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brishear

Rant - Women's Offshore Gear

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First off I want to thank Gill for making an effort to produce women's gear. They seem to be the only ones using their top rated material on such a thing. Having said that, here's a review of my OS2 jacket 2 years in. (I know it's not the top of the line but it's what the pocketbook allows). First off, why why why would you ever put the sticky velcro side anywhere near someone's hair, let alone on a women's jacket. The "sticky" velcro side of the closure is on the inside of the hood, so when raised anything and everything gets tangled. Next up, I think jacket shoulders should be reinforced with some sort of cover. Mine are tore up from harnesses. After 2 years, the jacket has become more of a water sponge than a repellant. I suppose this is to be expected with age, and I will try and use one of the conditioning detergents. Anyone had any success? I tried on the boss' Musto and I think I will be saving my pennies (for a while) to upgrade. However, they don't offer their top of the line jacket in a women's version. The tall neck makes it difficult to look down and see anything but fleece. No problem when steering but try solving deck problems! I guess there aren't enough women offshore to warrant their own line....ladies?

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So, let´s talk about boots....

 

We yesterday evening had a discussion with several ladies about sailing boots. It seems to be impossible to purchase top of the line (gore tex) products in sizes smaller than EU40 / US6. So my girlfriend is always grumbling about cold and wet feet - especially sitting virtually motionless at the helm....., making every trip a nightmare ;-)

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Well, as a watch leader I get up every once in a while to look around, thanks ;). Dubarry makes women's sizes, but they are pricey. I just add sock layers to my old standby rubbers.

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You might e-mail Sally at Pineapple Sails in Alameda (San Francisco Bay). They are our local Musto (and Dubarry) dealer and owners Sally and husband Kame are lifelong sailors. If Sally can't give you some direct help at least she'll have a sympathetic ear.

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Sperry had a mid-price women's boot which they used to sell through West Marine, but they were recently discontinued. Manufacturer's seem to think that boots are unisex I guess. My daughter's Helly Hanson women's foulies seem to serve her well.

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I just bought a pair of women's Sperry boots, have only worn them twice but like them so far. Velcro has gotten stuck on lines a little, but hasn't been too big of a deal yet. Altrec.com has them on clearance right now, I think they are starting to run out of sizes, but $70 boots for less than $40 isn't bad. This is the pair I bought, http://www.altrec.com/sperry-top-sider/womens-son-r-bearing-bootie

they have some others on sale as well. Would love to have continuing conversation on women's sailing gear! I'll be shopping for a spray top soon, any recommendations? Have only been sailing in warmer weather, but now I'm getting more into racing and will be needing some foul weather gear.

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Bought my girlfriend sealskin socks. Now she never complains about cold feet...

 

+2. Work in any environment where you aren't constantly immersing your ankle (no real top seal).

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Gill does good spray tops, and is fine for racing around the buoys. Also decent offshore jackets for the price. I used mine to death though and I will be switching to Musto as soon as they make an HPX series for women. The cuffs on the men's are gorilla sized. The MPX series comes in women's sizes, but I think the top level is worth it. I use plain old gill rubber boots and they are fine with socks.

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A year and a half later, has anything improved? I find myself with a sudden need for offshore gear - sailing from Oregon to San Francisco in a few weeks - and I have sacrificed brain cells to the internet for days and days and days and found almost nothing. I'm 5'2", 117, shoe size 6 - too small for the men's/unisex sizes, too beamy for the youth sizes. Even the few companies that make women's gear (Gill, Helly Hansen, West Marine) seem to think I should be at least 5 inches taller for a size S or XS. I'm trying some Henri Lloyd salopettes this evening and I hope they fit, cos after that, I'm out of options.

 

Most of the offshore boots suggested around these parts don't come small enough, or have been discontinued. At a minimum, I would like something that will keep me warm and stave off trenchfoot for a week or two. Thoughts on the Gill yacht boots, Sperry Searacer or Dubarry Shamrock? (I am kind of kidding on the Dubarrys; I don't have the money no matter how "worth it" they are. But those are the only three offshore boots I've found in my size, anywhere in the whole world.) Should I just get some Bogs and pile on the wool socks and call it good enough?

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Lots of kayak gear for women do some digging that was just an example

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The Gill reproofing spray does work quite well to bring back that nice water repellent beadiness.

 

As a 6'5 skinny guy, I have my own problems finding gear that fits. I have to wear XL gill gear just to get my shoulders to fit and length enough to cover my torso. My arms still stick out way too far and I could fit another person in the mid section :D So annoying!

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A good gear service can modify anything. As a skinny guy, I had tucks taken out of my Musto MPX and then retaped. Also added more velcro. Not cheap, but hey, now its freaking perfect. Gear is like boats, gotta tweak it.

Wasn't that long ago people had to buy frostline kits for their goretex gear and sleeping bags to make it at home.

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