Winter Sailing Kit
Here is the information that we published in the October 2019 Starboard Tack newsletter. Please contact any member of the committee, or speak to the regular sailors if you need more information.
We've had lots of questions about winter sailing kit. In the hope of prompting much debate at lunchtime on Sunday about what not to wear, here is some information. If you have any questions, please ask as lots of members have views on what works for them and some experimentation will be needed to find the right kit combination for you.
Club By-Law 22 states; Full wetsuits, dry-suits or sailing clothing of an appropriate thermally insulating nature must be worn whilst sailing or on safety boat duty between 1st November and 31st March.
What this means is that you need to be wearing kit suitable for winter temperatures. Shortie wetsuits, sailing sandals and short sleeves are not considered suitable kit for winter sailing.
Staying as dry as possible in the winter is important, once you are wet the thermal insulating properties of most clothing is reduced. Don't get wet & you will stay warmer - so launch your boat carefully & use the jetties.
Here's a suggested kit list. Buying sailing kit can be expensive but it doesn't need to be, improvise, borrow kit from other outdoor sports you do, check out the second hand boards and don't forget Santa is always looking for present suggestions.
Feet: Sailing boots - either wetsuit or the aigle "wellie" style.
Body: Keeping your torso warm means the rest of you will stay warm.
Wetsuit or Drysuit: Think about what sort of sailing you plan to do. If you plan to sail short races and return to shore between races then a drysuit is a brilliant option. If you plan to be out on the water for a prolonged period (eg big water sailing or squad training) think about the more practical aspects of a wetsuit (I'm not going to spell it out but it rhymes with see...).
Drysuit: A drysuit is a fully waterproof suit which keeps you dry.
Wetsuit: A wetsuit ideally needs to be winter weight (so at least 5mm thick). A wetsuit works best once it is wet as it traps a layer of water between the fabric & your skin and this warms up. A dry wetsuit acts as insulation but is not as warm as other materials next to your skin.
Head: You lose up 30% of your body heat through your head. A hat makes a massive difference.
Hands: Keeping hands warm is difficult, sailing needs you to have hands that work.
There are lots of sailing suppliers out there and there is a large pile of second hand kit for sale in the bosun's locker too - just ask a committee member for the key. Here's a list of local and internet based suppliers, there are lots more.
Mike Saul is a club member. He mainly does boat repairs but carries a range of chandlery & kit. http://www.dinghy-services.co.uk/
Robin Hood Watersports (a shop in Heckmondwike): http://www.roho.co.uk/
Ian Turnbull Rope4Boats: www.rope4boats.co.uk
Rooster Sailing (Fareham): www.roostersailing.com
Pinnell & Bax (Northampton): www.pinbax.com
Trident UK: www.tridentuk.com
Wetsuit Outlet: www.wetsuitoutlet.com
Winter Sailing & Young Sailors: Keeping very young children warm when afloat in winter is a challenge as they typically don't move around as much. Pick your days to take them out (rain, high winds and ice on the water aren't the days) but winter sailing is quite fun for children as it's usually quieter and winds can be lighter.
Last updated 18:03 on 6 September 2023