Yeah, you get a lot of cooling
from a soaked cotton shirt when the humidity is 100%, NOT!!!!! Cotton is good at wicking moisture away from the body but really really bad at evaporating it into the atmosphere. Cotton soaks up moisture and stays wet which is way uncomfortable. Cotton also has the pleasant habit of retaining body odors. Works great for single
handers. Oh yes, it's really fun to dry out on a boat when it's washed and even more fun when it's washed in salt water
The modern synthetics are way better than cotton. They wick moisture away from the body and evaporate it into the air quickly, very cool. A synthetic T shirt will dry in minutes when hung on the life lines. For those with crew members or who aren't antisocial, they don't retain odors.
Bought a synthetic long sleeved T shirt from a company called Dry UV, I think, to see if their claims for comfort were real. Wanted long sleeve because the skin on my forearms has taken a beating from the sun and needs protection. The shirt has proved to be very comfortable to wear, in fact, more comfortable than not wearing a shirt at all. Have bought 4 more to wear all the time.
There are synthetics and then there are synthetics. Used to referee soccer back in the days of all black uniforms. My first uniform was a synthetic that didn't breathe well. Not very comfortable to wear as it didn't transport moisture well and wouldn't let air flow through. Moved on to a synthetic that breathes and transports moisture and, even though black, the shirt was like wearing air conditioning
For those of you sticking with cotton clothing
, assume you still have cotton sails
on a gaff rig.
Oh, this thread was about Rayon. Rayon doesn't breathe and not sure about it's wicking qualities. Have found it sticks to me when I get hot and sweaty. It is also rather fragile as others have pointed out. If you like loud aloha shirts and I do, there is nothing better as it really soaks up the dyes but that's strictly for appearance not comfort.