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Old 12-05-2013, 21:17   #1
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Wet weather gear

Recent my wife bought me some state of the art new wet weather gear because she thought I looked a bit dorky in my old oilskins and sou-wester.
Personally, I find all the new so-called wet weather gear useless. For a start, the fabric is way too thin, doesn't like heat and whats with all these silly little hoods on raincoats these days? My old oilskins are thick, heavy and the color of cow poo, but boy, do they keep you dry! I put this down to the fact that they are thick and heavy - they hang and don't cling to the body thereby maintaining an airspace, so you don't need all this fancy breathable fabric. And they are strong, mine are coming up 25 years old and as good as the day I bought them. As for hoods, whoever invented them should be keelhauled. Turn your head sideways and you are looking into a black hole, or to fix the problem, do up the straps so tight it offers no protection to the face, impedes your hearing and sticks to your head like glue. A sou-wester is 100% better any day, but you need a proper one. The brim at the front should be long enough so you can fold the edge up a bit to make a gutter and the brim at the back should be long enough to reach at least half way down your back and have two tapes so that you can tie it criss-cross around your chest. You might look like the Ancient Mariner, but you will be dry. Unfortunately, decent sou-westers are hard to come by these days and since mine is well past its 'use by' date I would welcome advise as to where to get a replacement.
As for the new wet weather gear, I am hurting. My wife bought it but I paid for it.
Chris
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Old 15-05-2013, 19:39   #2
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Re: Wet weather gear

I bought a gore tex drysuit and will never go back. I dig the "old gear is good gear" opinion, but in my case have discovered an alternative that is now my number 1 choice. In lighter temps, an Event drysuit might work out, but they don't last as long.

The drysuit has a relief zipper and integral goretex booties. It's actually "semi-dry" in that the neck seal is neoprene. This means that it is easy on the chafe when turning and twisting.

I've worn the suit in the 40s and in the 70s. Comfortable in both, though in the high 70s it was overly warm... splashing water on it helped, but then so did changing into different gear. When the wind blows and the rain falls, it's excellent gear.
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Old 15-05-2013, 19:48   #3
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Re: Wet weather gear

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I am hurting. My wife bought it but I paid for it.
You got married and this is the for better part! The admiral knows a poorly dressed captain when she sees one. If she got you the good stuff then be happy. I've done outdoor extreme stuff since 1965 and the old stuff sucks! You can buy crappy stuff that looks new and I hope she didn't do that. Quality comes at a price however. I would agree a decent hood design is the key to any of this stuff and it was true when I was mountaineering too. There is new stuff out there that really rocks the sock off the old stuff!
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Old 15-05-2013, 21:25   #4
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Re: Wet weather gear

You want heavy old style? Grundens Brigg 41. It even looks like cow poop.
Brigg 41 Jacket Green
Here's the hat you want to go with it.
Sandhamn 21 Hat Black

If your neighborhood marine store doesn't have it, I'll be glad to order it for you.

I stock Gill and Grundens new Gage line. Not much call for heavy and hot in Florida but it sounds like that's what you want. I kind of agree with you about the hat. Not a fan of hoods but you can roll them up in the collar and wear your big hat instead.
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Old 15-05-2013, 21:44   #5
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Re: Wet weather gear

We purchased all new fancy foul weather gear before we started our circumnavigation. It turned out that it was the least used gear on our yacht. Our cockpit offers great shelter, and the autopilot does all the steering, and so the foul weather gear just never got used.

Of course we did a trade wind circumnavigation, and that meant we were not doing much in the way of cold wet weather sailing. I doubt if I used the foul weather gear more than ten times in earnest in ten years. It just was not necessary the way our boat was set up.

Our most memorable use of the bibs and jackets was in winter weather in Whangarei, New Zealand. My teenage son and I put on our foul weather gear to hike across town to have lunch at McDonalds. All of the Kiwis looked at us like we just got off the tuna boat. They were not wearing any foul weather gear at all - they seemed to enjoy the rain.

At least the foul weather gear worked.
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Old 15-05-2013, 22:05   #6
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Re: Wet weather gear

My old marina had some pictures of the Alaska Packer Fleet and crew from around the turn of the century, the last century. One was of a captain in a long rubber raincoat down to his ankles, knee high rubber boots and a sou'wester. Looked to be an ideal way to stay dry without putting up with the pain of getting into and out of salopets and a foul weather jacket. Biggest pain on my TransPac was taking a piss in bibs. Given the cold temps and no one will ever want me to star in porn, it was a pain to keep from pissing all over myself with long johns, fleece pants and foul weather pants to even find the tool. Anyone who says the sail to Hawaii is fun in the warm sun is full of it. Didn't see temps into the 60s and Sun till I'd been out 11 days and I was making good time.

I took a hint from the captain. Sailing here in Hawaii is generally in warm conditions. Full on foul weather gear is way way too warm. Discovered that Gill makes a long jacket in their inshore line. Have only seen it in one store but a Gill rep says they still make it and it's available from them if you can't find it. The jacket is long enough to keep me dry as it's long enough to cover my shorts. It's lightweight gear so doesn't seem to be a problem with over heating.

Don't like hoods. They always seem to be in the way of where I want to look. Most are way too large so don't cinch down and seal around my face. They act as a funnel to put that dollop of seawater down my front inside the jacket.
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Old 15-05-2013, 22:28   #7
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Re: Wet weather gear

Peter O, That Gill Inshore Lite Jacket is very popular here in Florida also. We sell a bunch of them because if you wear it over shorts, you can sit down without getting your butt wet. If you need one, I'll be glad to ship to Hawaii.
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Old 16-05-2013, 00:37   #8
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Re: Wet weather gear

I love the new stuff. Lighter than pajamas, and that's a good thing as far as I'm concerned because when the boat gets back into the slip I'm not suddenly all itchy to shed my farmer johns before we can rig the spring lines. What we called "breathable" ten years ago doesn't hold a candle to today's breathable fabrics. And when you've got to wear foulies for several days running, there's no more jungle rot.

I'd just as soon go back to canvas sails and hemp lines as go back to oilskins.
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Old 16-05-2013, 03:56   #9
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Re: Wet weather gear

Im sorry Chris, I fundementally disagree, I have Gill '5dot OC' gear, 14 years old now an still going strong

Lightness is an advantage, just when is heavy any advantage when you have to carry it. Strong also can mean light.

The modern outer wear systems are NOT designed to keep you warm , thats the function of the two inner layers, usually forms of fleece.

If your hood design is poor its just a function of bad design, round here I wear full offshore winter gear in JULY , its gets a lot of use!!.

Breathability id very important, though its delivered in varying abilities. teh old "fully waterproof' PVC stuff often left me wetter inside from sweat then the rain would have.


IN driving rain you need good throat,neck and below the nose protection , the best suits have a progressive set of protections that can be deployed as an when required.


IN the polar explorers in the past , loads died from hypothermia, one of those isssues was obviously robust but poor efficiency clothing , these days people can jog to the south pole, hi-tech clothing is one of the reasons why.

In product development, old is simply not better. ( generally)
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Old 16-05-2013, 14:20   #10
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Re: Wet weather gear

I've already got one but wanted to make others aware of the jacket. I found it at a chandlery on close out but the wrong size. Looked for a couple of years to find it any marine store on the left coast without success. Finally found one at the Oakland boat show. If anyone wants one they now know who has them. Great gear for warm weather sailing. No matter how warm it is, it gets chilly if you are wet in 15k winds especially at night.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
Peter O, That Gill Inshore Lite Jacket is very popular here in Florida also. We sell a bunch of them because if you wear it over shorts, you can sit down without getting your butt wet. If you need one, I'll be glad to ship to Hawaii.
IN31JL Inshore Lite Long Jacket: Yellow
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Old 16-05-2013, 17:23   #11
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Re: Wet weather gear

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Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
Peter O, That Gill Inshore Lite Jacket is very popular here in Florida also. We sell a bunch of them because if you wear it over shorts, you can sit down without getting your butt wet. If you need one, I'll be glad to ship to Hawaii.
IN31JL Inshore Lite Long Jacket: Yellow
Good to know. I'm a six-foot white guy, but I'm basically built like a really big Japanese with only 31 inch legs. That means all my height's in my torso, and I wear shorts (and thick socks!) well past the seasonal finish here on Lake Ontario. So I like to know about gear long enough to cover my hind parts!
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Old 16-05-2013, 17:44   #12
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Re: Wet weather gear

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Originally Posted by maxingout View Post
We purchased all new fancy foul weather gear before we started our circumnavigation. It turned out that it was the least used gear on our yacht. Our cockpit offers great shelter, and the autopilot does all the steering, and so the foul weather gear just never got used.

Of course we did a trade wind circumnavigation, and that meant we were not doing much in the way of cold wet weather sailing. I doubt if I used the foul weather gear more than ten times in earnest in ten years. It just was not necessary the way our boat was set up.

Our most memorable use of the bibs and jackets was in winter weather in Whangarei, New Zealand. My teenage son and I put on our foul weather gear to hike across town to have lunch at McDonalds. All of the Kiwis looked at us like we just got off the tuna boat. They were not wearing any foul weather gear at all - they seemed to enjoy the rain.

At least the foul weather gear worked.
yep, after the PNW it never came out much... and I was always looking for the light weight stuff instead.
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Old 16-05-2013, 18:26   #13
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Re: Wet weather gear

Chrisc,

I fully understand that you love your old gear. Do not chuck it. Instead, experiment with the new stuff. I find a bill cap, like a baseball cap under the hood on my jacket, coupled with rolling it back to make a gutter works okay. If you can't make the new stuff work for you, explain why, clearly and dispassionately, to her. (I hope you don't stay mad at your good lady; I'm sure she thought she was doing you a favor, and her heart was in a good place.)

I know from my skipper that he likes his old stuff, and he prefers to choose replacements for himself, AND in his own time, so perhaps you could ask your good lady to not buy foul weather gear for you anymore, 'cause you want to make your own choice, select among available purchases. This is basically a very reasonable request, and may not cause problems. Be kind. But do get your point across.

I hope you find a comfortable compromise position for both of you...it's not always easy!
:-)

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Old 16-05-2013, 18:45   #14
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Re: Wet weather gear

Remember the 70's?
Line 7s and Levi's and old wool sweaters

Give me light weight & flexibility plus breathablity ...Give me non absorbing/wicking under garments.
But for cold weather that old wool sweater still has its benefits
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Old 16-05-2013, 21:53   #15
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Re: Wet weather gear

O.K, I have further tried out the new gear and concede that it is alright, except for the hood. Nothing will ever separate me from my sou-wester. Just now my beloved is using my old one as a pattern and is busy sewing up a new one, and I am moving with the times - it is YELLOW!
My disenchantment with the new wet weather gear points to a deeper malaise concerning all the 'must have' boating equipment on which I have wasted my time and money over the years.
I realize this is getting off-topic, but, when I was a young man I singlehanded across the Atlantic and Pacific in a boat a few inches short of 18' LOA. The most sophisticated piece of electrical equipment on board was a flashlight. Over the years my boats have got bigger and more complex, and our last vessel was 40' LOA with a smart charger on the engine and an impressive array of solar panels and wind generators in an effort to keep up with electrical demands. We sold that vessel, having done with boating, but ended up with an H28 a few months later. I could see endless maintenance looming so one of the first things we did was rip out all the whizz-bang stuff and revert to what Herreschoff intended. We still have a problematic freezer compressor on board that will be the subject of another thread. I would like to biff it as well but am not allowed. I am not a Luddite and don't go along with the cedar bucket thing, but for us both, the simpler the better. We are perfectly happy now for extended periods on board with a 55amp alternator and a 40 watt solar panel, with power to spare.
As an example, my previous vessel had a beautiful gas stove. I didn't like the location of the gas bottles so shifted them to a cockpit locker. I had to rebuild it to make it self draining. In order not to mess with the insurance the gas lines had to be installed by a registered gas fitter. The gas bottle had a solenoid so we could open or close it from down below, so had to run a bit of wiring for it, and because solenoids are power hungry we fitted a 'pulse and hold' device to deal with it. Because we had gas, we had to install a gas detector with a couple of sensors, and so it goes on. On the H28 we have a kerosine stove. Installation was a 10 minute affair, end of story. And yes, I know they're not as easy to light but I figure that with all the time I am saving not have to maintain an array of complex systems, I can afford to wait 45 seconds while the meths pre heats the burners.
So I have come full circle. I want to sail, not work, and somehow that new raincoat epitomizes all the unnecessary complications of my past sailing life.
Keep it simple, and go sailing.
Chris
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