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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:45 am 
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Location: Harsens Island, Michigan
My daughter is home from college for the weekend and wants to go out on the h16 with me. We don't have wet suits but was going to get some anyway, so it looks like today is the day! Perfect wind, sunshine, and a kid who wants to sail with her dad. I really want to make this happen. Water temperature is 47 F, however. Any advice?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:47 am 
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Location: Harsens Island, Michigan
By the way, we are on Lake St clair, so not on the ocean. It is a large, shallow, protected bay.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:43 am 
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Location: Virginia Beach VA
Keep the boat upright. Hypothermia sets in pretty quick in 47 degree water. Diving wetsuits are made to function underwater. Get a smoothie or something made for surface sports (jet skiing, surfing etc) with a wind block. Wear a spray jacket over it.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:45 am 
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Thanks, yeah upright is the plan. We only have 7-8mph winds in the forecast

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:46 am 
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47F is 8 C. Based on the warning at our local authority run lake, below 10C (50F) I'd say you really need wetsuits.

The problem is not keeping warm on the water but rather what happens if you go in. Hypothermia can set in quickly so I'd be cautious especially as with a boat you're exposed to wind across the tramp, both actual and apparent when you come back out and this speeds up the chilling factor massively as the water evaporates.

BTW if you get wetsuits get good ones. You really get what you pay for both in terms of flexibility and also sealing qualities.

For surfing I use a Rhino Venom front zip which is the dogs.

http://shop.rhinosurf.com/rhino-mens-ve ... 2-97-p.asp

The Revolution zipless is supposed to be better still.

Both are very similar to the Excel Drylock ranges but a fraction of the cost. Effectively they are summer steamers and seal very tightly around all areas so don't flush with water when you go in. They are also very warm.

I previously had a RipCurl 3:2 wetsuit and it wasn't a patch on the Rhino for warmth or flexibility. The last time I used it before changing I was freezing. I've never even felt cold in the Venom or even noticed the cold water, its toasty.

I'm unsure how suitable they are for standing up to the rigors of sailing though. I'm sure others can advise you.

Flexibility is 2nd to no others I've found which is how you can get your entire body through a 10 inch zip!

The Revolution is so flexible it doesn't even need the zip!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:08 am 
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Location: Harsens Island, Michigan
Thanks for the info. We'll be in waist deep water or less most of the time, otherwise these comments would convince me to not go today.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:23 am 
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Location: san diego
Good advice so far, so I just want to add to this:
Wear a cap, or something else on your head. You lose a lot of heat from your head. I've heard estimates of 30% to 80% heat loss from your head. Anesthesiologists and surgeons have some dificulty agreeing on a precise figure, but no one denies that there is significant heat loss from the head.
Have a change of warm, dry clothes in case you get wet. Keep a towel in the car or truck also.
Take along a thermos with hot/warm fluids.
Don't be afraid to go out with your daughter on a cold day. Just Be Prepared. You may not stay out very long, but if that little college girl wants to spend some time sailing with her dad, don't disappoint her. That's pretty special!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:07 pm 
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Location: Nepean S.C. Ottawa, Canada
At those temperatures, hypothermia can set in within 90 seconds.

Diving style wetsuits are ideal....rent from your local scuba shop?

On really cold days, I wear scuba boots, farmer John wetsuit pants and full jacket,
pure wool Tshirt and a pure wool sweater under the wetsuit, and splash jacket and pants over everything. Plus a hockey helmet (being Canadian, and a fan of the Ottawa Senators).
Oh, and good neoprene gloves.
Those who have hockey gear or cross country ski gear often use 'layered' clothing, such
as Under Armour etc.

Second the advice re headgear, neoprene works great...if no neoprene, wear a toque.

Happy Sailing.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:27 pm 
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Location: Harsens Island, Michigan
I missed the last 2 post after we left! As it turned out, we went out in shorts and to shirts! What a perfect day. Breeze had died down before we left the dock. Keeping wind on the beam, we never lifted a hull, but steady enough to keep moving. It was so shallow I spent most of the day without locked rudders.

Perfect day! When were done we found that my wife and son had come out to the island!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:03 am 
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Location: Harsens Island, Michigan
By the way, since it is so early in the season and no neighbors were around, I was able to drag it onto thier beach to step the mast and rig it. It was so easy! Up until now I have only done it while floating as I only have sea walls around my lot. Doing in the water is really unsafe and takes a crew. I will never do it that way again!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:08 am 
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Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
Glad you had a great day. I was very tempted and just about took the boat out this weekend but it was colder than your temps here (air and water) and I'm currently without a drysuit at the moment.

I'm no expert but since we are discussing it, I believe that the huge percentage of heat lost from your head theory was debunked quiet some time ago. I believe that idea came from a 1950s military study that had pretty flawed methodologies. Bodies measured in the military study were well clothed against cold so of course the highest rate of heat loss came from the unprotected head. It would be a different matter altogether for a lightly clothed (say shorts and t-shirt) subject where loss from the head would be closer to 10% max. I also vaguely recall that exercise can spike the % of heat loss to the head significantly for a short time due to increased blood flow to the brain but that as you continue to exercise, other items come into play that eventually regulate it back to 10% or less.

Of course, heat protection for the head is still a very good idea, especially if the head is submerged. Anything that can decrease how fast your core temperature goes down is a good idea.

All of this is from memory so it is open to be countered and I won't be offended. I'm just putting it out there for the sake of interest and discussion


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:31 am 
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Location: Tri-Cities, WA
Cold water - cold air = dry suit, neoprene booties, full finger dry gloves, neprene hood/cap
Cold water - warm air = dry or wet suit, neoprene booties/shoes, fingerless gloves, cap/visor

Once the water and air become warmer, I shed layers and go for lighter fair (e.g., shorty wetsuit).

Sailing on the Columbia River, the water never really gets 'warm', but the mid summer days can get quite hot (over 100oF). If it is blowing I usually wear at least a shorty wet suit.

This time of year I'm usually in a dry suit or a farmer john wet suit with layers (neoprene upper, wind pants & Jacket, full gloves and a neoprene cap.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:38 am 
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Location: Nepean S.C. Ottawa, Canada
Rule of 120.....

when the combination of the air temps and water temps (in Fahrenheit) = less than 120,
time for a wet suit....

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:16 am 
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Location: san diego
Murph - I've been retired for the past 10 years but I've worked for the Anesthesia Dept. in the O.R. for 30 years. I'm not familiar with the 1950's military study, but in the 1970's and early 80's I've heard that estimates of heat loss from the head were about 30%. Those estimates rose to about 60% in the few years before my retirement. Some believed it to be as high as 80%. I believe these were estimates from experience rather than a study published in a medical journal. The operating rooms were kept cool for very good reasons and the patient would be uncovered on the table. If the procedure was long and the incision would be large, like on some of our belly or chest cases, they would use a heating blanket under the patient and the anesthesiologist would wrap the head in towels in order to conserve heat. If the patient was intentially cooled down the anesthesiologist would surround the head with a thin towel and bags of ice in plastic bags.
I've read in a backpacking magazine years ago that if you're hiking in cold weather and your feet are cold, wear a hat.
We're very good friends with our Olympic Silver Medalist in the 2004 Athens marathon, Meb Keflezighi. Prior to departing to Greece he and his coach went to a seminar for the distance runners and they were advised to wear a cool cap and singlet at the start of their race. When the cap warmed up and became useless, you could take it off and toss it. When they race in cold weather they wear coverings for their arms, but also their head.
I'm not sure if anyone really knows what the percentage of heat loss is from the head, but we both agree that anything that can decrease how fast your core temperature goes down is a good idea.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:06 am 
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Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
Great info. I agree to agree. You don't mess around with the cold. I've been submerged in ice filled water. You don't realize how fast your body becomes useless (and eventually the mind) until it happens to you. Luckily I was out and warmed up before needing emergency services. Well, perhaps I should have had emergency services to be honest but no one, including myself, wanted to admit it.


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