Gill used to make a long inshore jacket that was/is perfect for summer/tropical sailing. It was the same jacket that most stores carried just longer. The jacket is lightweight so not hot to wear and long enough to pretty much keep you dry, shorts and all. Got the idea to try the jacket from an old picture of a sailing ship captain
garbed in a long rubber slicker hanging over his rubber boots with a sou'wester on his head
. It's worked out great for sailing between the islands which is almost always very windy and wet. Even in 80 degree sunshine, it's cold when you're wet with the wind
blowing 20 gusting to 30.
The big difference between Top of the Line gear
and the next line down is the material. Top of the line stuff is usually made with heavier weight Gore fabric
that is still breathable despite its heavy weight and durability. The Coastal stuff is nearly as well constructed without the premium cloth. It's still breathable, just not the best in wear and/or breath ability. I've got Gill Coadtal gear
which has worked fine including 10 straight days on the way to Hawaii
. But to be truthful, other than that, have hardly worn the jacket. Wore the bib pants sailing in SF Bay
quite a bit but almost never the jacket. FWIW, I'm a cold wimp. There is a reason we live in paradise.
One thing I am going to spend money
on is a breathable pair of boots before I head
north. My feet looked looked like prunes after a couple of days in rubber ones and the boots were squishy from trapped sweat.