Print Page | Close Window


Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Dinghy classes
Forum Name: Dinghy Yarns...
Forum Discription: Tell us your sailing stories
Printed Date: 07 Apr 20 at 7:11pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y -

Topic: Drysuits
Posted By: PhantomHelm
Subject: Drysuits
Date Posted: 12 Feb 05 at 10:41am

Anyone want to comment on what makes a good drysuit?  Am considering Douglas Gill or a custom made Ravenspring one, but would value some opinions...especially on whether to get a front zip or rear zip?  What are the advantages or disadvantages of either?  Leg seals or built in socks?


Posted By: sailor girl
Date Posted: 12 Feb 05 at 5:33pm
definatly built in socks, front zip and breathable! i have found that with rear zips your movement can be restricted. and what's the point in a drysuit with out built in socks!!!

Sailor Girl, Queen Of The Forum!

Posted By: Lucy Lee
Date Posted: 12 Feb 05 at 5:58pm

I think wetsuits are much, much better. Even in really cold weather. The simple reason is this: even a small tear in a wetsuit will make you so cold you can't continue racing. I've got a 5mm steamer which is fine in all weather (with a thin spray suit to stop windchill).

If you are going to get a wetsuit then proper feet are a must!

Fly Cherub!

Posted By: *GM*
Date Posted: 12 Feb 05 at 6:13pm

I used to have  Trident drysuit - rear zip, not breathable, socks.  No problem with the rear zip - I could do it up my self and never found it caused any mobility problems. Kept ripping the socks on the tramp fixings on the cat though - always when I was climbing off fortunately!

Got a Magic Marine Thermo suit now - these are the neoprene ones with a horizontal zip across the front of the shoulders.  Much warmer than a conventional suit.  Gets pretty sweaty though! It has neoprene wrist and ankle seals which need to be layered with gloves/boots which have double cuffs - bit of a pain.  Still not completely waterproof though - but not enough to be a problem, even after a very extended capsize episode in the Forth in December! Don't think I'd buy another to be honest.

Posted By: redback
Date Posted: 12 Feb 05 at 8:46pm
I prefer wetsuits to dry, less clumsey.  But if you do have a dry suit it should have sock not seals.  Socks keep your feet dry (until the sweat trickles down) and if they are dry they are easier to keep warm.  Seals restrict the blod flow and make your feet even colder - no matter how many layers you have.

Posted By: sailor.jon
Date Posted: 12 Feb 05 at 8:53pm

if you want to get a dry suit, the best ones are with front zip. get built in socks but ware dinghy boots so not to rip then. breathable are much better. 

Vortex 1169 - Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club

Posted By: stuarthop
Date Posted: 13 Feb 05 at 10:40pm
I found that back zips have always been better as the dont restrict movement when you are doubled over in the boat as much, breathable is a must as is socks, I would recomend hammond dry suits expensive but very high quality and made to measure


Posted By: Barty
Date Posted: 14 Feb 05 at 9:06am

The tri-laminate drysuits are best as any rip is usually in the sacrificial top layer.  Personnally I like something that feels substantial rather than single layer drysuits.  I agree with Lucy for single-handed sailing, wetsuits are best as you have the flexibility.  In the bigger boats front entry zips are fine.

I think its the same as get what you pay for.  If your gonna play in the winter it is worth investing in the right gear to stay warm.

------------- - For Topper boats & spares in

Posted By: Doctor Clifford
Date Posted: 14 Feb 05 at 11:35am
Sailing in Scotland end of March to late December.
Gave up on drysuits three years ago and havn't
looked back. A good wetsuit costs half as much,
lasts twice as long, and does as good a job in my
Good gloves and good boots to keep the extremities
warm have a huge impact on your comfort and

Wetsuits are more comfortable with harnesses, as
you are not trapping a huge waterproof zip on the
front and back with it.

Dr. Clifford

take two tablets twice daily

Posted By: catmandoo
Date Posted: 14 Feb 05 at 12:46pm

Can't abide drysuits , I use a 3mm wetsuit from march to november for sailing  , never get cold , but as Doc cliff may point out I do carry a tad of personal insulation .I used to think running about in ribber suits a bit pervy , but drysuits are darn uncomfortable (as for neck seals !!!!!) , restrictive and zips a pain , the suit I currently have and only wear if really have to (sitting in a rib all day  watching nippers sailing ) has a front zipp and I still need a hand to get out as do others .


One tip in the boot dept , don't wear wet boots too tight !, my last pair 8mm were tight and bladdy freezin , bein a misely git had to wait till I wore them out ,then replaced em last nov with 4mm slightly looser , and feet toasty !!!


Posted By: redback
Date Posted: 14 Feb 05 at 4:19pm
A good tip for cold weather is wear thermal clothing under your steamer it makes a hell of a difference.  Don't wear cotton - it wicks the heat away.

Posted By: catmandoo
Date Posted: 14 Feb 05 at 4:32pm

Thermal clothing under a steamer !!!


you want to try weetabix



Eat them thats is , too bulky and crumbly for wearing !


Posted By: Wave Rider
Date Posted: 14 Feb 05 at 5:00pm
Blimey i wear a rash vest under my Steamer and a spray top on top and im never cold.............. id be suprised if you would need thermals aswell under a steamer

Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club
           RS600 933

Posted By: redback
Date Posted: 14 Feb 05 at 6:29pm

I agree, what I'm trying to say is that a steamer is perfectly adequate and the bulk of a drysuit is only justified if you are going to sit still on say a rescue boat.  However if you are like me and spend lots of time in the water you can increase the warmth by wearing thermals.  I must confess I don't these days but before I could afford a steamer I used to wear my standard long-john with thermals and a spray top.

My warning about cotton still stands, some people just don't realise the benefit of wool or an modern fibre over the poor insulation that wet cotton provides.

Posted By: Wave Rider
Date Posted: 14 Feb 05 at 7:17pm


Never wear cotton doing water sports.

A few weeks ago before i brought all my new clobber i was wearing my summer wetsuit with long arms (2/3mm) and a rain mac on top and a thinsulate hat (with boots and gloves) and i didnt seem to cold but then i found a cotton balaclava and put that on aswell.

The week i put the cotton on my head was windy and i got hit by a load of spray and when i came in for lunch i was so cold and shaking so much i had to get my dad to open my lunch.


I think i scared him a bit so the next week we went and brought a spray top, steamer and neoprene balaclava!!

Nice and Toasty

Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club
           RS600 933

Posted By: stuarthop
Date Posted: 14 Feb 05 at 9:28pm
Never wear too many layers is a good tip, i only have a pair of 3/4 length hikers so i have to wear layers  to stay warm the best combination i've found is a race skin 2 rash vests and a thin microfleece top under my aquafleece keeps me toasty any more layers and it starts to turn cold!


Posted By: Bruce Starbuck
Date Posted: 15 Feb 05 at 8:54pm

I used to prefer wetsuits to drysuits, but for sailing in the depths of winter, even a 5mm steamer is too cold for me! Got a new drysuit, and it's so much warmer. wouldn't consider doing winter sailing in a wetsuit now.   My advice would be to get a breathable one; the non-breathable ones are a false economy. Also, get the lightest suit you can find, with no pockets or collars etc. The stuff you wear underneath keeps you warm, the drysuit keeps you dry, so it is best to have a light flexible one. Oh, and you need the built-in socks.

My crewsaver hyperdry pro neo is really good. It has a neoprene neck seal, which is very comfortable, and doesn't have any unnecessary flaps and pockets.


Posted By: frankie_is_sad
Date Posted: 19 Feb 05 at 1:19pm
Why use a steamer when you can use a good old coal fire

Posted By: Harry44981!
Date Posted: 19 Feb 05 at 5:08pm
When your out all day for a winter regatta and your keeping hydrated, front zips are best for quick relief

Posted By: abim
Date Posted: 22 Feb 05 at 12:35pm

Does anyone have any experience of wearing a Magic Marine Thermo Drysuit with a trapeze harness? I was just wondering if its any different to any other front zip drysuits.

Posted By: Black no sugar
Date Posted: 22 Feb 05 at 12:40pm
Ask Contender443, he'll tell you

------------- - Lancing SC

Posted By: hydrographer20
Date Posted: 22 Feb 05 at 2:55pm
i think wet suits are much better they proivdie ample warmth and are much more flexible.  personally i am interedted in why any one would want a dry suit when thee are superb wet suits about

byte me!- GBR 814

Posted By: Contender443
Date Posted: 22 Feb 05 at 3:58pm
Originally posted by abim

Does anyone have any experience of wearing a Magic Marine Thermo Drysuit with a trapeze harness? I was just wondering if its any different to any other front zip drysuits.

I have one of those - it is OK with a harness as it is very flexible. I wear my harness over everything including my buoyancy aid - that is my quick release system.

Back to the Magic Marine suit - I bought it with the "dry socks" and gloves. I always get wet feet but they do warm up. However I only sail from end of March to the end of November so have not tried it in the depths of winter.

I would not buy any suit or harness on mail order as I always try them on first with all the kit (harness and buyancy aid) to see how comfortable they are . I suggest you do that before you buy. Any good chandlers will lend you the full kit if you are looking at buying one major item.

Bonnie Lass Contender 1764

Posted By: Bennett
Date Posted: 22 Feb 05 at 4:00pm

Originally posted by Harry44981!

When your out all day for a winter regatta and your keeping hydrated, front zips are best for quick relief

Hence the advantage of wearing a wetsuit during winter...

But seriously I crew a 29er and weve been out pretty much every weekend this winter training and I havn't been cold in my steamer and aquafleece and occansionally beany hat. You have a lot more movement in a wetsuit compared to a drysuit and less chance of catching on stuff  and even if you do a small tear in a wetsuit is a lot better than one in a drysuit.

Posted By: Wave Rider
Date Posted: 22 Feb 05 at 5:12pm

Yeah I sail all winter and i wear a steamer with a spray top and hat and im never cold and Topper's and Fireball's aren't that demanding as some of the boats around which might keep you even warmer !

Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club
           RS600 933

Posted By: stuarthop
Date Posted: 22 Feb 05 at 6:32pm
I found i was fine in a wetsuit in my laser but its a lot colder helming the scorpion because it takes less energy


Print Page | Close Window

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.665y -
Copyright ©2001-2010 Web Wiz -