Using and wearing the right sailing equipment will not only enhance your sailing experience, it will also make your journey a much safer one. While most marinas have chandleries where you can purchase equipment and gears just before sailing, it pays to do your homework in advance – especially in the event the chandlery you visit runs out of stock of your preferred selections. Chandleries also typically don’t keep in stock specialised equipment for yachts, dinghies and boats.
As far as sailing gears are concerned, always start with the basics, namely :
- Life Jacket : The importance of life jackets should never be underestimated. The right buoyancy, ranging between 150N and 275N, will ensure that casualties will remain face up even after losing consciousness. Comfort and ergonomic design is also important so people will not feel compelled to take their life jackets off. Remember to subject your life jackets and buoyancy aids to an inflation test annually to ensure they remain in good working condition.
- Dry and Wetsuit : Waterproof, yet breathable – this is your primary buying criteria. Weight, thickness (2mm-3mm) and material (neoprene and neospan) should come next. Padded areas, UV protection, drying speed and thermal qualities are also important considerations.
- Footwear : It has to be light and waterproof, and possesses a firm non-abrasive grip. Keep an eye out for footwear with toe separators as this provides enhance stability in choppy waters.
- Gloves : Mesh panels for quick drying, double stitching on high-wear zones, and a powerful grip is a must when shopping for gloves. Test them out to determine the flexibility and optimal finger control.
- Trapeze Harness : Trapeze harnesses need to have highly-adjustable shoulder and chest straps with great steel support for the back. Consider also if you need harnesses with built-in seats. Test your harness on your boat or yacht’s mass well in advance of departure.