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Old 29-06-2015, 14:04   #1
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Clothing For Pacific Crossing

Hey all,

I've been a long time lurker here and greatly appreciate the depth of knowledge. A crewing opportunity has presented itself going from Hawaii to California this summer. I'd like to be well prepared.

What would you pack in terms of clothing and shoes for a trip like this? Any insight would be greatly appreciated. For weather gear">foul weather gear I'm considering a Gill OS2 kit or a Musto BR2 kit as well as a spinlock deckvest 5d (w/ the hammer inflation). How many shirts, shorts, fleeces, socks would you pack? what about shoes/boots?

Any other insights would be GREATLY, GREATLY appreciated. I want to do this right.

Thanks,
PSea
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Old 29-06-2015, 14:33   #2
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Re: Clothing For Pacific Crossing

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Originally Posted by PSea View Post
Hey all,

I've been a long time lurker here and greatly appreciate the depth of knowledge. A crewing opportunity has presented itself going from Hawaii to California this summer. I'd like to be well prepared.

What would you pack in terms of clothing and shoes for a trip like this? Any insight would be greatly appreciated. For foul weather gear I'm considering a Gill OS2 kit or a Musto BR2 kit as well as a spinlock deckvest 5d (w/ the hammer inflation). How many shirts, shorts, fleeces, socks would you pack? what about shoes/boots?

Any other insights would be GREATLY, GREATLY appreciated. I want to do this right.

Thanks,
PSea

Welcome aboard, PSea,

How soon you need warm stuff will depend a lot on the route the skipper takes, which will in turn depend somewhat on what cyclone season is doing in Mexico.
But, you will need full foulies for the hard on the wind part of the trip, for sure, and then you'll want layers to keep you warm, as it is cold on the ocean off SF, if you're going that far north. Put simply, you need everything you have to have for racing offshore in SF, plus your tropical gear.

I haven't made the Kauai to So Cal trip, so will let someone else respond to that possibility.

Have a fun passage!

Ann
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Old 29-06-2015, 15:10   #3
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Re: Clothing For Pacific Crossing

Well I guess my first question would be whether you plan on motoring through the high pressure system or sail over top of it. Anne is right that you will be sailing hard on the wind for almost the first week and you need reasonable protection from the higher winds and salt spray.
If you sail on top of the high it gets pretty damn cool and the odd low always gives you a visit with crap weather so you do need warm clothes including warm gloves.
If you have the range and you are going to motor through the high then it is sailing lite and will be much warmer although you still need foul weather gear.
I've done this trip 4 times but never motored through the high although I know many that did and it is much easier.
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Old 29-06-2015, 15:26   #4
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Re: Clothing For Pacific Crossing

At present, I believe the plan is to motor through the high and stay south.

Thanks for chiming in. Other's thoughts would be appreciated as well!

PSea
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Old 29-06-2015, 17:02   #5
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Re: Clothing For Pacific Crossing

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At present, I believe the plan is to motor through the high and stay south.

Thanks for chiming in. Other's thoughts would be appreciated as well!

PSea
You need around a thousand miles range but if you can motor through the high its even easier coming out of Hawaii as you don't have to go to weather as long before you bear off. Sounds like party time!
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Old 29-06-2015, 17:40   #6
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Re: Clothing For Pacific Crossing

Hot in Hawaii, cold in Calif--you need the full spectrum. However, the water won't get cold until the last couple of days, when you should have eased sheets a bit. How much armor you need depends a lot on the boat and the dodger If they say 'what dodger?', you are going to need the expensive foulies--otherwise you can make do with a coastal set.
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Old 30-06-2015, 11:10   #7
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Re: Clothing For Pacific Crossing

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Hey all,

What would you pack in terms of clothing and shoes for a trip like this? PSea
Your question is a very good one. I donít know why people have been suggesting route options. The captain will decide that.

But your question. Hereís a list of things I took for a recent 1,200 mile passage between Fiji and New Zealand. Itís a similar trip, and also from the tropics to the sub tropics. It was a wet boat (no dodger at all) and we were hard on the wind most of the way. When I say that I mean it. She bashed and crashed the entire way; the motion was violent and very loud. Made sleeping very difficult. I had no idea about the boat until I stepped up to her.

The boat was far more primitive than most of the boats described on this forum. For example the galley was a single burner camp stove, nothing else; so no sink, no fridge etc. There was only enough fresh water for drinking; none for washing. Battery bank was very limited. Also at night you have to minimise lights anyway as there is always someone trying to sleep.

Everything gets wet, not just damp but soaking. I wish Iíd had a sleeping bag liner. And as well as spray and waves, it rained several times, poured down actually. There was very little space to put things up to dry, and nothing dried anyway. The wet weather gear just dripped over the berths. With the boat motion, the drips actually sprayed quite widely, wetting everything.

Total time at sea was 12 nights and also had a few days in Fiji before we left. A pack or dry bag is far more convenient than a suitcase. You canít take too much stuff as there just isnít room on a boat. You wonít want to look like a tourist.

I took two sets of foulies, one of which I borrowed from the local sailing school. Having two sets really helped. And they need to be 3 sizes too big because they have to fit over all the gear youíll be wearing underneath once it gets cold. And outside in the cockpit at 4am it is even chilly in the tropics. Also I lost my only pair of sunglasses over the side on the first day out. Donít waste your money on flash foul weather gear. Borrow the gear or buy second hand unless youíre going to be using it again.

Someone mentioned layers; good advice. You donít need many clothes. You live in the same clothes for a few days at a time.

4 sets of thermals
4 pairs shorts and tee shirts
2 pairs of pants and warm shirts
2 jerseys
Sailing gloves
Sleeping bag
2 or 3 beanie hats and wide brimmed hat
Something with ear phones for playing music etc on watch
2 or 3 head lamps and spare batteries (red works better)
Pocket torch
Wet ones to wash with
Spare sunglasses
Clock or watch to wake for watches and know time on watch
Plastics bags
Suntan lotion
Drink bottles
Books to read
Accessible, good quality sharp knife on your person at all times
Life jacket with tether and light

I was bare foot the entire trip as I didnít have sea boots. Sea boots would have made life more comfortable. Whilst my feet were never cold till towards the end they were constantly wet and I never seemed to be able to get them dry. But wet socks were an issue for the other crew.

I mention above head lamps and a torch. Always being able to find one in the dark is important. At sea the nights are black. You canít turn on boat lights to dress etc for watches because it disturbs those trying to sleep.

Also as part of getting ready to go on watch we would all fill a water bottle and find a snack to put in our pocket. Plus set up the kettle and cups all ready to easily make a hot drink later on.
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Old 30-06-2015, 11:33   #8
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Re: Clothing For Pacific Crossing

This is a trip I've made a dozen times. The "standard" way that other delivery skippers have touted is to sail as far north as Portland, or even Seattle. This route is mostly with following wind in the ocean, very pleasant - until going south along the coast and getting the bejesus beaten out of you at some of the capes along the coast. I agree that motoring through the high will be more pleasant overall. But get a number of jerry cans (plastic ones are better on the gel coat) to carry additional fuel on deck, the number depends upon the tank capacity of the boat and the consumption rate, as well as the sailing ability of the boat. (I brought back a Santa Cruz 52 that sailed so well that I used very little fuel, less than half of the fuel in the tank and none from the fuel I carried on deck.)
As far as clothing, much depends upon you, your tolerance of cold (off San Francisco), and your experience with foul weather gear (I get wetter from sweat in foul weather gear than without it, even with Gore-Tex. I use a policeman's raincoat to give air circulation. Sea boots that extend higher than the bottom of the raincoat keeps me dry.) For more than half the trip you'll be in shorts and tee shirt (or less). If you'll be in Hawaii over a weekend you can buy tee shirts at the Aloha Bowl flea market for very little. Tee shirts that sell for $13 in town are $13 a half dozen at the Aloha Bowl. That's almost less than the cost of washing them. For the bottom a very few loose boxer-type swim shorts. Then for when it gets cooler, assuming you're coming to San Francisco, you'll need a few days of clothes for cool weather. Fleece is good. Bottoms as well as tops. And a couple tops of Capoline or similar. And a heavy jacket, like what is called an "flyer's jacket". I bring my Richmond Yacht Club jacket. Stay away from cotton jeans, cotton sweatshirts, and similar cotton clothing. These absorb moisture and salt from the air and remain wet until you get ashore and wash them.
Two things to remember.
1. Everyone else on the boat will smell as bad as you. But to cut down on the smell a little stop a couple times abnd go swiming in the ocean - no more than half of the crew in the water at one time. Otherwise a shower on deck by having one crew member pour buckets of salt water over the head of another on the foredeck. Here a Sun Shower full of fresh water can rinse the salt off a few crew members.
2. There just isn't room for enough changes of clothing to allow you to shower and put on fresh clothes each time you go on watch.


And, if you want to change your plans and do mostly sailing, the route to choose is to head northeast as close to the wind as you can get on starboard tack, until you get stopped by the high. Then head for Ecuador (southeast) on port tack. That'll also be on a beat. But the wind direction will change and, still on a beat you will begin heading more east, and then eventually northeast on a reach into San Francisco. Yes, it's a beat almost all the way, but I'd rather be warm and fairly dry with one foot shorter than the other than cold and wet when sailing the "standard" way. Just my prejudice.
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Old 30-06-2015, 13:49   #9
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Re: Clothing For Pacific Crossing

A Navy blue blazer with brass buttons and an Oxford shirt of blue or white, regimental striped tie and grey slacks along with your boating shoes are acceptable anywhere.
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Old 30-06-2015, 13:55   #10
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Re: Clothing For Pacific Crossing

Yacht clubs, dinner parties, banking and court appearances, coronations, funerals, etc. Don't forget your shore going rig, plus all those other suggestions as well.
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Old 30-06-2015, 14:40   #11
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Re: Clothing For Pacific Crossing

grant and seacrab,

Thank you immensely for the posts. Confirms a lot of what I've anticipated: synthetic/quick drying/non-cotton t's, shorts, long sleeve shirts, thermals and polartec fleeces. I have a thin waterproof shell I'll bring in addition to the foulies. I don't expect this boat to be as wet as some given it's set up. The plan is to arrive in Southern California so we will stay south most of the trip.

Just purchased some sealskinz stuff as well (beanie, gloves and socks). Gloves are probably overkill but I'd rather have them and not need them vs the alternative. The sleeping bag liner is a great idea. Looks like it may be prudent to get some boots as well.

I have an Audioflood ipod shuffle that's water proof (highly recommend. great for swimming laps in the pool) and just purchased a Kobo Aura H2o (waterproof eReader) for entertainment.

I believe the boat has about a 195gal fuel tank. So we should be fine.

Thanks again!
PSea
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Old 30-06-2015, 14:41   #12
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Re: Clothing For Pacific Crossing

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A Navy blue blazer with brass buttons and an Oxford shirt of blue or white, regimental striped tie and grey slacks along with your boating shoes are acceptable anywhere.
I was thinking more along the lines of an extra small, fluorescent banana hammock. ;-) sure to keep the crew's spirits high....at least initially!
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Old 30-06-2015, 21:20   #13
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Re: Clothing For Pacific Crossing

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grant and seacrab,
I believe the boat has about a 195gal fuel tank. So we should be fine.
PSea
Did you say what design the boat is and the fuel consumption rate was? That amount of fuel would have been sufficient on all of my deliveries, more than sufficient. On my own boat, a Cal 39, that burns .75 gph (for estimating, but usually .67 gph) at 5 knots (if seas are fairly flat I motor at 6) that's enough fuel for about 1000 miles. That should get you through the high.
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:49   #14
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Re: Clothing For Pacific Crossing

Belated greetings and welcome aboard the CF, PSea.
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:05   #15
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Re: Clothing For Pacific Crossing

you will need a set of fleece warmies and whatever else they say you will need. despite the fact our pacific is hot this year, night time is still chilly .
dont forget your toothbrush.
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