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What to wear when sailing?

What to wear when sailing? Blog

What to wear for sailing is not just a question of style. Although every life situation deserves a fabulous look, when it comes to sailing, clothing must satisfy a whole range of requirements. Sailing is synonymous with pleasure and relaxation, but you should be prepared for different weather conditions and the nature of sailing itself. Sailing attire should ensure that you can successfully cope with wind, waves, cold, and the sun. At sea, every change in weather is significant.

In this article, we will take you through the sailing closet by advising you on which occasions to board call for which sailing clothes. It is necessary to take everything you will need on the sailboat, but you should not overdo it due to the limited space for storing personal belongings. We know how to set sail without worries.

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Clothing for sailing should be lightweight and breathable

What should sailing clothes look like?

Here are five basic characteristics of good sailing clothes:

  • Quick-Dry: You are constantly moist and salty;
  • Lightweight and breathable: It gets hot under the sun, but you don’t want to get sunburnt;
  • Easy to Clean: Sunscreen, sweat, and dirt are inescapable on a sailboat;
  • Simple: You’re going to destroy anything fancy;
  • Weather Protection (Cold and the Sun): Good gear can make your trip so much more comfortable.

What is specific about sailing clothing?

If we wore "normal" clothes while sailing, the sea salt would clog the fabric membrane, and it would stop doing its job. Also, ordinary clothes wear out, are destroyed faster, and leave us wet and cold.

Remember that layering is the way to go. It is better to have several thin layers than one thick one. There is no compromise here. Although sometimes sailing attire seems heavy and complicated to wear, it is designed precisely to handle all dynamic sailing conditions more easily.

How many layers of sailing clothing are there?

Layering up your clothes helps to trap air against your skin, keeping you warm and comfortable.

The layering system consists of a base layer, a mid-layer, and outer layers. The base layer is worn next to the skin and thus retains air, wicks away moisture, and keeps your temperature stable. Mid layers are worn over base layers and under your outer layers. They provide thermal properties and help you stay warm and dry. And finally, the outer layer is the ultimate weather protection that helps protect you from wind, rain, and water.

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Perfect deck shoes have a light rubber sole

Let`s start with the feet - What kind of shoes should be worn for sailing?

Boat shoes should primarily provide exceptional stability. Wet decks, tilts, getting on and off the boat, and other sailing conditions can be an obstacle to a pleasant sailing experience
if you do not have the right footwear. The perfect deck shoes are closed, non-slip, and have a light rubber sole. Good sailing shoes are a worthwhile investment, and there is a wide selection on the market.

Although the choice of such footwear is necessary and should be followed, do not forget to be barefoot on board sometimes. It is a special experience.

What type of footwear is not recommended when sailing?

High heels, heeled shoes, and platforms are not recommended on sailboats as they can not only reduce the wearer`s stability but also mark and damage decks, floors, and carpets.

What are the key items of a sailing outfit?

What you should not go sailing without is a suitable jacket and trousers. One of the most important factors when choosing a jacket is water resistance. In other words, you should choose a material that will prevent water penetration. Furthermore, the jacket must create and retains heat around the body. Layering, or the ability to function with other layers of clothing, should also be considered when purchasing.

The same goes for choosing pants as for jackets: waterproof, windproof, and highly resistant to mechanical damage. Also, it would be good if they had an elastic waist to allow them as much mobility as possible.

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In summer, it's always good to have a hat and sunglasses on board

What to wear sailing in the summer?

Each sailing season requires different sailing clothing. In the summer, sailing is simpler like life. Therefore, the choice of clothes is easier and more flexible. It is always colder at sea than on land, but this difference comes as a real refreshment in the summer months. An indispensable part of sailing clothing in the summer is a swimsuit. Other summer sailing attire includes long-sleeved athletic shirts, shorts, and waterproof athletic shoes.

Since you need less clothing for sailing in the summer, you can let your imagination run wild in choosing swimwear, dresses, or generally casual clothes to wear when you are not on board.

What accessories should I wear while sailing in the summer?

In the summer, it is good to have a cap or hat as well as sunglasses. Although dermatologists recommend using sunscreen all year round, in summer it is unquestionable and must be applied every few hours.

What to wear for sailing in cold weather?

In winter, sailing is much more complicated and challenging and therefore requires much more attention when choosing sailing equipment, especially if a storm comes. In summer, it is not a problem to get wet on the boat, but in winter, it can be very dangerous and increase the risk of hypothermia. Therefore, waterproof equipment is indispensable. A fleece jacket is an excellent choice, as it provides light warmth. To avoid frozen hands and fingers, it is recommended to wear gloves. Also, you should dress in layers. In this way, you will remain protected from cold, wind, and water even if you need to take off some of your clothes and change them.

What pieces of clothing are good to have on a sailboat in winter?

Here is a list of a few things you should have when going on a winter sailing trip:

  • Windbreaker
  • A woolen hat for sailing
  • Fleece lining or jacket
  • Sweatshirt
  • Rain poncho
  • Insulated, waterproof boots
  • Winter sailing shoes
  • Waterproof gloves
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Sailing jacket should be waterproof and windproof

Clothing for coastal sailing

Coastal navigation is specific because different weather conditions change, and you need to be prepared for them. Layering is the main dress philosophy for this type of sailing. You should wear an inner layer next to your skin for moisture transfer, a mid-layer for insulation, and an outer shell layer for wind and moisture. A layer that goes directly on the skin is necessary for moisture management and temperature regulation.

Mid-layers are key to keeping you warm. It should fulfill two main conditions: be breathable and mobile but also be your main source of heat. In wet weather, it's best to wear a synthetic vest or jacket to keep you warm, even if you get wet. For dry and cold days, it is enough for the material to be soft and pleasant on the skin.

The outer layer is a barrier between you and all external influences. With that in mind, it should be waterproof and sturdy enough. Also, these pieces of sailing clothing are often designed to have a collar that protects the neck and thus prevents water from entering below.

The conditions that trousers for coastal sailing must meet are durability and a reinforced seat and knees.

Offshore sailing outfit tips

As the boat moves away from the shore, the humidity in the air increases, which it should be protected from. Also, big waves and strong currents should be considered.

First of all, due to prolonged exposure to the sun, it is necessary to use UV protection. An offshore sailing outfit should include mid-layers for insulation and heat generation. And finally, choose an outer layer that will protect you from water drops, wind gusts, and other potential threats.

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Sailing is ideal for trying out all the swimwear you have

What does a women`s summer sailing outfit consist of? 

In sunny weather, you can`t go wrong with a polo shirt, especially one made from a lightweight, stretchy material that will help keep you cool and allow for ease of movement. Also, a sleeveless T-shirt made of breathable material comes into play. For the lower part, the best choice is sailing shorts. And finally, the most attention should be paid to the shoes. Sandals or flip-flops are not the best choice, and it is better to opt for closed shoes with soles, for example, some nice sneakers. A sunny and hot day necessarily requires a hat and sunglasses.

What clothing for women is best for sailing in cold weather?

The best choice for women`s sailing clothing for colder weather is one that can easily be layered over other clothing. We recommend a sweatshirt with a square zip and a fleece interior. Also, it is necessary to always have a windbreaker with you. For the lower part, the best choice is waterproof pants that will keep you dry.

What does a men`s summer sailing outfit consist of?

The summer outfit for men includes shorts, a short t-shirt, and sneakers suitable for sailing conditions. It can also be everyday clothes; it is only important that they are light and allow normal mobility. Also, considering the intensity of the sun, sunglasses are something you must bring with you. Given that even summer days can be windy, it would be good to have a light jacket.

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Choose cool outfits to wear when you are not on board

What does a men`s winter sailing outfit consist of?

As for winter sailing conditions, there are two mandatory basic sailing items: a sailing jacket and trousers. The jacket should be waterproof, retain heat well, and control moisture. The best sailing pants for winter are, above all, waterproof and quick-drying. You can find costly and very cheap sailing pants on the market, but they are undoubtedly a piece of equipment worth investing in. Certainly, in winter, it is best to have insulated, waterproof boots because tennis shoes are not enough in such demanding conditions.

There are no bad sailing conditions, only bad clothes

The right choice of clothing is key to enjoying the sea and sailing adventures. It is essential that you research in advance where you are going and what the weather will be like to pack accordingly. There are a large number of different brands of sailing clothes on the market today, and we are sure that everyone can find something for themselves. Make sure that your sailing clothes meet all your needs and requirements while also aesthetically satisfying your style. Sailing is truly a special occasion and deserves both: the most appropriate and the most beautiful outfit.