Understanding The Layering System
The Base Layer - Good layering starts with a good base layer, which should be lightweight and made of a natural or synthetic fiber that wicks moisture away from the skin. Tops and bottoms are available from a variety of companies and in both men's and women's specific sizing.
Mid Layers - Mid-layers can range in thickness according to weather and should again be made of wicking natural or synthetic fibers, such as wool or fleece. Pants, jackets, quarter zip tops, and more are available for men and women.
Waterproof Tops and Pants - Commonly called spray tops and spray pants by dinghy sailors, these outer layers should be waterproof and windproof, offering protection from wind and spray. Gaskets and adjustment points at the neck, wrist, and ankles are cut so that base and mid layers can be worn comfortably underneath.
Neoprene Layers - Neoprene layers can be worn with other dry layers, or on their own. Sailing wetsuits are typically 3-5mm and come in a range of cuts. Most are reinforced at the knees and allow good flexibility. Tops made from similar fabrics can be work to add additional warmth on cold days. It is not uncommon to wear a wetsuit as a first layer with a set of spray gear on top to help cut wind chill on cold days.
HELPFUL REMINDER - There are many ways to get dressed for sailing. Key factors include weather, water temperature, type of boat being sailed, time on the water, and personal comfort with cold. When in doubt, ask a friend sailing where you are sailing for guidance on what they are wearing. Our team is here to help answer questions and guide you to the right gear for your needs.