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MrDan27611 03-20-2013 12:55 PM

A simple gear question for a new sailor
First, a bit about me. Owned a few boats, been on the ocean a number of times but not a great number of times. More lake experience than ocean experience. Sailed a 30' boat a few times. Sailed a sunfish a few times. Had a few sailing lessons over the years but always short lessons on basics. Pilot, business owner, farm owner. Married, kids, dogs, etc.

So I and the Mrs are heading off to sail with Capt Will in Charleston this summer. I'm reading my books, watching videos, and begging time on deck from a friend who has a boat in preparation for ASA 101-104. I have a dumb question that I need some experience with.

In going through the recommended stuff to bring, sailing gloves and foul weather gear are both listed. I've got no issue buying gear, heck I love cool new gear, but I rarely wear gloves when I work. Do I really need sailing gloves? I have to assume it's for blisters brought on by hauling lines over and over as you learn. I don't do manual labor for a living, but I farm and use my hands pretty much every week so I do have decently rough hands. With all that said about me, does my wife need gloves? She doesn't do farm labor and has soft girly hands as she should being a girl and all. Three kids later she has proven that she is tougher than me though. I just don't need pairs of gloves laying around that I don't need or money wasted.

And foul weather gear. June in Charleston doesn't seem to be the North atlantic. Is some decent rain gear good enough, like a hat and a coat? Do I need actual foul weather gear? I'd think for the beginner type classes we are taking that if real weather comes up we're taking that afternoon off. Am I wrong?

Any suggestions are welcome, thank you for sharing your experience.

Irunbird 03-20-2013 01:08 PM

Re: A simple gear question for a new sailor
I'd definitely bring gloves- June in Charleston still has a really good sea breeze that kicks in sometime around noon-1 pm, and hauling quickly on a line repeatedly can cause some wear spots on your hands. I raced bikes for years and rarely wore gloves (except for the occasional criterium), but I do for this sport! If you forget, there are decent cheapies available at West Marine just across the Ashley River from the downtown area. You should not need real foul weather clothing, though- if anything, something for light rain and that's about it. We've been sailing in shorts occasionally this winter, and hopefully, this will be the last week of full-foulies... My wife will wear full foulies pretty much all year long, but when it rains, she melts! It's also very sunny here, so I'd bring a hat with lanyard. Hope that helps?


Donna_F 03-20-2013 01:14 PM

Re: A simple gear question for a new sailor
In my experience, when the temps are low (and I have a low tolerance for cold), when the waves are high (and I have a hard grip on the wheel), when I'm handling lines, gloves are indispensable. They really cut my fatigue level as well as keep my hands warm and enable me to have a better grip on the lines. I use 3/4 fingerless gloves that I already had for kayaking. John bought some for himself at the boat show and wears them a lot.

For foul weather gear, layering is a good idea. I don't go all out on the expensive name-brand sailing clothes, just layer and use a windbreaker/LL Bean-type rain coat on top.

I'm sure the instructor won't mind answering any questions that you have about what to bring. Shoot him an email.

FinallySailing 03-20-2013 01:17 PM

Re: A simple gear question for a new sailor

welcome to the mutual sailing addicts support group :) . Can't tell you anything about Charleston but in general a lot depends how long you are going to be on the boat for (only day sailing or a longer passage ... ? where to). Make sure you you have something to protect you from the sun (hat + very good sunscreen), which can be worse than the effect of wind and rain. Unless you are going offshore, something that is rain and wind proof and something to keep you warm should it get a bit fresher is probably sufficient. Have some good grip shoes with non marking soles and sunglasses with retainer strap. I found sailing gloves myself very helpful, ropeburns and salt water can be painful. All doesn't have to be expensive. I bought most of my gear from fleebay, use motorcycle underwear when it gets colder, my gloves are neoprene builders gloves which look and function just the same as the much dearer "musto" ones. Strangely enough, when the same stuff gets sold for sailing the price goes up automatically ...

avenger79 03-20-2013 02:15 PM

Re: A simple gear question for a new sailor
took my lessons last year in FL. I brought my gloves the first day, didn't use them. No foul weather gear, wasn't needed.

when I go out on my own I take the gloves with but only use them 50% of time. Foul weather gear I haven't purchased yet but there has been a few times I wish I had it. LOL

gear I did need was a hat, sunglasses, water, and maybe chapstick. they were more interested in proper sailing shoes then gloves.

johnnyquest37 03-20-2013 03:06 PM

Re: A simple gear question for a new sailor
Decent outer layer for rain/spray and plan for layering your clothing should be sufficient. Gloves - you probably don't need them, but they may be nice to have for grip, especially if it gets wet. You'll want to get gloves for your wife if she'll be handling lines. Rookies sometimes grip hard onto a line that is running away. Without gloves, this can result in a nasty rope burn.

West Marine sailing gloves are junk. Name-brand sailing gloves are way overpriced. You can go to the sporting goods store and get high-quality gloves for weight lifting that will work just fine (as long as they don't bleed ink in the rain). Also, I saw some good quality water skier gloves at the West Marine recently. They looked to be twice as good as the West Marine sailing gloves and they were half the price.

CalebD 03-20-2013 03:15 PM

Re: A simple gear question for a new sailor
The glove thing.

Any half fingered glove will do. Any. Take a pair of gloves and cut off the tips even!

It is a personal comfort thing. If your hands are nearly chafe proof to begin with you may not need them.

We race my 27' sailboat with a crew of 3. The other 2 guys always wear gloves when we do. Only on occasion do I wear them as I don't find 2 hours of line handling that taxing to my bare hands. If I were required to be handling lines for 4 hours at a time I'd want to have a pair of gloves with me, just in case I felt a blister coming on.

Layers. Good base layer. Any clothing that is comfortable and used as a layer will do. Water proof or quick drying fabrics like fleece are a plus. Fabrics that are able to breathe are preferable: fleece, silk etc.

night0wl 03-20-2013 03:23 PM

Re: A simple gear question for a new sailor
They're $20. Whats the big deal? If you dont like them or dont use them, you're out a few beers at happy hour. If you use them and love 'em, then money well spent.

Personally, I find my full finger gloves a great thing. I've had more than one loaded sheet nearly burn my palm into cinder. The gloves there have paid for themselves several times over. The bigger the boats, the more loaded those sheets are!!!

eherlihy 03-20-2013 03:28 PM

Re: A simple gear question for a new sailor
here's my $0.02;

You will NEED;
  • sunglasses
  • hat
  • something that covers your ears and back of neck (Kerchief under the hat? or the a hat with wide brim). My wife was calling me "redneck" when I started... See "Tilley" hats to get the idea.
  • shorts
  • SPF 30+ sunblock (I always seem to forget this)
  • Chapstik, or similar
  • something to fix the sunglasses to your person (croakies, or the like). Fish don't need your glasses. DAMHIK...:o
  • something to wipe the sunblock off the lens of the glasses:rolleyes:
  • a rain jacket of some sort (I started with motorcycle rain gear when I first took lessons. However, in June of that year it poured every freakin' day I was in the boat, and I soon went to West Marine for their Third Reef gear. I suppose that I could have donned a trash bag, but I needed something while the bike gear was drying out. I was also getting cooked in the bike gear because it didn't breathe. You don't have to spend a fortune, but you have to ask yourself if you committed to sailing, or if this a trial.)

I now have gloves, and as stated above, feel less tired when I use them. However, I frequently sail with out them. I strongly suggest them for the wife.

Brent Swain 03-20-2013 03:33 PM

Re: A simple gear question for a new sailor
I've been cruising, mostly full time, for over 40 years and I've never used sailing gloves.
Any reasonably tough rain gear is all you need. No need for the super expensive stuff.

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