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  #1  
Old 10-06-2010
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cold-weather gear?

This is my second summer sailing an M20 scow in Kansas, and as it gets colder, I'm wanting to extend my sailing season a little while longer. To do that, I'll need to get some cold-weather gear, and I'm looking for recommendations. (I'm not talking about Winter sailing, as much as early spring and late fall, so a dry-suit is probably overkill)

With that in mind, I went to my local sail supply store and asked for their recommendations. They suggested Gill Coast Cruise Trousers and Thermal Dingy Top. I tried them on and found them comfortable, and I think I'd be happy with them. But I didn't get them yet because I'm struggling with a preconceived assumption that the typical foul-weather gear (ideal for a keel-boat) would be too bulky for a scow. Because my cockpit is pretty cramped, and I have to crouch as low as possible to get under the boom, I had assumed that a wetsuit would be the way to go.

So I'd like to hear from anyone else that may have been in this situation. Does anyone have experience with both a wetsuit and foul-weather gear? If so, would you recommend one over the other? Having never had either a wetsuit or foul-weather gear, I don't know how they compare - I assume that both will keep you dry and warm? Aside from bulk, mobility, warmth, and dryness, are there any other considerations I should keep in mind?

If the pants are the recommended way to go, I'm happy to get them, but I thought I'd bounce the question off folks here before making a decision.

Thanks for your input!
~Dean
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Old 10-06-2010
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I love the Gill gear. for midlayering i tend to like patagonia, i got a 'boilerplate' jacket 10 years ago and it is still like new. also, these guys make some killer stuff... coats w/a foam interior so they get USCG approved as a PFD.

Mustang Survival Flotation Coats

i have a helly/hanson slicker ive been happy with. also ive used airwalk snow pants for bottoms, warm and dry. my black dot snowboarding jacket works well too, nice 'cause a lot of them have zipper vents to regulate temps if you get hot.

i know its nice to support your locals, but you can save some dough on ebay (probably stating the obvious) also i keep an eye on the gillna.com site, check the clearance section out....regularly find good deals there
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Last edited by QuickMick; 10-06-2010 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 10-06-2010
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Seeing as you're lake sailing in Kansas, not sailing on the open ocean in Maine... I'd say you would be okay with good fleece and foulies... or even a drytop dinghy shirt with fleece under it and good foulie bibs.
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Old 10-06-2010
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I am not normally a high tech gear nut, and generally prefer whatever is handy that will get me by. My brother-in-law is a mountaineer, and into all the good gear, and knows his stuff. He has suggested several times that we get some soft-shell jackets. We finally did, and so far I have been quite impressed.

Soft-shell is a type of material, with a special layer in the middle which lets moisture out but also keeps water and wind out. While I have not been out in really snotty weather with it, I have been quite impressed at the performance of a light weight, layer-able jacket. For cold weather lake sailing, i think it could be very nice. Not what you would want for off-shore gale-sailing in torrential rains and waves washing over you, you would still want real foulies for that.

I have been impressed at the warmth when standing or sitting outside on cold and windy days, and the way it stays comfortable and cool while walking hard in the rain on warmer days when I normally would be sweating inside my jacket. Might be just the thing in your situation. Keep you warm sailing downwind, sitting still in the cold, but not over heat you if you need to pick up the pace and work hard getting back up stream. Easy to move in and could be layered if more warmth is needed.
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Old 10-06-2010
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For an M20 (aka 'the submarine scow') and sailing in the chilly times, 'best' is to have a light weight wetsuit under your clothes.
A good alternative to expensive 'marine quality' wear is Goretex 'ski-wear' or 'mountain wear': Gore-tex 'anorak' with removable fleece liner, side-zipped gore-tex 'ski/wind pants' .... and chemical 'hand warmers'.
On a M20 in 'squirrely weather' its not IF you get dunked but WHEN; and, you need good quality cloths that 'release' water quickly: polypropylene, polyester, etc. - ski or mountain gear.

M20 specific: ..... added 'floatation panels' sewn into the upper panels of the mainsail (these were M20 class rules) to prevent the boat from 'completely inverting' . Alternatively you can affix a PFD to the running backstay ... and you then 'swim' the pfd to the masthead when needed.

regards
RichH M-20's #483 & #582 (but reconfigured as I-20s)

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Quote:
I assume that both will keep you dry and warm?
Nope, A wetsuit traps water which you heat with your body which keeps you warm.
My experience sitting upright on a surfboard is that the body parts submerged in water stay warmer than what's exposed to the air.
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Old 10-06-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickMick View Post
I love the Gill gear. for midlayering i tend to like patagonia, i got a 'boilerplate' jacket 10 years ago and it is still like new. also, these guys make some killer stuff... coats w/a foam interior so they get USCG approved as a PFD.

Mustang Survival Flotation Coats

i have a helly/hanson slicker ive been happy with. also ive used airwalk snow pants for bottoms, warm and dry. my black dot snowboarding jacket works well too, nice 'cause a lot of them have zipper vents to regulate temps if you get hot.

i know its nice to support your locals, but you can save some dough on ebay (probably stating the obvious) also i keep an eye on the gillna.com site, check the clearance section out....regularly find good deals there
I second the Gill stuff. Granted i havent bought a lot of different brands to compare it to. The clearance section on the Gill website is a great place to get stuff. All but my foul weather jacket has been bought there.
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Old 10-06-2010
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I too love the Gill line as well as the Henri Lloyd, but I can't see wearing this bulky stuff while sailing on a smaller a scow where you are constantly moving about. They are great for coastal sailing but I would want more movement and less bulk for the type of sailing your doing.
I could certainly see how a nice pair of boots would be of significant benefit for what you are doing as well as a good pair of gloves.
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