question for guys who do a lot of frostbiting

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I am going to be frostbiting for the first time this year in RI and am wondering what most of you guys wear. I have a drysuit that i am going to use.... do u wear hiking pants under the drysuit? I cant imaging getting them over the suit. Should I worry about wearing through the seat of the dry suit?
If you can, wetsuit (hikers, thermal top etc) as long as you can, no drysuit (drysuit limits mobility a bit and cuts down the "feel")

Drysuit when it get's really cold (Dec thru March)
Hikers underneath, no worries about wearing out drysuit seat.

Search the threads here, we've talked about what people like/works a lot
Layer, layer, layer, layer....then another layer. Good gloves, good hat (covering ears).

I sweat like crazy even in a "breathable" drysuit and the loss of mobility means its more likely that you'll go for a swim.

We sail unless the lake is completely covered in ice or we can't create enough open water to be usable. The secret is a few short races (normally a couple of 45 min pursuits)

The only issue i ever have is keeping my feet warm...have to keep moving my toes to get the blood flowing through.

Some of my most memorable sailing days have been in the depths of winter with crystal clear air, the bluest sky and warming sun glinting off the fresh snow on the shoreline.....

me.......I love frostbiting
fat 'n' old you ever tried a Wetsuit sock?

In winter I go out in 3/4 Hikers with a dry top (under which many layers of thermal baselayers and maybe a microfleece). Feet wise I wear my 3mm neoprene summer shoe with a 3mm wetsuit sock underneath.

There is a bit of bare lower leg exposed between hikers and wetsuit socks, however my legs are quite hairy and I find I can use the hairs to determin the wind direction :p
I do have a pair of wetsuit socks and jolly good they are too, but me poor old tootsies still get a tad chilly. I'm thinking of filling the wetsocks with goose fat this winter. It works for the geese and it would also make them really easy to slip on.
I sail in the Newport fleet. I wear a drysuit with Jean or fleece underneath depends on temp. I like staying dry so I have not thought about the wetsuit. I do not wear hikers but I would probably try to get them on the outside. A nice windproof hat is beautifal.
Ian, You must have Canada Geese, like around here, guessing they're slightly more used to cold weather coming from Canada. Bit like like a Geordie in London.....

I suppose goose fat could work as long as you are sitting upwind of your feet

Never been sitting aside the raised daggerboard facing astern on a run when there's naff all wind? Frustrating to say that's the norm where I sail (R.Dee @ Chester). Moving clubs soon.......
Been in that position many

I know that part of the world well.(Cheshire lad myself :) )..although i've never sailed on the Dee. I would have thought you could blast up to West KIrby from there...where are you thinking of joining?
In the fall the air usually gets colder and the water stays wetsuit warm into Dec (nice for launching in a wetsuit, can get cold sailing if the air is really cold), in the spring the water is cold even after the air warms up (you'll have to dip in cold water to launch but will comfortable when sailing), A wetsuit gives you more mobility and if the temperatures alow its a good choice, my new breathable drysuit fits nicely and doesn't restrict movement as much as other ones I've used. I highly suggest wearing a front zip drysuit since you can get in and out easily, If it gets too hot you can also unzip the front to let some cool air in and/or take off a layer, You'll want to wear your hiking pants on the inside,
I've been frostbiting the last two years and have been using a zhik superwarm skiff suit. Not cheap but, I've sailed in 30 degree weather chipping ice out of the boat (FJ) and felt perfectly warm in the suit. In fact, when I've taken it off after racing I usually find that I've actually been sweating in it. Two friends have since bought the same skiff suit and love it. One sailed lasers and the other was my crew on FJs. I'll be sailing laser this winter. Our temperatures down here in DC tend to be in the 40 degree range 30s is occassional. Water temps on the Potomac get pretty low as well. So, clearly not RI weather but cold nonetheless. Chota, puts out a waterproof dinghy boot that is closed-cell neoprene. I'll be getting those this year and likely will wear them over a wool sock. I've used Chota mukluks for foredeck work on the PHRF boats I'm on and love them. They are warm, dry, flexible and have great traction.

Oh and the Zhik suit also has a loo rip so that you don't have to pull the whole thing off to hit the head.

Down here alot of people just wear the Zhik suit and a spray top for frostbiting. I'm not quite that hardy. I also wear the Zhik superwarm top.
Been in that position many

I know that part of the world well.(Cheshire lad myself :) )..although i've never sailed on the Dee. I would have thought you could blast up to West KIrby from there...where are you thinking of joining?
I had a look at the big clubs in the northwest earlier this year, the likes of Budworth, Leigh & Lowton, Bala, West Kirby. All are about an hours drive in different direction (West Kirby probably more 40mins depending on what the high road is like.) Only Leigh & Lowton have a sizable fleet of 10+ reguler from looking at there results. There is another very little known club by Chester which is Shotwick Lake (heard of it?, most people at Chester haven't) Its a decent sized purpose built sailing lake which was originally the British Steel Sailing Association (Corus Colours). Its pretty open to the Dee estuary and the Welsh hills so prevailing is pretty good. Laser wise 5-6 active (2 Laser Youth Squad) however I counted 26 in their dinghy park when I went down today. Ideal location to build a fleet I guess. Have arranged to move my boat there next Saturday.

Think its going to be cold there so going back on to subject. I wouldn't go as far as a drysuit I tend to find they don't fit me very well being tall and quite slender. To get the height I have to get them slightly too broad. I inquired earlier this year about getting a Musto MPX however on fitting there was two much material on the Large however not enough height on the Medium, Musto suggested buying a medium and then parting with more money for them to extend the legs (something like an extra £40 a leg) however I was advised this would void there guarantee. Just seemed to expensive for me. fat-n-old> you know a good supplier of goose fat?

Jack, just a thought for you. Try Crosby SC over the other side of the Mersey. We normally have about 6 - 10 lasers out racing, hoping for a few more vistors over the winter. Sail on sea water filled lake so it doesn't freeze over like most did last winter. L & L only sailed 3 weekends out of 3 months when they froze over. I would think shotwich will do the same as its fresh water. Check out the website its a newly built centre cost £10.5 million. :eek:
I had my first winter back in a laser in many years with Fleet 413 in Newport R.I last winter. It took me a while to get the clothing figured out in order to stay warm enough and still maintain the mobility needed to race the boat well. I brought the Zhik superwarm skiff suit with power pads and coupled with the Zhik superwarm top I almost never find my core getting cold. Underneath the superwarm top I wear a magic marine lycra top that has some sort of light thermal fleece inside it. This combination is pretty nice.

The hands and feet took a little more time to figure out, but late in the season (when it was really cold) I finally found the combination that worked for me. When it is seriously cold I use "Glacier Gloves". These are neoprene with a light fleece linning. The nice thing is the Gloves are built with preformed bent fingers. Apparently kiteboarders use these alot. These seem to offer just enough dexterity to be able to sail the boat hold the mainsheet and adjust all the controls while still keeping the hands warm. I tried all sorts of other glove combinations including the Atlas and Gill gloves along with regular sailing gloves. These were fine in the fall, but come January and February you need some serious gloves or you will be hurting....or at least i was until I found these.

For footwear I started off with an old pair of Aigle boots I had, and these coupled with 3mm neoprene socks were fine for the fall and early winter. As it got colder and my feet became blocks of ice I upgraded to the Zhik 250 boot as these are neoprene again with an insulated linning. I coupled these with the neoprene socks and even used sealskin waterproof socks over these a few times. the waterproof socks didnt really seem waterproof, but did add an additional layer of warmth. My feet were still not toasty...but it was tolerable.

I used a drysuit on one of the seriously cold days and absolutely hated it. I felt like the michelin man and just couldn't move around the boat very well. I stuck with my wetsuit combination throughout the entire winter and once I got the gloves and boots sorted out I felt pretty comfortable on even the coldest days.....or at least warm enough to be able to function and sail.

The Zhik gear is not cheap but in my mind if I was going to frostbite I needed to invest in some gear that was at least going to allow me to enjoy the sailing and not have it become a hate mission.

I really enjoyed Frostbiting last year and will definitely be back this season. Fleet 413 in Newport are a great group of guys and girls and the fleet captains Dave and Stu do an excellent job coordinating the group and getting the word out.

Hope this was of some help.

Hope to see you out there.

Best Regards

Dave Armitage