Site Loader

The saying goes: “there is no such thing as the weather, only the wrong clothes.”

As I write, the UK just had its coldest March since blah blah blah, so in an effort to reinvigorate spring and induce a heat wave, here are some tips for navigating cold weather.

So try these when the need arises:

  1. Bring more clothes to the club than you think you might need. Wearing them should warm you up to begin with! If your sailing wardrobe is inadequate, raid the closets for an old fleece or two. And it may be time to pull out the credit card
  2. Basic principle: never underestimate the cold: it is much easier to take off a layer if it is too hot than to warm up if it gets cold.
  3. If your boat lives ashore rather than moored, please dress warm in civilian clothing while rigging, including extra layers, hat, gloves, etc. It’s okay to sneak thermals under your jeans or throw on a (dry) sailing raincoat along with your coat.
  4. But if it’s also a downpour, put on your sailing gear first
  5. Rig with a sense of purpose, this is no time to waste time. If someone likes a pep talk, save it for the locker room. Move the boat out of the wind if it is passable. Check toe stirrup strings and the like – this is not the day for equipment failure to induce swimming
  6. Eat Right Before You Go Afloat – This is not a time for low blood sugar. And use the bathrooms too. Stripping down to answer the call of the wild while out in the elements won’t help keep you warm.
  7. I have a theory that your head is a good source of information about the wind. But if it hurts with cold, forget it. Wear at least a beanie and, better yet, a balaclava, or both!
  8. Do not overheat in the locker room, sweat and then immediately freeze while walking outdoors. Save yourself putting on the last two layers until you’re out of the locker room, maybe even out
  9. Do not go into the water to jump if you can avoid it. If you really have to paddle deep water on a regular basis, get a dry suit. Making the crew do it to save you is unacceptable.
  10. Take an extra layer or two afloat, but store in a dry, accessible tank or dry bag.
  11. do not use leather sailing gloves: keep your hands wet, which absorbs heat. There are several alternative materials.
  12. A little gentle exercise to get the blood flowing
  13. Don’t cast too soon
  14. But once afloat, get to work. Don’t sit there feeling miserable
  15. If you have to walk around (because of general retreats, for example), get up as well and get as far out of the wind as you can. Also, if possible, navigate somewhere sheltered but not too far from the starting point.
  16. If your fingers get cold, suck on them, you will be surprised.
  17. Do a softer warm-up afloat around the gun time of 5 minutes
  18. Don’t get carried away by the weather, hug it and laugh; doing so will give you a real advantage over the wretched
  19. The light winds and the cold are the biggest challenge, all that standing still stuff.
  20. If you come ashore feeling very cold, warm up, shower and change before packing up the boat (but lower the sails first)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *