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Old 08-02-2019, 15:50   #1
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Sailing below freezing

Looking at taking a training course. There is a local sailing school that does a 4 day sail (day only), and their prices are $599 until the end of February, so essentially Winter here, and go up by the $100 for Spring and another $100 for Summer sailing.

Temps right now are a high of 2c, with a wind blowing, this would be nasty cold I would think.

Would this be enjoyable, or torturous?

Do I need to wear a fur parka or something?

I have been motorcycle camping in freezing temperatures before, and it can be pretty nasty, but of course on a Motorcycle I have a nice warm engine to sit on, and a windshield to hide behind, but on a sailboat I imagine I will be standing in the wind a lot, using my hands to pull ropes and change out sails etc.

Thoughts?
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Old 08-02-2019, 16:26   #2
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Re: Sailing below freezing

Pay the two C notes for summer.
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Old 08-02-2019, 16:35   #3
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Re: Sailing below freezing

I'm not sure what good the fur of your parka will do, but having good clothes will be essential. Boating like most outdoor activities in the winter can be lots of fun and comfortable with the right gear, but miserable or dangerous without.

Dress in layers, wool next to skin, stay dry at all costs (so don't get wet, and don't sweat).
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Old 08-02-2019, 16:36   #4
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Re: Sailing below freezing

Really depends on the boat. Is it a dingy sailing course? Wear a wet or dry suit. FYI the water temps in B.C. are warmer than most glacial run off rivers people kayak/raft and Iíve done a ton of it in wet suits no problem. If itís bigger than 25í, some good weather gear">foul weather gear, rubber boots and layers of wool or polypro underneath, more is better as you can always take some off. Couple pair of gloves and face mask/beleclava. People sail year round down there, dress for the worst, hope for the best (Iíve sailed there in January and itís warmer than March in Alaska, just saying). Iíd do it now and get it over with, chances are the class will be smaller and youíll learn more or at least get to do more for a cheaper price.
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Old 08-02-2019, 17:15   #5
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Re: Sailing below freezing

The boat is Dufour 31 for this month, then it switches to a 24' through summer.


I suppose if I go now I end up paying $300+ in warm weather gear, VS going in Summer and not needing to buy anything, but then at the end I have a nice Spring/Fall Jacket.
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Old 08-02-2019, 17:49   #6
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Re: Sailing below freezing

Quote:
Originally Posted by BugzyCan View Post
The boat is Dufour 31 for this month, then it switches to a 24' through summer.


I suppose if I go now I end up paying $300+ in warm weather gear, VS going in Summer and not needing to buy anything, but then at the end I have a nice Spring/Fall Jacket.
You canít possibly live on the west coast and not own a raincoat and pants that you can wear a couple layers underneath? You donít need to go out and buy brand new offshore gear, just rain gear, even snow pants will do, heck borrow some. The boat will be dry (unless itís raining) and they wonít take you out in anything crazy (most likely <20knts for a beginner course).
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Old 08-02-2019, 18:08   #7
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Re: Sailing below freezing

2*C?

Sounds good to me....

Not too many other punters on the water, quiet anchorages, ....

Clothing? Good boots and gloves... standard wwg jacket , layered underneath that with merino such as icebreaker, hat that covers your ears.

You come from BC... surely you have all that stuff already?
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Old 08-02-2019, 18:20   #8
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Re: Sailing below freezing

Winter sailing is enjoyable and rewarding provided you have the proper clothing to keep you comfortable.

Or reasonably comfortable.

I would do this in a heartbeat.
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Old 08-02-2019, 18:27   #9
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Re: Sailing below freezing

When I was in Norfolk there would always one or two late snow birds heading south. The decks and rigging encased in ice because of freezing rain. They can't wait to jump off the boat and head to a hotel to take warm showers.

People claim you can sail year round on the Salish Sea. Don't know about this year as it seems a particularly nasty one with, drumroll, actual snow. I've made deliveries further south along the coast in the middle of winter, 10 C temp, and it didn't feel much colder than midsummer. If you can get a moderation in temp up to high single digits for a period wouldn't be all that bad. At least in winter you'd have a chance of a bit of wind so you could actually sail not just motor around with the sails up.
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Old 08-02-2019, 18:31   #10
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Re: Sailing below freezing

I did my Advanced CYA cruising course (a five or six day on board) out of Vancouver. Canít recall exactly, but it was Spring. It was chilly, and we had a few sporty wind days, but overall it wasnít too bad.

I carried good foulies, with an extra couple of fleece layers. Stayed warm most of the time.
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Old 08-02-2019, 18:32   #11
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Re: Sailing below freezing

I fished offshore in the north Atlantic in winter for fifty years, it's good for the soul I'd do it.
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Old 08-02-2019, 19:29   #12
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Re: Sailing below freezing

Not even if it was free.
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Old 08-02-2019, 19:42   #13
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Re: Sailing below freezing

Here in Long Island Sound a few boats sail thru the winter.
Biggest problem is not being able to go out when we get iced in.
(or like this Wed. getting back in after ice shifted blocking channel.)
Proper dress, a dry boat (nice big dodger helps) and pick your days
is a great experience. I prefer sunny days but have sailed while snowing,
was special.
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Old 08-02-2019, 21:58   #14
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Re: Sailing below freezing

I'd pay the extra 100 and sail in the spring. Pretty much similar weather to here in Seattle. The forecast for the rest of this month is looking darn cold.
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Old 09-02-2019, 00:44   #15
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Re: Sailing below freezing

if the boat has a good dodger and you can hide from the wind then it is doable. even better if a heater is running below. it's about staying warm. sounds like spring is a better option.
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