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Old 12-04-2008, 19:36   #46
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Before we left on our circumnavigation, we outfitted our entire crew with high quality weather gear">foul weather gear that included bib-overhalls and sea boots. Since we were going to sail the savage seas, we wanted to be prepared.

We might have been lucky, but we only used the foul weather gear one time. In Whangarei, New Zealand, my son and I put on the foul weather gear and strolled around town when it was raining cats and dogs. After about fifteen minutes, the rain stopped and the clouds parted.

We sailed to New Zealand twice and Australia twice, and never used the gear. Of course, we sailed on a catamaran and had a powerful autopilot to do the steering and there was an enclosed cockpit, so we rarely got wet. Occasionally we put on a rain slicker.

The last half of the circumnavigation, we purchased survival suits which we also never used. We also had a couple of full wetsuits to use on deck in the event of needing to go forward in a blow. We never used them either except for snorkling.

Some boats are extremely wet when sailing offshore, and foul weather gear is a necessity. It wasn't that way on Exit Only. That's the way things work on a trade wind circumnavigation on a catamaran.

We did occasionally use cheap rain slickers when going ashore in the dingy in bad weather.

Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only
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Old 12-04-2008, 20:47   #47

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"I don't know if I can do without a fly on a 4+ hour watch"
JohnL, just get a marine grade relief tube and make sure you are standing over the cockpit drain when using it.<G>

The crotch and zipper on men's pants are supposed to be the hardest and most expensive part of simple tailoring, which is probably why the cheaper pants don't have a fly. If you can finagle a 2" wide velcro patch/flap over whatever you do, that will pretty much keep water out, but simply not having a "fly" is the only absolute way to stay waterproof and inexpensive at the same time.

As Charlie mentions, a big pleat of material behind the zipper (think of the gusset on a pair of big old black children's galoshes) works pretty well. "Seam sealant" from any camping store will help waterproof whatever stitching you put in, and "DaCot" thread (dacron core, cotton wrapping) tends to swell and seal the thread holes as it gets wet. Cheaper plain polyester thread doesn't swell, plain cotton doesn't last as long.

The parts of sailing they don't mention in the glossy travel magazines.[g]

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