I know there are things I will need like gloves, trap harness, PFD's etc. So I am looking for input/recommendations on these items. If you have a favorite of any of these or anything I might find useful in my sailing experience please talk about it here.
I will search these items also for past threads discussing them. However over time products can change and new products can be introduced so I hope y'all don't mind discussing here.
Texas Gulf Coast
Depends on how you hold the sheet. I tear my fingers up with half finger gloves. I just use the full finger ronstans. The reflex harkens I liked better overall but they were half finger so I don’t use them any more. One high level guy I know swears by water proof pvc super sticky dish washing/work gloves from Home Depot.
'82 NACRA 18 Square "Bangarang"
'85 Hobie 18 "Honey Badger Don't Care"
'86 Hobie 18 "The Rippin & The Tearin"
I use Gil Pro short finger gloves and my crew uses Gill Champion full finger gloves.
She's up front running the smaller lines, Downhaul, rotator, spin halyard and jib sheet.
I'm in back with main and traveler, larger lines.
One thing about the Pro gloves is that the are real thick and stiff.
I used Harken gloves for almost 20 years till they started using fake velcro that won't stay closed.
Reservoir Sailing Assn.
+1 on the Gil short finger pro gloves. I don’t like the full finger style at all. Personal preference.
Forwardwip harnesses, light
Until you get a favorite on many items, such as gloves, Pfd, etc, my suggestion is to go to a shop to try them on.
Later, for replacements, you can use the inter web.
Several Sunfish and Sunfish clones
Ratboat built from Zuma and Sunfish parts
Shallow water sailor in the Delaware Bay
I went all Zhik a few years ago. I had tried the Gil gloves and found them too stiff and heavy so I had no "feel" on mainsheet tension, especially in light air. Switched to Zhik G1 and love them.
Full finger all the way.
I keep a few pairs of walmart gardening gloves for guests.
Safety is a factor in gear selection. I always plan for the possibility of being separated from the boat and spending the night floating around out there.
Life jacket considerations: Every catamaran sailor wears one. You quickly realize the value of one after the first capsize. Often you are almost completely out of energy righting the boat. You want to be able to float without effort. You want to be able to float all night if the boat gets away from you. Pocket for waterproof VHF and safety knife. Few straps to get tangled in rigging during capsize.
Harness considerations: Few straps to get tangled and quick release hook (magic marine makes mine). The hook can bury into the hull or get caught on downhaul, etc during capsize. Can cause drowning.
Safety knife: To cut loose.
Wetsuit considerations: I wear one even when I don't need it. It's there to keep me alive in case it get separated from the boat and have to survive being in the water overnight, etc.
This may all sound extreme but it can all get pretty real, quite quickly on these boats. Prindle 18 is pretty relaxed in winds up to 10 kts. Stuff can still happen though, but that's a good wind range for learning with the family. In winds above 10 kts, you can have an absolute blast, but it's important to be prepared for capsizes, etc. Some of the more powered up catamarans can capsize in winds as low as 5 kts.... I actually capsized in about 3 kts, but I am a special case... Happened to have my gf and dog on the boat. Gf was not surprised that I managed that one...
Edited by traphappy on Feb 14, 2019 - 12:11 PM.
good points about safety !!!
actually not true- around here, many of the locals don't.
we sail in pretty warm waters, and very shallow bays (plus the very shallow shoreline in the gulf) and many in this area are too cool for pfd
i was one of them for years. now i wear one in all but the lightest of conditions. and even then ,... i have learned that being overly prepared pays off at times.
my biggest concern would be to get hit in the head with a boom and knocked out and off the boat ...
A real knife is a GREAT thing to have in your pfd. It actually is pretty much a requirement if you want to be safe and call yourself a real sailor. I have had to cut lines free, cut spinakers free, ham sandwiches (nom nom) free, etc. I have a knife and whistle attached to every pfd i own (several extra's for crew) and i have a strap cutter on my harness. even with it attached to my harness i can imaging struggling with it if i am pinned under the boat - heaven help me if i swallowed a lot of water on the way down ..
Don't forget about shoes
having proper foot gear can save your day / week
We island hop all day long here and some islands are covered with oysters. they are razor sharp and will ruin your fun. Even with shoes ... care is needed. I had brand new water shoes on that gave me blisters. blisters popped and i walked through some sea-muck on the side of an island: ended up with 2 separate foot infections. Getting an infection that far from the heart makes for a slow recovery. I was in real bad shape (massive fever) and was probably close to it spreading via a blood infection
As per the harness. I was soooo excited to fly a hull and hang in a harness when i started ... but had no idea how to - so when the opportunity came up - i pushed off the hull and slammed right back into it and was dragged a few dozen yards before i could get back on. I didn't try again for a few seasons
Take away: practice on land. Get some pointers from those who know (feet / weight position, bent knees, etc).
To be honest: i don't wear a harness all that much anymore. Unless racing (which i don't care for)... there aren't too many times i want to get out on the wire. it is better on my back than sitting on the tramp but still a bit of a hassle for me. It would speed me up (while sailing) a bit but ... i can't always be bothered - one main issue is we island hop a lot. I don't want to sit in a wet harness all day so it requires putting it on and taking it off a bunch. this is a real issue when trying to time my landing (esp since we are always in a race to get best parking spot)
FOR PFD: I use the west marine Medalist. I buy them on sale for around $50
they are a bit bulky but fit the bill for me
Issue with the bulk thing is it can get snagged. A lot of racers wear a shirt OVER the pfd to avoid snags
Gloves: i usually purchase the west marine sailing gloves when on sale but they don't last all that long
I had a bad habit of losing them often so that is why i stopped buying name brand ones -
shoes: i used to buy the cheap west marine beach shoes for the same reason as above (they got left on my boat or under in on the sail box a lot and would fly off on the drive home):
I have ended up getting better about holding on to my gear and have now purchased a few pair of quality beach shoe (sperry)
+100 on the safety gear. The lifejacket, wear it snug, tight.
Generally +1 on all the recommendations above. Lifejackets you can go cheap, they all float, but harnesses... get a comfy one or you'll suffer. That means get one stocked at a shop where you can go and try it.
My only disagreement with the consensus here is -- don't buy the expensive gloves suggested. Get a bag of the Atlas "gardening" gloves (Atlas Showa 300). It's about 2-3$ a pair. They have _much_ better grip than $45 gloves, and they'll only last a little bit less.
Usual cat sailing will have each pair last a season or two. On my cat -- no mainsheet cleat, constant mainsheet work -- I wear out a pair in ~3 months. Olympic-level sailors ruin a pair in a week or less.
You can cut them to be "short fingered". They'll last a bit less if you do that, but at $3 your'e still ahead of game.
For safety gear, practice bad things and see how your equipment works.
This "equipment" includes your thought process.
I used to wear a bulky comfortable PDF. Then I capsized, and realized that I could not climb back on the boat with the bulk keeping my body so far away from the hull. So I needed to get a slimmer PDF, or work out heavily for a year
to gain strength, or take the PFD off- which seemed counter-productive.
The thinner PFD won, and I made some mods to the cat allowing me to board more easily.
I use half-finger gloves because while sailing I frequently reach for things while I am looking elsewhere, and need to identify it through feel.
Like reaching for the traveler line while intently watching the tell tales.
Or grabbing the trapeze dogbone while ensuring I have enough mainsheet to trap out.
You don't need safety gear when things are going great- you need to understand it and be able to use it in a disaster.
Knives, radios, a compass- I have needed them all in a crisis. And all of these crises happened on what looked like a good day, at first.
Prindle 18-2 #244 "Wakizashi"
Prindle 16 #3690 "Pegasus" Sold (sigh)
AZ Multihull Fleet 42 member
(Way) Past Commodore of Prindle Fleet 14
A proper hat so you don't micro wave your head. I like a Tilly.
Quick dry long sleeve fishing shirt.
A good paddle. I like one with a boat hook handle. I'm always launching and recovering at ramps.
A couple of dock lines. You may not always be landing on a beach.
I sail with three knives. One in the PDF, two in the deck bag one is a multi tool.One has a big spike.
Spare shackles in the eyes and thimbles around the boat. If I lose a working shackle I don't want to go digging in the spares bag. Oh yea, a spares bag.
I carry an anchor and rhode. If the wind quits and the current is carrying me towards that bridge, I want to be able to stop.
A paper chart of your sailing area. They never loose signal.
Then, of course, there's all the trailering gear. Don't get me started on that!
Good luck, GH
1983 SuperCat 15
+1 on hat, vhf, compass, shackles and paddle
one of my worst days on the water was with sea fog
came in hard and thick - i got separated from the fleet and was lost
sunset was approaching and i didnt want to get flushed out to sea
phone was dying and this was early iphone days - i couldn't get the phone's compass to work
My two cents....Depends a lot on where you sail, your particular boat (sheet loads, etc.), and personal preference. I don't sail offshore or long distance very often and don't have a spin. I tend toward mid-priced gear that's good quality (and take good care of it) and comfortable (very important to me).
Actually, the Harken Black Magics (Classic?) now have an extra little tab (hard to describe) in the middle of the velcro patch, and the velcro in general seems better than it was for a while. I've never had my newer ones loosen and consider them to be a great value for the price point....love 'em! I use 3/4 finger gloves so fingertips are bare to deal with ring dings, beer tabs, etc. Only times I've used full fingered ones were in extreme cold or on the front of Ron's spin boat (open beer with teeth)! For some reason, my wife and daughter prefer the Harken Reflex.....maybe they're more comfortable? They seem more light duty, but wife/daughter don't sail nearly as much as I do. (Disclaimer: I pretty much dislike wearing gloves of any kind unless absolutely necessary. They are usually necessary while sailing, for the increased grip if nothing else.)
Lots of good high waisted (for trapping out) PFD choices these days. Really happy with my Stohlquist Escape and it's sleek profile. I don't carry much in my PFD and don't like all those big, baggy pockets (see snagging above). Wear it all the time while sailing, so comfort is king!
I don't like having the extra coverage/straps/heat that comes with full harness and have very little actual need for one...currently use the Hobie Skipper's Half Harness and like it best of all I've ever owned.
My most versatile gear is a lightweight, waterproof, breathable, windstopper Kokotat top that I wear over my rash guard, shorty, or full wetsuit when needed. Not too hot for medium temps/rain, no bulk, stows easily, and really cuts the wind/evaporative cooling on my core.
Edited by rattlenhum on Feb 21, 2019 - 08:52 AM.