bgytr

New foulies?

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Ive had Henri Lloyd ocean gear, got before my 1st Transatlantic in 1997. So after 22yrs I need to get new gear.  It has been awesome gear and I want new stuff on par with that, no compromises.

So what are some opines on quality ocean grade gear nowadays?

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Whatever you go with, make sure its Gore-tex.... nothing else compares fabric wise.  The prices of all of it have gone through the roof on most brands, your wallet will feel much lighter after this round.  

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my next kit will be from the Mustang Meris line.  I've heard very good things about it.

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I was dissapointed with my last set of Henri Lloyd foulies (now ~4 years old). The grey layer on the inside has started to wear off in high friction areas like the crotch - i'm not sure how waterproof they really are anymore.

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My 8 yr old Musto jacket lost its inner liner, and I got my ass soaked a few weeks ago. It just disintegrated. I'm in the market too.

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i'm using gul... not too expensive, keeps me dry and breathes. (sailing mostly coastal and short offshore)

trousers need replacement within 3 years for me... (no matter what brand, after 2-3 years they start leaking in the crotch area)

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HH Aeger Ocean Series - My shit is always dry when the HPX guys are soggy. If you don't have boots with gaiters, that's a must as well, especially if you go forward of the mast.

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I have been looking for a new set of offshore foul weather gear for a while.   I had a set of HL Ocean Pros that lasted a long time (30 years.)   As far as I can tell, fabrics using Gore-tex are a fraction of the longevity of the prior gear.   They will be dryer for 4-6 years, then the membrane will start breaking down and then it is all-she-wrote, done for waterproofness.

Since HL is being restructured, I am not certain the quality of their current production is at the same level as two years ago.   Likewise, I hear stories about Zhik ocean gear that just falls apart after a year.

This is a pretty healthy chunk of change to drop on foul weather gear, and I will make my choice carefully this fall.

- Stumbling

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Fairly unimpressed with my SLAM bib pants. They soaked through in a rain squall on about the 12th time I wore them.

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25 minutes ago, stumblingthunder said:

I have been looking for a new set of offshore foul weather gear for a while.   I had a set of HL Ocean Pros that lasted a long time (30 years.)   As far as I can tell, fabrics using Gore-tex are a fraction of the longevity of the prior gear.   They will be dryer for 4-6 years, then the membrane will start breaking down and then it is all-she-wrote, done for waterproofness.

Since HL is being restructured, I am not certain the quality of their current production is at the same level as two years ago.   Likewise, I hear stories about Zhik ocean gear that just falls apart after a year.

This is a pretty healthy chunk of change to drop on foul weather gear, and I will make my choice carefully this fall.

- Stumbling

that's why i buy the relatively cheap stuf... so it doesn't hurt too much if i replace it after 2-3 years. (full gul suit costs 1/3 or less than musto)

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4 minutes ago, Nice! said:

Fairly unimpressed with my SLAM bib pants. They soaked through in a rain squall on about the 12th time I wore them.

it's italian... it stops the wind but not the water.... (you shouldn't sail when it's raining according to the italians, i guess...)

 

i tried one of their tops.... a wool sweater would have been more efficient...

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14 minutes ago, daan62 said:

it's italian... it stops the wind but not the water.... (you shouldn't sail when it's raining according to the italians, i guess...)

 

i tried one of their tops.... a wool sweater would have been more efficient...

that's how it stops the wind - the water fills in the pores in the fabric and stops the air from moving through. 

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4 minutes ago, mustang__1 said:

that's how it stops the wind - the water fills in the pores in the fabric and stops the air from moving through. 

conclusion: do not buy slam if you expect wet situations! 

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my experience with Gore-tex is that it lasts better than 4-6 years BUT you need to take care of it - that is, rinse it with warm fresh water after regattas to keep the surface clean. it stops working when the pores get clogged. I've got a jacket that is still as waterproof as the day I bought it, well over the 6 year limit.

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my personal  experience is that nothing works if you get them stuck in a spinnaker sheet winch  and have to cut the jacket  to 1. free yourself 2. drop the kite ;-)

 

free advice

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Believe it or not, Goretex or any other porous variation is not the best material for foulies that are worn in salt water.  If you're on a multi-day trip and don't rinse them between every use and instead hang them in a wet locker allow the salt water to dry, then the salt crystals clog the pores and you lose the breathability of the fabric.  Then because of the sweat/moisture buildup, you think your foulies are leaking...

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As coincidence would have it a new line of Henri Lloyd just came out last week.  It is in white a bit like the Line 7 gear from back in the stone age

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I bought a Henri-Lloyd jacket in Plymouth just before the start of the TwoStar race. I had spent the whole delivery trip going sailing over for the start of the race patching, sewing, and recoating seams of my old jacket and was so cold and miserable that I spent the last of my cash on the nicest offshore jacket I could afford. The next day I was working in the cockpit of the tiny trimaran and the new jacket was sitting at the end of the cockpit still in its wrapper. A Henri-Lloyd sale rep walked by and saw it and asked where I had bought my new 'Jumper'.

     I didn't know what he was talking about and he said something further about my new 'kit'. I finally figured out he was talking about the foul weather jacket and told him the chandlery where I had spent my last few bucks. He asked if I had paid VAT (which I did...) and he said that I had that coming back to me and he would give me some forms to fill out to help get that money back since I wasn't a local. He asked where my 'Bib' was and I was stumped again.  I was in fact trying to reseal my old bottoms of my gear and he pointed at them and asked why I didn't get the matching Henri-Lloyd bib. I told him I was more worried about cold N Atlantic seawater going down my neck than up my trouser cuffs. He just laughed and said he would be back.

     About 5 minutes later he walk back down the dock with an older distinguished looking gent in tow and introduces him as Mr Lloyd. He explained how I had foregone the bib for the higher priced Offshore Jacket and had some VAT money due to me. I still hadn't figured out who the kind old fellow was but he invited me to take a short stroll with him so up we went to the parking lot. He opens the door to a beautiful chocolate brown Rolls Royce sedan with engraved rear quarter window that read 'Henri-Lloyd'. He said, 'Let's take a short drive...'

    I slid in the left side door thinking I was going to get a chance to drive a Rolls but then realized it was the passenger seat. When Henri got behind the wheel on the other side I started to have qualms about our 'little drive'. He merely cruised to the other side of the parking lot to where there was a big trailer truck (lorry) with the Henri-Lloyd logo on it and they were hauling out boxes of gear for the big weekend boat show for the start of the TwoStar events. He disappeared into the truck and came back out and handed me the top of the line bib with a smile. I was so grateful until I got back to the boat and saw that the Ocean Bib was far better than my hardwon Offshore Jacket. The sale rep guy came around and offered to go to the chandlery to ensure I got my credit for the VAT paid and when we got there he just suggested to the merchant that they upgrade me to the Ocean jacket and we forgot about the VAT thing. 

    Made the race almost bearable.

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9 minutes ago, lamorak said:

Believe it or not, Goretex or any other porous variation is not the best material for foulies that are worn in salt water.  If you're on a multi-day trip and don't rinse them between every use and instead hang them in a wet locker allow the salt water to dry, then the salt crystals clog the pores and you lose the breathability of the fabric.  Then because of the sweat/moisture buildup, you think your foulies are leaking...

still seems to work well enough for  the volvo and vendee teams. 

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23 minutes ago, mustang__1 said:

still seems to work well enough for  the volvo and vendee teams. 

Not really, I've been involved with both Vendee and Volvo teams streamlining their base layers, mid layers, and outer shells. The volvo teams carry extras and tend to throw away 2, sometimes 3 sets per person per leg for the reason's I stated.

I worked with 2 of the teams on the last version, and on the southern ocean and arctic legs they only carried 1 extra set per person on board, and only used the spares in the case of damage.  Some legs, they combined spares and carried 1/2 the amount. 

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I have the Zhink Isotak 2 and i am very happy all though a little warm for Florida  

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Just for the record Henri Lloyd was two guys not one guy named Henri Lloyd.  " Mr Lloyd " was probably Angus Lloyd.

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Fear not, because you are way ahead of me.  All I ever did was give those guys money.

Nice gear though.  I still have mine.

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Wow sounds like gear quality has really dropped. Bummer.  My ol `97 Henri Lloyds were awesome for 20+ years. Wtf?

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Hey, 

I have a Decathlon Ocean Smock (LINK) that I regularly use for SF Bay Area Inshore & Offshore racing. It's only 1 yr old but so far I'm super happy with it. It's holding up nicely and doesn't break the bank. I do bow btw, so I'm usually well sprayed :D

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4 hours ago, lamorak said:

Not really, I've been involved with both Vendee and Volvo teams streamlining their base layers, mid layers, and outer shells. The volvo teams carry extras and tend to throw away 2, sometimes 3 sets per person per leg for the reason's I stated.

I worked with 2 of the teams on the last version, and on the southern ocean and arctic legs they only carried 1 extra set per person on board, and only used the spares in the case of damage.  Some legs, they combined spares and carried 1/2 the amount. 

This sounds like an advertisement for Grundens.

I just picked up a Mustang Survival 6.5 drysuit. The material, zippers, and construction appear as good as or better than my six year old Musto HPX gear. I just have to get used to the Seal Team 6 black look.

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One of the Volvo ocean race guys was asked this question a few years ago, his reply was new stuff it all fails within a few years... 

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1 hour ago, Sparrow50 said:

This sounds like an advertisement for Grundens.

I just picked up a Mustang Survival 6.5 drysuit. The material, zippers, and construction appear as good as or better than my six year old Musto HPX gear. I just have to get used to the Seal Team 6 black look.

The milspec gortex only comes in one colour!

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Having tried expensive gear I've gone back to cheap, nothing can take the hammering  of tacking every minute or so for 3-4 hours each day of sailing.  I look for wear capablity not ultimate protection as sea sailing we aren't. Additional layers are required for warmth when it's snowing..

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I've had coastal musto stuff that lasted a couple of years, then some cheap rooster stuff that was waterproof but pretty basic, then some gill stuff that's ok. Best thing I ever bought was a basic gill smock, have barely worn my jacket since. And my zhik boots, they are the bomb.com. 

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Aegis gear from Helly Hansen.  Salopettes are more insulative than most and cuffed elastic which go over the duberry sailboots.  They are comfortable and dry.

Keeping the gear clean does make for longer lasting but with every manufacturer in the book on my "worn" list they all breakdown after 2 or 3 years.  The crotches start to leach water and jackets more so around the collar where the seams take a beating and tend to wear.  

I have even found that wearing a storm jacket or torrent shell from Patagonia with layers underneath makes for a better fit and if the jacket is new and clean, I stay dry.  Not big on the hoods that Henri Lloyd incorporated in their offshore jackets.  

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I have the decathlon Ocean 900 stuff - pretty happy with it at 60 north. Like others say happy to replace it frequently forthe price I paid.

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10 hours ago, Irish River said:

The milspec gortex only comes in one colour!

Sure, but I know a couple places where you can get some for free. 

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Aegis Helly Hansen are comfortable and insulated.  I would venture a guess that after 2 or 3 years almost all gear becomes "gortex saturated".  Meaning no more dry ass sitting on the rail.

I have used Henri LLoyd, Gill, Atlantis, and see the same results.  After a few years even after cleaning them and hang drying they seem to leach water in the collar and the pants in the seat.  I have found wearing a Torrentshell Patagonia jacket with enough layers is just as good and fits better.  The hood arrangement is more of a fit as well.  Again, after years they all suck...

 

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I have been using Musto for the past 15 years or so.  I have used both the MPX and HPX gear.  I find I get about 6 years out of them before they need to be replaced barring any sort of catastrophic damage.  The issue as someone mentioned above is not that the gear starts leaking it is that it stops breathing.  Once it stops breathing it might as well leak as it all ends the same with you wet and cold. I had a Gill off shore Jacket a long time back it worked fine but musto just fits and works better ergonomically for me

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In the old days you'd have semipermeable material, treat it with a water repellent and repeat when necessary. 

Goretex is amazing but needs to be cleaned and gently laundered to last. As others have said, it becomes saturated by salt over time and the wetness you're feeling is actually largely your own perspiration unable to escape then dissolving the salt. It is the worst feeling but can be delayed by good dockside washing. 

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1 hour ago, proOC said:

Aegis Helly Hansen are comfortable and insulated.  I would venture a guess that after 2 or 3 years almost all gear becomes "gortex saturated".  Meaning no more dry ass sitting on the rail.

I have used Henri LLoyd, Gill, Atlantis, and see the same results.  After a few years even after cleaning them and hang drying they seem to leach water in the collar and the pants in the seat.  I have found wearing a Torrentshell Patagonia jacket with enough layers is just as good and fits better.  The hood arrangement is more of a fit as well.  Again, after years they all suck...

 

Is that recent experience?  My '97 era Henri Lloyd ocean gear lasted a couple decades, just the last couple years really started to lose it.

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47 minutes ago, bgytr said:

Is that recent experience?  My '97 era Henri Lloyd ocean gear lasted a couple decades, just the last couple years really started to lose it.

I have 5-6 year old HL stuff that I treat like shit (often balled up on the boat, or crammed into a sailing bag) and it's still holding up great.  It is mid-level gear from a discontinued line called something like "Shockwave".

I don't think they are distributed in the US anymore?

A lot of people on our boat have been disappointed with Helly Hansen (again probably mid-level gear).  A lot also like cheap to mid-level Gill (OS2).

 

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1 hour ago, bgytr said:

Is that recent experience?  My '97 era Henri Lloyd ocean gear lasted a couple decades, just the last couple years really started to lose it.

The Lloyd gear was from 10+ years ago.  It wore pretty well but still waned at the end.

I will find out about the HH stuff soon enough....

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3 hours ago, Alex W said:

I have 5-6 year old HL stuff that I treat like shit (often balled up on the boat, or crammed into a sailing bag) and it's still holding up great.  It is mid-level gear from a discontinued line called something like "Shockwave".

I don't think they are distributed in the US anymore?

A lot of people on our boat have been disappointed with Helly Hansen (again probably mid-level gear).  A lot also like cheap to mid-level Gill (OS2).

 

'(often balled up on the boat, or crammed into a sailing bag)': how else to transport/ stow it? 

on a dragon there are not to many lockers/ when you take your spraytop of you just toss it in the front of the boat or stuff it in a bag

but most probably the worst is UV and salt! (i rinse suit and boots when rinsing the boat and do not let my leather dubarry boots dry in the sun)

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On 6/5/2019 at 4:54 AM, Irish River said:

The milspec gortex only comes in one colour!

There is about 5 days out of the year that black gore tex is tolerable in Florida daylight.

- Stumbling

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On 6/5/2019 at 1:00 AM, Murphness said:

HH Aeger Ocean Series - My shit is always dry when the HPX guys are soggy. If you don't have boots with gaiters, that's a must as well, especially if you go forward of the mast.

that's not entirely my recollection........

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On 6/13/2019 at 12:09 AM, mylespe said:

that's not entirely my recollection........

Right - Forgot about using your crewmates as water shields strategy.

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On 6/4/2019 at 1:18 PM, stumblingthunder said:

IAs far as I can tell, fabrics using Gore-tex are a fraction of the longevity of the prior gear.

Gore-Tex is fine, nothing wrong with it but it is not the perfect, miraculous super-fabric many people claim it to be. Like everything else it is a compromise; so pick your poison, and don’t be seduced into paying insane amounts.

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