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I am wondering what type of blankets and sheets work well on boats. At first I was thinking wool just because of the dampness but thought it may be prone to rotting or mold. Are synthetic, natural or blends the way to go? I am in Florida so it does not get terribly cold but it has its moments. I want to avoid buying a bunch of stuff and then having it disintegrate.
 

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I have to vote for wool. A good Merino wool blanket is softer than fleece and won't start to smell nearly as fast either (antimicrobial naturally). They are fast drying, warm if wet, but expensive. If it's really cold heavier coarser wool can be used over the softer merino blanket for a warmer less expensive rig. I think fleece is a way for manufacturers to make a lot of money by hyping a product with much lower materials cost. The expense of wool products reduces profit opportunities.

Consider my input as biased. I wear and use a lot of wool. Many years ago I owned a lot of wool. I was sold on the "benefits" of fleece. Believed the marketing hype and used it for a number of years. I finally switched back to wool and could not believe the performance and comfort difference. I felt fleeced by marketing hype artists. But, good wool is expensive.

OK I'm finished with my contrarian viewpoint.

Regards,

LH
 

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Fleece AND wool. Get a couple of what used to be called "horse blankets" or even "Hudson's Bay blankets". They can be kept folded longways under sea berths or even as bolsters or inside throw pillow slipcovers.

The most insidious aspect of being cold on a boat is when it's not cold enough to shiver, or to turn on the heat (which may or may not be working). You get chilled slowly and feel dopey and uncomfortable but not actually cold. Fifteen minutes under a blanket will perk you up enough to realize the boat is only 15C/59F and you need to dress the part or start making heat.

Certainly if you combine wool with synthetics in clothing as a "layered" system, you will stay warmer and drier. I will typically wear in spring and fall on deck cotton longjohns or just the pants, jeans, wool socks, boat shoes, and then a lycra-cotton T-shirt, a cotton jersey, a thick woolen sweater and a nylon rain shell or wind breaker. I wear a woolen or Thinsulate toque and woolen or Thinsulate "flip gloves" leaving my fingertips exposed as needed.

In wetter weather I will swap the jeans for Henri Lloyd bib pants, and the hood will go up on the jacket and I might switch to thin bicycle gloves with the wool mittens over them.

When I am not moving much on a workboat in April or October, this get-up is essential to avoid getting chilled by the very cold waters of the lake.

Even if it is very sunny and warm on deck in, say, late May on the Great Lakes, it is frequently colder below as cold air sinks. Sometimes I wear no socks, boat sandals (like Tevas), army shorts (for wear and pockets), a T-shirt, a woolen pullover, a light toque and half-gloves. When I go below, I don't shiver because my core is toasty, and, coming from a long line of kilt-wearers, my legs don't get cold easily.

I've digressed into clothing from blankets, but the point is that wool as a material has an important and continued presence in my sail wardrobe and furnishings.
 

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I would say, fleece blanket and a comforter. Fleece for the cool evenings with the addition of a comforter for the cold nights.

Fleece is great because it is so light weight.
I agree with you. But I am having a problem getting the dust ruffle to fit. The pillow shams are working out well.:D
 

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I find cashmere blankets the best for warmth and water repellent abilities. You do not need to dry clean them - they wash in cold quite well and air dry even better. A bit heavier than fleece but much more comfortable in a range of temps. They also seem to adapt to "personal prefs" when it comes to how how heated you want to be with them... They also do not wrinkle as much if at all. On "HG" that is the only style blanket we carry...due to versatility and appearance when stowed the way sailors like to stow...
 

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The discount stores. Walmart ect sell sleeping bags that have a zipper that opens them up to be quilt shaped. For some reason a sleeping bag is $20 but a quilt is $100.
Maybe the difference is the target audience.
You can pick the sleeping bag based on temperature it is rated for.
And of course it can be zipped up to be a sleeping bag.
 

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The problems with fleece is that it is flammable and oil-philic. I'm not sure what the proper term is--but it sucks the oils out of your skin while it is new. And since it is flammable it inevitably will be dosed with toxic flame retardants, not good for bare skin and inhaling all night.

It certainly is cheap and warm, but wool can be used as a fire blanket--it is naturally fire retardant, chars doesn't burn. The problem is that wool comes in all sorts of grades from damn sensual to sandpaper, you really need to feel it to check on what you are buying. And good wool isn't cheap.

Surprisingly, SILK can be very inexpensive if you buy no-name brands. Like wool, it is also very warm, and always very smooth. Silk and wool won't have any more problem with mildew than fleece will.

Those $20 sleeping bags that david mentions are also available from LLBean for $25 (last time I checked) in a slightly heavier material. I've got one of those from a camping supplier--makes a great spare bedroll. Camping suppliers also sell silk "liner bags", i.e. a silk sleeping bag liner that replaces sheets when you are using a sleeping bag. Needless to say, inexpensive no-name silk.<G>

And yes, both silk and wool are washable in water. Just wash then dry in low heat, or hang to dry.
 

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my wife crocheted ( sp ? ) a big triangle shaped blanket for the v berth, if we use it with no sheet its fine at 70 degree temps, with a sheet over the top its good to 45 to 50 or so. its nice to not have 6 feet of blanket shoved in to a 3 foot space. i second the sleeping bag idea otherwise, cheap, warm and most of all cheap
 

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We don't have much problem with being too cold on the Chesapeake. We have a cotton blanket and a comforter if there is a chill, and a 40 degree synthetic sleeping bag that we can open up as a blanket if its cooler than that.

However, we spend a lot more time sweating than we do shivering. July and August on the hook can be really uncomfortable, so we're more worried about how effective our windscoops will be than what kind of blankets are aboard.

Personally, I think I'd tilt more toward fleece if I were in cooler climates. Wool is wonderful but I've never seen anything that dried faster and worked better keeping moisture away from your body than fleece. My fleece climbing sweater can be taken straight out of the washing machine after the spin cycle and worn. Wool takes longer to dry out and will be scratchy unless its a expensive type. I love my 5 button wool sweater from the Army and it kept me from freezing in prolonged outdoor experinces but comfortable it was not. It was itchy and would rub your elbows raw when worn over a short sleeve shirt. If I could go back in time a had a choice between it and a similar fleece item, I'd take the fleece. Dry makes a huge difference in keeping warm and nothing I've seen can beat fleece's ablity to shed water.
 

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I have a woven afgan & a wool trade blanket on the Skipjack . More then one person has commented on how warm the trade blanket is . The nights here when the temps have sunk in the teens I use the afgan under the trade blanket my belief being the loose weave of the afgan creates a thin layer of air . In any case I've been snug this winter .
 

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Fleece, wool and synthetic fill sleeping bags... :)
 

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Twisty, if you look up definitions of both you'll find a drogue IS a sea anchor, and vice versa. Traditionally a drogue is a funnel-shaped or bucket-shaped cloth, and while sea anchors invented by various patent-holders may have a wider range of shapes and sizes--that's like saying "silverware" isn't "flatware" isn't "dinnerware".

The differences between any two patented devices will be larger than any difference between the categories overall.

When folks talk about streaming 100 yards of hawser behind a boat "as a drogue" that's really just a kludge, it is being used instead of a real drogue.
 

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I have a nice queen size sleeping bag for the vberth. Other than that I like fleece for its storability. If it's too cold, the admiral isn't on board and I can handle much colder than her. I too come from a line of kilt wearers, both family and from my old cadet and reservist days (142nd St Andrew's College Cadet Corps and 48th Highlanders).
 

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There are things that will keep you as warm as wool but none of them will do so wet, either from sweat or water. What are the odds that you'll be wet when you really need to warm up?

You can still buy the famous Hudson Bay blanket. Search Results: KEYWORD:HUDSONS BAY > *ALL
 

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There are things that will keep you as warm as wool but none of them will do so wet, either from sweat or water. What are the odds that you'll be wet when you really need to warm up?

You can still buy the famous Hudson Bay blanket. Search Results:**KEYWORD:HUDSONS BAY >**ALL
Having spent some time in the weather, I concur. On the left coast, it's Pendleton Blankets. We have fleece blankets but our primary is a queen size Pendleton.
 
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