Something a beginner might not think much about is what to wear while sailing. The first thing to remember is that the weather is not the same on the water as it is on land. Your clothing must also be appropriate for the weather now and later in the day. Remember, sailing is an all day adventure and the weather on the water can change rapidly.
The first thing to think about is your actual clothing. There is a huge amount of “sailing” clothes that you can buy, but for a beginner, you don’t need all of that fancy stuff. There are a few basic things to keep in mind when picking out your clothes. You are going to be out on the water, but in the sun (hopefully). It is best to wear clothes that can wick moisture away from your body. Cotton shirts and jeans are not ideal for the water, Look for lightweight and something that dries easily. You may want to consider wearing several layers of clothes or at least bring them with you. I bring a backpack with a lightweight waterproof wind breaker and an extra shirt with me. You just never know when you are going to get covered in spray. I personally like to wear swim shorts that dry quickly.
Shoes are something else to think about. Make sure that you have shoes that provide grip, are flat and have a nonslip sole. Please always wear shoes when you are on the boat or at least when you leave the cockpit. You never want to walk around the boat barefoot, there are just to many things sticking out on a boat that can reach out and grab your toes!
Gloves are something that many people don’t even think about, but if you are helping out sailing the boat, then you want gloves! This is something that I definitely never thought about when I first started sailing, but working the ropes can get rough on the hands. I prefer open finger gloves because you can have protection from the ropes, but also be able to do more delicate tasks with your fingers.
A hat is also a good idea. When you are out on the boat, the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. The wind is keeping your body cool, but the sun is beating down on your head. Wear a hat and make sure it is on tight!
Even though these next items are not clothes, they are things that are just as important. Make sure you have plenty of water and snacks to last all day. I have found that I sweat a lot, so I get dehydrated quickly on the water and need to drink a lot of water. Snacks are always good because who wants to stop the boat and eat a full meal? It is way better to eat small snacks all day and enjoy every minute on the water that you can.
What do you wear when you go sailing?