Sailing Apparel Can Save Your Life From Death At Sea

Unless you want to freeze from the icy wind or sub-zero water, you need to wear the correct sailing apparel to protect your body from harm.

In Sailing, we wear sailing suits, which by providing a barrier between the cold wind or water and our skin stop us from getting too cold and dying from exposure.

The two main types of sailing suit are:

  • Wetsuit - A neoprene suit that lets water in, which uses your body's thermal energy to heat you up
  • Dry suit - A plastic suit that is waterproof and lets you wear thermals and other clothing underneath to keep you warm

Here is a photo of me in a dry suit, with the ex-BTYC club commordore Za:

Me in a dry suit

Each of the two have their advantages and disadvantages. Here is a table of advantages and disadvantages to help you decide which way to go:

Wetsuit Dry Suit
Advantages Cheap


Keeps you 100% dry

Easy to take on and off

Disadvantages You still get wet

Takes time to warm you up

Get cold quickly if suit is dry

Easily torn

Hard to put on and take off


Can get hot, but no way to take clothes off

Need to remove air from the suit once zipped up

Can be baggy and uncomfortable

These are my opinions and if people contact me I can add more to the list, but those are the criteria you are looking at. If you want a suit for winter, then I would advise the dry suit. But if you want a suit for summer, I would advise the wetsuit (or in my case shorts!).

Your choice depends on budget, taste and season, but if you make the wrong choice it could become an expensive wrong choice, so try and make the right one.

Sailing Clothes on eBay

As well as these suits, there are other sailing apparel that you can choose from. These are accessories that are useful to most people to get as well as your bog standard sailing suit...

Boat Shoes
Boat Shoes will be useful so that you do not rip your dry suit when walking around and also to grip on the boat floor and hull.

Sailing Gloves
Sailing Gloves help grip onto ropes, protect your hands from the cold and stop you getting rope burn (which really hurts!)

Sailing Hats
Sailing Hats are for long haired people like me, who won't be able to see with wind coming at them, to hold their hair down.

Sailing Jackets
This is for the upper body only (no backside protection) and so is only useful as a splash proof piece of clothing that you can wear over a t-shirt.

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