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  • #31
    Re: Dry suits

    You need an inner wicking layer - Helly Hansen polypropylene layer LIFA is the best I've found for wicking and staying dry, then a layer of simple high insulation fleece of Polartec 200 for example top and bottoms or an all in one 'wooly bear' or onesie as the kids would call it.

    I use the LIFA ones with a zip down the front for mountain biking too so pay the extra for the front half zip. Long sleeve to protect your elbows if you fall off your mountain bike on a downhill.



    A walking waterproof peaked insulated breathable hat that covers your ears and has an understrap under your chin to keep wind off. Ear coverage is essential. This one from Douglas Gill is ideal.



    To get air out of your drysuit, once its on, bend over and open the neck seal and it'll evacuate alotof the air and excess. No farting in a drysuit. You'll live to regret it when it comes off.

    Its normal to adjust the neck seal if needed.

    To have warm feet size up your shoes so they don't compress your foot/ sock. I had cold feet even with proper Henry Lloyd boots untill I did. Think my feet are 9.5 uk but wear 10.5 sandal with vibram non marking sole that just velcro on. The velcro closure is alot easier than laces with drysuit and floatation etc.

    With a drysuit, shoes, flotation jacket etc you'll be toasty but you won't be able to 'swim for it' effectively, so make sure your boats recoverable, you now need each other.

    You don't want normal boots with a drysuit, they'll fill with water, then leave your feet heavy and cold.

    You want something like this that drains and a decent sole in 2 sizes bigger...I'd take your thick sock and drysuit into the sports shop to get a loose enough fit, otherwise you'll end up too tight. Its the air insulation around your foot that keep your foot warm, the shoe just needs to provide abrasion resistance. Shoe like this with full drainage.



    I use drysuits...a thick Musto HPX ocean racer one that I got relatively cheap (unused after a cross Atlantic trip by someone) as otherwise they're pretty expensive, and a thinner dinghy one for summer that I bought 20 years ago from Ravenspring (UK). The thick one is a bit hot in the summer and the thin one a bit cold for winter. I have to say the HPX one does a very good job keeping wind off around my head. For the ultra committed dinghy cruiser, they are probably worth the extra if its all you do. If your really in trouble of note the HPX ones have an inflation tube so you can increase air inside and float if you're awaiting serious rescue: becomes a 'survival suit' as the oil rig worker wold call it. As Andrew said above, they get bought for cross atlantic event things, barely used or not even out the bag, then sold for half the price.

    I have to say I got a modern triathlon weysuit (for swimming from my beach hut) and was amazed by how seemingly dry I remained. Still not my choice for dinghy cuise sailing, but if I was in some high performance dinghy and expecting a dunking, the modern wetsuits are very flexible to get on easier and seem to keep you pretty dry, couldn't hardly feel the cold water when I used it. Much better than they used to be. There's maybe 4 weeks in the summer when a shortie is the right clothing and thats it.

    If anyone hear is a funny size, legs or arms etc, and in Europe, my first drysuit I got from Ravenspring UK, an Uno, who actually make on site, and they custom fit to your size for no extra cost which is good service. I think I once had new feet put on it, and they didn't charge much. Internal braces, elasticated back, they're well designed and are a very good dinghy drysuit.

    Made to measure Uno drysuit by Ravenspring. Seven ounce breathable fabric that is both light & durable whilst being comfortable to wear.


    I bought dad a Henri Lloyd thick 'ocean racer' drysuit like the HPX ones, for his birthday once. If I remember, it too had been accross the Atlantic in a bag, from a Lymington chandlers sale rail. After a few years constant dinghy use, the Goretex started to become less breathable, so they asked to look at it after he rang them to see if it needed a special wash or something, and they promtly sent him a brand new one by return. It was a maybe 5 years old - out of warranty etc, hadn't bought it from them or even new, but showed Henri Lloyd have good customer service.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 01-03-2023, 07:50 AM.

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    • #32
      Re: Dry suits

      Hey thanks very much. You have such thorough and excellent information. It really is a whole new world of stuff to learn. My core was quite warm, Footwear seems to be my biggest need right now. I was thinking a size larger but 2 sizes probably makes more sense. I'll probably get a sou wester for a hat. Yesterday I was wearing a fur, military style hat

      Too bad they didnt have outfits that didn't look sporty. I don't know the last time I wore anything garishly coloured with a logo on it. On my dry suit though it's comparatively drab I'm probably going to sharpie out all the Helly hansen logos. Too much advertising.
      Not a real concern though. Just hate being a billboard. I guess being dead is worse
      .

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      • #33
        Re: Dry suits

        Originally posted by WI-Tom
        It's a one-piece Gore-Tex (or similar) suit, kind of like a snowsuit. I find I don't often wear a drysuit when rowing, as the risk of capsize is much lower. But it's fairly easy to undo the top and leave it tied around your waist. From there it's pretty fast to get fully suited up if conditions get worse.

        Once you get the technique down, it's not too bad to put one on in a small boat. You do need a certain degree of shoulder flexibility, and it seems ludicrously hard at first. Eventually it's hard to remember why it ever seemed difficult to put on or take off. But it does take some experience to get comfortable with the process.

        Semi-dry, I think, often means a neoprene neck seal. This is far more comfortable, but will let a few drops of water down the back of your neck. I think the trade-off is well worth it--I'd never wear a suit with a latex neck seal. The wrist cuffs are usually latex even in a semi-dry suit.

        I usually wear Teva sandals over the booties. I'm sure boots would be fine, but might need to go slightly larger.

        Hope that helps. I often wear foul weather bibs and a rain jacket these days, rather than the full dry suit. But for early/late season, I think a drysuit is smart.

        Tom
        Just received my Kokatat Supernova, easy to don in my work clothes, like the neoprene neck gasket, think it will work well. Sorting out the insulation layer and foot gear, gloves and hat. Thanks to all for the input, love the idea of getting out earlier this year!

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        • #34
          Re: Dry suits

          I think you picked a good suit--good luck with it. It makes "dress for immersion" a lot more achievable in spring/fall (or summer in cold waters).

          Tom
          Ponoszenie konsekwencji!

          www.tompamperin.com

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          • #35
            Re: Dry suits

            Lots of good advice on this thread.

            I will just add the conventional wisdom that if you wear an “offshore” type dry suit you should wear a 275N life jacket/ PFD and not the usual 160.

            I bought these and I’m glad I did; they are the very best available and the price reflects that, but we have found them so comfortable that I saved the cost of buying 160N ones as well.

            The only lifejacket harness with patented Backtow Technology. The complete lifejacket harness for sailors. Shop direct with TeamO or find a retailer near you.


            This advice doesn’t apply to dinghy or kayak dry suits which are worn with a buoyancy aid, of course.
            IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

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            • #36
              Re: Dry suits

              Thanks, all, for this thread! I took a dunking in 45 degree water many years ago, and have been very leery of sailing in the spring, here in the US southeast, where the lake water is quite cold well into spring. Most of the non-advertising information that's available has been about kayaking, so I'm really grateful to y'all!

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              • #37
                Re: Dry suits

                The best one I've seen is the Ocean Rodeo "Ignite" model from Mustang.
                These are ideal for all day wear, particularly in very cold conditions.

                Ocean Rodeo Dry Wear is now sold by Mustang Survival. These innovative dry suits create a fully watertight/waterproof solution for active watersport athletes and commercial mariners.


                John Welsford
                An expert is but a beginner with experience.

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                • #38
                  Re: Dry suits

                  Mustang has been very slow bringing this line to market since they acquired it. They don't list a price for the Ignite model on their website. Their Soul model has similar styling and, I assume, less expensive fabric. I just sent an inquiry (again) as to actual availability.
                  The ability to ventilate would be great. Kayak spray skirt compatibility is mandatory for me.
                  Last edited by Autonomous; 04-04-2023, 06:31 PM.
                  ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
                  ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
                  ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
                  ♦ George Orwell

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                  • #39
                    Re: Dry suits

                    From Mustang today.

                    "Thank you for your message.

                    Unfortunately, none of our dry suits are compatible with a kayak spray skirt.

                    The Ignite is discontinued so we do not have it for sale on our website anymore. You may still be able to find some sizes at a dealer near you. Please use our store locator tool below. If you're looking for a current model similar to the Ignite, I would suggest the GO."

                    I found an online review of the Ignite suit by a kayaker. He did not mention spray skirt compatibility but did have some video of paddling. I suspect if the suit weren't compatible, he would have said something. He did mention a strap adjustor in the middle of his back that he had to fiddle with account of it being between him and the seat back.
                    Last edited by Autonomous; 04-04-2023, 06:38 PM.
                    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
                    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
                    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
                    ♦ George Orwell

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