As the weather starts to get worse, we thought we would give you a quick overview of foul weather gear for autumn and winter sailing.
The type of boat you are sailing on will hugely influence the type of gear you wear, you aren’t going to wear the same gear on a 1720 and a half tonner. That said there are a few steps you can take to ensure you stay warm and dry as we move into the colder, wetter winter months no matter what boat you sail on.
The best way to stay warm, is to stay dry. The first thing to invest in will always be a good set of waterproof outers. Whether you prefer wearing salopettes, jacket, cag, keeping your gear in good condition and ensuring it isnt leaking is the first step in staying warm as the weather gets colder and wetter. Your lighter summer gear will more than suffice coming into the winter so long as it is keeping you dry.
Layering under your gear is the next step. Cotton will not keep you warm, fleece, technical fabrics and wool are the only fabrics worth looking at when buying gear for under your oilys. Helly Hansen make a great range of merino wool base layers which will keep you toasty well into the shorter days. Wool socks are also a must have, wool stays warm when wet unlike other fabrics, and as such is the perfect underlayer for any sailor. If you are particularly cold, a light down jacket under your sailing jacket will keep even the coldest sailors toasty.
The final stage is your extremities, here were talking hats, gloves and boots. If you loose feeling in your hands and feet you are going to be useless to the rest of your crew, and a couple of upwind legs on the rail can have you really feeling the cold. We recommend a hat with 2 layers, this cuts down on wind getting through the fabric. As a sailor, you know there is no hope of keeping your hands dry, but keeping the wind off them can greatly reduce how much to feel the cold. A pair of long fingered gloves can be a god send on blustery days.
Personally, my sailing boots are my most important piece of kit. I spend my life permanently cold, and the best investment I ever made was my Dubarry Ultimas. Most of the sailors I know swear by Dubarry’s sailing boots for both warmth and waterproofness. I wore mine as a Junior Section instructor and regularly had to walk into the water when launching boats and they never leaked. Mine are now 6 years old and still going strong. Really any pair of properly waterproof boots will see you through the winter, but for longevity, warmth and comfort I have yet to find anything that beats the Dubarry range.
We stock all of the above gear and our shop staff would be more than happy to help you over the phone (021) 4554334 or in store.
The final piece of advice we can offer you is keep the blood sugar up. If your blood sugar starts to drop your body looses the fuel it needs to heat itself. So there really is no substitute for something sweet onboard!