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Sailing Packing List for a Mid Distance Race | Expert Advice

Take a look at what made the cut for the Mid Distance Sailing Packing List As the sailing season gets back into full swing, many sailors will be gearing up for mid-distance races such as Annapolis to Bermuda and Newport to Bermuda — both excellent races to push personal and equipment limitations. I’m sailing the Annapolis to Bermuda.  For this race, I’ll be packing all (except for my foul weather gear, boots, and PFD) my gear into a 30 Liter gear bag for weight […]

Take a look at what made the cut for the Mid Distance Sailing Packing List

As the sailing season gets back into full swing, many sailors will be gearing up for mid-distance races such as Annapolis to Bermuda and Newport to Bermuda — both excellent races to push personal and equipment limitations.

I’m sailing the Annapolis to Bermuda.  For this race, I’ll be packing all (except for my foul weather gear, boots, and PFD) my gear into a 30 Liter gear bag for weight and space saving purposes.

What’s covered in the video:

Packing list for sun protection..

 Packing list for my every day wear..

Packing List for the cooler nights..

I chose a few key base layers and mid layers that work great underneath my foul weather gear.

 Packing list for accessories..

Curious about what foul weather gear I’m taking? Check back in with me in a few weeks.

Warm Winter Sailing Hats | Expert Advice

As a performance sailor, you probably already know that proper warm winter sailing hats are extremely important when conditions are chilly. At APS, we have a full selection of warm hats to keep you on the water all year long. If you’re looking for simple hat that will keep you warm, you’ll want a classic knit hat, generally referred to as a “beanie”. We have a good variety of beanies at APS because they are great for both on the water and off. Sailing […]

Warm Sailing Hats

As a performance sailor, you probably already know that proper warm winter sailing hats are extremely important when conditions are chilly. At APS, we have a full selection of warm hats to keep you on the water all year long.

If you’re looking for simple hat that will keep you warm, you’ll want a classic knit hat, generally referred to as a “beanie”. We have a good variety of beanies at APS because they are great for both on the water and off.

Zhik Sailing Hat Beanie

Sailing Hats like the Zhik Sailing Beanie are minimalist yet fuzzy and functional with a fleece lining and an array of fun colors.  If that doesn’t quite cut it the Musto Windstopper Knit Hat pulls out all the stops when it comes to warmth and wind blocking with Gore-Tex Windstopper construction.

Gill Helmsman Sailing Hat

If you’re looking for a hat to wear in the cold rain or snow, you’ll want a waterproof one. Good thing we have plenty! One option is the Gill Helmsman Hat, that is simple but does the trick and packs in every feature you need to stay warm and dry.

If you’re more the sombrero type (Arrrrrrrrrrrrrriba!), you’ll want the Outdoor Research Snoqualmie Sombrero. You can’t beat this totally weatherproof option with a larger brim to keep off that passing shower (rain or snow).

To stay comfortable on the water year-round, see our entire selection of warm hats and accessories here.

Gill Neoprene Winter Sailing Gloves | Expert Review

Check out thee updated Gill Neoprene Winter Sailing Gloves here Gill gloves like with all winter sailing gloves are a game of trade-offs. Unfortunately, there is no true silver bullet. Historically either the gloves are warm but too thick and/or not grippy enough or they’re plenty dexterous but too thin and not warm enough for frostbiting. The gloves that do everything well tend to be really expensive. This glove has been replaced by a new Gill neoprene glove and can be found Winter sailing […]

Check out thee updated Gill Neoprene Winter Sailing Gloves here

Gill gloves like with all winter sailing gloves are a game of trade-offs. Unfortunately, there is no true silver bullet. Historically either the gloves are warm but too thick and/or not grippy enough or they’re plenty dexterous but too thin and not warm enough for frostbiting. The gloves that do everything well tend to be really expensive.

Neoprene Gill Glvoes

This glove has been replaced by a new Gill neoprene glove and can be found Winter sailing gloves.  The Winter Neoprene Gill Gloves fall towards the warm end of the spectrum, but they also address some of the typical concerns. At 3 mm they’re thicker, albeit warmer, than any other neoprene gloves we offer. To protect the neoprene and add grip the palm and fingers it has an added PU (polyurethane) Dex coating in a printed pattern.

These Gill gloves are make with neoprene so they’re designed to fit snug and work best in wet conditions. These are not water-proof, they’re only water-resistant and work like a wetsuit. For those of you who have never owned a wetsuit before the idea is to capture water inside the suit and warm it with your body heat. This makes these gloves particularly good in wet conditions, but won’t work as well in dry conditions making them excel at wet dinghy sailing, but as as great for dry, cold big boat sailing.

Neoprene-Winter-Gill-Gloves

The other consideration is the wrist seal. The wrist seal is pretty long so you can conveniently overlap it with a drysuit or spray top cuff.  They’re design to trap water inside the gloves so the wrist seal (and the rest of the glove for that matter) is fairly snug, bordering on tight so they’re also somewhat challenging to take on and off. Typically this isn’t an issue for most people because they just put them on at the beginning of the day and leave them on until they’re done sailing at the end of the day.

Gill Gloves - wrist

On the whole the Gill Neoprene Winter Gloves are some really nice gloves, and excel when you expect to get wet and cold.  For some more reading you might look back at our in depth, side-by-side comparison of frostbite gloves from a few seasons ago found – Gloves for Frostbite Sailing Season.

How to Replace Laytex Dry Suit Seals | Expert Advice

Doing drysuit repair work on a once 100% waterproof garment may seem like something you can only leave to the pros, but as you will see here, it’s a pretty straight forward job. All you need is the proper drysuit repair materials and a little bit of know-how. I recently had to replace the wrist seal on my suit so I put together a video showing the steps for replacing a seal. The same technique works for any of the seals on […]

Doing drysuit repair work on a once 100% waterproof garment may seem like something you can only leave to the pros, but as you will see here, it’s a pretty straight forward job.

All you need is the proper drysuit repair materials and a little bit of know-how. I recently had to replace the wrist seal on my suit so I put together a video showing the steps for replacing a seal. The same technique works for any of the seals on a dry suit.

MN11114_Cotol-Aqua-Combo_FrontPD3506

Here’s what you will need..

  • Aquaseal Glue and Cotol Accelerator combo pack (yes, both. You’ll thank me later.)
  • A small container for mixing – say maybe a crumbled blue cheese container?
  • A pair of latex gloves are recommended
  • Something from around the house to fully expand the drysuit opening – more on that in the video.
  • A Replacement Seal – sizes range from XS – XL

Since drysuit seal damage is rarely planned upon, its a good idea to go with the glue and accelerator combo pack. Cotol acts as a cleaner and an accelerator all in one. Its a really useful tool for seal repair since it cuts the drying time down from a full 24 hours to being able to set sail within 2-3 hours.

Another thing you will want to remember is to leave the sleeve and replacement seal stretched out while drying. For stretching out the neck, a basket ball will work quite well. For the sleeves, a flexible cutting board or soda bottle can do the trick.

 

Musto Boots Review: HPX Boot with OutDry feature image

Musto HPX Boot with OutDry® | Expert Review

This product is no longer available, but check out our selectiono of waterproof and breathable boots here I was asked to write this review about the HPX Leather Musto Boots with Outdry® a while back, but I wanted to make sure that I wore them a lot before giving my opinion. So use them I have. I used them in Annapolis’ warm weather, on the Bermuda Ocean Race, up at the NYYC Regatta, on rainy days, and most recently while teaching little kids […]

This product is no longer available, but check out our selectiono of waterproof and breathable boots here

I was asked to write this review about the HPX Leather Musto Boots with Outdry® a while back, but I wanted to make sure that I wore them a lot before giving my opinion. So use them I have.

I used them in Annapolis’ warm weather, on the Bermuda Ocean Race, up at the NYYC Regatta, on rainy days, and most recently while teaching little kids how to sail at the U.S. Boat show on the tiny and very wet Bug Boat Demos.

Inclement weather (rain and big waves) shouldn’t dictate when I can or can’t do an offshore delivery, tough race or casual cruise, which is why high end boots are a must for me. Long story short, I made the right call and got great, comfy, Outdry® dry, stylish leather boots for sailing.

HPX Leather Musto Boots

These Musto boots are made out of a durable waterproof leather outer, a rubber GripDeck outsole, a removable anatomically shaped foot bread and an Outdry® lining. Highly breathable, quick-drying, grippy, comfy, stylish and really waterproof is all anyone ever really wants out of their boots. A tall order, but these ¾ HPX’s have it all in abundance.

Musto Boots - outdry info

A quick note on this Outdry® that I keep referring to over and over again. Musto has been a proven frontrunner in pushing cool new technology that really works. They replaced the Gore-Tex® in their boots with this new Outdry®. With Outdry® the external layer and membrane are one unique bonded structure, water penetration is blocked with no weight increase from absorption, while maintaining a space of dry air between the skin and the membrane, reducing the risk of dew condensation. (Basically my feet feel lighter and less clammy.)

Musto Boots - Out Dry detailHPX Musto Boots, The Good

I wore them on the Bermuda Ocean Race during my night watches and felt sure footed, warm, and light on my feet (read: not clunky).

I wore them on a delivery aboard Night Town, a J/42, through the El Derecho Storm (we saw gusts of up to 52 kts) while sailing through Cape May. After helming and getting pelted by sideways rain and pushed along downwind by 8 foot swells for two exhilarating, lightning filled hours, I was tired and went below.  Once below I got that wonderful feeling.  You know the one. The one where you realize, as you’re taking off the layers and salopettes and boots all in one go: “Man it’s nasty outside and now that I want to rack out in my warm dry bunk, I happily find that my socks are as dry as can be (Read: These boots are totally worth it! Dry!!!).”

Fast Drying HPX vs comparable boot

 Two weeks later while racing at the New York Yacht Club Regatta aboard a fast new J111, I was again wearing my Musto HPX Outdry® Boots.  A wet, rainy, swelly Atlantic morning left the leather on my boots looking drenched, even though my feet and socks were dry.  About two hours later, shortly after our race, one of the crew noticed my boots and said with a slightly shocked tone, “Wow, your boots are really dry.” It took me a second to realize that he was referring to the outside of my boots, which had dried quicker than most everything else.  This quick-drying explained why they didn’t feel weighed down and clunky after the downpour.  Similar experience happened on the rainy Sunday while instructing 8 year olds all day long at the Boat Show. I was wearing my HPX’s and  my coworker  was wearing her Dubarry Ultima Stretch Sea Boots.  The rain had stopped and we both looked down and saw that my boots were dry while the leather on hers took
another hour to dry.

HPX Musto Boots, The Bad

I wore them the first time one hot Thursday evening race on Dragonfly, a J80 (HAD to try out my new SWAG).  I had to wear them with shorts because it was that hot. It was a tough way to test that yes, indeed they have a good grip, feel light and are comfy while moving about. But they are still boots and unfortunately don’t come with air conditioning (wishful I know.  The other down side to these or any other brown leather boots is that they are prone to experience some scuffing, but they’re still good, rugged boots. (After 4 months of decent use, my boots still look great.)

Overall

100% waterproof, rugged material, great traction, lightweight, warm, and fashionable on and off the boat… I love my Musto boots and consider them to be a very valuable asset in my arsenal to keep the cold and wetness away.

Choosing light Base Layers for Sailing

Layering Guide: Light Base Layers | Expert Advice

As the name implies, Light Base Layers are the first layer of clothing you put on. It is a next-to-skin layer designed to move moisture from your body, providing comfort and allowing your breathable gear to do its job more effectively. Sailing provides a unique set of challenges when it come to moisture management — short bursts of movement in a sometimes wet environment — and it is important to choose your base layers carefully, especially when it comes to layering for the cold. Avoid cotton […]

As the name implies, Light Base Layers are the first layer of clothing you put on. It is a next-to-skin layer designed to move moisture from your body, providing comfort and allowing your breathable gear to do its job more effectively.

Sailing provides a unique set of challenges when it come to moisture management — short
bursts of movement in a sometimes wet environment — and it is important to choose your base layers carefully, especially when it comes to layering for the cold. Avoid cotton clothing, when possible, as it retains moisture instead of moving it.

Base Layers are available in a range of weights to accommodate almost any climate.
Ultra-Lightweight Base Layers provide dry, cool comfort and can be used on their own when the temperatures rise while Heavyweight Base Layers keep you dry and warm when the temps bottom out.

Stay on the water longer and get as much as you can from the shorter Fall days by following our Layering Guide for the Fall Season.

Light Base Layers: ~65-78 ° F

As the closest layer to your body the base layer you choose should be designed to keep moisture off of your skin. Wicking ability should be the first way you grade your base layer. Dry skin is imperative for staying both cool and warm.

When it comes to base layer there are many options and proprietary fabrics to choose from. Base Layers are available in a range of weights to accommodate almost any climate.

Lightweight Base Layers provide dry, cool comfort and can be used on their own when the temperatures rise while Heavyweight Base Layers keep you dry and warm when the temps bottom out.

One of the more common questions that we get about this category is “when would I actually wear this gear?” — and it’s a really good point. If you plan on wearing these layers on their own, you’ll find that the gear in this lightweight base layer section will perform their best when there’s a light chill to the air. Their materials invite airflow, provide excellent wicking and provide exceptional breathability, which is why they’re not rated for cold temps.

However, they should absolutely be one of your first thoughts when the temps dip as a layering piece, as they’re also insulative enough for chilly days when worn beneath outer layers.Patagonia Merino 2 Crew Top

Perhaps the most well known of the lightweight base/thermal layers is Patagonia’s Capilene 2 line. It is the fastest drying of Patagonia’s performance baselayers, with an open knit that for air movement and design that minimizes/eliminates chafe during the course of a day. Available in a long sleeve t-shirt, zip neck long sleeve t-shirt and pants that all feature a slim fit — they’ll fit best as a next to skin garment but are sized for a light
layer to be worn beneath them.

Musto Active Base Layer Top

The Musto Active Base layer is another choice when it comes to high performing light base layers.

This Active Base Layers are designed to work the best in high activity. Musto has optimized this line for sailing by keeping you dry and comfortable for extended periods of time, this
gear is made for long days on the water.

Its made from a Polypropylene blend with Nilit Bodyfresh with Silver ion technology to prevent odor producing bacteria. 3D protective knit on collar bone, shoulders and over arm panels to increase protection. Mesh knit on side panels, underarms, inner elbow and center back for increased ventilation, Honeycomb thermal knit on kidneys and lower back for added warmth.

Whats in the Sailing Bag: Middle Distance Racer feature image

Whats in the Sailing Bag: Middle Distance Racer | Expert Advice

It’s St. Mary’s College Governor’s Cup time again. One of the APS employees is packing up his sailing bag and headed out for a night of bounding down the Chesapeake. Customer Service rep, Matt was willing to give us a peak at the gear in his sailing bag to give people an idea of what he packs for a middle distance race. For those that don’t know the Governor’s Cup is a  night race starting at 6pm just off Annapolis and […]

It’s St. Mary’s College Governor’s Cup time again. One of the APS employees is packing up his sailing bag and headed out for a night of bounding down the Chesapeake. Customer Service rep, Matt was willing to give us a peak at the gear in his sailing bag to give people an idea of what he packs for a middle distance race.

For those that don’t know the Governor’s Cup is a  night race starting at 6pm just off Annapolis and finishing 70 miles later in the St. Mary’s River culminating in a half-awake bash on the campus of St. Mary’s College.

St. Mary's College Governor's Cup

Matt is an SMCM alum and bowman. He knows this race pretty well and has the packing for this one down pat. If you are getting ready for your next overnight or middle distance race this bag has the perfect balance you would need:

sailing bag packing list

1. Musto MPX Smock: The main reason I like the MPX smock is breathablity. Being on the foredeck or rain where waves can get to you makes having some waterproof layer needed to enjoy the ride. There isn’t a huge reprieve from the heat at night during summer months so having something that allows heat and moisture to escape is perfect.

2. Patagonia R1 Fleece Pullover: Lightweight, warm, and very stretchy. Provides a great freedom of motion and just the right about of protection from the chill of night sailing. It’s great for sailing because it has a snug fit so loose fabric won’t get in my way during maneuvers. It’s also moisture wicking.

3. Musto LPX Pants: Like the MPX Smock, breathablity is key, but with pants being as lightweight as possible is also huge. Being active on the deck builds up some body heat, the LPX does a great job of allowing the moisture and heat to transfer through the fabric. Hi-tech, Low-weight, and very chafe resistant.

4. Harken Squall Bag: First this is a very durable well constructed sailing bag, but even more important its waterproof and compact. It’s a pretty good party down at St. Mary’s and walking around in soaked clothes would put a damper on on things.

5. Ronstan Sticky Race Gloves: On watch there is plenty of long stretches of trimming. These gloves are very comfortable  made with special “sticky” Amara for maximum durability, minimum stretch and extra grip. They can reduce fatigue by minimizing the physical effort required to hold line.


6. Sperry SeaRacer Shoe: Longer races may require some boots, but inshore medium distance sailing shoes are just whats needed. The Sperry SeaRacer has great tread and stick combined with a very light frame. I feel like sailing shoes allow me to be more agile and step lighter on the deck. Check out our Blog review of the SeaRacer GripX3


7. 3M Rigging Tape: An essential. Quick fixes and covering up sharp edges. White is KEY to not leave black goo residue all over the rig and deck.


8. Atlas Gloves: Awesome for gripping halyards and sail material. Perfect for the foredeck gripping the kite and jumping the spinnaker halyard. They are my bowman gloves for sure.


9. Quick Dry Socks: Breathable sailing shoes provide great drainage and air flow but it will get chilly during the night. Quick Drying Socks gives you a layer for warmth and still allows draining and drying you want.


10. Blue Lizard Sunblock: For a night race? Put a cover on as the sun comes up and keep yourself from burning up before you hit the dock and when you zonk out at the part.


11. Kaenon Burnet Glasses: Prescription lens too. Sunset and Sunrise are always harsh. Who doesn’t go sailing without their sunglasses? Burnet’s have an great look and Kaenon makes some of the best lenses on the water.


12. Spinlock Mast Pro Harness Mark II: Other climbing harnesses are very minimalist and often do not provide the comfort padding on the leg straps. The Mast Pro has a sheath for your fid as well. Longer review of the Mast Pro Harness


13. Leatherman Skeletool: Ultra light at 5oz it has everything I need. If its in a pocket or sheath it does not have a weight down feeling and is easy to hold onto when having to do work that takes a little while.

Thanks Matt. Enjoy the Party!

St. Mary's College Governor's Cup party 

If you have questions about what gear you might need for future regattas don’t hesitate to call or email our customer service guys. They have done it all and know exactly what you’ll need.
Gear up for Charleston Race Week feature image

Gear up for Charleston Race Week | Expert Advice

With Charleston Race Week just over a month away and already over 220 boats registered, it’s time to gear up!  Crugear is ready and waiting to make sure you look great (how you sail is up to you!).    The buzz in the air is all about Charleston Race Week and with that, my thoughts turn to my favorite gear to decorate. There are so many great options out there.  Here are several options for you that are available in the […]

With Charleston Race Week just over a month away and already over 220 boats registered, it’s time to gear up!  Crugear is ready and waiting to make sure you look great (how you sail is up to you!). 

 

The buzz in the air is all about Charleston Race Week and with that, my thoughts
turn to my favorite gear to decorate. There are so many great options out
there.  Here are several options for you that are available in the weeks to come.
First let’s talk technical tees. We all know that cotton is great,
but on the water a tech tee is key for wicking the moisture away from the body.
One of my favorite tech tees is the Race Technical Shirt by Gill. This shirt
feels like it was spun from silk, it is amazingly soft.
The grey piping separates it from the plain ole white tech tee. It takes the dye really well,
keeping the color of the ink nice and bright.  This is always an important part of the tech shirt making process.
With endless possibilities for designs and multiple places to put the decoration, you might need some inspiration – Check out some Crugear examples.
Next, a good looking team jacket is the Softshell Jacket by Gill.
It fits well and comes in two colors – my personal favorite being the silver.  With team name, yacht club burgee or just about any small embroidered logo on the front chest you can’t go wrong.
A softshell is the perfect layer for the cool mornings and evenings of  April in Charleston.  Use it to keep you warm on your way in and out from the race course or to hit that tent party in style.  The Gill Softshells make a great jacket, smock or vest for those looking for more than just a tech shirt.
And last but not least, the tried and true short – the SLAM Hissar. These shorts
dry so fast you’ll never even know you got wet. And; ladies, SLAM Ladies Jay
shorts MATCH the men’s – CRAZY! You will look like a part of the team!
Embroider a a logo on one of the legs to make sure you always are repping your team.  The technical aspects work great on the boat – keeping you dry no matter what course you’re on.  Comfortable too!  You can’t go wrong with a pair of Hissars.



So you heard it here, three great options for gear, recommended by the expert. The whole ordering is easy with Erica available to help you through all steps to ensure you get the gear you need.  Visit the Crugear Page or give Katie a call at 800 729 9767 to get started.   


But don’t delay! All orders are done on a first come, first serve basis.  That means no calling on the Wednesday before Race Week expecting gear!