Small details are very important to any adventure. If you want your cruise to be an unforgettable experience, which you will tell your grandchildren about, you should be very careful with the details. One crucial detail, which is often neglected, is clothes. What to wear and what to avoid. There is a saying "In winter take your bag, in summer - your rag" - the meaning is: be prepared for anything, don't rely on the sky or the forecast.
A challenge for clothing designers is to produce offshore clothing for different types of conditions, comfortable to wear, with many features, quick to dry, light...
Basically the best clothes for sailing consist of 3 layers.
1. Base layer - Dry skin maintains its warmth better than a damp skin, thus a base layer worn next to the skin must allow sweat to pass through to the mid and outer layers without absorbing the moisture or allowing it to return to the skin. Many people like the advantage of "polar" type of under-jacket.
2. Mid Layer - Dry skin surrounded by warm dry air conserves body heat, with personal warmth controlled by air insulation. The greater the volueme of the trapped air is, the greater the insulation of the clothing system.
3. Outer layer - This is essentially foul gear. By using a "breating" fabrics like Gore-tex, the outer layer should be able to exhaust any moisture created omsode tje system while simultaneously keepng out all wind and water with special waterproof properties and sealed seams, with neck, wrists, ankles and zip - completely secure. Fabric technology has been mking rapid progress. This is important and very welcome.
One of the most insiduous and tricky things is the wind. You have to stop it going though you.
They say breathable waterproof clothes wil never be 100% efficient.
Jackets should meet the following requirements:
- Flexibility and light weight.
- Bright colours with reflexive badges or patches.
- Adjustable storm collar with hood and visor combining fit and good visibility.
- Heavy-duty two-way zip, covered by double storm lap with integral drainage channal.
- Storm cuffs with Velcro adjustable sleve ends.
- Bellow pockets with mesh drainage and inner zipped pockets.
- Adjustable weist and hip belts.
- Flexibility and light weight.
- Bright colours.
- Ankle storms cuffs with Velcro adjusters to close over boots.
- No lining for easy entry and fast drying.
- Strong, heavy-duty zip with high waterproof gusset.
- Wide elasticized braces plus waist adjustment to keep trousers secure and comfortable
- Strongly reinforced patches on both seat and knees.
- Chest high-fleece lined hand-warner.
- Thick pocket with storm flap and mesh drainage.
Smock - this has the same body like a jacket but it is like a blouson-style adjustable neoprene (neoprene is the most optimal material for sailing and surfing in cold weather).
By the way sailors say that 100% wetless clothing hasn't been invented yet and no matter what you do, you eventually get wet.
For extreme sailing conditions (obligatory for round-the-world sailors there is the so called "full offshore drysuit". It combines a one-piece waterproof suit with latex neck and ankle seals. Added (and removable to this are collar/hood system, ankle and wrist storm closure, reflective strips, pocket and comfort zip.)
The clothing for mid layer are based on synthetic, deep pile, fleece materials such as Polartec, which combine light weight with warmth.
When the weather is hot
Always wear shoes on deck when sailing. Their grip is better and you won't damage your toes.
If it's very hot, wear shorts and comfortable T-shirt, but better stay under shade, because you can get severely sunburn.
Always wear a cap, but fasten it well to your head or showders, because the wind will take it away from you.
Sunglasses are also very important - though some people cannot wear them.
It is advisable that you invest into some quality UVB-filter sunglasses, because the attack on ice - both from the sun and from the reflected light on the surface of the water is very strong.