Best Fabrics For Sailing in Hot And Humid Weather
Onboard your sailing clothing must meet very special requirements. Salt, sun, and humidity put the materials to the test and demand strong resistance. This makes professional functional clothing all the more important.
Whether jacket, trousers or shoes – the right sailing clothing is waterproof, breathable, strong and offers you protection in all weather conditions. With the right clothing for sailing, you can face the blasts of wind and rain showers on the Baltic coast or the hot and dry climate on the Ionian Sea.
The right clothing is an essential part of your sailing equipment.
CRITERIA FOR THE RIGHT SAILING CLOTHING: WHAT YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO
Waterproofness: Probably the most important criteria when buying your sailing clothing is a material that is as waterproof as possible!
Comfort and wearability: A clever combination of clothing for sailing and small extras increase the comfort immensely. The weight of the clothing under sail also plays an important role: the lighter the sailing clothing, the better you can move.
Breathability: Sailing clothing should insulate well and keep you nice and warm. This applies especially to the sailing jacket. On the other hand, it is equally important that the jacket is breathable. This is the only way to prevent a humid atmosphere from forming under your waterproof sailing jacket, which would allow your body to cool down. A breathable surface ensures that you stay dry and warm under the jacket.
Good fabrics – good sailing clothing
Traditionally, seafarers’ weather protection clothing is called oilskin, as the sailors’ clothing was originally made waterproof by oil impregnation. Nowadays, jackets and trousers are either coated or made of multi-layer textile laminate, but the name has remained the same.
THE MATERIAL GUIDE
Different base materials of sailing clothing also have different properties. Clothing made of wool and cotton is not breathable. Wet cotton becomes heavy and dries very slowly. On the other hand, the wearing comfort is higher, wool is considered to be pleasant, soft and skin-friendly.
With blended fabrics of synthetic fibers and merino wool, the advantages of both fibers are combined. Either the entire garment is made of the material mix, or individual zones are processed with different fibers. Parts of the body that release moisture are covered with synthetic fibers, cold-sensitive body parts with fabrics with higher wool content.
Rayon is a manufactured fiber made from natural sources such as wood and agricultural products that are regenerated as natural cellulose fiber, hence it`s not considered to be synthetic. It is a versatile fiber and is widely claimed to have the same comfort properties as natural fibers, and can imitate the feel and texture of natural fibers such as silk, wool, cotton, and linen. Rayon fabrics are soft, smooth, cool, comfortable, breathable, and highly absorbent, but they do not always keep body heat, making them ideal for use in hot and humid weather. All this makes rayon the best clothing material for heat, a fabric that keeps you cool.
Microfibres made of high-tech fabrics such as GoreTex, Neoprene, Softshell or Fleece guarantee moisture transport that starts directly on the skin. They have excellent moisture management properties because they transport moisture very effectively, but hardly absorb any moisture themselves. Also, sailing clothing made of these fabrics has UV protection.
The best way to fight the cold and deal with increases and decreases in body temperature is by ‘layering’. the clothes.
The base layer
The base layer of the sailing clothing lies directly on the skin. This layer is intended to transport moisture from the skin to the next layer of clothing – the underwear – and thereby keep the skin’s climate dry and warm. The underwear must, therefore, be able to absorb moisture and pass it on, but it must also dry quickly.
The middle layer
The middle layer, also known as thermal, mid-layer or insulation layer, is mainly responsible for keeping the sailor warm. Synthetic fibers are the material of choice here, cotton should be avoided. On warmer days, these garments can even be used as outer layers and the high flexibility increases comfort.
The outside layer
The outer layer (also: shell layer ) should be particularly robust and resistant garments that offer you protection even in storms and cold. The outer layer includes sailing pants and a sailing jacket. The outer layer is a protective layer and serves to protect against external influences such as wind, waves, and rain, and directs the water vapor from the lower layers. Modern sailing clothing has a waterproof but breathable membrane, sealed seams, and covered closures. With the outer layer, make sure that the sailing jackets have taped seams and lined storm collars in addition to hidden zippers.