Most sailors know about suitable gear to wear for their type of sailing, but we still come accross some people wearing items that should be banned from their sailing kit bag altogether!
1. Cotton Socks and Cotton Tops
As a general rule cotton should be removed from all sports kits. Cotton retains moisture making your nice waterproof/breathable wet gear, or your beautiful Dubarry Ultima boots, inefficient. Wearing cotton underneath all that technical clothing will leave you damp and wet from water-(perspiration!)-retention.
Again jeans are made of cotton, so retain moisture. In addition most jeans lack stretch and have heavy seams which can cause chafing.
Instead wear quick drying trousers like the Musto Evolution Performance Trousers or a pair of fleece pants in colder conditions.
3. Walking runners
i.e. Outdoor runners. These are not really suitable for boats for 2 reasons.
First, they might mark the deck and make your skipper unhappy!
Secondly, the soles on walking runners are heavily ridged- so potentially quite slippy on wet decks. All major sailing brands produce deck runners that are quick drying and give you the grip you need onboard like the Helly Hansen Ahiga V3.
4. A combination of more than 2 baselayers on top of each other.
While baselayers are an absolute must-have in your sailing kit, we don't recommend you wear more than 2 at a time. These are designed to be your first layer and act as a wicking agent. However, once you put more than 2 on top of each other, it reduces the wicking/breathability.
Our ideal combination on a cold day would be the Helly Hansen Dry Baselayer under a Helly Hansen Warm thermal. For offshore sailing mid-layer gear the like of the Gill Crosswind salopettes are the way to go for extra warmth.
Gill Crosswind Salopettes
5. Rashvests worn on their own
This one is for the dinghy sailor.
A common misconception is that rashvests keep you warm. This is only true for fleeced rashvests, like the Rooster Polypro, or the Zhik Hydrophobic Fleece, when worn under a neoprene garment (Wetsuit, Supertherm, Thermaflex or other). However, if worn on their own, they will become cold when wet and do the opposite of what you bought them for.
If you want to wear only a light top and no wetsuit, we recommend you get yourself a Rooster Thermaflex top instead.
So what do you think of our list? Are you making any of these mistakes? Do you agree with all the above?