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 Post subject: ocean sailing apparel
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:18 pm 
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My husband is going to take his hobie cat to the ocean in northern California; what is the best to wear as far as staying warm and dry? Looking into wet suits, dry suits.....???? Water temps probably in the low 50s.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:41 pm 
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Im in a similar situation down here in South TX, I picked up the following:

http://www.austinkayak.com/products/251 ... Pants.html

http://www.austinkayak.com/products/368 ... acket.html


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:24 am 
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Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
I strongly recommend going with a full dry suit. For 50°F water with no sort of protection, you'e looking at somewhere around an hour of consciousness (with a useful time to right a capsized boat of less):
http://www.ussartf.org/cold_water_survival.htm
http://www.wavelengthmagazine.com/2009/FA09/gearingupforcold.html

Spray gear like what Wingnutt posted is great for when the air is a little cold, but isn't going to help much with full immersion in cold water. A wet suit will help some, but based on my experiences with cold water sailing, a dry suit is absolutely worth the extra money. And, while I don't know exactly where he'll be sailing, in general the N.Cal coast is not a very forgiving place to sail, and if something goes wrong and he needs help, the dry suit gives him by far the most survival time in the water.

Plus, they're much more comfortable than wetsuits (once you get used to the neck seal), and you can adjust the amount of clothing you're wearing underneath to fine tune to the water temperature.

Steve

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:49 am 
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Location: eureka,california
A dry suit or a good wetsuit works here in Nor Cal. Kotokat makes a nice Drysuit and Wet suits can be found anywhere. Just get a quality one wiht reinforcement on the knees and butt. I sdail in Nor cal and only use a wet suit but i have some "natural insulation".

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:59 am 
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Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
hobie18rich wrote:
A dry suit or a good wetsuit works here in Nor Cal. Kotokat makes a nice Drysuit and Wet suits can be found anywhere. Just get a quality one wiht reinforcement on the knees and butt. I sdail in Nor cal and only use a wet suit but i have some "natural insulation".


The "natural insulation" is a good point. I have less of it than some people, so I tend to go to a dry suit sooner than some of my "heavy air optimized" peers.

The other thing to take into consideration is what sort of sailing he's going to be doing. If he's racing, then he can get away with somewhat less warm gear, since there are support boats keeping an eye on things who can pull you out if you're in trouble. On the opposite end of the spectrum would be heading more offshore, solo, where he would need to be much more self-sufficient for longer periods, so should be dressed in warmer gear.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:22 am 
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Location: Jersey Shore
A 3mm thick jacket and john combo is kind of the "classic" hobie wetsuit. They offer a lot of versatility and a good amount of warmth. They're nice because you can mix and match the top and bottom to suit the weather conditions for a particular day. They're also very reasonably priced. A decent pair of booties in the 3mm to 7mm thickness range will go a long way towards making you more comfortable on cold days and a good wool hat or neoprene beanie add a ton of cheap warmth. I also like to have a spray top which really helps to cut the chill on windy days. They can easily be stored inside the hull and pulled out if necessary while on the water.

On days when the jacket and john aren't warm enough, you'll need either a 5/4/3 steamer (~$300) or a drysuit ($500+) to stay safe and warm.

Use your head when sailing in cold conditions and sail under the assumption that if things go bad, you may end up spending hours IN the water.

sm


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:30 am 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
srm wrote:
A 3mm thick jacket and john combo is kind of the "classic" hobie wetsuit. They offer a lot of versatility and a good amount of warmth. They're nice because you can mix and match the top and bottom to suit the weather conditions for a particular day. They're also very reasonably priced. A decent pair of booties in the 3mm to 7mm thickness range will go a long way towards making you more comfortable on cold days and a good wool hat or neoprene beanie add a ton of cheap warmth. I also like to have a spray top which really helps to cut the chill on windy days. They can easily be stored inside the hull and pulled out if necessary while on the water.

On days when the jacket and john aren't warm enough, you'll need either a 5/4/3 steamer (~$300) or a drysuit ($500+) to stay safe and warm.

Use your head when sailing in cold conditions and sail under the assumption that if things go bad, you may end up spending hours IN the water.

sm


What he said! :)

Dry suits are awesome but expensive. The best thing to do is to have a variety of clothes so that you can layer accordingly. One thing to remember, bring LOTS of water to drink when you're out in cold water. Wetsuits, and other warm wear can make you sweat, and you don't want to get dehydrated while sailing.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:25 pm 
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I've done various wetsuits and wetsuit-spray top/bottom combinations. They work well, but at the water/wind temperatures at 50oF or below, a dry suit would be more comfortable. I'm buying one for next spring. :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:22 pm 
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Location: Santa Cruz
Here in NorCal the fleet is split between dry and wetsuits. It boils down to personal preference, they both will work fine. I really dislike drysuits personally, and I surf, so I opt for a 4/3 wetsuit. I wear Oneill, but there are many brands to choose from, Hotline suits seem to last a bit longer on an abrasive trampoline.

I do, however, envy my friend JohnnyO as he peels off his drysuit and is instantly ready to hit the bar while I'm struggling to dry off and get dressed.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:56 am 
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SNovak wrote:

Spray gear like what Wingnutt posted is great for when the air is a little cold, but isn't going to help much with full immersion in cold water.

Steve



Its quite a bit more than spray gear, it is actually waterproof, silicon gaskets and all. I bought it for sea kayaking in very cold weather and its great.

You can fall in the water and only your hands feet and face will get wet. Granted its not a full on open sea survival suit, but in terms of falling off the boat in cold water and maybe being in the drink for a few min or so till you get back topside, its fine. Its probably not quite as good as a full on dry suit, but your looking at $300 vs $1200

Another good tip though is to wear wool undergarments, as wool will insulate even when soaking wet, where as cotton will not.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:30 am 
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Location: Central Oregon
You do not have to spend 1200$ to get a real drysuit.
I paid 700ish for my Goretex (key!) Kokatat. Well worth it!!!!
Get a gortex or other breathable material drysuit if you go for a drysuit. Non-breathable drysuits suck!

OS systems has a breathable suit for 400$. http://www.ossystems.com/surface/k2bec.html Not sure what the quality is like? But they are made in Oregon so cant be all that bad!! :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:53 am 
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Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Wingnutt wrote:
Its quite a bit more than spray gear, it is actually waterproof, silicon gaskets and all. I bought it for sea kayaking in very cold weather and its great.

My bad. I took a quick look, saw a 2 piece outfit for kayakers, and made an assumption. I should have looked more closely.

Wingnutt wrote:
Another good tip though is to wear wool undergarments, as wool will insulate even when soaking wet, where as cotton will not.

+1 on the avoid cotton. Wool works well, as do modern synthetics such as fleece.

hobiesrock wrote:
Non-breathable drysuits suck!

Yes, non-breathable ones are terrible (especially on hot days when you're only wearing it for the water temps!). APS has a breathable "TP1 Pace Dry Suit by Henri Lloyd" for $449. http://www.apsltd.com/c-3844-dry-suits.aspx. I have no experience with this particular model, but generally Henri Lloyd makes good stuff.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:42 am 
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On dry suits:


If your looking at purchasing one that happens to have a latex neck gasket, I suggest you borrow or try a suit with a similar necks system before you buy. Some people find they REALLY do not like how latex neck gaskets feel, especially if or when you start to sweat. Its entirely personal preference, they don't bother me one bit, but I know people who hate them


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:04 pm 
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Wow Lynee, Your question sure generated a lot of responses.

In case you decide on Goretex and Kokatat, and think that he probably wouldn't like the latex neck gasket which as Wingnutt points out, many people dont.... check out this semi-dry suit at Campmor ... it's currently over $100 off.

Kokatat Goretex Lightweight Paddling Suit

They are classed as semi-dry because they use a neoprene neck instead of a latex gasket. We have had them for a little over a month and are happy with them.

We went floating (no wind, all we did was float lol) last weekend and we jumped into the water when we were done just to give them a good test and test the warmth of what we were wearing underneath them in 52 deg water. I dove in so my neckline was underwater for a couple seconds and didn't get any water inside the suit.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:35 pm 
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I may be wrong but, when a dry suit gets a hole in it, water gets in?

If so:

Will you be able to float with your PFD.

Will you stay warm with cold water in your suit?


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