West Marine Trysail Jacket and Bibs

For years West Marine has been offering its own line of branded foul-weather gear, and its Trysail jacket and bibs serve as an excellent example of what to look for in bluewater cruising gear.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

For years West Marine has been offering its own line of branded foul-weather gear, and its Trysail jacket and bibs serve as an excellent example of what to look for in bluewater cruising gear.

When thinking about bluewater gear, it’s important to remember that there’s no running for shelter, so it has to be tough enough to stand up to all kinds of weather. It’s equally important to remember that it is going to be put through much greater use than most gear is designed for. A single stormy passage, for example, will subject a set of bluewater jacket and bibs to more use than their coastal counterparts will experience in a year.

In the case of West Marine’s Trysail jacket and bibs, these twin challenges are addressed through a combination of materials, overall design and careful attention to detailing.

Materials: Both the jacket and bibs are made of a high-quality three-layer fabric, in which a breathable, microporous waterproof middle layer is sandwiched between a coated nylon outer layer and a soft inner layer, which both protects the waterproofing layer and makes for a comfortable layer against your skin.

Three-layer fabrics, though expensive, offer a number of advantages over their two-layer counterparts, in which a loose inner layer serves to protect the waterproofing layer, as opposed to a laminated inner lining.

First and foremost, they are lighter and more breathable, since a separate inner layer adds weight and makes it harder for perspiration to escape through the microporous membrane. Three-layer garments are also easier to put on and take off, and dry faster in the event they become damp: all-in-all a much better fabric for making foul weather gear.

Overall cut: The Trysail jacket features a long three-quarter-length hip cut—as opposed to the shorter waist-length cuts used on some performance tops—in the interest of keeping the water out. The bibs cut nice and high over the chest and back, and under the arms for the same reason. High-cut bibs also help protect your torso when you shed your jacket as the weather moderates but remains dirty.

A nice, high fleece-lined collar with a face flap protects the face and neck, and there are no less than four pockets on the front of the jacket. These include a pair of lower cargo pockets for stowing bits of gear, and a pair of lined upper pockets that do double-duty as hand warmers. The bibs include a thigh pocket and a pair of upper pockets that double as hand warmers as well.

Details: At first glance, the detailing on the Trysail jacket and bibs may appear similar to that found on coastal gear. However, it is better built, better designed and more robust, which can make all the difference in the world when you’re in rough weather off soundings.

The jacket cuffs, for example, have an excellent double seal, with an Velcro-adjustable elastic inner cuff to keep the water out. The zipper is also well protected by a “double storm flap,” and there is not only a drawstring in the waist for a snug fit, but a drawstring in the bottom hem as well.

All seams are carefully taped, with the tape is carefully overlapped to ensure there is no leakage at the joints—an important consideration.

The bibs include a substantial gusset backing up their front zipper and a pair of suspenders that are robustly built and adjusted using a buckle/Velcro combination that is far superior to the suspenders on most coastal bibs. Slippery suspenders that fall off the shoulders onto the arms have been the bane of many a sailor over the years, but they won’t be a problem with the Trysail.

The bibs are protected on the seat and knees with extensive 500 denier Cordura ® wear patches. There are also wear patches on the cuffs and Velcro closures, two areas that are subject to a good deal of wear offshore.

Finally, there is the Trysail jacket’s Optivision hood, a true work of art that will keep you dry and cozy in just about anything. Like the rest of the jacket, the hood is made of three-layer fabric with full taped seams, and a very nice fleece layer added where it contacts the forehead and side of the face to reduce abrasion.

Best of all, the hood includes multiple adjustments that allow it to fit snugly around your head, as opposed to having it continually flop down over your eyes every time you want to look over your shoulder or up at the rig. It’s the kind of thing that will almost have you hoping for a good blow just so you can enjoy how well it works.

For more on the Trysail jacket, click here. For more on the bibs, click here.

Related

2.4mR's racing at the 2018 Clagett Regatta-US Para Sailing Championships credit Clagett Regatta-Andes Visual

Host for 2021 U.S. Para Sailing Championships Announced

The 2021 U.S. Para Sailing Championships will be hosted by The Clagett Regatta at Sail Newport, in Newport, R.I. on August, 24-29, 2021, according to a joint announcement from the host and US Sailing. "We have had a very long working relationship with US Sailing and look forward ...read more

Reflections-photo-CMerwarth

Cruising: Reflections of an Old Salt

I am 90 years old, dwindling in mind and body and fear living too long. Twenty years have passed since I last weighed anchor. Still, when a Carolina blue sky is polka-dotted with billowing cumulus clouds and the wind blows fair, I sorely miss raising sail and setting forth. I ...read more

DSC_0145

Waterlines: Solo Sailing Again, Naturally

In spite of the fact I came to the sport of sailing alone and untutored, in a boat I acquired on my own, I never really aspired to become a solo sailor. It just sort of happened. All these years later, I still never explicitly plan to sail anywhere alone. I’m always happy to ...read more

01a-DJI_0398

Racing The M32 Class

This year the M32 celebrates its 10th birthday. Swedish Olympic bronze medalist Göran Marström and Kåre Ljung designed the M32 in 2011 as the latest addition to an already impressive portfolio that includes the Tornado, M5 A-Class, M20 catamaran and the Extreme 40. Two years ...read more

01-LEAD-23274-Coastal-Oilskins-GSP

Know how: Cleats, Clutches and Jammers

Since the invention of rope, there has also been a need to belay or secure it. Every sailboat has rope on board so, unless you own a superyacht with captive reels or winches, you’re going to have to find a way to make it fast. (As a side note—and before you reach for your ...read more

9e4d8714-2a8e-4e79-b8f6-c9786aaec4d0

Antigua Sailing Week Announces Women’s Mentorship Program

In partnership with the Antigua and Barbuda Marine Association, Antigua Sailing Week is launching a mentorship program to encourage women and girls to join the sport of sailing. President of Antigua Sailing Week, Alison Sly-Adams says, “When we devised the program, we looked at ...read more

01-LEAD-Carmody-Distant-Drummer

Experience: A Badly Snagged Prop in Haiti

When a winter norther blows through the Bahamas, the northeast trades can reach gale force as they funnel through the Windward Passage between Cuba and Haiti. After waiting for a lull, though, we had a fabulous beam reach aboard our Liberty 458, Distant Drummer, from Santiago de ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_9186

Charter Cruise to La Paz Mexico

Just 24 hours before our scheduled charter in the Bahamas, the government clamped down again on visitors from the United States. Having endured two Covid-19 brain swabs in preparation, I looked at my packed bag on the floor and reached for the rum. I could, at least, pretend I ...read more