Gear List – Please Come Prepared!
Here is the list of gear you will need for spring sailing:
Drysuit – a Drysuit is mandatory! – there are many options – it’s best to try it on before you buy. Local options for trying one on would be Zim Sailing in Warren, RI, WestMarine in Warwick or Newport, or Team One in Newport. If you’re ordering online buy two sizes and return one. Try it on with your base layers, socks on. You’ll want to be able to move comfortably.
Fleece Base Layers. A Fleece “onesie” is a great choice for a warm base layer.
Life Vest – a US Coast Guard approved PFD is mandatory. Be sure that what you buy is USCG approved. There are a number of vests on the market that are not USCG approved – they’re typically called Buoyancy Aids.
Boots and Socks – Sailing boots are highly recommended. Note since you’ll be wearing a dry suit – the boots are mostly for grip and support. Your dry suit will keep your feet dry. Good socks will keep your feet warm. Buy Multiple pairs of socks – you’ll need dry socks for each day of sailing. Be sure to buy your boots large enough to fit over your socks / drysuit booties. This will definitely be larger than the size you would buy otherwise.
Gloves – winter sailing gloves are highly recommended.
Warm Fleece Hat
Non-cotton layers for under drysuit (e.g. fleece, wool or spandex-type material such as “Under Armor”) Dress like you would for skiing – long underwear, top and bottom, and warm socks.
Other gear: Sunglasses, sunscreen, water bottle, whistle
Experienced upperclassmen sailors are probably your best source for gear recommendations. Find out what has worked for them. Some additional tips on layering and gear selection are attached.
Most give discounts to high school sailors so be sure to ask!
Save 20% off all gear with coupon code “issas14”. That’s drysuits, boots, base layers and much more. No minimum quantities!!! Order online or by phone 237-6117 or stop into the retail store.
If you need to buy a dry suit, you will need to try one on. Zim has suits in stock, so this is a great option.
84 Cutler Street Unit 2, Warren, RI
Team One Newport
Save 15% with coupon code SCHOOL on products listed at http://www.team1newport.com/scholastic/
Order online or by phone 401-847-4327 or stop by the retail store (call first to see if they have the item in stock).
561 Thames St., Newport, RI
WestMarine – the newly renovated WestMarine in Warwick and the store in Newport have an expanded section of sailing gear. Sometimes the prices are not as competitive, but a good place to try things on.
Wet Suit Outlet
Carry all types of sailing gear and clothing, and has been used by a member of the team with good success!
Annapolis Performance Sailing – large selection offers high school discount. Call them to get the discount.
Tips for Cold Weather Sailing from Team One
Here are some tips on what to wear while you are sailing to stay dry, comfortable, and able to
move in any range of conditions. The one thing to keep in mind is that everyone’s body is
different, and so while we can give you recommendations and get you started, you will have to
find the dressing methods and gear that work best for you. Each layer has its function, and so
finding the best combination so that they are all working together for you is the key!
Golden rule for dressing to sail in the cold – keep your core warm, and your extremities
will stay warmer too.
Since your core holds your vital organs, your body puts a priority on keeping that area warm. If your core starts to get cold, your body will pull blood away from your extremities leaving your fingers, toes, hands and feet without the necessary blood flow to stay
The best way to stay warm and comfortable in even the most adverse conditions is to make sure that you have a good layer next to your skin. Even on the coldest days, your body will be working hard and sweating, and so you want to make sure that the bottom layer is made of a wicking material that will transfer the moisture away from your skin. Synthetic materials such as polypropylene, polyester, and any micro-fiber fabrics are ideal. This base layer is good to sit right against the skin so that the moisture gets transferred away from the skim immediately, though you want to make sure that it isn’t too tight where it inhibits movement and even cuts down the blood’s ability to circulate freely through the body. Avoid wearing cotton as it absorbs moisture and is slow to dry, and can often work against your body to keep it warm.
Think of the middle layer(s) as insulation. Fleece, thicker polyester and synthetic materials, and down are ideal for this layer, and new technology with materials is making these fabrics thinner and lighter while still performing well. Wearing thinner but equally warm layers is ideal on the water as you need to be able to move quickly and easy even when layered up.
Sailors have a wide range of opinions on what they wear on their hands – some refuse to wear gloves, even when it is snowing, some always need the hand protection. When it is cold, keeping your hands warm and protected but also able to pull lines, hold the tiller, and tie knots is very tough, and companies have put a lot of time, energy and research into finding the solution. There are cold weather gloves out there that do a good job, though often those that are warmest lose their grip and mobility first, and those with the best grip and mobility often don’t have the insulation needed to keep the fingers warm.The best solution that I have come across for someone with poor hand circulation like mine is a combination of products: glove liners, rubber gloves, and sailing gloves (if needed for grip). This combination provides one layer for warmth, one layer for dryness, and one layer for grip performance.
The rubber gloves can be the thin dishwashing gloves that you buy at the grocery store or hardware store for very cheap. You can also buy thicker rubber gloves that are lined with cloth that are often durable enough to sail with without needing sailing gloves to go over them.Some people like Atlas Gloves – PVC coated, knit-lined, thick rubber gloves. They provide a little more insulation, are durable and will last through a season, and are grippy enough that they generally don’t require additional sailing gloves (plus they are cheap!).
Just like with gloves, there are many schools of thought on the best footwear to wear while sailing, so you need to think about your body and what works best for you. To stay warm, however, think about the same layering that you use for the rest of your body, and make sure that you have some insulation as well as ways to keep the water out. Wool or synthetic socks are great to keep wet feet warm; you can also find neoprene or drysocks to help keep your feet dry and/or insulated. Even if you are wearing a drysuit, you want to make sure that you have some way to keep the heat in and the cold out. Also be sure that you aren’t overdoing the layers and cutting off your circulation, because all the layers in the world will go to waste if the warm blood can’t flow to your feet.
Wool and fleece hats, neck gaiters, ear warmers, will all make a huge difference on those cold days to keep the biting winds and bitter water off your skin to keep your body warm and your mind sharp. You also want to be sure to have sunglasses to protect those eyes from sun and glare on the water.