More often than not when I go sailing it’s on my J/24, occasionally I jump on a friend’s Melges 32, but either way my sailing gear stays the same.
For the warmer days, my go-to favourites are my Gill Race Collection long sleeve or short sleeve t-shirt and Gill Race Collection shorts. The long sleeve t-shirt is one the most comfortable and breathable shirts out there. With it’s light weight material, UV protection and quick drying material it’s my favourite thing to wear – even on those hotter days.
If the breeze picks up, I throw on my Gill Race Collection Softshell ¼ Zip Smock – my go to item for both on and off the water by far. Its light weight yet windproof, waterproof, and breathable – even on top of a long sleeve shirt. Its perfect for warmer days with a breeze – not too hot, not too cold – and its perfect as a mid layer on those colder days where a jacket is also needed. I even got one for my dad for Christmas. He loved it so much that he actually asked me to get a second one for him.
On rainy days or colder days during the season, I wear Gill Race Collection waist pants and waterproof jacket or Gill Keelboat Racer Jacket. The race collection pants are not too heavy or too light – they are the perfect weight. Additionally, they are non-restrictive and have excellent movement, which is great for when I’m on bow and need to move around quickly. They’re highly breathable, light weight, windproof, waterproof and have great pockets that I can throw tape and my knife into. The waterproof jacket from the race collection is another favourite of mine as its not cumbersome due its unrestricted fit, light weight material and again is highly breathable, windproof, and waterproof. The lack of hood, while some may not appreciate, I enjoy as it allows me to have freedom of movement and great visibility to keep track of what is happening around me.
For shoes, I have the Zhik ZKG’s. At first I was skeptic of them but after my first sail in them, I was hooked. Not only are they comfortable but they also have crazy grip to them, they’re light weight and dry quickly. Unlike my past sailing shoes, these ones are not stiff or clunky but rather lightweight and flexible. This I attribute to the fact that there is no tongue to the shoes and are made out of perforated neoprene; which add to the comfort and breathability of the shoe. They have the grip of a ‘typical’ performance sailing shoe but the comfort and feel of dinghy booties.
I guess you could call them ‘add-on’s but the non-clothing related items I wear sailing are my watch, sunglasses, and sailing gloves. My go to watch is my Timex watch I’ve had since I sailed 29ers. Sometimes you have to stick with the classics. For sunnies, I always wear my Kaenon Arlo Sunglasses, usually both on and off the water. They are comfortable, lightweight, and incredibly durable. For gloves, I wear the Gill Grip Gloves as they have great grip and a great price tag so I'm not too concerned if I lose them.