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  • 2 Post By MedSailor
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  #1  
Old 11-09-2012
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Project: STAY WARM

Tonight is the eve of the Orcas Island Yacht Club's famous "Round the County" race. Basically the course is to go around the entire San Juan island group (the main cruising grounds of the Pacific Northwest) over 2 days. In order to be less austere and more party oriented, it is a 2 days regatta with no night racing. ie we all sail to a harbor, party on a dock barge, then sail the next day around the second half of the island group.

Website:
Home | Round the County

Course. Red for day one, blue for day two:


Winds according to NOAA's crystal ball:
SAT...NE WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT.
SAT NIGHT...E WIND TO 10 KT BECOMING SE 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FT.
SUN...SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT RISING TO 20 TO 30 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 5 FT.
SUN NIGHT...SE WIND 25 TO 35 KT EASING TO 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 4 TO 6 FT SUBSIDING TO 2 TO 4 FT.

Should be wet, cold, windy and fun. Just like last year! Might be rain, temperatures 30s to 40s

My mission, that I have chosen to accept, is to stay warm this year. Since I've been sailing around these here windy, rainy, cold parts for upwards of 10 years, I've got most of my gear down to a pretty good science. Usually, I'm warm when many others aren't.

One part of my body that I just can't seem to keep warm when racing is my hands. This year, I'm out to solve that. I can't do what I need to do as a race crew without having my hands and fingers free so I haven't been able to use full finger insulated gloves. Last year I tried some 3mm bass fishing gloves that had slits for the finger and thumb to poke out when you needed them. The hands still ended up as wet cold claws.

This year I have a variety of things that I will trial. Included in the list are:

My regular 3/4 sailing gloves, which I will wear as under-gloves.
Backpacking full finger "windstopper fleece" gloves.
6mm neoprene scuba gloves that I might use as over-goves.
Cheap PVC uninsulated Alaskan fish processing gloves to use as over-gloves.
Chemical toe warmers with adhesive (to stick to the backs of my hands)
And the item I really hope will help. I bought a "hand muff" like the quarterbacks in the NFL use. Inside that is a pocket for a "mega" sized chemical hand warmer. It looks like this:


My ears are also difficult to keep warm, and I have a variety of things I'll try for that, including a neoprene kayaking "helmet liner". I'll report back on what worked and what didn't and hopefully have something to contribute to the BFS thread as well!

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Old 11-09-2012
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Re: Project: STAY WARM

I figured there must be a race somewhere up north this weekend. There were a constant stream of fast sailboats heading north through Skagit Bay today.

The wife and I sail year round. I bought one of those propane heaters that sit on top of the big propane bottle. We set it on the cockpit floor and aim it at her little corner under the dodger. She's a much happier camper since we're started doing that.
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Old 11-09-2012
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Re: Project: STAY WARM

Yeah that's always the problem; finding the balance between finger dexterity and warmth. It depends on what your job is as crew. I am often foredeck so I need to be able to tie and untie knots, open and close shackles etc, so full fingered gloves are only good if they are tight fitting enough that you still have use of your finger tips, and that also means little or no insulation.

The most valuable thing I have for that is a jacket with hand warmer pockets so you can tuck your hands in close to your body when you are sitting on the rail. Over gloves that you can put on over your sailing gloves are another option if you are going to spend long periods of time on the rail not needing your fingers, but if your sailing gloves get wet your overgloves are going to get wet inside too.

We have a number of boats heading down from our area for RTC; it sounds like a great event! Maybe one year I will make it down!
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Old 11-10-2012
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Re: Project: STAY WARM

Sounds like fun!

I've spent a lot of time outdoors working and playing. The trick for me, especially if I need hands that work, is to over layer my core.

Consider more thermal underwear, progressive layers, fit a hooded sweatshirt in there so you can close the gap between your head and body. The idea is to overheat your core so your extremities stay warmer.

You can always remove layers but if you get the right balance to your activity, you can maintain some cooling through your hands(as excess heat escapes through them), to allow using them without too cumbersome a pair of gloves.

You may find a good balance of warm working hands with little covering them.

Just be sure to watch your bodies thermostat, peel layers and or head gear to prevent sweating. Good luck!
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Old 11-10-2012
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Re: Project: STAY WARM

A few years ago, when I was doing some road biking, my hands would get cold even in gloves. Feet are even worse on a bike when it's down around 30F. One of the tech guys in the bike shop suggested just concentrating on loosening up the tension in arms and hands. Seems like a no-brainer but it really worked. It seems that you don't even notice gripping the handlebars (wheel) too tight and that consciously shaking out arms and hands every once in a while keeps the blood flowing/hands warmer.
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Old 11-10-2012
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Re: Project: STAY WARM

My son told me to put a hand inside your clothes, hood, etc down below the back of your neck to warm up my fingers while hunting this year. He skies in Montana and it's the only way he's found to keep his fingers warm while going up the lifts. Works like a champ, a lot of heat funnels up from the lower back. Do one side then the other, then the other hand.

Oh, and I think they were were going around the other way this year, heading south first, at least that's what one of the racers told me. Lot's of the boats stay here at Blakely Is marina the night before the race because the start is at Lydia Shoal just off the north end of the island.
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Last edited by jrd22; 11-10-2012 at 09:13 PM.
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