Good waterproof sailing jackets are an important component of your boating outfit, especially for conditions that are less than optimal. Every sailboat skipper looks forward to sunny days with light to moderate breezes, but he (or she) knows that there will inevitably be stormy times as well.
The best sailing foul weather gear will include several layers of clothes. Besides the jacket, you will need rugged sailing pants. Good, non-skid boat shoes are an absolute necessity, as are fast drying socks. Planning your marine clothing wardrobe isn’t hard–nor necessarily expensive–but you do need to make sure you have enough to meet any situation, weather-wise. Once you’ve pulled away from the dock and headed out into the boat channel, or ventured onto the high seas, it will be too late to do anything about those items you meant to bring!
A hooded jacket is a great investment that you will definitely appreciate it when rain or waves are blasting you with needles of stinging water. Some sailing jackets also come with what is called a “funnel neck” to help keep water from pouring down your chest and back. For really severe conditions, you might even want to have on hand a sailing drysuit.
Although precipitation is something to prepare for when you go boating, the frequently used term “sailing rain gear” is something of a misnomer. Although rain squalls, or worse, can challenge even the most experienced sailboat crew, it is really those wind-whipped waves that post the greatest threat not only to personal comfort, but to safety itself. In rough seas, not just any waterproof jackets will do. You and your crew will be glad you bought the best boat clothing you could afford.
Given the vagaries of the weather and the changeability of the ocean, sailboating is not an activity for the faint of heart–except for those who never venture out of well-protected harbors. To tell the truth, many sailors live for the adrenaline rush created by choppy seas, rolling waves and gale winds. If this includes you, you are in good company!
Even if you are one of those who live for riding the swells when they’re at their angriest, don’t forget that good foul weather gear includes sailing jackets that will keep your warm and dry in any conditions.