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Old 12-20-2009
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No doubt this question will attract some unusual responces. Seriously what is the best clothing to wear when sailing in warmer waters. I have been told to stay away from jeans and cotton shirts. I have also been told nothing, but that is not an option either. With that said what provides protection as well as comfort.
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Old 12-20-2009
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This depends a lot on your tolerance to UV. Do you burn easily? I don't, so take my responses from that perspective.

I've lately had good luck with lightweight synthetic fiber "outdoor" wear that is designed to dry quickly. The idea is, if you get wet, it dries fast. And if you need to hand wash it underway, etc. has a number of items in this category, although they are a bit on the pricy side. I'm sure there are a number of others. REI may be a good source.

The issue with cotton is two-fold. First, if it gets wet, it looses its insulating capabilities. This is less important in warm latitudes, but is the reason wool is recommended over cotton for cold-weather outdoor use. Second, once it gets wet, it takes a long time to dry. This is important anywhere, and is where some of the nylon or other synthetics shine. If you wash a pair of jean and clip it to your lifelines to dry, it will probably still be wet the next day.
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Old 12-20-2009
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Some of the synthetics bacampbe might be referring to are UnderArmor type clothing. There are UnderArmor knockoffs that are less expensive but still do a decent job.
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Old 12-21-2009
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We do a lot of warm water cruising and I don't follow much of the advice above. Synthetics don't feel as good against the skin as cotton in "salt air" conditions. I too, am concerned about UV exposure, but that's the job ob my Bimini and wide brim hats. The "UnderArmour" or any other tight fittings colthing in the tropics or subtropics is way off my list! I have modestly sewn closed the fly of a number of cotton "boxer shots" style underwear and this is my standard outfit on board. Loose white cotton slacks and loose white cotton shirts suit me best ashore. As said, if cotton gets wet it won't dry as fast as synthetics; however, it can feel mightly good to don some damp clothes in the tropics! I dry most of my fresh rinsed clothes by wearing them. We've been known to bring out cloths for a fresh water rinse during rain in the tropics. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew

Last edited by CaptainForce; 12-21-2009 at 05:45 AM.
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Old 12-21-2009
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I think UV ratings for clothing are yet another marketing ploy to charge more than an item is worth. In all my life, I have never had an issue getting sunburned through my clothing (Fishing, rock climbing, backpacking, field ex's in the Army, or long days sailing). Long experience has taught me I only need to worry about UV "exposure" for "exposed" skin and putting on any shirt or pants ends said "exposure". These clothing companies are selling a load of BS so they can charge $60 for a long sleeve t-shirt. I saw it yesterday while shopping for Christmas presents. $55 for a hooded sweat shirt just like for high school gym class, but this one had a shoosh on it, apparently adding $30 of value. Are you kidding me?

Anyway to bring my rant back on topic, I wear shorts and cotton t-shirts for most of my hot weather sailing. I do tend to wear shoes to keep the tops of my feet from getting burned. I keep a few light weight, oversized, button front shirts for cover ups and will pull them on when I think I'm getting too much sun. I also wear a large brimmed hat and I do use SPF 30 sunscreen 1st thing each day.

If you race, and might be wearing whatever you put on in the am all day with no time to adjust your clothing, one of the high tech full coverage shirts might be worth the cost, but a pair of inexpensive long pants will suffice to cover your legs. Columbia is one good brand that makes reasonably priced quick drying outer wear that are great on a sailboat or any other outdoor activity.
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Last edited by PalmettoSailor; 12-21-2009 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 12-21-2009
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Clothing for Warm Weather

My wife and I are fair skinned, my wife is much worse than me. I don't like wearing gobs of Suntan lotion.

My standard attire is a LS UPF 30+ Shirt from EMS, Columbia, or Ex Officio. For Pants, I wear a pair of EMS thin hiker Long Pants that have the zipper off legs. Even in the high 80's, I feel relatively cool. None of the above is cotton, but is cool and dry.

If you want to wear something even lighter, Hydrosilk is a very good material. sells river wear that is designed as UPF protection without thermal protection.

None of the clothes that I mentions are particularily expensive and are often on sale.

If you liked my advice/response, give me some rep points. If you didn't......well what do you expect, it was free.
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Old 12-21-2009
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The Chesapeake during the summer can be really hot and humid. For that climate I want loose-fitting and light colored clothes. I happen to wear cotton but I'm not dogmatic about it. Loose is what is important. Also a broad-brimmed hat and shoes ( prevents the top my feet from getting sunburned(done that -- never again) but mainly for protection from the various tracks and othwer hardware that populate the deck of my boat. Hitting those with bare toes really hurts.
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Old 12-21-2009
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Long sleeve cotton shirts
Lightwwight pants with zipper off legs
Boating sneakers, socks..
Tidy whities..
Sabre 34
Morgan, NJ
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Old 12-21-2009
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Water costs 50 cents per gallon here, so clothing that is water-efficient to wash is almost as important to me as comfort! I don't have sun problems, so my uniform is nylon water shorts and a synthetic fabric Hawaiian shirt, they take almost no water to wash and dry fast. On very warm days it actually feels cooler to wear light loose clothing than exposed skin, then its long-sleeve SPF 30 shirts from LL Bean and loose light cotton-blend long pants. Cotton t-shirts get clammy and hold odors so we don't use them as much as we did in the Chesapeake.
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Old 12-21-2009
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I've worn a variety of clothing including the Columbia sportfishing shirts with vents. It works well. I've found the Prowik shits from these guys to be the best for hot weather. They are great for long distance racing. I wear the long sleeve ones. They work great and they wash and dry very easily. A bit pricey but they occasionally have sales. Patagonia also makes a super lightweight shirt which are very pricey. I have had one for 6 years and it still looks good. For shorts the light ones with zippered legs work well. I prefer the heavyweight cargo shorts since decks on racing boats tear up the lightweight stuff.

ProwiK FAQ
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