question for guys who do a lot of frostbiting

#21
Hi Wessel

Yes I probably went in 3 times over the course of the season wearing the superwarm top and skiff suit. I was pretty happy with the warmth retention of the gear and was fine to continue sailing once I had gone in.

The day I wore the drysuit was 12-18 kts and I capsized once just because I could barely move in the darn thing.

I am so happy with the gear I now have, I am probably going to sell the drysuit.

Everyone is different, so you need to find what works for you. From casual observations last year i would say once it got really cold perhaps 40-60% of the people wore drysuits with the balance of people wearing wetsuits and some combination of drytop or spraytop.

Thats my 2 cents.
 
#23
I'm just getting back into sailing after a 15 year break and bought a Laser after spending 2 weeks sailing one on a Neilson holiday in Kenya. Got back here ( South UK) and it's going to get cold... Been toying with the idea of a wetsuit as it seems a bit cheaper that winter wetsuit / spray suit etc. After reading all your thoughts on the subject, I thinking I will stick to the wetsuit option.
 
#24
Check out the Rooster site. They have a lot of info on *layering* neoprene. I know that some of the posters here use the Rooster system in the UK and like it. I currently have a layered system like the Rooster system and like it but I am always looking to knock off that last bit of chill.
 
#25
I frostbite in Ireland and i'd say our weather is pretty much the same temp as yours. I just wear rooster 3/4 length pro hikers, thermal rash vest, life jacket and smock over the lot. When the temp really drops I put a aquafleece under the smock for a little more insulation. I also have a pair of "palm" kayaking hot socks for inside my boots, fantastic but of kit. The part of my legs thats exposed never make me cold

although... I did fall out of the boat one severly windy day last january and I was so cold when I caught up with the boat and climbed in and stopped laughing I had to go to shore and have a shower!!!
 
#27
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?
You can wear hiking shorts over your drysuit, this way there is less wear on your drysuit and you can adjust the hiking shorts easier. If its uncomfortable, wear them on the inside.

Also with your drysuit, I throw on lycra socks over the rubber boots and they seem to really protect them from wear and tear; I wear an extra pair of lycra socks over my wool socks when it gets really cold.

I like to give my suit a quick fresh warm water rinse in the shower when I get home after sailing in salt water, the main thing to keep clean are the seals, boots and especially the zipper.
 
#28
#29
I also have the zhik skiff suit... It is THE best... Feels like yur not wearing anything. It is super warm even when you get wet... I highly recommend it. Then put some under armor as a top with a spray top over that. I have the 3 seasons gloves by gill which are great and the NRS neoprene socks... That is my frostbiting gear...
 
#30
I also have the zhik skiff suit... It is THE best... Feels like yur not wearing anything. It is super warm even when you get wet... I highly recommend it. Then put some under armor as a top with a spray top over that. I have the 3 seasons gloves by gill which are great and the NRS neoprene socks... That is my frostbiting gear...
Where do you live?

Around here the water gets down to about 40F at the lowest. I'm just getting back into sailing again, so I don't remember what temperature I sailed down to. I have a full wetsuit (3mm) with some Gill dinghy boots. I have one long sleeve rash guard, no winter sailing gloves (at least I don't see any in my closet), and no waterproof socks (I have wool, if that works).

No waterproof hats or anything. I also have some offshore foul weather gear, but I doubt anyone uses that on a dinghy.

What do people recommend for these sort of temperatures? Water down to 40, air temperatures between about 25-35 at the lowest that I would sail.
 
#31
Sail in the Hampton roads area in Virginia. I recomend the zhik skiff suit... A wetsuit would be ok but if you go in you will have never seen yourself as blue as you will be. The skiff suit has a layer system. A waterproof system and a thermal system. Were I sailed Sunday there was ice on the surface of the water. And we hade to wet launch our boats... I didn't feel a thing and I was waist high in water/ice. It's an investment but it is the ultimate frostbite suit
 
#32
Sail in the Hampton roads area in Virginia. I recomend the zhik skiff suit... A wetsuit would be ok but if you go in you will have never seen yourself as blue as you will be. The skiff suit has a layer system. A waterproof system and a thermal system. Were I sailed Sunday there was ice on the surface of the water. And we hade to wet launch our boats... I didn't feel a thing and I was waist high in water/ice. It's an investment but it is the ultimate frostbite suit
Are you talking about the Zhik SuperWarm Skiff? What do you wear with that, a SuperWarm top I'd guess? You wear the hiking version or the wetsuit version or what? They have a lot of things named that on their website.

Price doesn't seem too bad really. If it's good down to 32* water, that's pretty impressive for a non-drysuit.
 
#33
Yes the zhik superwarm skiff suit... The power pad hikers would be an awesome add on with the suit... I just wear a heavy under armor turtleneck and my spray top for my upper torso.
 
#34
So using what I already have, what would people recommend I buy now to make it work for colder weather?

I've got a short sleeve rash guard, long sleeve rash guard, 3mm full wetsuit, and some Gill dinghy boots.

Water temperature would be 40 at the lowest, air temperature lowest of 30, and I'd be in the water to launch my boat, and I'm (re)new to Laser sailing, so I'll probably be in the water a bit.

Are there things that I could layer together with these to get warm enough? I'm looking around at Intensity since they have good deals. Maybe just add a hot top and a spray top overtop, use the rash guard underneath. I'd probably want an insulating layer though, ideas for that?

edit: also have some offshore foul weather gear. Forgot about that.

I don't really have any idea what to do for legs. I guess for feet I could use a pair of gore-tex socks together with my dinghy boots?

For hands use some Gill winter gloves, and find a nice sailing watchcap for the head?

There's just so many options.
 
#35
Ehhh the wetsuit will be ok... I would be extremely careful. If you go in you might want to come off the water. Like I said the BEST thing to wear is the Zhik super warm skiff suit with an underarmor cold weather top (the rash guard might not be enough) with a spray top. The gortex socks would be perfect!!! And yes you def need winter weather sailing gloves. The thermal ones are the best. Once your hands get cold sailing will get more and more difficult and the derigging will just be frustrating when you can't grasp anything hahahah. The hat will be really nice too. The only thing I would consider if I were you is the skiff suit... The wetsuit just isn't the best system for frostbiting

Cheers
Lazzzerrr
 
#37
The top and the bibs are explains together yes. I only have the bibs and i love them. And the drysuit is the also a VERY good option but it depends on what you prefer in the comfort range. If you decide to get a drysuit go and try them on. I prefer the skiff suit because it is spandex. It fits skin tight and you have nothing in your way like the baggy drysuit. But once again it all depends what it is you like
 
#38
I think I've pretty much decided I'm gonna go with the drysuit. I'm not sure which one I want, or where I want to shop.

There just seem to be a lot of options, and it's a lot of money to spend, sight unseen. I don't exactly live in a sailing area, so I don't think anyone is gonna have drysuits to try out. The only sailing place I know of nearby is West Marine.
 
#39
Screw it. Bought a Gill 4801 drysuit. $451 shipped including free fleece underthing.

So now what. I need something on the head, some gloves (Gill Neoprene?), a wicking layer for under the drysuit, maybe some socks for inside the drysuit? It has feet included, but I dunno.

I already have the dinghy boots, hopefully they'll still fit with the drysuit on.

This is all very complicated.
 
#40
Pedal-Force,

It's not that complicated -- a little trial and error will help you find what's right for you.

Good choice on getting a breathable dry-suit. Here are some observations from over a decade of frostbiting in Connecticut. Some lasers, some Dyer Dhow -- through the entire winter as long as we can break ice and get out to the Sound.

Boots?
Your boots are rubber and not breathable. If you are exerting effort, you will have sweat accumulate from your feet and any drainage that doesn't make it through the suit. You'll need at least one thick pair of socks that will stay warm when wet, preferably two. Wool works, as do the Patagonia socks that I have, but I don't remember the material. Boots with thicker, flexible neoprene over your drysuit boots will really help.

Head?
I use wool watch caps. They're only about $6 on Amazon.com. I get the Navy spec ones and they've kept me warm even when wet. Don't dry them in the dryer though!

Gloves?
In cold, not freezing weather, I use a good, flexible pair of neoprene gloves. Rooster makes a good one. In freezing weather, warm gloves, covered by a pair of chemical gloves from Home Depot or Lowe's, work best. If you have race committee nearby, get a dry bag and put extra dry gloves in it. A change of gloves and hand warmers are a frostbiter's best friend in really cold weather.

Get out, do it, and you'll find what works best. It sure beats sitting indoors in the winter!
 
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