Sea-rat, a lot depends on your budget
. "Real" marine-sourced GoreTex foulies are going to cost a bloody fortune, easily $600 or more. Personally, I love GoreTex, but I started sailing (OK, not mid-Atlantic!) with a set of cheap
foulies and after being cold and wet, soaking wet, once too often I went out and bought a top set of Henry-Lloyd foulies (bib pants and a float coat with chest harness) that fortunately were being cleared out on sale
with a new line being introduced. Even then it hurt, and I said to myself at least I only have to buy them once.
These days I'm more likely to wear the GoreTex I bought from "camping" sources like REI and Sierra Trading Post. GT comes with different warranties and if you buy it, you want the "Extreme Wet Weather" top grade, with sealed seams, or it is worthless in a downpour. (Or storm at sea.) You can buy recreational GoreTex at a fraction of the marine price
, typically $50-150 each for the pants and jacket if you buy them on sale
. You won't get the same bright colors--which is a real safety
issue if you go overboard
, but then again, your PFD
should be bright anyway. And you won't get the same waterproofing (good collar, iner wrist seals
, etc.) unless you shop carefully. But there are some great bargains to be had there.
And fwiw my GoreTex works just fine in humid weather
, as long as you are warmer inside the vapor pressure still pushes the moisture out. You'll still be hotter and more humid than you would be in cool dry wx...but I save the real foulies for real nasty wx, the GoreTex beats "plastic" every time in anything less. Particularly in hot humid summer weather
If someone doesn't like the fact that my winter-weight foul pants are RealTree Camo pattern, I just tell 'em I'm duck hunting, do they want to see the shotgun or have fresh duck for dinner? At $50 instead of $200+, I can deal with it.
If your butt is warm and dry--you'll enjoy sailing. So by all means, get the best foulies your budget
allows, however you do it. Start from the skin out--with polypropylene or other "wicking" underwear, even if that is only jockey shorts. Poly is about the only way to keep your skin dry--and that's important. Wool and silk also stay warm when dry, but they don't "wick" the moisture from your skin like poly does. Same thing with your pants and top, avoid cotton like the plague.
Any good camping supply can tell you about keeping warm and dry, and dress you from the skin to the final layer. What you choose for that final layer...you already have the options for. By all means if you can, TRY IT ON, don't just mail-order it. There is a huge difference in hoods and collars and how they fit and keep you dry. Worth way more than the premium you may have to pay to try it on and buy it locally.