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Old 12-16-2006, 02:23 AM   #1
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Default Offshore Foul Weather Gear

I am an experienced inshore sailor but have never done any offshore cruising before. I will be beginning a trip in January from Florida to Central and South America, and then from there may be taking other crewing opportunities around the world.

I am looking for some good offshore cruising foul weather gear but don't really know much about it. Can anybody recommend a good company/model of gear for cruising in mostly warm environments?

Any advice would be much appreciated!

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Old 12-18-2006, 08:06 AM   #2
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Musto offshore is pretty dependable. IF you can afford it, go for the gore-tex stuff. If you are going to be at sea for a while, breathable foulies are a real bonus. I would also recommend that you get your own harness (although the musto offshore jacket, from memory, comes with a harness fitted. You should aslo get your own inflatable pfd (why would you trust anyone elses?). You might also want to consider a strobe or even a pocket EPIRB...

You what?
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Old 12-18-2006, 10:18 AM   #3
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Hi Jeremy. Offshore gear is a difficult subject to address. Take a look at the WestMarine catalogue and the arrangement of scores of pages exhorting the virtues of a wide variety of styles. About the only thing manufacturers agree on is the use of GoreTex.

If you will only be cruising in warm waters, and you are on a larger style of cruising yacht with a centre cockpit and a solid dodger, your best gear is a nice pair of undies and a brightly coloured 'T' shirt.

If you are on a more open boat (read 'wetter') you will need waterproofs of some sort. It is easy to say that you should buy the best you can afford. Not so easy to determine what is the best.

I have a Goretex coat with hood, deep pockets, tight velcro wrist seals and not so much cold weather insulation. I have never worn it. I have however worn my Goretex 'bib'n'braces' offshore pants made by some no-name company and designed for use by commercial fishermen operating in tropical climates.

One day I will buy a set of Henry Lloyd offshore gear for cold weather sailing and looking cool on the dock....but I haven't grown a beard yet..or bought a BMW 4x4, so I guess it will have to wait.

I definitely agree with Weyalan that you should buy your own inflatable PFD with harness and crotch strap.

"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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Old 12-18-2006, 07:22 PM   #4
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Recommendations are difficult on this subject as the quality of the products don't necessarily align with the prices, and because we all have our own preferences. Definitely concur on the inflatable harness vest & tether.

Given your route, I would recommend two criteria for you:

-- be sure to have a set of bib-type trousers, for 2 reasons: you will see regular (tho' short duration) convective-borne rain, and you will find night watches bring lots of condensation onto the cockpit surfaces. Bib/pants will help you stay dry in both cases.

-- given your sub-tropical route, I'd look for a lighter-weight, breathable jacket with the basic offshore features (high collar, good wrist seals, multiple pockets and a hood) rather than one of the heavier models. To this I'd take add a fleece layer for the cold frontal weather you will occasionally see early in the passage.

Have a good run and enjoy!

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