Cheap but decent cruising clothes

Startracker

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Van Isl.
For anyone looking for cheap cruising clothes, Moores for men has cheap but so far decent clothes.  Fully synthetic most with anti-smell additives.  I picked up a few sets back in mid February because I needed something cheap quick drying and comfortable for clambering around boats in the rain for hours in yards, cotton and being damp all the time wasn't cutting it.  So far the first set has survived 5 washes and drying in a hot dryer with no issues, worn for 3-4 days a set without noticeable odor issues like with some of the cheaper synthetics.  Long sleeve shirts for 8.99$, hoodies from 15$.   Clearing out from winter apparently, regular price seemed to be around 30-60$.  Cheaper than even Walmart, comfortable vs other cheap options, seem to be roughly on par with a synthetic long sleeve that cost me 50$ at Marks work warehouse.   

 

Jim in Halifax

Super Anarchist
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Nova Scotia
'Cheap' is a relative term. If you normally buy designer labels, Tilley Endurables are 'cheap' but well-made and oriented to travellers, sailors, etc. Personally I avoid "fully synthetic" clothing even if it has "anti-smell additive"...they're hot and they make me sweat. I have not experienced the issues with cotton that you describe but I don't live in rain forest British Columbia either.

 
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accnick

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Other than my foul weather gear, boat shoes, and seaboots, I pretty much wear the same thing while cruising that I do on shore.

Why wouldn't you?

 

Roam

Member
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The problem with cotton is that it stays wet. If you're day sailing not an issue, but if you spending weeks to years on your boat it gets to be a big deal. Except for a set of shore clothes I've removed all the cotton clothes from my boat.

 

Ajax

Super Anarchist
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Edgewater, MD
I typically buy Columbia. I buy it from discount outlets at steep discounts. My wife also has a loyalty account with them that reduces the price even further.

 

accnick

Super Anarchist
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The problem with cotton is that it stays wet. If you're day sailing not an issue, but if you spending weeks to years on your boat it gets to be a big deal. Except for a set of shore clothes I've removed all the cotton clothes from my boat.
Why are your clothes always wet? We spent six years living aboard during a circumnavigation, and it was pretty rare that anything other than my foul weather gear was wet from seawater.

Because of a chronic skin condition, I generally have to wear cotton next to my skin, at least on my upper body. This has never been problematic aboard the boat. I have a few hi-tech sailing overshirts and shorts that are part of racing crew gear, but I usually wear a cotton tee under those tops.

To me. it's about staying dry when sailing, the exception being day racing or day sailing, where it really doesn't matter.

 

Elegua

Generalissimo
I would never wear "tech" clothing on land, but I find the sport fishing gear - the UV hoodies, quick dry shorts - worthwhile when sailing.  Comfortable, cheaper than sailing brands. Just maybe avoid the digi-camo. :D

 
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toddster

Super Anarchist
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The Gorge
LOL.  I've been sifting through my closet, throwing out everything I haven't worn in a year.  Everything that's stained or ripped that I've saved "for painting" or "for farmwork."  Everything that will "fit pretty well once I have time to get back in shape."  The small selection that's left, by definition, is sailing clothes.  

I do have a couple of outfits of "tech" stuff.  No camo, though one fears there could be harmful effects from concentrating a critical mass of REI or Columbia stuff.  (Will one turn into an obnoxious dork? Oops, too late!) First because it packs down compactly into the bottom of a carry-on and I've had checked luggage go astray too many times on the way to field work.  And I keep a set packed in my go-bag.  

From time-to-time, I've seen ads for a reasonably compact but really expensive duffle bag full of techy layers that are supposed to be a universal wardrobe - allowing you to "operate" at a moment's notice in "any" climate on Earth. (I doubt that it includes Antarctic gear.). It's sort of what I'm aiming for. Though I tend to choose more brightly-colored stuff instead of black or drab, so as not to look too much like one of "those" guys.  

At least when world-traveling, I have found (imagined?) that it helps to have a couple of items with a sort of uniform-ey vibe to wear when meeting with local officials, or customs, or TV.  Including a pair of subdued leather-looking hiking shoes that can sorta pass if not examined too closely.  (Some places really don't like men in sandals.). Then one year I was in El Corte Englés and noticed that they were pushing a line of kids back-to-school clothes that looked exactly like what I was wearing!  I think they were actually called "Antarctic Research" or something like.  :p :rolleyes: :D

 
Canadian Tire has excellent non-marking rubber boots for $40, with removable liners for the cooler season, will last for years in a marine environment. If you catch a sale @ Marks it's hard to beat Viking or Stormtech for cheap foul weather gear - cheaper even than a fisheries supplier if you just want solid rubbers. Weekday perusals of local thrift stores have netted me a lifetimes worth of high-end pure wool sweaters & shirts for around $5/pop, also where I buy all my technical layers these days but I prefer wool over synthetics in general. It's always amazing what people will just throw away.

There's a lot to be said about applying dirtbag climber lifestyle tricks and saving the cash for where it actually matters. Certainly nobody in their 30's is getting into this without doing so now, unless they're already loaded, after this many decades of extreme wage stagnation and skyrocketing cost inflation.

 

Fah Kiew Tu

Curmudgeon, First Rank
10,110
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Tasmania, Australia
Why are your clothes always wet? We spent six years living aboard during a circumnavigation, and it was pretty rare that anything other than my foul weather gear was wet from seawater.

Because of a chronic skin condition, I generally have to wear cotton next to my skin, at least on my upper body. This has never been problematic aboard the boat. I have a few hi-tech sailing overshirts and shorts that are part of racing crew gear, but I usually wear a cotton tee under those tops.

To me. it's about staying dry when sailing, the exception being day racing or day sailing, where it really doesn't matter.
This. I rarely get wet on my boat. Got decent wet weather gear and use it.

I used to have a ton of synthetic cold weather thermals et al because that's what I got issued for work. Came to hate the stuff, the humidity is so low in the Antarctic that you'd get zaps off of everything, skin dried and broke out, life was a LOT more comfortable with cotton against my skin.

Nowadays I wear long sleeve cotton tees for UV protection & an extra short one under if it's cold. Then whatever on top - I still have a Navy jumper with the shoulder pads/elbow reinforcements plus the greasy wool jumper.

Bottoms - track pants work. Salopettes over the top if it's needed. Got 2 different jackets aboard, the light weight one for spray & wind protection and the big red jacket with inflation cartridge, webbing & D ring for when the weather gets really shitty.

I do have Polarfleece beanies, neck warmers and balaclava for colder weather sailing to keep my head warm. The work issue sheepskin sledging cap is a bit overkill.

Works for me where I sail. Somewhere else, something different.

FKT

 

Roam

Member
103
47
Why are your clothes always wet? We spent six years living aboard during a circumnavigation, and it was pretty rare that anything other than my foul weather gear was wet from seawater.

Because of a chronic skin condition, I generally have to wear cotton next to my skin, at least on my upper body. This has never been problematic aboard the boat. I have a few hi-tech sailing overshirts and shorts that are part of racing crew gear, but I usually wear a cotton tee under those tops.

To me. it's about staying dry when sailing, the exception being day racing or day sailing, where it really doesn't matter.
I get wet primarily from taking the dinghy to shore. Since I tend to live on anchor and beach my dinghy when cruising, I'm always getting wet.

It's a major issue keeping the salt off the skin and the inside of the boat so one of the must do tasks this summer is to install pressurized water for showering in the cockpit.

 

accnick

Super Anarchist
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It's a major issue keeping the salt off the skin and the inside of the boat so one of the must do tasks this summer is to install pressurized water for showering in the cockpit.
That is a good idea. Every boat should have one.

If you are in the tropics, and go in the water, you really need a way to wash down on deck. In the short run, one of those Sunshower bags will work.

 

Roam

Member
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47
I have a sunshower bag which I regularly use to wash the salt water off my feet before entering the boat. I'm almost embarrassed to mention that I only went snorkeling once after spending 3 months in the Bahamas because dealing with the salt was such an issue.

To get back on topic, getting the salt out of and drying synthetic clothes is much easier than keeping cotton clean and dry.

 

Startracker

Member
407
107
Van Isl.
Why are your clothes always wet? We spent six years living aboard during a circumnavigation, and it was pretty rare that anything other than my foul weather gear was wet from seawater.

Because of a chronic skin condition, I generally have to wear cotton next to my skin, at least on my upper body. This has never been problematic aboard the boat. I have a few hi-tech sailing overshirts and shorts that are part of racing crew gear, but I usually wear a cotton tee under those tops.

To me. it's about staying dry when sailing, the exception being day racing or day sailing, where it really doesn't matter.
I'm in a similar boat, many synthetics, usually the cheaper ones are uncomfortable, I wish I could wear merino wool but no matter what I've tried, or how much it cost like ice-breaker stuff wearing it next to skin feels like a hair shirt.  Can't do it.  I like cotton, if I were in warm areas I might feel differently, but then again maybe not.  However with the damp rainy climate this stuff is amazing.   As a bonus a rinse in the sink and hang to dry and it's good to wear next day even here.   As a bonus if I have a period of sustained effort it seems to breathe better and certainly dries faster.  I was always pretty anti synthetics until recently.  

@Jim in Halifax Rain or shine, when I'm uninjured I'm in boatyards 4-6 days a week crawling around boats.  Doesn't matter how good the rain gear is cotton = wet eventually, if the rain gear is sealed up tight and waterproof it gets wet from the inside out.  I would say this stuff compares very favourably(it's better) than most of the more expensive stuff I used to buy from Marks work warehouse.  I have a few merino shirts I've tried to love, but just don't no matter how much they get washed they are itchy, price didn't seem to matter either in that regard, just one merino shirt cost the same as 10 of these..  I was always a cotton base layer person regardless of what I was doing or the weather.  Synthetics stunk, they got clammy etc.  These so far are better than my usual choices.  

@Bull City The ones I bought the most of kind of look like a Henley shirt.  3 buttons by the collar, long sleeves.   I'll take a picture next time I remember.  High fashion they are not, but for <10$, and a far better quality than my usual 7$ Walmart cotton shirts that last a few washes before getting distorted, good value for the $.

 
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Ajax

Super Anarchist
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Edgewater, MD
I should have added that I keep wool socks and sweaters aboard along with the Columbia clothing.

@Startracker I don't wear the wool against my skin. I wear the Columbia synthetics to wick any moisture away from my skin and the wool sweater over that for warmth, then good foulies over that. My legs typically don't get cold but if I feel that I need an additional layer on my legs I wear Columbia synthetic thermals, then Columbia pants then foulie bibs. 

The wool sweaters and foulies were the expensive part of the kit not the under layers. Wool sweaters will last for years as middle layers, and if you hand wash them.

Columbia makes some good water repellent pants that are a little thicker and warmer. I wear those in the fall/winter/spring. I wear the thinner zip-off pants in the summer because they convert into shorts.

Where I'm lacking, is sea boots. I'm wearing a set of West Marine wellies that are 1/2 size too small. They are dry but thin, uninsulated and not very durable. I will spring for a set of Dubarry's or at least Helly Hansen at some point.

 

cyclone

Super Anarchist
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678
Maine
I literally live in long sleeve LL Bean Tropicwear shirts all summer. Roll up sleeves, lightweight, secure pockets, good ventilation and comfortable with or without a synthetic or wool mix T shirt. I’m lucky to be near an outlet that has steep discounts during sales. 

 

robtoujours

Anarchist
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Somewhere
Luckily I don't mind merino for base layers. There does seem to be some brand variation. I've found Icebreaker to be smoother on the skin. 

For cheapo foulies I like the standard Guy Cotten waterproofs that commercial fishermen use. It's not yottie but they are tough, they work and they are cheap.

I also have some Henri Lloyd offshore foulies for offshore racing and cruising but tbh they spend most of their time in a vacuum bag.

Cotton duck trousers are good. 

Watersports/surfing gear is good to have, like a couple of rash vests for out and about, board shorts, neoprene tops and pants, shorty wetsuit, etc. 

For knocking around in the yard just any old worn out clothes but I always have a couple of Tyvek suits to put over them. 

 




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