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Old 01-07-2017, 15:38   #1
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Clothing - what to wear in Scotland/Ireland in August?

My next sail training is in Scotland and so far I haven't sailed in waters colder than 20C. Any recommendations, what should I put on the shopping list?

I checked, water temperature up there is ~12-14C, definitely cold for me if I fell overboard/get a serious shower from a wave. Do you guys wear drysuits?
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Old 01-07-2017, 16:21   #2
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Re: Clothing - what to wear in Scotland/Ireland in August?

For dinghy sailing I'd either have a 5mm wetsuit or a drysuit.

Assuming keelboats though, have you got a good set of foulies? My usual gear is boots, foulie trousers over light trousers, a base layer t-shirt then a light fleece top. On a nice day in August that will do, or if it's cold/windy a fleece jacket on top. If it's wet I'll swap the fleece jacket for my foulie jacket.
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Old 01-07-2017, 18:06   #3
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Re: Clothing - what to wear in Scotland/Ireland in August?

Yep, this is a dissertation, but you asked... so. I find it best to have the ability to mix & match pieces based on conditions, & what job I'm doing onboard. Such as if I'll be at or forward of the mast a lot, what I wear reflects the number of serious douchings Neptune will be giving me. And ease of donning & doffing of gear is huge, as once you switch into watch rotations rom daysailing, you're always tired, slow, & cranky. Even without wrestling with recalcitrant clothing.

I have an HPX smock top (with a hood), & unless it's truly nasty out, or I'm up forward a lot, it keeps me dry enough. The catch being that it's slower & more difficult to get into & out of than a jacket with a full length zipper. But it's also much dryer.

On bad days, yes, I wear a drysuit, & it garners me plenty of evil, envious looks. Though it's even slower to put on or take off than a smock. If I take it off that is And since mine doesn't have a hood, I keep a neoprene beanie or dive type hood in my gear bag. Or if it's predicted to be a heinous day out, I'll wear a foulie jacket with a hood overtop of the drysuit & beanie.

Sadly, it's rare to see 1-piece foulies anymore. As to why, I'm uncertain. But they're supremely fast to get into. With a 1-piece, I'm dressed & on deck before anyone with bibs even has their pants on.

That said, I'm not a Salopettes fan, as there's rarely a way to adjust their fit/length vertically (at the shoulders) to suit how they fit your body shape. Or to tune their leg "length" fit based on how many other layers you have on. And by salopettes, I'm referring both to the style of foulie pants, & similarly designed under layers (shelled & non).

For insulation, start with 1 or 2 pairs of polypro long underwear, & then start adding fleece. And if things promise to be abysmal I might put on a wetsuit vest with a hood over top of my drysuit, primarily for warmth. Though at that point usually it's padding is a much welcomed perk.

You can even get/have them custom made or "tuned", so that you can adjust their size through the torso, such that they fit snug but not tight, based on the bulk of the other gear you're wearing.
Think 3-layer velcro panels, much akin to the cuff on a surfboard leash. Where one layer (or two) is neoprene with the velcro attached to it.

Oh, & dive shops (or online ones) have great kit for keeping you warm when it's wet. A prime example being 1-piece fleece or underwear. As it eliminates cold spots at your lower back, & mid section. But with that said, when buying conventional long underwear & fleece tops, get the long/tall sizes, for the extra length to mitigate the above problem.

Some guys like the neoprene gloves that dive shops carry too. With or without doing DIY finger shortening on the gloves. Usually the thinner/thinnest versions, otherwise it gets tough to do much with your hands. Such gloves are kinda' restrictive that way.

Wetsuits do work, & keep you fairly warm. With or without long underwear or wool/fleece underneath of them. But they're "short term" gear. Meaning a couple of days at a stretch max, perhaps a bit more if it's really cold. As wearing them for extended periods, especially when it's warmer, is a recipe for baboon butt. Though the added padding that they provide is nice when you're getting slammed around & into things by waves & the boat's motion. Also, old school, full torso wrap type, foam life jackets help a LOT with this too. I always wear one when going aloft at sea for exactly this reason. Plus they help with core/torso warmth.

Ensure to keep your extremities warm. Hands, feet, & head. Or everyone on the crew will be miserable (from your whining). I'll sometimes sleep with, not in, one or two smallish damp items. Like my socks, hat, or polypro boxers, to dry them out. And if the boat has a microwave I'll use it to dry & preheat my socks & such before going on deck for a watch. It's a BIG morale, & comfort boost.

For the hands, carry a couple of pairs of different weight polypro glove liners. And if it's not too cold, you can just wear them, with your 3/4 finger sailing gloves overtop of them. But when it's frigid, or you don't so much need extreme dexterity, wear a pair of liners underneath an unlined, heavy pair of rubber gloves, such as made by Atlas. With your sailing gloves over top of the liner, rubber glove combo.

It sounds odd, but it's been the best combo for over half a century. And even Practical Sailor's tests agree with this. Consistently ranking such a setup above even the high $, sailing & watersport gloves, or modular outdoor sporting hand wear.

The one caveat to this is that as the air temp approaches or dips below freezing, you may want a set of mittens to put over all of this. I prefer ones with polypro liners that you can use with the mitten's shells or not. And removable liners makes it easier to dry out your mittens. As gloves & mittens with built in (sewn in/quilted) insulation SUCK. They never dry out, & thus don't help so much with the cold. Leave the skiing gloves at home.

And obviously, have a good setup for keeping your head & neck warm & dry. Especially if you have a full zip foulie jacket. They bite in terms of keeping this area toasty. Thus the birth of offshore smocks via the Volvo Race, & single/short-handed RTW races in the 90's. Crews directly input to Musto & others what they want(ed), as well as what works & what they hate. On smocks especially, & drysuits (Musto Survival Suits), but on other foulie systems as well.

Neoprene's handy for the head & neck area. Just don't buy stuff which fits quite as tightly as if you were diving. If so, it's a bit constrictive, & harder to don & doff. Also, some guys will wear towels around their necks under their foulie jackets to mitigate water ingress. But this is where drysuits, & smocks with hoods excel in keeping your thinker warm & dry as compared to conventional jackets.

One other tip is that it helps to cut down on the nonskid wear on your foulies if you wear a pair of shorts overtops of them. Plus this gives you more pocket options too. Find a pair which fits well over your pants when you're in your kit, & then leave them on the trousers for the duration of the voyage.

BTW, foulies with liners SUCK. The liners are another thing which gets wet & are damned near impossible to dry out while at sea. So my $0.02 is to avoid gear which has them.

Final NOTE: Write your name on Everything, in big block lettering, for visibility even in low light. Doing so using a contrasting colored laundry marker. That way it's dirt simple to tell who's gear is whose. A key factor when kitting up for a watch, or if you ask someone to snag you beanie for you when they're down below. Since gear winds up everywhere in attempts to dry it if you have more than about 2 1/2 people onboard.



EDIT: If it's to be a multi-day trip, do yourself a Big favor, & pack your own personal supply of baby wipes, & baby powder. That way you can get clean & dry, with or without fully undressing. Since rashes suck, being dirty eats at morale, & few boats are draft free enough to be "warm" when you step out of the shower when at sea, that far north.

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Old 02-07-2017, 00:31   #4
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Re: Clothing - what to wear in Scotland/Ireland in August?

Don't forget to get hold of a bottle of Avon Sosoft moisturiser.

If you are anywhere near land at any point it's the only thing that will stop you being eaten alive by the local midge population.......
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Old 02-07-2017, 00:46   #5
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Re: Clothing - what to wear in Scotland/Ireland in August?

For general warmness on watch and off you can not beat merino thermals such as them produced by Icebreaker.

Feet? I have yet to find a decent seaboot for serious coldweather use although I believe they can be found in Norway. For off watch a pair of uggboot style is good.

Hands? Tricky... you need to deal with 2 issues .... them as keep your hands dry probably wont keep them warm... them as keep them warm probably won't keep them dry.... dive gloves as suggested above may work for you.

Off watch you can't beat possum wool gloves....
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Old 02-07-2017, 00:55   #6
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Re: Clothing - what to wear in Scotland/Ireland in August?

And also..... your ears... nothing worse than cold ears... worse than cold fingers cos you can't put your ears in your pocket.

Forget beanies... get something like this .. https://www.bivouac.co.nz/clothing/m...rrior-hat.html

Oh... and don't fall in... then the sea temp isn't an issue..
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Old 02-07-2017, 01:47   #7
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Re: Clothing - what to wear in Scotland/Ireland in August?

^^^^ This is all great advice, but August in Scotland isn't THAT bad
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Old 02-07-2017, 01:49   #8
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Re: Clothing - what to wear in Scotland/Ireland in August?

+ 100 on the Merino wool thermals. Polyprop really STINKS after a few days, Merino wool is fine, non scratchy, does not smell - even after a long period - Sir Peter Blake wore his for several months without removal IIRC. Icebreaker is good, but expensive. Other Merino wool stuff can be quite a bit less $. Be careful of the blended stuff, depending on what is in the blend.
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Old 02-07-2017, 03:40   #9
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Re: Clothing - what to wear in Scotland/Ireland in August?

You'll need clothing for all seasons, you easily get all seasons in one day.
And a big plus for the Avon Skin So Soft, the midges will eat you alive, and that Avon product really does work.
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Old 02-07-2017, 04:03   #10
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Re: Clothing - what to wear in Scotland/Ireland in August?

A kilt.
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Old 02-07-2017, 04:28   #11
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Re: Clothing - what to wear in Scotland/Ireland in August?

Quote:
Originally Posted by terah View Post
^^^^ This is all great advice, but August in Scotland isn't THAT bad

This ^^^^^

It is summer in the UK.
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Old 02-07-2017, 04:51   #12
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Re: Clothing - what to wear in Scotland/Ireland in August?

Thanks for all the advice! I do dive and know how it feels and what wear one needs when jumping in the water. I do have Foulies, which I never used on a boat. I feel myself more clumsy in them than in my diving drysuit, that's why I was asking about drysuit. Diving suit with valves & Co is of course not really for sailing, but I really like the idea, that whatever nature throws at me or throws me IN, I stay warm and dry.

To the question: it will be a keelboat/yacht, not a dinghy, almost 2 weeks on water, some night passages too, in August. I don't want to be the limiting factor lacking clothing for certain conditions/passages.

I am reluctant though to don a drysuit in Summer, I'll look if there are some more streamlined one-piece foulies in the shops around.
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Old 02-07-2017, 05:22   #13
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Re: Clothing - what to wear in Scotland/Ireland in August?

Some great choices, here ➥ https://www.mustangsurvival.com/recr...ing?country=23
and ➥ https://mustangsurvival.com//EpOceanRacing?country=23

This is what I used ➥ https://mustangsurvival.com//recreat...ion&country=23
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Old 02-07-2017, 05:46   #14
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Re: Clothing - what to wear in Scotland/Ireland in August?

FWIW, anywhere it's cold, ideally I'll pack 3 pairs of long johns. One to wear on deck, one for deckwear which are down below drying. And a 3rd pair for sleeping in along with a good warm hat; which this latter pair always get put into a drybag, or ziploc when they're not being slept in.

Also, as opposed to some of the views on here, there's plenty of polypro stuff with good anti-microbial agents built in, so that it doesn't smell. And polypro is cheaper, & much, much longer lasting than is wool. As it deals with abrasion better. Though it does pill up a little with long term use, as does some fleece. But it's the best invention for warmth other than feathers (which have no place on a boat).
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:53   #15
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Re: Clothing - what to wear in Scotland/Ireland in August?

A kilt.
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