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In this article we look at some sailing clothing you should be wearing for comfortable, warm weather sailing.
Summer is approaching fast and soon we’ll be well into the sailing season and the cold sailing conditions of January and February will be a distant memory.
As we know the summer in the UK can be unpredictable and a beautiful summers day can quickly change. Our top tip would be the fact that you can always take layers off, but 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 clothing out on the water, even if you keep that spray top in a safe place on the boat.
For Summer the majority of dinghy sailors will be wearing neoprene sailing wetsuits. Neoprene comes in many thicknesses and should fit tight to the skin. When water gets inside the wetsuit the neoprene traps the water and your body temperature heats the water up. This keeps you warm, even though you are wet.
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 thicker wetsuit to keep the water better insulated.
Here are some of the most popular summer sailing clothing items from the Dinghy Rope store. At this stage we only stock Zhik sailing clothing but have a wide range of their dinghy sailing products in stock and ready to go.
As with other on the water clothing manufacturers Zhik work on a layering system, this allows excellent flexibility and doesn’t leave you with one wetsuit which isn’t quite right for certain conditions.
The Zhik Microfleece wetsuit is designed for spring and summer when the water temperatures are better for hitting the water.
Made from 1mm super stretch neoprene with a lovely quick drying inside lining this suit will keep you warm and comfortable. The skiff suit has no zips to irritate, you simply open the top arm straps and climb in.
Due to the inside lining this wetsuit will dry quickly so is ideal for multiple days on the water.
The mens version comes with a Loo Rip allowing you quick and easy access when you need to relieve yourself.
There are two products we really like from this range, the long john skiff suit and also the microfleece trousers. The skiff suit is available in ladies and mens cuts.
Available in short or long sleeve these spandex tops are UPF 50+ rated so keep you protected from the sunshine. They stretch to go over your other clothing, or can be used underneath your wetsuit.
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 be worn as a base layer in winter or as a top layer in the summer.
The titanium top is a thin 0.5mm neoprene top which is super stretchy. It has an excellent heat reflector material inside which traps your body heat and keeps you very warm. The top acts as an excellent weather shield and goes together very well with the Hydrophobic fleece top.
Orspan is waterproof, windproof and breathable with four way stretch. The inner has a fleece lining and the outer is water repellent making it perfect for any on the water sport.
The Orspan sailing top has been designed for high activity water sports.
The Aroshell smock is a very versatile product, it can be used as a spray top on a dinghy or as full wet weather protection while yacht sailing close to shore. This top is lightweight using a 3 layer construction and has adjustable waist, wrists and neck.
No summer clothing review would be complete without a review of headwear. Keep the sun out of your eyes or the sun and heat off of your head.
The Zhik sun visors and Zhik caps are the perfect on and off the water accessory. Available in a range of great colours.
Perfect for summer and extremely popular last year – The Zhik 160 ankle cut boot is lightweight and comfortable.
If you’re going to be trapezing on a boat this summer than you must have a pair of these sailing boots. They are easily slipped on and are secured with a Velcro strap.
ZKGs have been popular already this year with many yacht sailors choosing this sailing shoe over a traditional pair of deck shoes.
They are the ultimate on and off the water sailing shoe. Made from neoprene they can get wet, dry quickly, have superb grip and are extremely comfortable.
Also fantastic for stand up paddle boarding, the beach and in the bar after sailing.
Last weekend we had unexpected summer conditions. We were ready for our first sail of the season and had our Superwarm gear in the bag and ready to go. Slowly and surely during the postponement the sun was getting hotter, at the same rate we were busy swapping items out of our kit bag. In the end we had wetsuit trousers, rash vest and an over top ready to go.
We were wearing our favourite sailing kit in early April!!
Our kit consisted of:
We also had our Zhik Aroshell Smock (Spray Top) in the pocket on the trampoline so it was ready to go if there was an increase in wind speed or change of weather.
During the summer we would expect to wear similar on the water clothing. Although the superwarm socks would stay in the bag for colder conditions. The Zhik 160 boots or Zhik ZKGs would also come out.
Check out our range of Zhik sailing clothing on our website.
Dinghy Rope are a 5 star rated online chandlery providing great prices and fast delivery.
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