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voice3 01-30-2009 01:56 PM

Foul weather gear
Can anyone recommend good foul weather gear for sailing in the Northeast? I'll be sailing from April-October and maybe the first week or two of November. I'm looking for something that I can buy without taking out a second mortgage.

tommays 01-30-2009 02:07 PM

I have done OK with the west marine stuff BUT save your recite as they quality can be hit and miss , I will say that anything HEAVY enough to keep you warm in the spring and fall will be FAR to heavy for the summer

Faster 01-30-2009 02:40 PM

Even some of the Helly Hansen stuff leaks... but at least they will replace it if it does as will the other "name" brands like Gill and Gul etc.

For the money we've had good luck with the brands sold at (Canadian) Work Wear World outlets "Wetskins" was one brand they carried. Nice high pants and some decent collar and cuff design in the jacket, around $200 for a set.

But it's easy to spend big bucks here with no assurance that what you're getting is really as good as it ought to be until you test it out.

blt2ski 01-30-2009 03:36 PM

"IF" you truly want to stay dry, then nothing beats rubber! Otherwise, if you go a Breathable fabric like Gore-Tex, it is hit and miss from my 30 yrs of using the stuff skiing, sailing, hiking etc. I use heavy Helly Hansen rubber for work, breathable for active sports, like sailing, skiing etc.


voice3 01-30-2009 06:31 PM

Is there a big difference in comfort between breathable fabrics and rubber? It looks like the PVC coated cotton and nylon stuff is a lot cheaper than the breathable stuff. Anyone ever use Grundens? They seem to have a good reputation.

wchevron 01-30-2009 06:56 PM

a 30 yr. lobsterman i know uses grundens exclusively. it gets hot in the summer though. not very breathable.

genieskip 01-30-2009 07:08 PM

Breathable stuff will leak sooner or later. Rubberized stuff will get you wet with perspiration from the inside. Nothing's perfect - you choose your poison. The wettest I've ever been offshore has been with GoreTex FWG that was more like a sieve than any real protection - admittedly a long time ago but I've been skittish about the material ever since. If you really want to stay dry wear something waterproof (rubberized) and some fleece to absorb moisture. On my boat I carry an expensive breathable FWG for when it's mildly wet and some Nova Scotia fisherman's rubber gear for when it's really wet.

blt2ski 01-30-2009 07:12 PM

There are plus's and minus's to both IMHO. IE the rubber coated you will NOT get wet from the outside. BUT< if you dress too warmly, you will sweat, and get wet from the inside!

The breathables in lighter rain or just say sunny but waves and water splashing on you, windy etc, at least the sweat vapor will evaporate to the outside of the gear for the most part. Not always, but generally speaking. Then usually it will repel water from the outside in, BUT if you sit in a puddle, or it is raining really hard, lots of water from waves spray etc getting on you, the material will leak outside to inside, or if the seams are not properlly sealed etc.

It is one of those you need to figure out how bad it is going to be, what conditions etc. I find at work, I can usually dress for the temp, and the little dampness I get from sweat is easier to deal with than rain soaking into me. Plus when you work in dirt like I do, dirt etc can get into the breathable fabric and cause it not to work, so it leaks, does not breath etc. For active sports I usually do not have issues with breathables, unless skiing I sit on a chairlift with slushy snow on the seat, the boat has standing water on the seats etc, then my butt will get wet really quick, hence why in these conditions, I like rubber bottoms, and a brethable top. Other time with light wetness, not sitting in water etc, the breathable bottoms work fine. This is where I have more issues than not


Maine Sail 01-30-2009 07:54 PM


Originally Posted by genieskip (Post 441079)
Breathable stuff will leak sooner or later. Rubberized stuff will get you wet with perspiration from the inside. Nothing's perfect - you choose your poison. The wettest I've ever been offshore has been with GoreTex FWG that was more like a sieve than any real protection - admittedly a long time ago but I've been skittish about the material ever since.

In order for Gore-Tex to allow water vapor to pass through the membrane it needs the outer fabric it's laminated to to not totally "wet out". If the jacket has lost it's DWR (durable water repellency) then it makes it significantly tougher for the Gore-Tex to breathe and pass vapor through.

The wet you experienced is most likely your own body vapor being trapped by significantly reduced breathability most likely due to "wet out" of the outer fabric.

The pores in the PTFE membrane Gore-tex is made of are physically too small for a water molecule to pass through. If you want to prove this theory simply place a Gore-Tex garment over a dry cereal bowl and depress the garment to make a catch basin. Then pour some water onto the jacket. It will not leak through.

I remember when gore-Tex first came out they had these store displays which were a tall cylinder with a Goretex membrane in the middle. The top of the cylinder was filled with water and the bottom was air with a small pump. You could pump air into the cylinder and watch the bubbles rise up through the water but the membrane never let water in.

Gore-tex is indeed water proof but you sweat and produce much more vapor than you realize and you get wet from the inside not the out.. Also when the fabric wets out and comes in contact with your skin it can actually cause condensation on top of sweat..

Hope that makes sense..

Oh and you can use NikWax TX Direct to re-apply the DWR to any Gore-tex garment if it's wetting out..

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hellosailor 01-30-2009 08:22 PM

Even some of the companies that carry other fabrics will admit nothing compares to GoreTex, but after 6-8 years of heavy use even the best GoreTex seems to go porous and start leakin gin hevy weather. I've been through this 3-4 times over the last 20 years, the Extreme Wet Weather warranty and all are nice--but sooner or later the stuff sadly fails.
GREAT for the first five years, though.

In humid hot summer months, GoreTex is the only way to survive. In more reasonable weather, I caught some Henry Lloyd gear on sale at the end of season and swear by it. You can pick up raingear from camping and hunting suppliers for a fraction of the "marine" price, but it is harder to find it in "safety" colors that are easy to spot in you go overboard.

Whatever you wind up going for--fit is paramount. Especially, a good collar and hood to keep rain out, and wrist seals of some type. With pants, you are best off with bibs of some type, so that breaking water can't sneak up under your jacket and over low pants.

REI, Campmore, Sierra Trading, all are good camping sources.

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