There are lots of different ways to go about sailing. You can spend a long day relaxing, take up low-stakes racing, or even go on longer, more adventurous sailing trips. There are, however, a few basic items you’ll always need. Get these and you’ll be in good shape.
Foul Weather Clothing
It’s usually a good idea to invest in some good rain and cold weather gear. This jacket will help keep you dry in the worst of storms. It has performance lining with adjustable cuffs, and is waterproof, windproof and breathable. The lining dries out quickly, and the jacket comes with a high coastal collar and adjustable hood for high winds and strong rains. Buy it on Amazon here.
It’s useful to wear gloves when sailing to protect your hands from the rigging. It’s also important that these gloves give your fingers maneuverability. The Harken Sports ¾ finger gloves are ideal. They offer warmth, yet leave the top parts of your fingers uncovered for easy tactile maneuvering. These gloves improve your grip and allow you to haul lines in easily. The Harkens work especially well because they are made of nylon and rubber. They help keep your hands safe from scratches and cuts but still allow your hands to breathe through a mesh-like material. Buy it on Amazon here.
The Utility Knife
When you first start sailing an instructor will always ask, “Can you tie a bowline?” and “Did you bring your knife?” The knife is an essential element in sailing. You need to have at least one good knife on board that can cut through the synthetic lines in an emergency.
A good knife to have on hand is the Davis Instruments Rigging Knife. This is a good stainless steel knife and screwdriver combo with an easy-to-insert lanyard loop. Attach it to shorts or slacks and it won’t get lost while you’re battling the wind. Buy it on Amazon here.
A Personal Flotation Device
It’s always a good idea to have your own lifejacket when you go sailing. Today’s lifejackets can be worn all the time, and can be quite comfortable. The Omega Type III extreme offers safety without sacrificing comfort. Buy it on Amazon here.
For footwear, you’ll need a good pair of sneakers with strong soles. Something like these Sperry Performance Sneakers will do. Sperry designed these synthetic sneakers especially for extreme conditions. The ASV technology offers protection against vibrations caused at sea, and the hydrophobic upper materials are made for quick drying action. These also have a molded EVA midsole for more cushioning and comfort, which is needed if you have to stand for long periods of time. Buy it on Amazon here.
That’s basically all the personal gear you need to go sailing. Of course, if the boat is yours, it will need to be equipped with rigging lines, sails and the like. But if you’re renting or sailing with friends, this is all the personal gear you’ll need. Be sure to have fun.