Wet weather clothes

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Manie B, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Manie B
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Cape Town South Africa

    Manie B Senior Member

    Gents I would like to have your input on wet weather gear.
    What do you recommend for cold and wet rainy conditions?
    What has worked for you out at sea in lousy conditions?
    What can you use that wont break the bank either, creative usage of regular commercial products?
    I dont need stuff that will last forever either, but junk is never a good idea.
    Head to toe - top to bottom - what do you use? Gloves and boots, galoshes?
     
  2. hoytedow
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    hoytedow wood butcher

  3. Manie B
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Cape Town South Africa

    Manie B Senior Member

    That is a liitle off the scale but I dont have 499 Euros for a Musto transocean jacket either
    So lets start by saying that Musto is not realy on the wish list
    maybe something that the "scooter" boy uses?
     
  4. Tiny Turnip
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    :D:D:D Hahahahaha! Oh, Hoyt!

    I'm going to buy a generous fitting drysuit (cut for dinghy sailing rather than diving) soon, as my oilies are knackered. Its a lot cheaper than two piece 'sailing' kit. Lacks the head protection of course, which is vital in some conditions. I prefer separate headgear for better visibility, but it still arguably doesn't protect as well as a hood.

    There's traditional commercial kit at Guy Cotten. Much of the very heavy duty stuff is not breatheable, but the importance of that will depend on climate, too.
     
  5. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    For wet weather gear you wear a system. Inner warmth layer and an outer breathable, waterproof layer. Check out the MUSTO system . Great stuff..... then look at the price and it will bring tears to your eyes.

    Wipe the tears from your eyes then Look around for a similar MUSTO type layer system ........ The breathable gear hikers use .

    I work in wet weather gear , the stuff get beat up, so I dont waste money. I bought some no name chinese hiker gear from the local big box store. About 200 euros for the complete system. Works Fine.

    If you want to splurge , buy a top class sailing jacket , with all other parts of the system cheap.
     
  6. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Manie,

    Great question, no simple answer.

    A lot depends on what your activity is and your weather conditions.

    For me on the west coast of Canada (which is where I've done 95% of my boating), I've used everything from my SCUBA dry suit to a wind-breaker.

    I think you're on the right track not to spend too much money. Layering usually works well. I like rubber/vinyl but you've got to watch the sweat factor if you're active on deck. Polypropylene next to the skin, then fleece, wool if it's really cold and finally your wind/rain protection.

    I find it a challenging one to answer. One thing for sure, no cotton!

    -Tom
     
  7. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    hoytedow wood butcher

  8. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    I can't comment on oilies, I've never used them.

    Cotton is material to die in. Suggest you Google it for the best answer but it's got to do with it's moisture retention wicking heat energy away from the body, hugely increasing hypothermia potential.

    -Tom
     
  9. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Cotton takes too long to dry. With The new synthetic stuff , I can throw you into the sea , haul you out by your the feet , whack you against the deck a few times and drive all the water out of your synthetic clothes. You will be badly bruised but dry and warm in minutes. The synthetics just dont hold water, cotton stays wet till next summer..
     
  10. Tiny Turnip
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    I should add, further to my post, that 'oilies' in the uk is a slang generic use for boating waterproofs, and no longer refers to the original oiled cotton/canvas.

    The guy cotten commercial (fishing) gear is mostly heavy weight non breatheable plastic of some sort, but they do have a range of materials.
     
  11. hoytedow
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    hoytedow wood butcher

    Thanks.
    That is much clearer to me now. :)
     
  12. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    I have crewed in races year round here in the Pacific Northwest, and do a lot of outdoor surveying in the woods year round as well, and I used to do a lot of mountaineering (when I was younger and in better shape). You can spend a lot of money for fancy gear but this is what I have found works well on the cheap.

    For under the waterproof layer all synthetic fleece, polyester and nylon fleeces are the best. Do not use any cotton, rayon or acrylic fleece (not even blends of these fibers). These absorb water and will chill you quickly. I find light poly pro or polyester long underwear with light fleece pants work best on the legs, the nylon or polyester running or warm up pants are about right (and cheap). And poly pro with medium to heavy weight polyester fleece up top, with a light long sleeve cotton/polyester turtle neck shirt between them (it makes a good wicking layer, there are also synthic fabrics designed for this fuction but these cost much more, and also work well).

    Wool socks are a must, or wool/nylon blend; nothing works as well as wool (no acrylic or cotton blends either, read the fiber content).

    For the outer shell I can not recommend anything better than Gore-tex or similar waterproof/breathable fabrics. I do not get insulated shells, but simple lined or unlined outer layer is light, comfortable and gives you flexibility on how you layer it up. I have found good quality long jackets/parkas at 2nd hand stores cheap, also on Craig's list or at garage sales/swap meets, etc. I own a really nice $400 North Face that I paid only $5 at a garage sale (the ski bum kid out grew it and it no longer fit him). A good parka will last you a long time, so no reason to scrip on it. Look for name brands with good reputations, even if you buy all your other gear from 3rd world manufacturers, do not buy a cheap parka. I have not found the built in hoods useful on a sailboat, you risk getting whacked in the head by gear because of your lack of peripheral vision. I like hoods for for hiking, skiing or even climbing, but not on a sailboat is rough weather. Make sure the parka fits good with plenty of room to move in it (I like putting it on with the fleece inner jacket and raise my arms over my head, swing them around, etc. If the jacket lifts up excessively or restricts my movement I reject it).

    I do not like too much fancy gadgets on my parka or other gear, the draw strings always get caught on things and many fasteners are hard to operate with gloves on. So keep it simple, or adjust the drawstrings and tie them up out of the way (or cut them off!).

    I have not found a good set of wind/rain pants I like (and I have bought a number of them, some quite expensive). The best thing I have found for rugged wear and excellent water proof is those relatively inexpensive construction work quality heavy duty bib coveralls with the elastic suspenders. With the overlap from the parka water will not get in even in heavy turbulent seas and waves.

    Rubber boots worn inside the rain pants finish it off. The tall heavy wet suit booties with tread souls also work well, but if it is really cold light hiking boots well water proofed work and are warmer. You can also close off the plant leg with duck tape if you felt it necessary, but I never have.

    The only problem with the cover all is if you get too hot it is not easy to ventilate, and you have to pull them all the way off to relieve yourself when nature calls. But they will keep you warm and dry in almost all conditions. I have not missed the breathable feature of the pants because your legs do not perspire much compared with your neck and torso. I have also owned rain paints with crotch zippers and side vent zips, these just add places to leak, fail and add cost. I have not found them useful since they are hard to operate in bad weather anyway.

    So the inexpensive heavy duty rain pant coverall have worked the best and are my favorite. If they get damaged beyond repair they are cheap to replace, but they are also much easier to fix, even with duck tape if necessary. Not true for the costly Gore-tex coveralls. I bought mine used for $4, I like them better than my $200 Mountain works bibs.

    The more zippers, pockets, flaps, openings, etc. the more places to leak or malfunction. Consider that if a zipper will not close because it is frozen or broken, in severe weather it could mean the difference between being comfortable and having an emergency because you get wet and loose all your body heat. Though a few large pockets are always handy, lots of them are not. As long as they have a good weather flap over all the zippers or fasteners, it should keep water out.

    I like wearing fingerless wool or neoprene gloves (cheap in fishing supply shops), with a warm torso these are good down to about freezing weather. Much below freezing, especially in a wind, you need to have all your skin covered, including your hands. The absolute best are the heavy duty snow boarding gloves with the large gauntlets. These allow you to tuck the jacket sleeve into the gauntlet to keep rain, snow and slush out. In large wave action putting the glove gauntlet under the jacket sleeve works well, and allows some ventilation. Even regular gore-Tex ski gloves with leather palms work well on a sail boat in cold weather. There are tons of these types of gloves made in the orient and can be purchased in ski and snow board shops cheap (and in 2nd hand stores too). Sailing gloves are nice but I think way over priced, and not as warm as the cheap gore-Tex ski gloves.

    The absolute best hat for sailing I have found is the all wool Greek fisherman hat. I have tried many hoods, hats and caps, and this one works the best. It is warm and will keep water off your head, it has just enough of a bill to keep rain and spray out of your eyes, but not so large a bill where your vision is blocked and you get whacked in the head (I have been whacked too many times trying out large brim hats or hoods in rain or rough weather, no thanks). For really severe weather the Norwegian type hat with the large floppy brim keeps water from going down your neck, but that is at the expense of having your upward and peripheral vision blocked.

    After spending over 40 years outdoors in all kind of conditions, this is what I have found works best. Good luck.
     
  13. Tim B
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Tim B Senior Member

    I don't do long passages in rough weather (I wonder why), but for inshore racing I have found the following to be useful.

    Shoes: I don't do enough to get exictable about footwear. Trainers are adequate, boots are better.

    Trousers: If Cold, sallopettes, if warm, waterproof walking trousers (with lining if medium temps). The important thing is that they are windproof.

    Top: Cotton T-shirt, syntetic warmth layer (if needed, preferably combined with outer jacket), waterproof jacket. I have a Regatta 3-in-1 jacket sold for hikers, and it really is good. Keep a few spare T-shirts down below, and if the one you're wearing gets wet, change it.

    Neck: Thick teatowel folded twice lengthways and wrapped around the neck. Don't overlook this, as criteria 1 for staying warm is staying dry.

    Sunglasses and peaked cap, regardless of weather. My sunglasses are wrap-around style and have lost the nose-pads, so they fit even closer to the face (which is good). Gloves are totally at the preference of the sailor, but for yachty and dinghy work, I like three-finger gloves.

    Cheers all,

    Tim B.
     
  14. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    My experience is similar to petros' and my gear comes from a hodgepodge of different sports. Next to the skin should be wool blends. I've never liked polypro, but know many others who do. I seem to have a skin allergy to detergents, and I think polypro exacerbates it. Only wool socks and only wool hat (get a big one, tight hats suck when you have a hood over them). Some Thinsulate in the hat okay. Wool blend long johns and tops. Then best quality expedition fleece. That is where you don't want to go cheap. I'd usually put on a "skin" windbreaker, then a parka. Forget anything breathable at sea level. At 3000m and up, its wonderful, but wasted expense on the sea. rain pants either a light waterproof backpackers style that is easy on/off over boots or bib type for really crappy weather. I usually pull an old pair of jams or board shorts on outside so my butt doesn't slide.
    I use the same glove system- half finger bikers' gloves (full leather palm, no sense of touch with wet, cold hands, so protect them, then grab and growl.), fleece over this (keep several pairs handy), and mitt overgloves that are totally waterproof for when you are just sitting there on standby. I use expedition gators to help keep my feet warm, because I have them, probably wouldn't buy them just for yachting, though. Harness goes on over all of this.
    If your bunk doesn't go squish when you jump in it, this should get you by.
     

  15. Tiny Turnip
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    On the headwear front, I'm very fond of the peaked beanie hats that are becoming more popular- snug and unlikely to blow off, with a peak to help keep the weather out of your eyes, and a fold down rim/cuff to keep your ears warm when necessary.

    [​IMG]
     
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