Clothing for going to sea

What clothing should I wear when I go to sea?
                                            Clothing for going to sea

The right clothing to wear when going to sea will depend on a number of imponderables,


What is the weather doing now or later?

How long are we going to be out?

How active am I going to be?


The answer to all of these is you need to wear sufficient to maintain a comfortable body core temperature of 35 degrees, thus enabling your muscle groups to perform at their optimal levels. New fabric technologies lead the way in wicking away moisture from your body rather than cotton materials that absorb the perspiration making you cold, hence the 3 layer clothing system.


The 3 layer clothing system

First base or foundation layer, Should fit all the contours of the body and is often called a compression fit.
Its purpose is to wick away perspiration from the skin, whilst maintaining good thermal properties.
Base layer can be worn in summer and winter, the summer foundation having no thermal qualities.
                                                                                                                               Click on image for more information 

Second mid layer

Mid layer clothing provides thermal insulation enabling pockets of warmth around the body. It provides a wind proof layer which should have wicking or breathable qualities.  


                                                                                                                              Click on image for more information
Third top layer

Top layer is the weather protective layer and will be loose fitting to allow ventilation and breathable to allow the whole 3 layer system to work.


If the 3 layer system is not practical then the old adage “wear sufficient that you are slightly perspiring whilst ashore” you should be warm enough when at sea. Remember that perspiration caused by exertion will not escape therefore you may begin to feel cold after exertion. Perhaps it is an idea to have spare t shirts or shirts to change into.


                                                                                                                    Click on image for more information   
Do not forget about a woolly hat / sun hat, scarf, neck warmer and gloves they all play an important role in maintaining you comfort whilst at sea

Foot ware,

Shoes and boots, depending on the conditions your feet are going to get wet. The first thought therefore should be to have a dry pair in reserve.


Deck shoes, have a tread or sole that is designed to push any water away from your shoe, therefore they appear to grip in the wet. Unfortunately lots of our boats now have large areas of shiny fibreglass which become very slippery in wet conditions.


Sailing boots come in all shapes, sizes, designs and prices.

You need to consider your comfort and the probable length of time you will be wearing your boots. Plastic and rubber boots albeit waterproof do cause condensation around the feet. Whereas leather boots with a breathing membrane allow the feet to breath


Garden boots or Wellingtons should be discouraged from boats as there soles are manufactured from oil based substance and leave black scuffs marks around the white fibreglass of your boat.






Previous    Next