Why Sailing in Layers is Crucial

When you go sailing, you’re probably out to have a good time, and you might think you’re good to go in some summer-friendly clothing as long as you have some basic safety gear onboard.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

There are a lot of dangers on the water, and wearing layers can help save your life.

Let’s take a look at why that is.

Water Temperature

If you go overboard, the average water temperature at night is 62 degrees Fahrenheit. That doesn’t sound any worse than a comfortable fall afternoon, but it can actually cause hypothermia pretty quickly.

Having layers of insulation can protect you from that risk while you attempt to get back on board. Of course, they need to be the right layers of clothing to prevent simply weighing yourself down and causing even bigger problems for yourself, but layers, in general, are a must for this situation.

Sudden Temperature Drops

Temperature seems to be a little more extreme on the water. There’s no cover to break up gusts of wind that compound whatever the temperature is. More importantly, wind currents can suddenly shift, and you can get caught in a sudden temperature drop or rise. If you’re only wearing swimming trunks and some sunscreen, you can quickly have your physical movements hampered by the cold, or if you’re dressed too heavily, you can overheat. Both are not ideal while out on the water.

By dressing with solid sailing base layers topped with a proper windbreaker and other gear options, you can remove or re-add layers as the temperature dictates. This can keep you safe even if the temperatures are extreme. If you’re not comfortable, your movements and fine motor skills can get thrown off; leading to mistakes you cannot afford.

Staying Dry

When you’re sailing, you’re in the middle of a giant body of water, and you can easily be hours away from shore. If you get wet without options to dry off, you can find yourself in a bit of trouble.

Let’s say you wear one layer of clothing and fall overboard or go for a swim, you’re now soaked for the entirety of your trip. If the temperature drops, or it’s already cold outside, that can spell disaster during the long ride home.

If you wear layers, especially water-resistant layers, you can remove a layer and hopefully get a lot dryer instantly. If you wear an insulated, waterproof, base layer, you can take all your wet clothes off and be reasonably comfortable the entire time.

Different Gear Features

Each piece of sailing gear has its own features. If you layer your gear effectively, you can maximize your functionality on the water without relying on things that aren’t attached to your person. Having something in a pocket or waterproof pouch in the lining of one of your layers is a lot better than having it in the cabin or tucked away on the deck.

Layer, Layer, Layer

No matter what you’re doing on the water, make sure you wear appropriate layers to keep you safe. The risk of being underprepared is far too high.

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