· 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.