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post #11 of 26 Old 03-22-2007
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I would second the experience comment above. Also, I think the advise given on layering is spot on. I would avoid trying to get a one set does it all approach. You'll end up with four sets of gear that do it all for different conditions. I like wool for layering and wear it year round. Especially for socks. Wool breathes and maintains insulation even when wet. Some do not tolerate wool well and go with synthetics for under wear and layering. Most of those seem to tolerate wool for socks. They are more comfortable and will keep those tootsies warm. Avoid cotton as much as possible. Cotton and moisture do not work well together, be it rain or sweat. You will never be more unhappy than you are with a wet cotton shirt on, on an otherwise comfortable day. The advantage to wool is that it breathes, wicking away perspiration, and maintaining insulation even when wet. Wear the medium weight wool socks when you purchase you deck shoes, you may have to go up a half size. I have found the Sperry top-siders mentioned above, at the West Marine blow out price, at my local super-duper grocery store (Meijer's) priced that way every day. Sperry seems to be expanding their marketing efforts, a novel idea about 35 years overdue.
You'll probably find that you will wear the bibs and the jacket will be taken on and off as required.

You may have some gear that can be employed now. Scotch-Guarding a hat or nylon windbreaker is the poor man's waterproofing and explains how those teen-agers can ski all day in their blue jeans without their legs falling off.

Just for example, I have been fully immersed in freezing water for 15 minutes, got out, and walked two miles to my truck, with nothing worse than a cold pair of hands. The rescue workers, in their Carhardt style cotton based gear were an hour in the ambulance thawing out. 32 oz. wool pants and a heavy wool mackinaw, with down lining, will do that for you. Not necessarily a particularly apt sailing illustration, but illustrative of the benefits of wool. If you're buying a watch cap, shop until you find a wool one and buy it over sized for shrinkage. The synthetic ones are better than nothing, but nowhere near the real deal. Army/Navy surplus has a lot of this type stuff at reasonable prices.
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post #12 of 26 Old 03-22-2007
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West Marine has a store about 15 minutes from Philly in Camden County, NJ. It's right off RT. 70.
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Either the one in NJ or PA - whichever one is closer, or I save myself a toll and go to the PA store.

I'm familiar with layering and agree. Wool - not goog for me - the last wool sweater I had made me itchy - wool socks are okay - I think I have some gear already being that I camp and hike alot - my brother gave me these pants that are good for staying dry and warm while skiing - I've only skied once years ago but have held onto them for some reason - the main thing I need and which will be most costly is a good jacket - I do have a big rain thingie - hole for the head, hood, sides are split and it goes down pretty far on my leg - don't know the name of it.

What about silk thermals - I understand they are very warm, comfy, and wick moisture - though they are costly - but it would be worth it 'cause I could use them on friggid days in the winter here in Philly
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post #14 of 26 Old 03-22-2007
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Kernix,

Silk is light and wonderful. I would agree with Jotun, don't break the bank before you take the class and make certain that you love it. I find it hard to believe that everyone does not love sailing, but I know lots of people that hate it...go figure.

Use what you have, make sure you have a comfortable pair of non marking not slip boat shoes, and have a great time. If the weather really sucks when yo go for the class you will be able to buy what you need in the area. After you take the class, and know you want to continue, add what you need based on when and where you are sailing. I have friends that only use their boat when it is above 70 degrees and the wind is below 15 kts....make sure you are not one of those with a nice $2000 wardrobe. Unless you are my size and want to dump it at 10 cents on the dollar!
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post #15 of 26 Old 03-22-2007
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Kernix-
For gear, you can get real serious foul weather gear but at this point I'd suggest thinking about the outdoors/hiking/climbing suppliers will be enough. Campmor (NJ and web) REI (Seattle and web) Marmot, Patagonia, even Columbia, they all make fairly robust gear that is either GoreTex or similar. (In GoreTex, the "Extreme Wet Weather" tag indicates the really waterproof stuff suitable for sailing.) And Sierra Trading Post (online clearances). LLBean too.

You probably will do best with a set of waterproof bib overpants, sold for hiking/skiing/hunting, and an unlined oversize jacket that can be layered over a vest and sweater. There are some sold as sets that zip together.

Real sailing gear is ideally a very bright color, so you can be seen and maybe recovered if you go overboard. Sporting clothing often isn't. You need to be able to move and reach, with a loose cut. And a good fitting hood and collar (trying on is best) and little detailing (pockets and flaps over them so water doesn't roll in) also counts. I'm all in favor of real sailing gear--just noting that it may be double the price and more than you need, if you get the real "offshore" stuff for now. I'll take my foulies out as needed, but prefer the lighter GoreTex "camping" gear especially in the summer heat and humidity.

April can be cold, that's when I learned to sail too.

For underwear, get some polypropylene synthetic stuff from the camping stores. Feels a lot like cotton blends, but it wicks sweat away from you and especially under foulies, that keeps you warm and dry. They are worth every exorbitent cent they charge. Socks can be wool, or a polypro blend, whatever style you like, because wool also keep you warm--it just doesn't wick dry like polypro does. And you'll find pure silk is about the same price as polypro for shirts, i.e. long sleeve lightweight turtlenecks that you can wear as a layer on top to stay nice and dry under whatever else you're bundling.

If your sleeping bag is down--that can be a problem. Down doesn't like wet and damp, synthetics are better on a boat. A couple of poly fleece blankets or bedrolls (PolarTec is the top name) will keep you warm, even if they get damp. Even LLBean sells fleece bedrolls for $20 or so, probably the local Target or WalMart as well. Wash and dry, no fuss maintenance. Two of those and you should be OK, unless your sleeping bag does OK in the damp.

If you can find thin neoprene gloves (warm water diving gloves) they may cost you less than $20 and that's nice in the cold rain. But for line handling, you definitely need sailing gloves, or kevlar gloves, or something similar so lines can't burn your hands if they slip. Lots of folks do without them, but some of us need to keep our hands and fingertips soft for safecracking.
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post #16 of 26 Old 03-22-2007
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The advice given has been great... layering, especially with polarfleece is a good idea. Fleece is great stuff, since, like wool, it is warm even when wet. Old Navy has good fleece stuff, but they probably don't have it in stock any more... it's rather heavy though. Sportif makes some lighter weight fleece.

Avoid cotton clothes or underwear, since if it gets wet, it will wick the heat from you and leave you seriously chilled. Wool and the high-tech synthetics are good. REI and many sporting goods stores have the appropriate layers... base layer should be wicking materials, then insulation layers—depending on temperature, and finally a wind-proof/waterproof shell.

Breathable outer shells are better than non-breathable. If the foul weather gear you get isn't breathable, make sure it has some good ventilation. Get the foul weather gear in red, yellow or orange... the more common colors of white, blue, green, and black are really tough to spot if you fall in.

If you want to get "marine" foul weather gear, I'd recommend the West Marine Third Reef line, which is pretty affordable and works pretty well. The other brands, are a bit overkill until you find out whether you'll continue sailing.

Good gloves are essential. 2-3mm Neoprene gloves are really good, and keep your hands pretty warm and most are completely waterproof. Jackets should have sleeve cuffs that you can cinch down to prevent water from dripping in through the cuffs... neoprene, latex or PVC lined cuffs are better than plain nylon or polyester cuffs, as they seal better. The marine specific gear often has inner and outer cuffs, to better prevent water ingress.

If you like wool... get merino wool, as it isn't scratchy like most other wool, and relatively affordable.

Get a fleece hat for your head... you lose a majority of the heat through your head... The one I have is from UnderArmor.

Deck shoes... get the ones that look like sneakers.. they're better and more comfortable than the ones that are leather... also, I think they last longer. Harken makes some good ones... If it is going to be colder, get a pair of neoprene dinghy boots... they're waterproof and will keep your feet warm and dry. For socks... get merino wool socks, like the ones made by SmartWoool.

Sleeping gear... either a synthetic sleeping bag or fleece blankets... again—because they'll keep you warm even when wet. Bed Bath & Beyond sells fleece throws that are pretty nice, and I keep two or three of them on my boat for guests, emergencies, etc. If you're really tall, they won't work.

Get the foul weather gear oversized, and try it on... make sure you can put a few layers on under it...

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post #17 of 26 Old 03-22-2007
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Fleece caps are nice but I still prefer a real wool watch cap, preferably a good wool with a tight but elastic weave, which can make it hard to find. In the summer I get used to the bill of a baseball cap so I can look aloft but block the direct sun, and I missed that in the winter with a watch cap.

Then one night I saw a MASH rerun and dear Radar was wearing...a khaki green watch cap with a 2" long bill! It took me forever to find a "jeep cap" but this year they are available from multiple sources, in black or khaki. Not the best wool, not my favorite watch cap, but I sure do like having that short bill on it.

I've given up on the "one size fits none" and cheap wool caps, I'm gonna learn to knit or find me someone who can, to make one that fits my noggin just right, from Damn Good Wool.

http://www.flyingtigerssurplus.com/b...gid-10531.html
Now in lots of colors, one of many places that stock them.

(The upload manager won't let me upload a pic)

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post #18 of 26 Old 03-22-2007
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How's this:


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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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post #19 of 26 Old 03-22-2007
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SD, to paraphrase the Smothers Brothers: the server just likes you better.

Now, can you teach me how to knit watch caps?
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post #20 of 26 Old 03-22-2007
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Dogs don't knit.. cats do... they like yarn after all.

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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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