig snow doesn't go up the bottom. It has a tunnel hood designed to trap a tube of dead air around my face to keep me warm. In short, the coats are different. They are designed to do a different job.

Last edited by Plumper; 01-21-2008 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 01-21-2008
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For example, my absolute favourite piece of mountain equipment is my down sweater. It packs down to nothing, weighs a few ounces and is as warm as toast. At the end of the day I slip it on and bask in its warmth. I never take it sailing because it soaks up water like a sponge. On my boat I live in fleece and other bulky things because I have the room to bring them and they are still warm when damp. They also dry very quickly when the chance presents itself.



Ever wonder why goretex was not successful as a tent fabric? Now you know why. The tent is too far from the source of the vapour and the moisture just condenses on the inside of the tent. Ever read about the challenge of making goretex sleeping bags? It would seem to be a perfect marriage but, as many folks have found out, the bag just keeps getting wetter and wetter from the inside as the moisture you give off overnight condenses in the insulation and won't pass through the outside goretex layer. They are very waterproof though. Goretex is a well marketed gimmck. Forget about breathablity. Think of it as very water proof but the breathablity comes from the design of the garment more than the material. That is why pockets and underarm zippers are important. They make it breathable.

Although mountain clothing will do on a boat, there are things about sailing gear that make it better. My sailing coats are designed so that chest harnesses can be worn under the coat and still be clipped into. They are designed so that my life jacket can be attached to the coat and stays there. It has a nauseating green hood with metalic reflectors so that you can see me (visually and on radar) when I fall off the boat. It has a beavertail to keep my groin warm when I fall in. on the other hand, my climbing jacket has pockets that are accessible while I am wearing a pack. It has pit zips for when I am working hard. It has pockets with thin mesh linings so that when I leave them open they help the coat breathe. It has a snow cuff arounb the waist so that blowig snow doesn't go up the bottom. It has a tunnel hood designed to trap a tube of dead air around my face to keep me warm. In short, the coats are different. They are designed to do a different job.
Down Sweater: Try a Primaloft sweater they are great and I've been using them on my boat for years. L.L. Bean, North Face, Marmot and many more all make iterations of this and they are wonderful warm and considerably more comfortable than fleece in a strictly freedom of movement perspective.

Gore-Tex tents: The reason Gore-Tex tents don't work is because Todd Bibler patented the way to actually execute this not W.L. Gore. It involves a layer of moisture trapping fuzz laminated to the PTFE membrane (Gore-Tex is PTFE) which captures the vapor in the air and holds it to the tent wall and then transfers it to the out side through temp and moisture differential. I own both a Bibler tent and a Bibler bivy sack and they work incredibly well and we have far less condensation than in "double walled" tents. Biblers are expensive, at nearly triple the cost of a comparable double wall tent, so the market is very niche. Single wall tents DO work, and I've used mine all over, and have yet to have serious condensation issue. My Fitzroy is now 12 years old, and has some hard miles on it, but is no worse for the wear and still performs just like it did when I purchased it. The perception by most, that shop at REI, LL Bean or EMS, is that single walled tents must not work because they are not sold or seen at these "price point" shops and this is just not true..

Gore-Tex Sleeping Bags: - A few builders tried traditional Gore-Tex but after 8" of down insulation there was minimal temp differential to get the final "push" through the membrane so the idea was abandoned. W.L. Gore then came up with Gore DryLoft a highly water resistant membrane that has nearly double the breathability of regualr Gore-Tex. My 800 fill down summit jacket's shell is made with Gore DryLoft and it really works well.. While I've owned a DryLoft sleeping bag I switched back to a DWR microfiber shell for weight savings as the added membrane added a few ounces and stuffability was compromised some.

By the way we rarely hike or climb with a shell on. We have a climbing layer that consists of fleece layers only. We don't care if they get wet when we sweating and warm and our shells and insulating layers stay dry in our packs ready for camp. We usually wear this layer while setting up camp and as we stop sweating, but are still plenty warm, this layer gets about 90% dry it is then hung in the tent over night and ready for the next day of hiking/climbng. Only in severe snow, freezing rain or rain do we actually put on our shells when moving..

Bible Fitzroy Single Wall Tent- Tree line Mt. Washington

Bibler Fitzroy - Fuzzy walls (hard to see but it's there)



Different designs different jobs: While marine jackets do have some features alpline jackets don't I have never found these an absolute necessity. I wear my life jacket, with built in harness, and my strobe light with lithium batteries, on the outside of my shell. Don't get me wrong I actually own "marine foulies" but for 90% of my sailing time I find my alpine gear more comfortable and to have a far better functioning hood. I keep both types on my boat and 9 out of 10 times I reach for my alpine jackets and the guests get to wear my marine foulies....
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 01-21-2008 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 01-21-2008
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Prima loft sweater - Got one, wear it under my foulies sometimes. Works well except the shoulder straps from my bibs slip on it.

Bibler tents - the fuzz is effectively the inner layer right? It stops drops from forming and dripping on you which would happen if the inside was smooth. Fine tents but too expensive.

Sleeping bags - Gore dryloft. More breathable less waterproof (in their own words). You did go back to a non gore bag!

Climbing without a shell - only in dry weather of course.

Different designs, different jobs - I guess we can agree to disagree. After about 30,000 ocean miles (on the same jacket, two pairs of bibs), I like my foulies a lot. My alpine stuff is pretty alpine specific. Not very waterproof and too lightly built for my boat. (and the hood would collect water). 20 fourteeners and 10 or so ski seasons it is still holding up well. (I telemark too)

Great discussion. Strong opinions on both sides. This is way easier online than arguing in person because the medium gives one time to build good counterpoints.

It is sunny and cool here today. I'll be wearing my down sweater for a walk.

Finally, do you ever have a lot of stuff. When is your next garage sale and what size are you?
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Finally, do you ever have a lot of stuff. When is your next garage sale and what size are you?
You haven't seen a tenth of it.. With a few friends that work in the climbing/skiing industry as reps you wind up with lots of good deals, test market/sample gear and all the goodies. I have one to many hobbies & sailing is jut one of many. My buddy Andy will always call me when he stumbles onto a good deal at one of his distributors that how I picked up my Fitzroy and Bibler bivy..

I'm also a tele guy but I still fixed heel from time to time. 9.5 is my shoes size and I actually have a brand new, never worn, pair of classic Asolo Snow field leather back country boots if you're interested in those..

I actually have so much crap I had to build a barn to keep it in and I've been trying to find gear that will work across many hobbies but as you know it does not always work out. I always put my bib straps over my first layer then put a vest or prima sweater over the straps? I've never layered my bib straps over a second or third layer..?? Might help with the slipping or if they have an adjustable X strap, on the back, move the buckle a little more North...
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