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post #21 of 50 Old 12-02-2010
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I'm one who thinks the 'no cotton' rule can be overdone. Sure I want wool or synthetic/wool mix when things get exceedingly cold and wet but other than that I am not going to junk cotton for synthetic in warmer climes. Some things are simply not negotiable and wearing plastic clothing is one of them.

That said, it was with some sadness that I have had to admit that 501s and snake skin boots are not terribly practical on board.

Eryka is right....chino type pants are the go even in my opinion if cotton. Reality is that in moderate weather light weight cotton pants are not a serious problem if only because today's boats are not as damp collecting as they once were.

On my first (timber) keelboat I could not leave clothes on board for any lenght of time without mould developing or at least a nasty musty smell. On Raven in 2010 I leave some clothing on board at all times and mould and damp is simply not a major problem. Yes is can be a problem after say a rough passage combined with wet weather after but a bit of wool covers that eventuality.

Oh yes....wool or even better possum socks.

Andrew B

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post #22 of 50 Old 12-02-2010
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Looks like I have a lot to learn about clothing from a boaters perspective. Besides knowing that foul weather gear should not be cotton, I did not know it would be a issue for everyday use. I did know that mold/mildew would be a problem for everyday storage, so I was/am planning on keeping all my clothing in plastic bags when not in use, but I did not know sitting on the boat or walking around town would be an issue with what I'm wearing. But this is also coming from a girl who spent 5 hours in soaking wet yoga pants and a fleece when crossing Lake Michigan in a storm this past summer thinking, "That kind of sucked, but so is life." (Although one reason I didn't go below to change or get foul weather gear is because everyone was sleeping and I didn't want to wake them. Selfless, or stupid, I'm still not sure which. )

I'm not looking to get a whole new wardrobe right now, all the extra money I can get is going toward our trip. I have a few synthetic blends that I'll be packing, maybe picking up a few more here or there before I go, but I think it was good advice to bring what I have and pick up more on 'the road' if I need to. And sorry QuickMick, but we're not coffee drinkers.


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post #23 of 50 Old 12-02-2010
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Whoever left you out in the cockpit by yourself in such unsuitable clothing should be taken out and shot, and that means the skipper. For heavens sake, it is the skippers responsibility to attend to the welfare of the crew. Failing to do so is inexcusable.

If you are going offshore or even on something as large as the Great Lakes the first thing you need is adequate wet weather gear. Jacket, Pants, Boots, Gloves. Good socks are important...preferably wool, definitely not cotton.

Some underclothing is going to be better than others but in cold though not bitterly cold weather you can get by wearing fairly normal clothes as long as your wet weather gear is quality.

Remember..good wet weather gear not only keeps you dry but also keeps you warm cos it keeps out the wind.

Spend you money on good gear but keep your cotton shirts for the Bahamas.

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Looks like I have a lot to learn about clothing from a boaters perspective. Besides knowing that foul weather gear should not be cotton, I did not know it would be a issue for everyday use. I did know that mold/mildew would be a problem for everyday storage, so I was/am planning on keeping all my clothing in plastic bags when not in use, but I did not know sitting on the boat or walking around town would be an issue with what I'm wearing. But this is also coming from a girl who spent 5 hours in soaking wet yoga pants and a fleece when crossing Lake Michigan in a storm this past summer thinking, "That kind of sucked, but so is life." (Although one reason I didn't go below to change or get foul weather gear is because everyone was sleeping and I didn't want to wake them. Selfless, or stupid, I'm still not sure which. )

I'm not looking to get a whole new wardrobe right now, all the extra money I can get is going toward our trip. I have a few synthetic blends that I'll be packing, maybe picking up a few more here or there before I go, but I think it was good advice to bring what I have and pick up more on 'the road' if I need to. And sorry QuickMick, but we're not coffee drinkers.

Andrew B

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post #24 of 50 Old 12-02-2010
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Looks like I have a lot to learn about clothing from a boaters perspective. Besides knowing that foul weather gear should not be cotton, I did not know it would be a issue for everyday use. I did know that mold/mildew would be a problem for everyday storage, so I was/am planning on keeping all my clothing in plastic bags when not in use, but I did not know sitting on the boat or walking around town would be an issue with what I'm wearing. But this is also coming from a girl who spent 5 hours in soaking wet yoga pants and a fleece when crossing Lake Michigan in a storm this past summer thinking, "That kind of sucked, but so is life."
Dudes, and Dudettes,

Don't take the "Cotton Kills" thing too seriously.. It depends on where you're sailing. Cotton would be fine in tropical climates - if you have the mildew thing under control. Realize, however that if you're on a boat, you're likely to get wet. Wet jeans and a cotton sweatshirt are not comfortable, and will set you up for hypothermia, in climates where the temperature gets below 70ş.

Kudos to Serendipitous for your concern about your crew mates. I have great respect for a girl that can suck it up.

Although, you should realize that if you put yourself in danger of getting sick / hypothermic, you are also putting your crew mates at risk. You cease to be an asset, and become a liability. With the onset of hypothermia your reactions slow, and judgement becomes impaired, Finally, if you do succumb, the crew now has to work harder to treat you, and maintain the vessel...


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post #25 of 50 Old 12-02-2010
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Aside from the hypothermic/heat loss problems with wet cotton clothing—once it gets wet, it provides little or no UV protection. A lot of the newer synthetic clothing is UPF rated and will block UV even when wet. Skin cancer is nasty stuff and UPF-rated clothes can help keep you healthy.

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post #26 of 50 Old 12-02-2010
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Whoever left you out in the cockpit by yourself in such unsuitable clothing should be taken out and shot, and that means the skipper. For heavens sake, it is the skippers responsibility to attend to the welfare of the crew. Failing to do so is inexcusable.

If you are going offshore or even on something as large as the Great Lakes the first thing you need is adequate wet weather gear. Jacket, Pants, Boots, Gloves.
It was my decision to keep myself in the cockpit during that time, and no one else. I was on the 2am to 6am shift, and let my husband sleep in the extra hour because that was the only sleep he was going to get that night. Like I had mentioned, I could have gone below and changed into my foul weather gear at any time, but I knew I was in no real danger of hypothermia (it was July), and if I thought I was I would have done something about it. As eherlihy put it, I'm a girl who can suck it up. (Side note, I do have most of the wet weather gear I'd need for any storms and will pick up anything else I do not have before we leave).

Glad to know some of my cottons will still work in the Bahamas, that's where I was planning on wearing all my cotton dresses.


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post #27 of 50 Old 12-03-2010
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Gesh all those years in the Navy where I wore Navy dungrees (cotton) in the north Atlantic & Pacific... According you guys I should have died a long time ago.
As long as you take precautions in your dress you will survive. But having wool clothing is a large factor in surviving in the Northern waters & Southern above 32N/S. Dress to stay warm and partake of high calorie foods do help. Your body will burn those calories off as it works to stay warm.
Of course down in the Tropics you can only take so much clothing off before the whole world either starts Laughing or gagging.

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post #28 of 50 Old 12-03-2010
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I've always preferred natural fabrics so most of my clothing is cotton or wool. Long underwear and socks as well as other technical clothing is generally synthetic. Day-to-day living on the dock is pretty much the same as ashore.

Dinghy runs usually mean some spray so I am more careful about fabric choices in the dinghy. Still, I haven't had any issues with cotton t-shirts -- if it's going to be that wet I wear my foul weather jacket at least anyway. I don't like having a wet butt regardless of the material type so I slow down rather than get wet.

...
I wouldn't buy all new clothes (unless your looking for an excuse) until you get some experience living aboard and determine what works for you.
I think Dave's right, especially that day-to-day living at the dock is a lot like on land, and I should have been more specific about cotton. 2 places I *won't* wear cotton - (1) sticky-hot places like hiking in the Virgin Islands (it holds sweat and B.O. and just stays moist all day) and (2) cold rain or spray. OTOH, Hanging out in the Bahamas, in winter, temps about 70 - cotton T-shirts are no problem.

We often wear loose lightweight long cotton pants - surprisingly, they can be cooler than shorts in some conditions. If "wet dinghy butt" is going to be an issue, we either ride standing up or if its too rough for that, we go ashore in full foulies - which earns us some funny looks in the grocery store if its a sunny day.

BTW, Serendip, welcome to SN, our hailing port is Northport, MI and we still miss the Sweetwater Sea.
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post #29 of 50 Old 12-03-2010 Thread Starter
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you can get good deals at these places...so money for gear and the trip!
gillna.com <-----------go to the clearance section
evo.com
sierratradingpost.com
moosejaw.com

no affiliation, just like being cozy

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post #30 of 50 Old 12-03-2010
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Whatever you choose, take less rather than more. Although we took a hand wringer so we could wash clothes onboard, we found (in Mexico, Central and South America) that it was usually easy to find someone who did laundry, for a reasonable price. Sometimes boys came out to the anchored boat to solicit such services. In humid tropic areas, everything gets sweaty within an hour of putting it on, so we tended to wear the same thing over and over anyway.
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