Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Fall Brings the Wind! And the Cold.


90 degree heat and single-digit speeds suck.  A nice 15-knot breeze and speeds over 10 knots  make with worth the extra layers and a little nip on the nose. At least you can add more layers.

What I does it take to keep warm? 

  • Soccer training pants.
  • Either water repellent wind pants or Gore-Tex, depending on how much spray.
  • Base lay fleece top.
  • Turtle neck.
  • Fleece pullover
  • Wind breaker or light Gore-Tex pullover.
  • Very thin balaclava. Keeps the neck warm, but more importantly, it locks the hat on.
  • Ball cap with bump cap insert or fleece hat.
  • Sunglasses (with bifocal).
  • Musto winter sailing gloves
  • Deck shoes.
  • Waterproof socks.


  • Add long underwear.
  • Add second fleece jacket.
  • Possibly heavier wind breaker. Possibly drysuit if really nasty.
  • Heavier balaclava.
  • Ski googles. Keeps you face a lot warmer, even if there is no spray. 
  • Disposable heaters for gloves. They really help, and they keep you in thinner gloves. But I also carry ski gloves (warm but not agile) and insulated waterproof coated gloves (Hydroflector--totally waterproof, excellent grip, and reasonably agile if fitted properly).
  • Thicker waterproof socks, or just a pair of fleece socks under the standard waterproof socks (not if wearing drysuit--waterproof feet are integral.
  • Sometimes Gore-Tex shoes instead of deck shoes. But less agile.

So what am I testing for this season? 

  • Waterproof socks. I used them decades ago for hiking and was unimpressed, but I got several new pairs for this sailing season, and so far, they are a big winner. Comfortable, and they allow me to stay in deck shoes. Gill (top quality) and Randy Sun (great price) are contenders.
  • Seat cushions for a few more sitting locations. A foam pad adds comfort and warmth.
  • Fleece closures for companionway. In two separate layers, they will attach with Velcro, much like my mosquito screens. I don't do much cool/cold weather cruising any more, but they're nice even for a lunch stop. They go well with vented stove-top cabin heater.

Featured in Good Old Boat Magazine, it is nothing more than an old stainless pot inverted over the burner, a flexible 1-inch flue, and a place to place a cooking pot on top of it. Great for warming the cabin and heating up left-overs, all while venting the combustion gasses and CO2 out of the cabin. Very efficient too; the flue is barely warm where it exits the cabin.





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