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polyester makes me sweat more
That's what my dad says too. To each his own. I find the quick dry fabrics so much more comfortable in the hot sun. They don't get soaked with sweat, they protect against UV rays, and they dry really fast. Cotton for sure when the day is done or it's not too hot. But I've taken to wearing the sunblock shirts whenever I'm out in the summer during the heat of the day.

And here's a money saving tip: you don't need to spend $50-$75 for one of those nifty Columbia long sleeve fishing shirts. You can find the Little Donkey Andy version of that shirt for about half of the price of the Columbia. I've owned both. No practical difference between the two. And Little Donkey Andy is just a better name.
 

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No matter what the origin is, we all need a very good physical sun and elements protection - e.g. a good Bimini. In some boats it can be more challenging due to the cockpit and main sheet arrangement, but nevertheless doable and for me - simply a critical add-on.

Last year I spent months in redesigning, building and canvas ordering of a new bimini, including all sides removable/exchangeable/rolled sunbrella/strataglass panels and mesh shading panels - all well attached to the solid dodger that protects only about 1/3rd of the cockpit. It is on a center cockpit Contest 43' cutter and the final structure is a fully enclosed cockpit - almost like a pilot house.

It proved to be one of my best investments for the this year's cruising from the Caribbean West Indies to the US providing a solid sun protection but not less important, also from heavy rain and waves, keeping us dry and happy in the cockpit at any condition.

This also help in extending the season when it gets wet and colder in the northeast, yet, the sun protection is my first concern.



There's no other way of saying it, I'm Irish. I love sailing, but... I'm Irish!
I have light skin and burn easily, and a light burn is something akin to a medium flu, fever. nausea and all.

So my main requirement is SHADE UNDERWAY. Oh sure you can throw up a bimini while at anchor, but what do you do underway, when the main sheet is obstructing, and when a wide brimmed hat and gobs of sunscreen just doesn't cut it?

So many boats, the vast majority really, even if they have a hard dodger with hard cover, put the wheel as far back on the boat as possible to be 'protected' from the shelter, in full blatant exposure to the searing glare of the sun.

How do you sun conscious and light skinned folks out there deal with this obvious dilemma?
 

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Exactly my sentiments
That’s how we designed ours
Like having an additional room with a view
 

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Even the most properly prepared rowers can face unfavorable conditions, leading to risks. Knowing how to save yourself and others who capsize is essential in safe rowing.
 

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When I was sailing, I ALWAYS had the bimini in place, which did a great job during mid day, but late in the afternoon, the sun blazed through the side and there was no escape. I solved this problem with an inexpensive, silver, poly tarp that was 4 feet wider than the bimini. I draped it over the bimini, than lashed the overhang down with bungi cords attached to the bimini connections on the gunwale - worked like a charm. Not only did it keep the sun from coming in the side, but additionally, the silver color reflected the sun's rays and the temperature was 10 degrees cooler than it was using that dark blue binimi. OK, so I looked a bit like the Beverly Hillbillies, but damned, it sure made a big difference in the overall comfort level in the cockpit.

Gary :cool:
 

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Good to see you Jed Clampet😀😀😀
 

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Discussion Starter #48
I just checked back and noticed a bunch of other replies that I messed! Apologies all around if somebody takes the time to respond, I at least try to acknowledge it and say thanks :) Anyway some catching up to do here!
 

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Discussion Starter #49
I rarely sail between 10:00AM and 3:00PM. It's typically cooler and the breeze is steadier in the evening and early morning hours. If we are cruising this schedule allows us to more fully do touristy stuff ashore.during the day.

When we do sail during the day we wear gloves as well as the other protective gear others have mentioned.
I will add gloves to my protective gear list, something with good sun protection and light enough to not be too hot on the warm days- thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Here is a photo of my solar bimini setup. Though the clear middle Lexan piece still has the protective cover on it. It includes both 12 volt and 48 volt (for electric propulsion) solar panels. I also put a flexible solar panel on top of the Lexan panel when I want more shade. View attachment 136372
Nice pic, thanks for sharing. Looks like you are lucky enough to not have any sheets in the way. I saw your profile, is that the Nonsuch? Which model? So I can add it to my 'shadable' list, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
The doctor says I am "light skinned". I never thought of myself that way, but still take precautions to protect myself from the Sun. I took me a long time, but now I understand the Sun is trying to kill me. Sometimes I an slack a little and only come away wounded.
Yep, like with a lot of things I am also getting a little more careful as I get older ;-)
They say sunburns are cumulative so I think my count is high enough already!
 

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Discussion Starter #52
I have no personal experience, but Christian Williams (who's sailed single-handed from CA to HI and back) prefers a beach umbrella:
LOL, great video thanks. I literally never would have even considered a beach umbrella.
Plus it is actually flexible in that it can be taken down easily or angled to block the sun.
Might get a little high maintenance in changing or gusting winds or tacking, but definitely worth considering if I find a great deal on a boat that doesn't support a bimini while sailing. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
I've basically spent my adult life in the sun in the tropics. After nearly 6 decades I thought I was pretty much immune to skin cancer. I didn't put on goo, ever, rarely a hat aboard and always shorts ant a t-shirt on the boat. Diving or snorkeling I'd wear a skin, but that was mostly to protect me from stinging creatures, not the sun. I have almost always sailed under a bimini over the last 25 years or so. I wouldn't be without one, period. Not specifically for sun protection, just comfort. The one we have has a nice window which gives me a great view of the main, but has a velcroed sun cover. Our new bimini will have an even better window and shade.
One day last year a small doughnut shaped growth appeared on my left shin. It grew amazingly fast until it was about an inch in diameter and a 1/4 inch high. Two doctors dismissed it and one thought it might be cancerous. The internet leaned toward non-cancerous because of the speed of growth. In the end it turned out to be Squamous Cell Carcinoma, not a particularly good thing to have. I had it removed and came to the conclusion that perhaps I wasn't immune to skin cancer after all.
Sadly, we've done little sailing since all this happened because of the pandemic, but I tend to stay out of the sun much more than I used to. I bought a few sets of very light scrubs and intend to wear them when sailing from now on, with a hat. I've always worn very expensive hi quality sun glasses, so that won't change. But, I live in the tropics and can't avoid the sun completely all the time and I'm not go to go so far overboard that living down here becomes unpleasant.
Yep, it really is a generational thing too. For example in the 70s almost everybody was a sun worshiper, today, young people are a lot more cautious. Australians (basically Brits/Irish/Scottish thrown into the heat) are extremely sun cautious these days. Earlier posts here noted the protective clothing, so I did a little googling and noticed that sun protective clothing as an industry has really blown up. There are all kinds of choices of lightweight sun proof clothing, which is just fantastic news.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
I bought 7 long sleeve hooded synthetic quick drying shirts. I wear a wide brimmed hat and put sunblock on the backs of my hands, ears, nose and cheeks and I am good to go. No obstructions to view or movement, and it is cooler with the shirt than without when exposed to the sun.
Thanks for the feedback, high tech light sunproof clothing is definitely added to my 'required' list.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Pilothouse, think pilothouse! ;)
At first I was pretty averse to a motorsailer, but I'm getting to where I'm leaning more that direction.
I want a boat to sail well, but if I get to where I'm in too much a rush, I'll have to check myself for missing the entire point ;-) This is a change of lifeslyle I'm looking for- not to move the city life to the water! LOL.

My first boat will be pretty entry level, and I plan to upgrade in a few years as I'm sure I'll know a lot more about boats at that point, and be a better sailor! I plan to buy in the fall to winter and (hopefully) get a good deal.
So far I like the Evasion 32-34, Nicholson 38 (not pilothouse but has a full hard 'bimini' cover), LM 32, Moody 33 Eclipse, and Halberdier 36. I'm planning to live aboard so the Westerlies are also very appealing for inside space, like the 34 with the (relatively) big rear cabin but with the high center cockpit just under the beam, bimini cover under sail looks questionable.

I'm starting to build a list of 'shadeables' so I can be flexible if and when good opportunities arise.
And pilothouse boats are definitely on the short list :)
 

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Discussion Starter #56
I am also of Irish descent (both parents). I have a dodger with a stainless steel frame, and a single hoop support for my bimini. The dodger is ALWAYS up, and the bimini is up when it is hot & sunny - And, yes I use both while sailing. There is a small window in the bimini so that I can see the masthead fly (Windex) while at the helm.

View attachment 136402

View attachment 136403

I also wear a floppy hat, and sunscreen (when my wife reminds me).
So we are consistently finding Irish people making creative sun blocking solutions- LOL :)
It looks like your boat is an O'day 34. I'll add that to my short list of 'shadables'.
By the way I'm sure this is a totally stupid noob question, but in pictures it looks like some boats, yours included there is no end of boom sheet, just a main sheet, is that correct? If so perhaps that should be added to my requirements list.
Nice work by the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
Thanks, I'm getting officially modern clothing educated- and the options are good news indeed!
 

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Discussion Starter #59
That's what my dad says too. To each his own. I find the quick dry fabrics so much more comfortable in the hot sun. They don't get soaked with sweat, they protect against UV rays, and they dry really fast. Cotton for sure when the day is done or it's not too hot. But I've taken to wearing the sunblock shirts whenever I'm out in the summer during the heat of the day.

And here's a money saving tip: you don't need to spend $50-$75 for one of those nifty Columbia long sleeve fishing shirts. You can find the Little Donkey Andy version of that shirt for about half of the price of the Columbia. I've owned both. No practical difference between the two. And Little Donkey Andy is just a better name.
Great tip thanks. Plus they're pretty good looking shirts. Not that I care to win a fashion show on the water, but you know... doesn't hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter #60
No matter what the origin is, we all need a very good physical sun and elements protection - e.g. a good Bimini. In some boats it can be more challenging due to the cockpit and main sheet arrangement, but nevertheless doable and for me - simply a critical add-on.

Last year I spent months in redesigning, building and canvas ordering of a new bimini, including all sides removable/exchangeable/rolled sunbrella/strataglass panels and mesh shading panels - all well attached to the solid dodger that protects only about 1/3rd of the cockpit. It is on a center cockpit Contest 43' cutter and the final structure is a fully enclosed cockpit - almost like a pilot house.

It proved to be one of my best investments for the this year's cruising from the Caribbean West Indies to the US providing a solid sun protection but not less important, also from heavy rain and waves, keeping us dry and happy in the cockpit at any condition.

This also help in extending the season when it gets wet and colder in the northeast, yet, the sun protection is my first concern.
Thanks for your reply. I was looking at pictures of your (model) boat and saw that the main sheet is right behind the cockpit, similar to the Moody and Westerly boats I linked earlier (post #4). Surely when sailing the main sheet will come forward at an angle to the beam, which will be off to one side. So the bimini doesn't get in the way of the main sheet movement? Or does the bimini stop short of the back of the cockpit?
 
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