Are you wearing the right kit?
Staying warm and dry is vital when going to sea. Clothing ranges are huge, and deciding what to wear can be difficult. Sea Teach aim to help you make the right choices and make sure you get the most from your gear.
We recommend a three layer system to ensure you stay warm and dry -
1. Base Layer
The base or wicking layer is to be worn next to the skin. It is highly breathable and designed to take the moisture away from your body after activity and pass it out through the clothing, keeping you dry and warm. The base layer is the foundation of the system, and if it is wrong the system will not work.
2. Middle Layer
The middle layer provides warmth and is to be worn over the base layer and under the outer layer. This layer must also be breathable, enabling the transfer of moisture from the base layer to the outer layer. The thickness and properties of middle layers can vary depending on the kind of sailing you want to do, from thinner micro-fleeces for warmer weather to a much thicker built construction for colder conditions.
3. Outer Layer
The outer layer protects you from the elements. While they have little or no thermal properties they keep out the wind and the water. Like the middle layers they vary depending on your type of sailing from lighter suits for day tripping to very durable and highly breathable suits for ocean crossings and racing. The outer layer also passes out the moisture transferred through the other two layers.
If you already have thermal layers then that's great, but do make sure they are breathable.
NATURAL FIBRES ARE NOT BREATHABLE (with the exception of Merino wool and Gill's activated carbon derived from bamboo fabric) and will retain moisture, which will cool down after activity making you cold and damp, sometimes giving the illusion that your outer layers are leaking.
If you have the correct kit, three layers should be the maximum. With every layer you add the breathability is reduced making it difficult for moisture to pass through. This then has a negative effect, retaining moisture in the clothing which will cool down making you cold.
If you are racing, both Gill and Musto have suits especially designed for this purpose. These suits are lighter in weight, have lower collars to maximise movement and tend to have fewer pockets and features. (Every time you add a pocket, the extra layers of fabric reduce breathability.)
Sea Teach recommends -
Gill KB Racer
Last Updated September 2011
For further information or help choosing gear please contact us.