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Sailing in colder conditions  Bottom

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  • Clearly you have experience with this bib and I do not question your experience. I just have a hard time seeing how elastic, even tight elastic can seal out water when it is trying to seal against whatever clothing you are wearing to stay warm. Good kayaker type splash tops that have the large neoprene band at the waist do not seal up well enough to prevent water intrusion when you are in the water. Water does not rush in, but it is coming in. I have no idea how long you would have before the water leaking in would cause a serious problem and suspect that is a function of just how tight you can stand that jacket waistband to be.

    The reason I want people to be aware of these key details in wetsuits/drysuits/splash gear is that in a cold water swim situation things can get really out of control fast. Time is of the essence when you are in cold water and then even after getting everything under control you still have to survive the return trip. So knowing what you are up against is critical.

    On Puget Sound some of the best sailing is through late fall, winter and spring when the wind can be perfect. Weirdly in summer the wind often lightens up and becomes more flukey. So having the right gear to play in these colder conditions makes all the difference and also makes it really fun.

    --
    dg
    NACRA 5.2 #400
    This End Up
    Original owner since 1975
    --
  • Quotejust have a hard time seeing how elastic, even tight elastic can seal out water

    I understand and was skeptical myself
    equip failure of this nature can be fatal

    This is a kayaker's dry suit. these guys would be dead - quick if it didn't work

    When used with a dry top - it becomes a drysuit

    you curl in a neoprene flaps several wraps. With flaps on both the bib and the dry top .. nothing is getting in or out of that

    see the pdf (steps 1 through 4, the other steps of to add a kayak skirt)
    https://kokatat.com/pdf/KokatatBibFold.pdf


    with only a spray top (with neck and wrist gasket/flap)- its pretty much the same


    Without a spray-top/dry top .. .just wearing the bib (and SOME kind of light jacket/shirt (like in the spring):

    if you fall in during a capsize, fall overboard, walk in ... you can go up to your armpits and no water can get into the bib. If your tops get totally soaked... you can accumulate water above the neoprene

    if you get thrown in and all your body goes underwater : the elastic waistband is such a major part of this gear that it does in fact seal up pretty tight -

    I guess water could eventually pool and wick in i depending on what your wearing above and underneath i.e. water gets in your spray top/shirt... accumulates around the elastic and possibly trickle in - you'd have to be in the water a long time without pfd)


    if you are wearing jeans underneath (as i have done in the past) and a sweater of fleece that is crossing through the upper and lower part, creating a path for water - this could be an issue in the sealing up (use of the correct gear would eliminate this risk)


    All that being said:
    i live in fl - and have sailed a lot

    I have pretty much given up on sailing in any weather that calls for this gear



    Edited by MN3 on Jan 14, 2018 - 10:50 AM.
  • I use a mid-graded set of Kokatat dry paints (some synthetic multilayer but not Goretex) -- they seal well at the top and have built in socks that lend themselves well to socks inside and overshoes, booties, or sandals. I waffled on the dry bibs, and ultimately went with the dry pants. They have stayed dry thus far even after several wet launches. I think they'd leak a bit if I trod water in them without a dry top, but I have been very impressed with the wide neoprene waistband.

    I have a Kokatat drytop from paddling that is utterly watertight. The goretex helps breathe, but it still gets warm fast... that said, with the inner 'skirt' of the jacket against my skivvies, and the wide, flat neoprene waist of the pants velcro-cinched tight over that skirt, and the wide, flat neoprene waist of the drytop velcro cinched overop all that, everything stays dry from outside water ... though a good sailing session generates internal heat.

    I have a spray top that velcro-seals at the sleeves, and overlaps the waist... it lets water in when I swim, but is good for between times when it is too cold to wetsuit and too hot to drytop. The pants stay almost perfectly dry throughout, and the jacket drains pretty well out the bottom when I haul myself up on the tramp.

    YMMV, but either way, be safe out there. I recommend testing your gear out on the shore BEFORE you NEED it to work perfectly. I learned the same way in paddlesports... gear up, paddle flat water, and do wet exits and recoveries with all your gear. Pulling the handle on the spray skirt can be intimidating, and it is worse yet when you're learning in cold water, moving fast, with rocks around you, while you're upside down.

    Randii
  • QuoteYMMV, but either way, be safe out there. I recommend testing your gear out on the shore BEFORE you NEED it to work perfectly. I learned the same way in paddlesports... gear up, paddle flat water, and do wet exits and recoveries with all your gear. Pulling the handle on the spray skirt can be intimidating, and it is worse yet when you're learning in cold water, moving fast, with rocks around you, while you're upside down.

    +1
    great advice
    My friend who has the gor-tex bib (mine isn't) has a pool
    he tested the heck out of his bib years before i got mine

    I tested mine in his pool in florida (5 years ago or so)

    - it was so weird:
    at first i felt 100% wet after walking in but it was just the cold water pressing against my skin through the bib
    after walking out, and taking off the bib - i was 100% dry



    Edited by MN3 on Jan 16, 2018 - 10:05 AM.
  • I trolled my head through the rocks to test my gear when I was learning to WW kayak. I stayed dry, but decided that WW kayaking was a crummy way to watch the fishes in the bottom of the river. I will take my nice 7' wide, 16' long cataraft anywhere and when the whole thing goes inverted I will just swim behind it down the river. Learning to high side on the cat has been endlessly helpful skill on the raft too.

    So I agree, test your cold water gear in a non-threatening place first. I'm a full figure guy. Getting that waistband tight enough to stop leaks would likely make my eyeballs pop out.

    --
    dg
    NACRA 5.2 #400
    This End Up
    Original owner since 1975
    --
  • Yeah, we got 3 inches of snow last night, not going sailing anytime soon. I don't do cold!!! Lol!!!

    --
    Marty
    1984 Hobie 16 Redline Yellow Nationals, "Yellow Fever"
    Opelika, Al / Lake Martin
    --
  • m.h.m.Thanks for your help and greetings from Austria!
    Max

    Since all of Austria is in the cold Canadian climes, may I suggest you find a crew member for each side of you, to help keep warm - especially while you are sailing the catamaran.
    While ashore, a nice fluffy quilt should be enough for the three of you.

    --
    Sheet In!
    Bob
    ___/)________/)_______/)__/)____/)_____/)/)__________/)__
    Prindle 18-2 #244 "Wakizashi"
    Prindle 16 #3690 "Pegasus" Sold (sigh)
    AZ Multihull Fleet 42 member
    (Way) Past Commodore of Prindle Fleet 14
    Arizona, USA
    --
  • I drug this post up because someone asked something similar in another thread... and because I have a bit more to add after a weekend winter capsize.

    randiiI use a mid-grade set of Kokatat dry paints (some synthetic multilayer but not Goretex) -- they seal well at the top and have built in socks that lend themselves well to socks inside and overshoes, booties, or sandals. I think they'd leak a bit if I trod water in them without a dry top, but I have been very impressed with the wide neoprene waistband.

    The dry pants stayed dry through the capsize and initial dismount/remount when the boat blew over the top of me (gotta be the boat's fault, right? icon_lol ). After I righted the boat I grabbed the dolphin striker to prevent the boat from blowing right over again, and then climbed back aboard. The pants stayed dry until I pulled myself aboard (one hand on the trap handle, another on the front beam, and my feet on the H18's hull seam/lip). Moving/flexing that much allowed a little water in the velcro-ed neoprene waist seal... maybe 100cc's total. It was enough to pretty thoroughly moisten my socks inside the dry pants after I was done sailing and walking the boat in, but wasn't cold or sufficiently uncomfortable to even bother changing until I was back on shore, down-rigged, and ready to trailer home.

    randiiI have a spray top that velcro-seals at the sleeves, and overlaps the waist... it lets water in when I swim, but is good for between times when it is too cold to wetsuit and too hot to drytop. ... (this top) drains pretty well out the bottom when I haul myself up on the tramp.

    The spray-top fared less well than the drypants.... then again, there's no seal at all on the bottom. I was out of the water quick enough that I was barely damp across my belly and mid-back immediately after the capsize, but I was pretty wet from the armpits down after righting and reboarding the boat. With a poly shirt base and a fleece pull-over under the spray top, most everything drained out when I was back aboard, and i stayed pretty warm. The Kokatat drytop would have been way better, but it was warm enough that I traded the freedom of movement and relative comfort for the looser, cooler, less-watertight spray top.

    If I was sailing Lake Michigan with water just warmer than ice cubes, I'd be much pickier about staying perfectly water-tight. On an inland lake, with low 60's air temp and 54F water temp, a long enough survival window to allow me to choose differently.

    Randii



    Edited by randii on Feb 12, 2018 - 04:50 PM.
  • I was curious about that 'survival window' and Google took me to: http://www.witn.com/home/headlines/37639264.html

    QuoteThe United States Search and Rescue Task Force has a risk list for when hypothermia might set in if you are submersed in water:
    - Water temp in Fahrenheit: EoU (Time Until Exhaustion or Unconsciousness) and ETSW (Expected Time of Survival in the Water)
    - 32 degrees or less: EoU in less than 15 minutes and ETSW in less than 15 to 45 minutes
    - 32.5 to 40 degrees: EoU in 15 to 30 minutes and ETSW in 30 to 90 minutes
    - 40 to 50 degrees: EoU 30 to 60 minutes and ETSW in 1-3 hours
    - 50 to 60 degrees: EoU in 1 to 2 hours and ETSW in 1-6 hours
    - 60 to 70 degrees: EoU in 2 to 7 hours and ETSW in 2-40 hours
    - 70 to 80 degrees: EoU in 3 to 12 hours and ETSW in 3-indefinite
    People can survive indefinitely in water temperatures above 80 degrees.
    People have survived longer or shorter periods of time than outlined on this list. These are estimates.


    It is probably best to use the above estimates in conjunction with your personal fitness and prevailing winds/currents.

    Randii
  • I sail April thru October, primarily in northern MT, and I rely on the safety of a drysuit, as swimming is always an option with me, and recovery is not always quick and easy. I have used a number of lower end, non Gortex suits, from HH, Kokatat and OS Systems, and all have kept me warm on the fringes of the season, in and out of the water. Being non breathable, the pile underlayers to get damp from perspiration, but I never notice it until I'm getting out of the suit. I have had one Gortex suit, and it did indeed breathe better, but it really didn't translate to noticeably more comfort. Any drysuit definitely gets too warm at some point, and I switch to various thicknesses of of wetsuit. Much as I'd like to have one set of gear that would cover all conditions, I doubt that's possible. I watch craigslist, and have often found drysuits (and wetsuits!) that were purchased by someone gearing up for an activity they didn't really take to, so lightly used for substantial discounts. Money spent on gear that expands your season, keeps you comfortable and safe, is well spent, and soon forgotten.
  • It is also the wise man that gets his wife/girlfriend/partner the drysuit/dry gear first before acquiring his own. Happy warm wife/girlfriend/partners let you keep playing outside in these more challenging conditions.

    The chart Randii posted doesn't tell you how much harder it is to self rescue and deal with righting as you start getting cold. Not to mention the increased problems with decision making as you get colder. One of the challenges with hypothermia is you often don't even realize it is happening to you.

    But with good dry gear playing year round is both possible and fun.

    --
    dg
    NACRA 5.2 #400
    This End Up
    Original owner since 1975
    --
  • dmgbear55The chart Randii posted doesn't tell you how much harder it is to self rescue and deal with righting as you start getting cold. Not to mention the increased problems with decision making as you get colder. One of the challenges with hypothermia is you often don't even realize it is happening to you.

    Good points. Since the chart came from the United States Search and Rescue Task Force, I think they may be thinking of rescue by an external agent (them) more than self-rescue... and their times are Exhaustion or Unconsciousness, neither of which are conducive to righting a cat and dragging oneself back aboard.

    Hill Street Blues: 'Let's be careful out there.'

    Randii

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