What's been folks' experiences with dry and wet suits?

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Vermonter, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. Vermonter
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: Lake Champlain

    Vermonter Junior Member

    Warm weather is scarce here in VT.

    I have lots of experience with keeping myself from going hypothermic on land. I've played a bit on Mt. Washington, where it can drop 30 degrees in 30 minutes. I always give it lots of respect. Now that I'm interested in learning to sail I need to learn about the right clothes for being in the water if stuff happens. I'm a strong swimmer but I know that cold water can kill you fast. I'll mainly be on Lake Champlain where it can be a couple miles to shore.

    How cold can you realistically go with wet and dry suits?

    Anybody know sources for custom sized ones? I'm 6'4". XL-Tall almost fits, but for a jumpsuit type setup I really need to be fit by actual measurements.

    Thanks for any info. :)
     
  2. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    hah!!! seeing as I swim in tropical seas, albeit , my pool os 15c now!!
    dry suits, big hassle to get into, , but if I were you, I would go to the offshore oil industry to search, maybe you could even try the North Sea offshore supply and salvage industry, suggest email Bourbon ,in Norway and ask who supplies them, This is not a disrespectful, play on Bourbon, just that they are the only name to spring to mind
    To my way of thinking, there is nothing worse than a tight 8mm wetsuit, especially around the um er, thingies, It is suprising how much cold the body can tolerate, if one just wears a hood, in say 18 c waters,
    Come to think of it, sry suits are mandatory on all Barents fishing boats, so there you have many avenues to explore
     
  3. Poida
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Australia

    Poida Senior Member

    Scuba diving here we wear wetsuits.
    Drysuits are used in very cold water such as under ice diving.

    Wetsuits are named "wet" because they let the water in and in icy conditions you would probably be unconcious before the water warmed up.

    As lazyjack said you also have to consider what you can move about in on board.

    Poida
     
  4. Bergalia
    Joined: Aug 2005
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    Location: NSW Australia

    Bergalia Senior Member

    What's been folks' experience with dry and wet suits ?

    Dated by now Vermonter, but my crew and I managed to outfit ourselves with 'ex-Airforce' immersion suits from an Army Navy Stores back in the UK (roughly US$100 a piece - but that was umpteen years ago). Such items probably still exist - and are available as surplus gear to the public.
    Big bright orange things, rubber-coated cotton, roomy enough to cover thermal underwear and a couple of sweaters. They had built-in 'feet' which fitted snugly into boots, elasticated cuffs and hood (which pinched the face so that the eyes bulged - but kept the water out). Biggest problem was the huge rubber-sealed 'zip' which ran across the chest. The wearer would struggle into the lower section through the zipper opening - then drag the head and arms in, pulling the top section up and over. Then the hardest part was 'zipping' yourself in - usually requiring the strength of two men.
    However that said the suits proved damn near watertight, retained much of the body heat and allowed plenty of free movement.
    The next problem was getting out of them.
     
  5. yipster
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: netherlands

    yipster designer

    on a cruise ship protection differs from that of a small sailcat
    so type and size boat also determines your needs
    and livejackets usually are mandatory
     
  6. timgoz
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: SW PA USA

    timgoz Senior Member

    Mustang makes both jackets and full one piece suits. These are types that give mobility and can be worn while onboard. Survival suits give the longest cold water lifespan but are to cumbersome for regular wear.

    I have a Mustang jacket. They have built in floatation and are warm & rainproof.

    We used wetsuits when I was a whitewater river guide. That combined with a wind sheilding layer and some wool worked OK. I've taken a 1/4 mile swim in mid 30's F whitewater and am still here.

    Tim
     
  7. Bergalia
    Joined: Aug 2005
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    Location: NSW Australia

    Bergalia Senior Member

    What's been folks' experience with dry and wet suits ?


    We've only your word for that Tim? How do we know that you aren't Frosty in one of his many disguises hoping to sneak extra sympathy points....:)

    After all - if you spell your name backwards 'Zogmit' you get the Thai word for: "I am in fact Frosty in one of my many disguises hoping to sneak extra sympathy points...":(
     
  8. timgoz
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    timgoz Senior Member

    Actually "Zogmit" comes from a now extinct Thai dialect. Ooops, now how would I have known that? :eek:


    Back to clothing. The one piece Mustang float suits (not full survivor but general wear) are used by the govt. fisheries fellows on the Labrador Coast. At least when operating out of open boats. The water there, mid-summer, is never more than 35 F in the open sea.

    Tim
     
  9. Poida
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Poida Senior Member

    Yep Tim, if you can read this I'm still here.
     
  10. timgoz
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    timgoz Senior Member

    Max might have something to say about that. Are any of us really here?

    Tim
     
  11. Poida
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Poida Senior Member

    Spooky **** Tim
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. timgoz
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: SW PA USA

    timgoz Senior Member

    You are in the 3 digit club now. :)

    Tim
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. Bergalia
    Joined: Aug 2005
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    Location: NSW Australia

    Bergalia Senior Member

    What's been folks' experience with dry and wet suits ?

    Yes - happy birthday Poida. A 'ton' up..HM was on the phone earlier on wondering how to word her telegram...Did I think "Good on yer blue..." sounded suitably colonial....:)
     
  14. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    You'de think a man with 100 points would have an avatar.

    Errrrm I dont think the Queen would have the slightest interest in phoning an absconded sweaty living in Aus.
     

  15. the1much
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: maine

    the1much hippie dreams

    lmao,,,your in VT?,,new englanders dont scuba dive, thats why we build so many boats,,keep us on top of the water, less chance of drowning heh ; )
     
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