IN FASHION – Comfort & Safety: Always In Fashion on the Water

by Ron Balske, Style Coast by Sidney Casuals –

There’s not much that’s more appealing than a day on the water when you live in this stunning location. Sail or power boat, as a sailor or a passenger, there’s so much to enjoy … if you’re properly equipped.

Are you a fair weather boater? New innovations in clothing materials will allow you to extend your boating season, and really make the most of opportunities to get out on the water with friends and family.

When taking to the water, one of the biggest considerations is that you are very exposed. Wind, sun, rain – you can see it all (even in the same day), and part of making sure you enjoy yourself is being prepared for all eventualities. That’s why the first thing I’d recommend isn’t even something to wear, it’s a waterproof bag. You can get a duffle or a backpack, but something from a waterproof line will have a water resistant fabric plus taped seams and sealed zipper closures. In that bag you can stash an extra layer of clothing, maybe a lightweight shell jacket, and you’ll be assured that if you get wet from rain or wave, you’ve got a backup. You can also put your sunscreen and water bottle in there.

Something I often forget until I’m out in the elements is how exhausting being on the water can be. When you’re in the sun and wind your body is working hard to regulate your temperature and it’s very fatiguing. Getting yourself set up right with a base layer made of a fibre like merino wool will help a lot. To keep the sun off your skin, try a long-sleeved shirt with sun protection, and always check for a UPF rating.

Also keeping you safe, and the sun off your body, a hat is essential. I suggest people use something like a Tilley hat that’s been especially designed with water sports in mind. A wide brim keeps out sunlight and glare and they have fabrics that are rated as UPF 50+. They also have a nifty inbuilt floatation device – it won’t keep your hat from sinking forever, but might give you the chance to scoop it out of the water if you’re quick!

Also important against the glare is a pair of polarized sunglasses. The tech built into the lenses works something like a window blind, blocking the light that has bounced off a surface, like the water, or your bright white boat hull. Speaking of which, you’ll need footwear with non-slip and non-marking soles for most boats.

Over the years the item that I’ve been most pleased with is my Mountain Hardware shell jacket. It’s been a lifesaver, making a difference to my sailing adventures again and again. It acts as a wind block and helps to retain body heat, and is so light and packable; it’s the first thing in my waterproof bag.

Get yourself prepared and you will have so much fun on the water this season. If you have any questions you can always swing by the store and ask – happy boating!

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