Tips for cold weather dinghy sailing?

bluelaser2

Member
445
82
CLE
Over the years I have tried wetsuit under foulies, wetsuit w / neoprene boots and gloves, longjohns and goretex, etc.

Nothing beats the drysuit, midthickness fleece under, wool socks, goretex gloves with poly liners, and a fleece or neoprene cap.

 

wrybread

New member
Is anyone wearing fleece over a wetsuit? In other words, would a fleece jacket help after being submerged in water for a minute?

I'd love to add a warmth layer between my wetsuit and my wind breaker on really cold days.

 

cavi

Member
237
0
Red Bluff Ca
I have been sailing every friday here, most days we start out sailing in 35 degree weather. I have been wearing a farmer john style wet suit, with nrs kayak pants over the wet suit. Gill hiking boots which have neoprene in them. I wear an underarmour heat shirt over the wetsuit and a goretex windbreaker over the top. Zhik life vest, and gill winter gloves. sometimes a thermal beanie. Seems to work good!! I do launch from the beach so I do get wet to my knees all the time

 

dogwatch

Super Anarchist
16,877
1,581
South Coast, UK
Sailed at Queen Mary"s outside of London in March and everyone was wearing steamers. Limited entry wetsuits that were smooth not fabric outside. Drysuits were not allowed for once ripped they were compromised.
Really? I've never heard of a British sailing club that doesn't allow drysuits.

 

amtdys

New member
39
2
ny
First season frostbiting on LIS. Went with kokatat gore tex drysuit and it's been worth every cent (on sale here: http://www.kayakproshop.com/Kok_GFER.html). I wear thermals with fleece top/pants, a pair of smartwool socks under the goretex booties, and the zhik dinghy boots on top. Last week the temp was in the 30's and my feet were warm until the very end, and even then only became mildly cool. Now that the gear situation is under control, I can devote my energies to figuring out how not to get my ass kicked every week.

 

jwlbrace

Super Anarchist
1,245
1
A34 - due south
Sailed at Queen Mary"s outside of London in March and everyone was wearing steamers. Limited entry wetsuits that were smooth not fabric outside. Drysuits were not allowed for once ripped they were compromised.
Really? I've never heard of a British sailing club that doesn't allow drysuits.

I guess that's one way to get up the Bloody Mary rankings if it is true, simply protest anyone in a drysuit. Must be half the fleet out of the running then.....

 

fastyacht

Super Anarchist
12,928
2,596
Water in the 50s is easy. Water in the 40s is tougher. Water in the 30s is extreme.

Most people never keep their hands warm enough. Lots of wool and windproof over top will keep your body warm if you are active right down into the 40s even wet. But your hands will give up and your feet too. You need thick thick warm layers on the feet--preferably a drysuit with wool socks inside.

For hands, you need thick windproof ski gloves with an insulation that works wet. The thin neoprene gloves are useless. Rubber gloves under are also useless. There might be dive gloves that work now?

(In college 25 years ago, I outlasted drysuit and wetsuit sailors in one regatta merely because I wore effective gloves and heavy warm wool socks in my boots while others were wearing silly "winter sailing" gloves)

 
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USA 007

Anarchist
931
174
Lake Lanier, GA
The problem with sailing in wetsuits is that they are designed to stay in the water. Once you get them wet and exposed, evaporation and wind chill sets in.

The Zhik SuperWarm and Steamer suits are designed to not absorb water and have an outer waterproof/windproof layer. They are essentially a flexible drysuit. The material consists of four layers - a fleece inner, followed by a titanium layer to reflect the heat back towards the body, a 3mm neoprene layer, and a waterproof/windproof outer skin. The seams are also taped and sealed.

If you walk into the water, or fall in, you will feel the water migrate up the cuffs and ankles (it doesn't have latex seals like a dry suit), but you will not feel the water permeate through the cloth like a typical wetsuit.

Last weekend I waded out in the water up to my neck, and then spent 4 hours on an A-cat in 30 degree weather. I was wearing a SuperWarm steamer suit, Superwarm socks, ZKG shoes, and a beanie. My hands were the only thing that got cold throughout the day.

-Mike

 

GSJ

Member
367
0
I have a socks and a top from the zhik superwarm range and they are really good. Lasted well unlike some zhik stuff like there boots for example. Make sure whatever you buy is tight fitting, you don't want water flowing through. Lots of tight layering obviously helps too.

 

canstead

Anarchist
906
47
The answer is Layer!

About 4 years ago I ditched my steamers etc. and just bought a standard summer full length wetty and a set of wetsuit shorts and a thermal rash top, a pair of summer wetsuit boots and a pair of thin wetsuit socks, add a spray top or thermal dinghy top as you need and there's a four season set up.

 
i never found layering wetsuits to be all that effective in theory or practice, since they work by trapping water between the neoprene and your skin - if you wear multiple layers whats it going to do? plus i found it to limit mobility. When i was in JR sailing i used to wear multiple wetsuit tops, then someone explained to me how the stuff works, and when i went to wearing just one, i was just as warm but a lot more comfortable... A spray top can help a lot, though.

 




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