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Old 13-12-2018, 15:11   #1
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Sailing Gloves? Yea or Nay?

I was just reading the thread about gifts for a sailing wife and sailing gloves kept coming up. And it got me thinking, do a lot of cruisers (not racers) use sailing gloves? I have me a lovely pair of Gill neoprene gloves for the cold season because fleece don't help much when hauling lines but the rest of the time I go without.

I can count the number times we have beaten up a narrow enough passage to make me wish I had gloves on two hands. Mind you we have a furling main—I recall hauling the main on my friends boat put a lot more stress on my dainty hands, but even then we were winching more than hauling.

And if you watch a lot of youtube sailing (and unfortunately I do) it's usually the well-dressed noobs who sport the fingerless gloves. But maybe when I get a bit saltier I will want some?
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Old 13-12-2018, 15:20   #2
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Re: Sailing Gloves? Yea or Nay?

Definitely on my list of must-haves. Not all the time of course, but I always know where they are if there's some significant rope-handling coming up. Quality pair. I prefer those with only thumb and first finger fingerless.
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Old 13-12-2018, 15:21   #3
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Re: Sailing Gloves? Yea or Nay?

I use Mechanix gloves. Lots of variations for different climates, cheaper and more rugged IMO. Neoprene for gloves is garbage, one good slip on a line and it'll cut clean through to your skin. Haul on some chain and they'll shred.

https://www.mechanixwear.ca/
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Old 13-12-2018, 15:22   #4
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Re: Sailing Gloves? Yea or Nay?

For halyards and furling lines, yes.
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Old 13-12-2018, 15:38   #5
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Re: Sailing Gloves? Yea or Nay?

The longer I’m on board at one time, the less likely I need/want gloves. When we were doing shorter seasonal sailing (one to three months) I tended to use gloves b/c I’m a wimpy writer who’s hands are usually as soft as a baby’s bottom .

Now that we’re longer term on board each year I make a point of not using gloves, except on rare occasions. Basically, I now have time to build up some protective skin, and I much prefer to work without gloves in general.

There is always a set of gloves in the cockpit in case of emergencies. I will don them if I feel I need to. And I do wear work gloves when handling the anchor/rode. Other than that, not wanted, not needed.
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Old 13-12-2018, 15:47   #6
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Re: Sailing Gloves? Yea or Nay?

I have good leather gloves for handling chain etc. but they are useless for hauling on line.
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Old 13-12-2018, 17:31   #7
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Re: Sailing Gloves? Yea or Nay?

Haven't used sailing gloves in the past 30 years or so. As full time cruiser, hands do build up callouses and don't often need the gloves. Do use gloves for handling fish (on those very rare occasions when we catch one) and for cleaning the bottom, hoping to avoid barney cuts.

I think I remember using sailing gloves when I was a weekender/racer type sailor... long time ago!

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Old 13-12-2018, 17:31   #8
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Re: Sailing Gloves? Yea or Nay?

Gloves are situational. Ripping along racing dinghys/cats, gloves no question.

On the big boat....they’re in there, but haven’t seen the light of day in years.
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Old 13-12-2018, 17:35   #9
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Re: Sailing Gloves? Yea or Nay?

I have soft girlie skin, and do not use gloves. Tried them. What i didn't like is that after they've had their first salt water splash, they're always damp. Phooey on it! If I have calluses (sp?) on my hands and someone judges me poorly because of it, well, phooey on them, too. Just because people want to sell you something doesn't mean you need the item.

We met a beautiful Dutch woman, and she wore sailing gloves on their large catamaran. She was beautiful in the way models are beautiful, and I suppose they fitted her image. I doubt she was into sail handling.

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Old 13-12-2018, 17:46   #10
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Re: Sailing Gloves? Yea or Nay?

Definitely. Love them. They allow you to do a little more with any line than bare hands.
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Old 13-12-2018, 17:56   #11
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Re: Sailing Gloves? Yea or Nay?

Easy, depends on the hands.
Talking about gloves, I was skeet shooting once and this fellow showed up, got set up , gloves and all.
I thought, hmmm, gloves eh?
It didn't make him much of a shot. Entertaining though.
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Old 13-12-2018, 18:04   #12
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Re: Sailing Gloves? Yea or Nay?

I am a cruiser and have spent 5 months of every year on the boat in the islands for quite a while. This thread reminds me of something my son said about crewing on a racing boat which he found far less relaxing and said "They dont even cleat their sheets". This compared to my style of sailing in the trade winds where I rarely even touch the sheets once I have the boat dialed in for the direction I am heading. I am not interested in getting every last fraction of a knot and so dont need to be constantly messing with sail trim.
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Old 13-12-2018, 18:05   #13
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Re: Sailing Gloves? Yea or Nay?

Gloves are for cold weather or scrubbing the bottom. For lines and chain, never. It only takes a few days to get your hands conditioned to hauling on lines, and then you're set. Once you're well into it, it seems that the callouses get smaller but the skin tougher. I always have bigger callouses after the first week of intensive line handling than after a few months of it.
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Old 13-12-2018, 18:56   #14
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Re: Sailing Gloves? Yea or Nay?

For the weekend sailor especially if you've got 5/16" or smaller sheets and halyards, are a godsend. For the active cruiser or a racer who competes Wednesday, Friday and weekends, you'll build up the callouses so they aren't often needed. The problem comes when you only think you are a calloused sailor and grab a running sheet or halyard without gloves and burn off a couple layers of skin.
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Old 13-12-2018, 19:17   #15
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Re: Sailing Gloves? Yea or Nay?

I think for me it’s not just that I develop callouses over time, but I also get smart about how to manage a moving line. Avoiding rope burn is a matter of experience , and managing lines smartly.

I find if I don’t use gloves I (re)learn how to be smart pretty quickly at the start of each season .
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