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 Post subject: Water Temperature
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:59 pm
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Part of sailing in an island is getting wet. I've been waiting all winter to get on the water, but I'm not crazy. It'll be in the 70s this weekend here, but the water will still be cool. What's a reasonable water temperature? 65? 68? 70?


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 Post subject: Re: Water Temperature
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2014 12:49 pm
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Location: Bethany, OK
Depends on what you wear.

I bought a wet suit this year (nothing fancy - NRS Grizzly "farmer John" type with an NRS jacket to go over it) and got out when the air temp was in the mid-upper 50s and water temps in the 40s. I finally decided 55 was my low limit for air temp, especially if it was very windy. Even with sunshine I got cold after a while.

Right now our lakes are around 60. With air temps in the 70s I can go in shorts and t-shirt and enjoy it. The splashes are "brisk" and "invigorating" :mrgreen: but I don't get too cold. (That is, if it's relatively humid - as it usually is here. If we get a dry north wind I'm back into the wet suit!)

Even if I choose to go in shorts and t-shirt I am still carrying the wetsuit with me on the TI. I've put it on while on the lake once already, deciding it was after all a little too cool. The water will have to get quite a bit warmer before I leave it at home.


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 Post subject: Re: Water Temperature
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:39 pm 
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I don't have a wetsuit, just a shirt, trunks, and safety vest. This weekend it should be mid 60s water with high 70s air, but there's no humidity here in Chicago yet. On my boat we tend to sit in a puddle, though, for some reason. I don't plug the scupper holes or anything. A lot of people here wait for Memorial Day to get in the water.


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 Post subject: Re: Water Temperature
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:40 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
Posts: 1675
Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
bkchi:
Water temp is a matter of perspective from where you live I suspect, I'm originally Canadian, and my wife is native Floridian, we have totally different perspectives of what is a comfortable water temp. Most of my life we would go swimming and boating all day long in water typically under 72 degrees, my wife however will not go anywhere near water that is below 87 degrees. I suspect it has a little to do with where you are from.
In the winter here in South Florida the water gets down to around 70, but whenever I would go out the air temp is in the low 80's and always very sunny.
I'm like RandomJoe, I carry a shorty 3mm wetsuit stuffed behind my seat all thru the winter, so if I capsize I can always slip it on quickly while in the water, I wore my farmer john wetsuit pants out and will need to replace them before next winter. I think layers is the best way to go, adding and subtracting as needed to stay comfortable is all you can do.

I have nice spray skirts on my TI so I don't get very wet typically, unless I crash thru a big powerboat wake, then it's wooosh.

Down here anyway even in the winter it gets very uncomfortable in a wetsuit very quickly. I also have a rubber ducksuit that I store in the front hatch in a bag, but that also gets quite uncomfortable in the sunlight on a warm day. Its rubberized thin material with full slip on pants (no feet), and an overjacket with a hood. If I go in the water, I can still swim ok with it on. I just slip it on over my PFD, shorts and shirt if it's a cold wind or driving rain. In the winter I try not to go out in areas where there are not a lot of other boaters around.
I think the biggest issue is keeping your feet warm, I have 3mm scuba boots that I wear all winter, they keep my feet and lower legs nice and warm.
Hope this helps
Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Water Temperature
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:11 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:58 am
Posts: 1832
Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
While my local weather is way more friendly than yours, I bought some lightweight waders to keep me dry, which are no thicker than shirt material. While they do not in themselves keep you warm, they do allow you to wear whatever is appropriate as warm clothing underneath. Cost was a very reasonable $US110, including a 2" wader belt.

As i top, I wear a lightweight breathable cycling jacket, and again, could wear something warm underneath.

I bought mine from Caddis: http://www.caddiswaders.com/products-deluxe.htm
Image

PS. in case you are concerned about the myths of "Waders of death", have a look at this video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYwG52p4yjs

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 Post subject: Re: Water Temperature
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:57 am
Posts: 209
Location: Fairfax, CA USA
If I waited till the water was above 55 I'd only get out a few times a year, except for in the bay which might get up to 60ish.
Kokatat paddle suit and fleece underneath are my friends.


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 Post subject: Re: Water Temperature
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:11 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 58
Location: United Kingdom, Hampshire
Water temp here is currently about 50, though it drops under 40 in the winter. That said, I wear a drysuit 99% of the time, only a few hot summer days where I feel comfortable enough not to wear one.

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 Post subject: Re: Water Temperature
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:42 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:53 am
Posts: 247
Location: Sollentuna, Sweden, Europe
Water temperature in Sweden can get down to below 6 dgr Celsius (42F) in our warmest period (summer jun-aug) due to storms that lifts colder water from depths up to surface.

Dry suit for me, thank you! :D

Not a problem when you sail and don't work hard with your body.

best regards
thomas


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 Post subject: Re: Water Temperature
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:39 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
Posts: 1675
Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
I was watching surviverman and in one of his shows he said that wool and fleece are the best garments to wear, as he was discribing his really ugly wool hat, he said it helps keep you warm even if a little wet or damp. I doubt if he was talking about being immersed in water though. Where we dive and snorkel the most (off Key West and the keys) if the water is below about 80 deg we have to wear wet suits because it only seems to take about ten minutes to suck all your body heat away when in the water without a wet suit or drysuit on so we typically don't go out diving much at all Jan- Mar except on dive charters (which are expensive) and we are wearing wet suits.(hopefully this (80 degrees immersion) means something)
I suspect our situation is the direct opposite from everyone else's. We only want to be in the boat for the least time possible so we can get to our destination as quickly as possible, once at our destination the last place we want to be is in the boat. 80 percent of the time you will see an empty boat anchored somewhere fun with a big ole dive flag flying. Or we are parked at a sand bar somewhere sitting in the water near the boats (It's simply too hot here to be in the boat and not be in the water). When all done our only goal is to get back in to shore as quickly as possible ( thus all the reasons for our massive sails and twin outboards). We don't sail just for the sake of sailing (man vs sea and all that stuff), and we don't do expeditions or camping (except in our air conditioned RV). We have no desire at all to be out in rough seas or winds over 2-7mph. We don't fish at all (besides spear fishing, and lobstering) and i'm deathly afraid of alligators so any fresh water down here is out, and hate mosquitos so we stay as far away from the glades as possible. If we want to eat we stop in an air conditioned restaurant or bring huge coolers full of food/drink.
This makes us polar opposite from everyone else on the forum and I suspect causes quite a bit of contention. The reason we love the TI's so much is it is dirt easy to configure to suit your specific lifestyle, and the coolest thing of all is it's versatility for any environment.
I only went into detail here because our idea of water temp (wet suits, etc) doesn't apply anywhere else and I would hate to see someone with a shorty wet suit behind their seat (just because I said it works great.....trying to make the Macinaw island run in lake superior with just that wetsuit behind their seat would be insane , (we used to spend most summers around Traverse City and the UP, and have made that run, but we just parked the boat and stayed at the Grand, yea I know that's roughing it (lol))), but definately not with just shorts and a 3mm wetsuit behind the seat), you have to dress appropriately for the area and time of year. And if you can't cruise at 10-15 mph in a boat hardened for offshore, long offshore destinations are off the table in my opinion, no matter how you dress. But thats all just my opinion.
Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Water Temperature
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:20 am 
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Location: Bellevue, Nebraska
fusioneng wrote:
we used to spend most summers around Traverse City


Those are my summer stomping grounds. My folks have a house down on Crystal Lake. That lake doesn't get much warmer than probably 70ish at best during the summer, but we are used to swimming in those temps. Heck, I'm sailing here in Nebraska and the water temps are in the 60's and it's not bothering me, but that's probably due to the built in insulation layer that I have these days :). Any colder though and I would probably opt for paddling pants and a jacket just to keep the spray off.

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 Post subject: Re: Water Temperature
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:25 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:24 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Richmond VA
Here is a good article as it pertains to water temperature. It focuses more on the dangers/risk at different water temperatures.
General comfort at different water temperatures I think would be different for each individual.

[url] https://www.paddleboston.com/advice/dre ... er.php/url]

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 Post subject: Re: Water Temperature
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 11:08 am
Posts: 88
Location: Rochester NY
Does a wet suit actually keep you warm? I always thought a dry suit was needed for warmth, not sure of the purpose of a wet suit.


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 Post subject: Re: Water Temperature
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 7:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Actually wets suits are usually a little to warm, that's the problem, they are only comfortable for an hour or so, then they get increasinly uncomfortable. The way the work is they cover your body with porous foam that allows water to pass thru, but very slowly. The water nearest your skin is warmed up by your body then slowly cools to the water temp on the outside (like insulation). They have different thickness's for different water temps, or you can have multiple layers. In Florida we wear mostly 3mm wetsuits which are good to about 65 degree water. When I lived up noth we wore mostly 5mm thick wetsuits. I think 7mm wet suits are godd to about 45 degree water. If you wath the show Braring sea gold, they are all wearing I think 7mm wet suits with warm water constantly being pumped into them some times in under 30 degree water.
Dry suits basically seal all water out and you remain dry underneath, in colder water you must wear layers of dry insulation (usually fleece) to keep you warm. Actually in a dry suit if you get too hot and start sweating, this becomes a problem. I don't think our bodies are designed to remain wet for very long (like inside a wetsuit). Another problem with wetsuits is if the aren't wet you can get cold easily, plus in order to work correctly they need to be tight against your skin. If I had to be in something all day it would definately be a dry suit.
Hope this helps
Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Water Temperature
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 2:08 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 2293
Location: South Florida
The only experience I've had with neoprene next to my skin is with dive booties. If it was windy & cool, my feet would freeze because of the wicking effect of the wind on the wet neoprene. Now I wear heavy neoprene boots over dry pants w/ socks (and cloth socks under that) and my feet stay warm.

Dry suits need to be breathable in south Florida. Some people doing the WaterTribe Everglades Challenge literally stay in their dry suit for 5-8 days, 24 hrs a day. Yes, they smell real bad at the end of the Challenge.

Keith

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 Post subject: Re: Water Temperature
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 3:50 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:57 am
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Location: Fairfax, CA USA
I wore a farmer john wetsuit with a splash top up here for a decade of kayak fishing, before I got a real job and a dry suit.the wet suits work fine as long as they are soaked, and there is no wind on them. Once you get wind you get that evaporative cooling, and burrrrrrr. After about 6-8 hours I would get chafing from the wetsuit, especially at the back of the knee. All that wetness and rough neoprene, even with a rash guard...

Always, always, always dress for immersion. Assume you'll be in the water for at least 20 or 30 minutes trying to right your boat.

With the dry suit I usually wear wool socks, 5mm shin length booties, and a fleece union suit. In typical conditions then I can peddle at my "all day" pace, and just barely break a sweat. Control heat retention with a fleece skullcap and your good.
At the end of the day the inside of the dry suit is wet with moisture from your body, but you'd never notice until you unpeel from it. You can spend 14 hours in the thing without any real issues.


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