Choices depend on budget
, & how nasty the weather
for the trip promises to be. My Fav's, in no particular order are:
- Ocean Smock Top, usually with standard cuffs & neck closure, especially if I'm also bringing my Drysuit along. But the Drysuit cuffs & neck seal on the Smock Tops aren't a bad choice if you're a bowman, or the weather
promises to be particularly snotty.
Either type of Smock Top keeps out the wet a LOT better than a jacket. Both due to it's lacking a zipper up the front, as well as the 2-layers of closure/protection around the neck/collar.
Smock tops were developed for & with continuous input from, crewed, & solo, RTW racers. Who happily wear them until it's nasty enough to put on their Musto Survival/Drysuits. Basically they Rock!
- (My) Drysuit's a perpetual fav for off season deliveries, & in areas with just plain old bad weather. Just make sure to get one with internal suspenders, & an external belt. They ride/wear a lot more comfortably, especially when you're swapping out layers of different thicknesses.
FYI: My Drysuit has gotten me some looks which would kill anything which has walked the earth in the last 10k years. Especially from folks without Drysuits, or Smock Tops.
*** Do the Maintenance
on your seals
, & change them before they need it! ***
The ultimate in Drysuits, is Musto's Survival Suit, albeit with a price
to match. They're pretty much standard issue for RTW racers, & have been for 15yrs+ It's a cross between a 1-piece foulie Drysuit, & a full on Survival Suit. With the design nod going to them being setup to let you easily perform deck/sailing tasks, unlike what's possible in a full on (Gumby) survival suit.
- If I can, I like to take along a wetsuit in the 3-5mm range. For cleaning
the hull/inspecting things underwater (and surfing + diving). But also as the ultimate ugly weather, under layer. And or to wear under my Drysuit if the call to head
for the lifeboat ever came, heaven forbid.
*** One key item which goes along with me regardless of whether or not the wetsuit does, is the hood
. It's mega-cranial warmth for when it's nasty.
~ Also, underneath of a wetsuit which is properly fitted, you can often fit a set of long johns, & or rash guards with a layer underneath of them. Which adds to the suits capabilities both in the water
, & as deckware.
- One other nice item to have, is a lightweight (unlined) rain Anorak. Like say one from Moonstone, or similar. It's a good layering piece. Plus, it's handy for when there's just spray, mist, or heavy fog
, on warmer days.
As to Mustang jackets/coats, & suits. I've heard good things pretty much. Just never had much call to try'em out. Especially given the above gear
I own, & the ability to pair it up appropriately; with some of the other listed pieces. In addition to various long underwear, & wool + fleece clothing
And no, sadly, I don't own a Musto Survival Suit, but then, knock on wood, I've done quite well with the other mentioned attire.
*** Also, a KEY point which hasn't been mentioned, is that in conditions necessitating multiple layers, you're fighting a lot of weight & bulk in clothing
to begin with. But if your foulies aren't up to snuff, then your layers get wet (& cold), thus causing them to triple in weight. So that between their now reduced insulating abilities, & increased weight, you're using up a lot more energy to both stay warm, as well as to move around to perform tasks. Which can get quite draining. So make sure that you test your gear
before any long trips.
Especially your; Gloves, Hats, Boots/Socks (and yes, these areas too get layered).
PS: If you're careful, you can get away with drying/warming up some garments made of natural materials in the microwave. I haven't yet been foolish enough, or perhaps brave enough, to try said trick with synthetics.
But starting out a cold damp watch, with toasty wool socks, surely is nice :-)