Following on from our popular What to wear guide for warm weather sailing, we are now focussing on colder conditions as we move well into autumn and winter. Since that article was written we've also introduced Magic Marine and Forward WIP sailing clothing to our collection.
In this article we are going to look at sailing clothing which is more suited for keeping you warm, comfortable and safe in colder sailing conditions.
With the recent UK winds if feels like winter is nearly here, for us this weekend coming will likely be the last blast on our catamaran and we'll likely be wrapped up for two days of sailing at Brightlingsea, Essex.
For those of you brave enough to continue through the winter in events such as the Sail Juice winter series or other class specific events you're going to want to make sure you've got the right sailing kit to keep you warm and comfortable while sailing your boat.
The UK winter can be wonderful, I personally love those cold fresh mornings with beautiful sunshine. As we know the conditions can change quickly and it’s very hard to find new layers you’ve left in the changing room. Always be prepared and make sure you take enough layers of sailing kit out on the water with you, even if you keep that spray top in a safe place on the boat. Or maybe invest in a drybag to store some extra snacks and another layer?
Winter brings a tough decision which usually depends on the type of boat you are sailing. Winter wetsuit or drysuit? Ask different people and they'll give you different answers, it's best to learn about the individual products and look at others who are sailing similar boats. The good news is we've got drysuits and warmer cold weather wetsuits available.
Traditionally wetsuits are designed to trap the water against your skin and for the warmth of your body to warm the water up and keep you insulated, these days wetsuits are different - many of the top manufacturers are working just as hard to keep the water out. This is the case with the Zhik Superwarm wetsuit range.
If you’re sailing an active boat such as a skiff you’ll be working quite hard and moving around the boat, this helps to keep you even warmer. If you are sailing a boat where not much movement is required then you’re likely to need a drysuit to keep the water better insulated.
Here are some of the most popular winter sailing clothing items from the Sailing Chandlery website. As mentioned above we've expanded our range and you can now not only look at Zhik but also look at Magic Marine.
Layering has become very popular over the past few years and that's why we now see skiff suits as one of the most popular wetsuit types, even in the colder winter months. The Zhik Superwarm and Magic Marine Ultimate wetsuit are just two which have changed the approach and now, if 100% honest I would go for a Superwarm all day long - however, we do sail an active boat where you are always moving.
Laying allows excellent flexibility and doesn’t leave you with one wetsuit which isn’t quite right for certain conditions. You can simply add layers underneath and on top of your skiff suit depending on the conditions.
We would usually recommend the two wetsuits mentioned above for winter sailing, however, Zhik have added some confusion in 2018 with the addition of their new V range which is designed for and aimed at the club sailor.
Traditionally when we've put a Zhik wetsuit in front of a customer they've loved the features and technology but not the price tag. Now the ranges are split between X (top of the range) and V (club sailor) we have some options to present and we've found the V suits to be more popular this year.
You can explore the Superwarm, Ultimate and a number of kids winter wetsuit choices on the link below.
Using a layering system allows you to choose the right top for the conditions. We have a number of sailing tops available and in stock at the moment and we're sure you'll find something you like.
Here are the popular ones for winter to keep those cold conditions out:
This is a very popular product. An upgrade to the rash vest, this hydrophobic top seems similar but it repels water and has a lovely fleece lining inside to keep you extra warm.
This top can also be doubled up and worn as a base layer in winter or as a top layer in the summer. Also great for that skiing or snowboarding holiday.
Keeping your head warm is one of your most important tasks, if you have a cold head you'll have a cold body.
Take a look at the winter sailing hat options we have available, everything from beanies to snoods to neoprene hats and headbands.
Keep your toes warm inside those sailing boots, we have two options available, Magic Marine 2mm socks and Zhik Superwarm 3mm winter sailing socks.
As I said above we'll be out for full days on the water as part of the UK Tornado National Championships this weekend.
I would fully expect myself to be wearing Zhik Superwarm this weekend, it keeps me very warm and is tough enough to deal with the type of sailing we're going to be doing.
Likely sailing clothing combination:
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