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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Getting ready for my first real offshore sailing, helping bring a boat from Bahamas to the Chesapeake. Is it kind of irresponsible to not have a nice set of foulies or are they overkill? or maybe a better question is will I need them this time of year (mid May) if we aren't planning on pushing it in bad weather? I have decent rain gear (ie dads old grundens from tug boats) but I don't want to be irresponsibly unprepared. I also don't want to be the guy who shows up way over prepared with the batman utilty belt. I'm cool with looking like the Gorton fisherman though to delay this purchase a bit longer!

Thanks
 

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Chastened
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I wouldn't get hung up on brand names, but you should be prepared.

By "prepared" I mean, you should have a thin, warm, wicking, base layer, then a fleece-like middle layer, then a waterproof top layer.

How you get there, is nobody's business.

You can buy Under Armour knock-offs at Wal-mart.
You can find Columbia knock-off fleece tops practically anywhere.
Wear dad's Grunden's for the top layer.
You can buy rubber rain or muck boots practically anywhere.
For sailing gloves, Atlas gardening gloves that have the palms coated in rubber are cheap and effective.

You can delete the middle layer if the climate is warm and wet.

Just don't expect all the knock-offs and hand-me-downs to last as long or be quite as effective as some of the name brand gear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response. Exactly the information I was trying to elicit.

I am so indecisive anyway this will give me a good opportunity to see what gear and features are important to me before I make the investment.

Thanks again!
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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The best investment I ever made was a set of top quality foul weather gear. [ Henry Lloyd Ocean Racers ]

I bought them in 89 and they are still with me albeit tucked away in a locker and not used for years as I sail in warm waters now. But there is nothing more miserable as being cold and wet and good gear will keep you warm and mostly dry.

They were the most expensive clothes I ever bought, however the previous set only lasted a year so spreading the cost out over 25 years they are a good deal.
 

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If this is a one-time deal; Justifying all the expense for rain gear is hard to swallow.

What Bubblehead says will work fine, great recommendations, but.......

You get what you pay for.

If you get caught in a serious blow in the rain and cold and you get wet.....you will wish you had the best money can buy. Being caught at the wheel/tiller when cold and wet for hours is miserable! The achy feeling, you will have for hours. You will feel guilty if someone has to take over for you. Prepare for the night time temps. Think wind chill; the back of a P/U truck.

Layer up; bring (alot) more than you think. Hours motionless will take it's toll.
Tape or velcro(better) your sleeves to keep water out.
Wear a towel or something around your neck to keep water from dripping down.
The rubber mason gloves will work as long as you can wear something underneath as a liner.

Then again; if it's 90 degrees out, you'll love it!
 

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ASA and PSIA Instructor
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In answer to your question, it would be irresponsible for you not to have gear that will keep you dry and warm in predictable conditions. I do not think pickup kit of general use gear will do that. You get wet can cold and you become a burden on everyone else. If you're a guest who can wait out unpleasant whether down below, then fine, if you are expected to hold your own, then no. For example, definitely do not go with rain boots or the like which will provide very unsteady footing navigating a deck. Better to get Gore-tex socks for under your boat shoes. Also much of the cost of foul weather gear is the gaskets and gussets which make it suitable to extended, active wear. Gloves which are not waterproof will not serve. If you wear cheap PVC type gear for any period of time, you are likely to become uncomfortable from sweat.

Try putting your gear on some cool night in the backyard and have someone run a hose on you while you do a few round of calisthenics and see how it all works. Dry and warm, good to go. Not, start buying.
 

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There is a set of no name foulies on "overstocked.com" for $84.99.
Many experienced offshore sailors have bought and have been impressed
with considering the $, including a number on this site and other cruising sites.
I bought a pair just to keep on board for unsuspecting crew and was equally impressed.
Compared them to my now aging Gil's favorably.
Search "overstocked.com nautical foul weather" and
search "overstocked.com nautical foul weather sailnet"
black with white and orange on jacket. Can't go wrong for the $.
Have been rather cool offshore eastern seaboard in mid May even in fair weather.
Hope this helps,
Hugo

also search "new foul weather set $85.-great cruisers forum"
good thread by cruisers...no interest, no affiliation
 

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Master Mariner
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I believe a good set of foulies is the equivalent to good rubber on your car. There is nothing worse than shivering through a watch, except maybe asking someone else to take your watch, because you didn't bring a set of quality foul weather gear. My jacket is over 30 years old and every bit as good as the day I bought it. I have good sailing boots for the temperate regions, but rarely use them in the tropics. I've never, ever, used "sailing" gloves, but if sailing in weather under 50 degrees a good pair of ski gloves or even dive gloves are nice to have.
Even on a warm tropical afternoon, a squall may drop the temp considerably and then the rain will soak you to the skin. With the autopilot not working and no vane gear, that's how many more hours still to go before you can get off the helm? Sure, you can change your clothes, but sure as the sun will rise, as soon as you do, another squall will pop up out of nowhere, and well, you get the idea.
If this is a one off deal and you are never going sailing again, then borrow a good set and be prepared. If not, almost any brand of quality foul weather gear will give you years of good service. Ask your skipper or others whose sailing experience you trust, for their recommendations.
 
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Old enough to know better
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There is a set of no name foulies on "overstocked.com" for $84.99.
Many experienced offshore sailors have bought and have been impressed
with considering the $, including a number on this site and other cruising sites.
I bought a pair just to keep on board for unsuspecting crew and was equally impressed.
Compared them to my now aging Gil's favorably.
Search "overstocked.com nautical foul weather" and
search "overstocked.com nautical foul weather sailnet"
black with white and orange on jacket. Can't go wrong for the $.
Have been rather cool offshore eastern seaboard in mid May even in fair weather.
Hope this helps,
Hugo

also search "new foul weather set $85.-great cruisers forum"
good thread by cruisers...no interest, no affiliation
Are those back in stock? I thought they sold out when every one was buying them.
 

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Getting ready for my first real offshore sailing, helping bring a boat from Bahamas to the Chesapeake. Is it kind of irresponsible to not have a nice set of foulies or are they overkill? or maybe a better question is will I need them this time of year (mid May) if we aren't planning on pushing it in bad weather? I have decent rain gear (ie dads old grundens from tug boats) but I don't want to be irresponsibly unprepared. I also don't want to be the guy who shows up way over prepared with the batman utilty belt. I'm cool with looking like the Gorton fisherman though to delay this purchase a bit longer!

Thanks
Get some gear like that Bubblehead suggested in post 2, put on your Dad's Grundens and have someone squirt you with a garden hose full force for 20 minutes. Then you can decide if they're good enough.
 

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There's some good advice here.
The best analogy I ever heard was on a 10-hour race across Lake Erie in June, in the rain.
I was wearing a wind suit from my athletics days, a polar fleece, and shorts. I was cold, and wet, and miserable.
The guy next to me on the rail was wearing Henri Lloyd inshore gear. He was warm and dry, and happy.
He asked me 'if a power boat pulled up beside us right now, and offered to take you off the boat for $300, would you do it?'
I bought Henri Lloyd inshore gear that winter at the Boat Show.
 

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Chastened
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Let me clarify a bit:

I suggested the approach that I did, because the OP seemed to indicated that this was a one-time operation. I DID specify that cheap, off-name gear would not last as long or work as well. It just doesn't make sense to pour a lot of money into top name gear for one-time use.

I personally, own and wear Helly-Hansen base-layer skivvies, Columbia fleece and poly-propylene mid-layers, topped with Helly-Hansen coastal bibs and their Tactician's jacket. I did cheap out a bit, and buy BOGS sea boots instead dropping $400 on Dubarry's but they haven't let me down so far.

I sail often, and in poor weather so it was worth every penny.
 

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I treat myself well. ( I also get paid to sail, so my company owns the gear)

Dubarry boots, Helly Hansen Offshore bib pants, Gill Atlantic Jacket

Offshore I wear foulie pants in almost all conditions.

For cold weather

Poly underwear, fleece, a wind shirt, foulies, boots

Warm weather

Hiking pants (quick dry), Tee shirt, bib pants, closed toe sandals - currently Keens (I have given up on sailing shoes)

Coastal cruising - I tend not to wear foulies if I can stay dry.

I wear breathable foulies - Grundens are for fisherman so they can hose off the fish guts.

For a one-time - try to borrow some decent gear.
 

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I'd throw in one other thing to look at: The hood and collar. I find that having a tall, deep collar that comes up "too far" on your cheeks and ears, also keeps you nicely sheltered from wind, and drier in the rain. Hood up or down.

If you have the luxury of trying on different brands in stores, do try the hood and collar. Imagine it is pouring out and blowing 20 knots, you want something a little different from the typical urban collar.

Which is not to say that clearance rack GoreTex from a camping supplier can't be a great bargain too!
 

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I'd throw in one other thing to look at: The hood and collar. I find that having a tall, deep collar that comes up "too far" on your cheeks and ears, also keeps you nicely sheltered from wind, and drier in the rain. Hood up or down.

If you have the luxury of trying on different brands in stores, do try the hood and collar. Imagine it is pouring out and blowing 20 knots, you want something a little different from the typical urban collar.

Which is not to say that clearance rack GoreTex from a camping supplier can't be a great bargain too!
Absolutely.

 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Of course, spending $1000+ will get you excellent sailing clothes but the main point is to keep from getting wet and cold. You don't need sailing-specific clothes to do this. You also don't need Goretex or the like. IMO, which I have stated here before, "breathable" fabrics work only when the outside ambient humidity is far less than the humid interior. It was developed with mountain climbing/hiking in mind where dry air is common. This is often not the case on a boat, where high humidity is the norm. When working up a sweat in a humid situation, you'll get wet with any fabric, solid or breathable. The breathable fabrics feel softer on the outside than rubberized and are more comfortable to wear. But, a good commercial fisherman's rainsuit, Grunden's or Helly and boots with ski socks will keep you warm if you have the right layers underneath. The warm-when-wet fleece layers underneath make all the difference. It doesn't have to be labeled "Sailing" gear to work. Having the right layers and combinations is really what it's all about for any sport. Conditions change rapidly. I sometimes wind up with a huge pile of different layers that have been used along the way. The prices on some of the sailing jackets are really humorous. Spend a pile to depend on one jacket and then it gets too hot, what to do then? Also don't discount neoprene, kayak-type clothing or even drysuit apparel if you have access to it. A drysuit top will keep ALL the water out of the clothing underneath but they're quite uncomfortable to wear for long periods.
 
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