The third installment of our 2012 foul weather gear reviews brings you our favorite sportboat coastal foulies. Click here to view a PDF of the story from our November issue. And for more information on items that sparked our interest, read on.
Finally, a gear bag that’s rugged enough to keep your belongings safe and dry, and compact enough to meet your weight-conscious skipper’s approval. This 55-liter capacity Dry Sailing Bag from Ronstan features a fold-and-roll closure and durable, leak-proof material to protect your gear. With both a hefty handle and padded shoulder straps, you can carry it as either a duffle or a backpack, and the mesh outer pocket is perfect for stowing a water bottle. Best of all, the bright red color will make you stand out in a regatta crowd. $58.45
If a sportboat racer made his dream board shorts, they’d look a whole lot like the Zhik Boardies. These fashionable nylon shorts feature stylish detailing on the outside and a comfortable silky feel on the inside with enough pockets to hold all of your essentials while on deck. Made of 100 percent nylon, they’re lightweight, quick-drying and available in a variety of colors. $59
Gill’s Salopettes can fit in at almost any regatta, from juniors to beer cans. They are high-cut in the chest and back to provide extra protection from the wind and weather, while the articulated fit allows the trouser to move with you. Abrasion-resistant panels in the seat and knees will protect the garment from wearing against the deck, and Velcro ankle cuffs help keep the water out of your booties. Classic fit; multi-purpose trouser. $129
The world looks better through a good pair of sunglasses, and the racecourse looks clearer through a pair of Maui Jim Surf Riders. Designed to go from the boat to the beach, these PolarizedPlus2 lenses create dramatic distinction on the water, causing catspaws and windshifts to stand out sharply. The lenses reduce glare and enhance color saturation, while protecting your eyes from UVA and UVB rays. The unique lens coating repels water and grease, making it easy to wipe away smudges. Available in three color combinations, four lens options and with prescription lenses. $219
As a sailor addicted to sun protection, I’m always looking for better ways to shield my skin. With its long brim,Ronstan’s technical capprovides excellent sun coverage and its built-in cord clip ensures it won’t blow far from your body. The hat is breathable, quick-drying and washable with a narrow sweat band around the base for increased grip and comfort. $19.95
Ronstan’s Clearstart Watches have all of the elements of a good racing watch—large face, simple buttons, audible alarm, water resistance—with the added benefit of a uniquely useful timer. The timer is preprogrammed with several countdown sequences (ISAF 5, 4, 1, 0; 5 minutes; 3 minutes; 1 minute), and the handy sync function allows you to re-sync with the starter’s time mid-sequence, in case you miss a whistle. Available in a sporty rubber wristband (Sailing Watch; $69.95) or a fashionable metal wristband (Regatta Watch, $149.94).
In its new Aroshell line, Zhik borrowed technology from Isotek offshore gear worn in the Volvo Ocean Race and translated it into a lighter, more affordable, racing garments. Introduced in 2012, the Aroshell drytop is made with breathable three-layer material and includes a handy waterproof pocket on the chest. The waistband is sticky on the inside, so it won’t ride up and the cuffs are made of soft rubber for a tight and comfortable seal. It’s stretchy, functional and good-looking. $199 apiece for drysuit and trousers
Like many hot-weather sailing tees, Harken’s UV T-shirt line is quick-drying, breathable, antimicrobial (fights stinkiness) and UV-ray protectant. It can be worn next to the skin and is comfortable both on and off the boat. But it goes a step further by defining the body’s hot- and cold-zones and implementing different fabric accordingly, believing that the quicker you cool down the hot-zones, the quicker you can cool the entire body. Available in short and long sleeve styles, mens’ and women’s. $79