HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SAILING CLOTHING?

In order to fight the cold, heat, wind and moisture you must choose your sailing clothes carefully in accordance with the three-layer notion.

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Choosing your sailing clothes will be based on the three-layer system which you adapt to the weather conditions and how often you take to the water. The idea behind it is to equip you with several thicknesses of clothing to ensure very comfortable sailing and the possibility of removing layers as you wish.

BASE LAYER (OR LAYER 1)

Fitting you like a second skin, the base layer (or transfer layer) retains your body heat and keeps your skin dry by releasing perspiration. It’s a very important point! Sweat that’s not removed generates moisture and makes you feel unpleasantly cold. Whether it’s hot or cold, it’s essential to protect your body with this first fibre-rich technical layer that retains heat very well, providing great breathability without compromising movement. When it’s sunny, wear light clothing made of UV resistant fabrics that will protect you from the sun’s rays (polo shirt, sailing top, shorts or sailing Bermuda shorts,...)

MID-LAYER (OR LAYER 2)

This second layer must allow your body to stay at the right temperature, while also always enabling it to remove perspiration and moisture. It is made up of a water-repellent softshell and fleece that adjust to the intensity of the cold and wind to guarantee the thermal balance of your body.

– the fleece: light but ensures very good thermal insulation while also making the removal of perspiration easier. If the weather is changeable the water-repellent fleece features a membrane that will also protect you from the wind and rain!

– the Softshell jacket: insulating and water-repellent, it provides protection from drizzle. its windproof fabric means you can wear it as an outer layer (or third layer), weather permitting.

However, once it’s wet (rain, spray) it takes a long time to dry .

Sailor’s tip: forget cotton garments, well-known for absorbing perspiration, but which retain moisture. The same goes for woolen clothes which, when wet, take a long time to dry.

OUTER LAYER (OR LAYER 3)

The third and last layer is comprised of two items: a waterproof sailing jacket (fisherman’s smock, jacket or oilskin) and a salopette. Make sure they’re genuinely waterproof and breathable to guarantee that they’ll protect you as well as possible from moisture both from outside and inside.

Your choice of jacket will depend on weather conditions and the type of sailing you do:

- For occasional, recreational or fine weather sailing, go for an oilskin with a lower waterproofness rating (2 to 4 hours).

- For sailing in high seas, ensure you’re wearing a high waterproofness and breathability rating jacket, with a technical hood featuring a number of adjustment levels.

Don’t forget a waterproof salopette, an essential garment when sailing in poor or very difficult conditions. It will provide you with excellent protection from moisture while not compromising movement

SOME MORE ADVICE:

The body loses the most heat through its extremities! Don’t forget to round off your three-layer system with small but essential adjustable protective items. Here are a few ideas:

sailing gloves designed to protect your hands from rope burn and the cold. When it’s sunny in summer, opt for fingerless gloves. In winter, when it’s cold and raining, neoprene gloves are the best solution.

– a cap and sunglasses in sunny weather for on board sun protection.

– a water-repellent beanie hat in cold wet weather to keep you warm while out at sea. As much as 50% of your body heat can be lost through your head.

– suitable sailing shoes or boots to help keep your feet dry and save when moving around the deck and protecting you from any equipment that might fall on your feet.

Cécile

Watersports Specialist 

Forget woolen or cotton garments, well-known for absorbing perspiration, but which retain moisture!

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