If you’re just getting into sailing, you’ve probably poured over information regarding your own safety, what gear you need on your boat, what to do in an emergency, etc. However, clothing always seems to be in the background of new sailors’ minds.
Luckily, we’re here to help you figure out what you need in the clothing line to protect yourself, sail comfortably, and of course, look the part when you’re on the water.
Here’s a list of the clothing items you need to add to your sailing gear.
1: Sailing Base Layer
The base layer is the foundation of your sailing clothing. It’s the most basic bit of clothing you have, and in reality, it can easily become the only bit of clothing you have.
For this, we recommend something that is well-insulated, water-resistant, or waterproof, and if not waterproof, your base layer should at least be made from quick-dry fabric.
In the event, you fall overboard or otherwise get soaked, your base layer might end up being all you have on. You don’t want it to stay wet, and it should be able to keep you warm while you dry off everything.
2: Sailing Shoes
Your ability to navigate the deck of your boat without slipping on wet surfaces is crucial. For that, you need sailing shoes. These non-slip shoes will grip your deck firmly, promote quick movements and balance, and usually, they’ll be made from quick-dry fabric.
You absolutely need a pair of these in your ownership. Boots, tennis shoes, and the rest of your options are fine on land, and they might be able to grip the boat, but you also have to remember that you might go overboard. Sailing shoes take that into account too, but other shoes don’t.
3: Sailing Tops
Sailing tops can go over your base layer, and there are a lot of options for you to choose from. It’s honestly probably best to have several to choose from.
Sailing tops designed for different climates, with different features in mind, or with their own little benefits can all come in handy on different trips. After all, nature shifts all the time, and that summertime sailing top you brought along might not work if you run into a cold front or a serious storm on the water.
If you have extras onboard, you know you’ll have appropriate clothing should the weather turn.
4: Sailing Jacket
This is a big one. You obviously won’t want to wear your sailing jacket if you’re going for a swim with friends in the summer, or just enjoying a hot afternoon on the water. However, you need to have one on board.
A water-resistant sailing jacket will help you dramatically during storms, cold-weather sailing, etc. If you don’t have one, get one, and make sure you leave it on your boat. The other clothing options can be somewhat covered with normal clothing options –that’s not recommended, though-, but your jacket needs to be designed to handle the rigors of sailing.