Safe water temperature

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by newtosail, Sep 28, 2004.

  1. newtosail

    newtosail New Member

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    Since Laser sailing is WET sailing, is there a magic number for water tempurture when one should consider packing up your lasers 'til next season? Maybe I'm being a woos, but reading how quickly hypothermia affects you at different temps, I thought I'd get your input. I've read the threads on wet/dry suits to extend the season, but wonder when the water temp is getting in the low sixties/fifties, (F) if its a good idea to be out there alone. Sorry if this has been discussed previously. I couldn't find it.
     
  2. 1sailor

    1sailor Member

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    In W. Michigan we sail with drysuits on until the lake freezes.

    Then we sail iceboats !

    Good point you made re: sailing alone, don't do that...

    I definetly adopt a more conservative 'sailing style' when sailing in cold water, because tipping over in 40degree water sucks !
     
  3. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    Sailing alone regardless of the water temps has it's risks (knocked out, fall overboard, can't swim back to boat, can't get back on boat, can't right boat after capsize etc)

    I've been frostbiting for a number of years now, always with rescue boats and at least two other competitors. For me, I wouldn't bother going out by myself if I didn't feel I could survive in the water for less then 5 minutes. I also weigh the chances of capsizing (I've found I can sail in 35+ degree air and 40 degree water temps all day long, but capsizing in cold water sucks a lot of energy out of you and affect your abilty to get righted and continue sailing)

    A drysuit goes a long way to giving you the ability to do that, but there is always the chance of a seal ripping or failing. Not a big deal with other boats around, but a big problem if you are out by yourself and it's windy.

    If it were me, and it was windy, I would be looking for a buddy to go out with me, either in another Laser or a powerboat. If I couldn't find either, I would head to the gym instead
     
  4. Mullet Time!

    Mullet Time! Member

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    if there is water, go sailing
     
  5. Shamu

    Shamu New Member

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    Im gonna have to agree with Tulk, sail if u can. Put a dry suite on and dress in lots of layers. And if there is a chance the weather may cause problems for you and your boat then make sure u have a crash boat with you when ya headout. Keep Sailin.
     
  6. TJM

    TJM New Member

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    Water temperature in the 50s is fine with either a drysuit or wetsuit. If you find yourself getting cold, make sure you have:

    neoprene rash vest under wet suit (both ideally titanium);
    (regular rash vests / thermal tops also work, just not as well)
    neoprene gloves;
    hat;
    cag (windproof top);
    windproof trousers / salopettes.

    This combination works fine all year round for me, even when we've had to chip ice off the boats going out.

    The real danger, ironically, is usually not water temperature but air temperature / cooling from evaporation. Cold winds chill your hands quickly, losing sensivitity and making it more likely you'll make a silly mistake - hence the neoprene gloves. Wetsuits are prone to chilling wearers when water evaporates from the surface - hence the windproof layers.

    Also, you'll cool down much more quickly when you're doing nothing than when you're working hard sailing the boat (or even righting it from a capsize). People get cold very quickly just sitting in a rescue boat, or bobbing around between races.
     
  7. bikspk

    bikspk New Member

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    Interestingly - the problem where I plan on sailing this winter is the opposite. The air temperature will be in the 20's while the water temperature will be in the 70's. The problem is not capsizing but what happens when you get out of the water. (Reservoir serves as cooling water for a 4000 megawatt power plant in WV.
     
  8. GeoffS

    GeoffS Member

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    A friend of mine here in Wisconson likes to go out sailing when it's that cold. He doesn't have the benefit of 70F water, but... Anyway, he reports that a big problem is the sheet freezing and not running through the blocks (big problem when you want to ease the sheet in a big puff!).

    Have fun!

    Cheers,

    Geoff S.
     

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