What do you need
You will want to stay dry and warm if you are to enjoy yourself – it makes a huge difference to your whole day. Remember it is much cooler on the water than on the beach. You will most likely get wet from top to toe. The wind will make you colder. Staying in the Dee for more than a few minutes can be a chilling experience, especially in Winter and Spring. However, with the right gear, you will be impervious to the weather and have a great time. It need not be expensive – some will say you get what you pay for. Others will shop on eBay and get last year’s best stuff at a much lower cost.
Most people prefer a drysuit but some of us swear by a wetsuit (or two!), What will it cost?
|Item||New||eBay (new & used)|
|Drysuit & fleece / thermals. Fleecy stuff works best, and go for layers for optimal comfort. Some people just put a dry suit over their jeans – they can’t be working hard enough!||£200 + £30||£100|
|Wetsuit (or 2, e.g. wear a shortie under a steamer and you’ll be warm in any conditions).||£90 Full arms.|
|Rash vest (worn under a wetsuit)||£25|
|Dinghy Boots – those with razorcut soles seem to work very well. Old trainers will do the job but won’t keep your feet as warm.||£30||£5|
|Sailing Gloves – with leather palms, or similar. Fingerless for Summer, Full fingers for Winter. Don’t go without unless you’re hard. Really hard.||£15||£5|
|Hat – will be needed for all but the hottest days. Baseball cap is OK for Summer. Fleece works well – and if it is wet and windy a specialist dinghy sailing hat might be in order (water & wind proof) .||£7|
|Buoyancy Aid (50N). Mandatory.||£30||£12|
|Harness for trapezing – required for all crews. Helms will need them on Fast Cats.||£60||£35|
|Sailing Watch – no crew is complete without one and the trusty Timex won’t do the job. Get one with a countdown timer.||£25||£22 New|
Prices shown were found, at the time of writing, on the websites for the vendors listed below, and exclude their Sale prices. New prices are for decent stuff but not necessarily anywhere near the top of the price range.
Where to get it
Members have used the following suppliers and while we can’t give a specific recommendation, try the following:
- Mailspeed in Warrington www.mailspeedmarine.com
- LDC www.ldcracingsailboats.co.uk/shop/
- Tyke Outdoor Sports http://www.tykesports.com/index.html
- Trident UK http://www.trident-uk.com
- Cat Bitz www.cat-bitz.co.uk/acatalog/Clothing.html
- eBay www.ebay.co.uk
- Decathalon in Stockport www.decathlon.co.uk. Low prices and better selection in-store.
- Protec in Wallasey sell drysuits. As used by the rescue team.