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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:52 am 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:06 am
Posts: 12
Location: St. Pete, FL
Another opinion....

First, I'm not a Hobie Sailer, but spend a ton of time on a Hobie Kayak and a windsurfer in St. Pete, FL......all year.

A good selection of wet suits works very well in the Tampa Bay area, especially if you occasionally get into the water, which happens.

A shorty T-shirt
A Shorty, long sleeves
A real thin top, lone sleeves
A farmer john.

If the water temp is much below 80, I'll have something on. And just layer according to water temp.

For the most part, I can get along with the long sleeve shorty with the shorty T shirt underneath most of the winter, with water temps down to about 60. At the lower end I'll use the thin long sleeve top over the shorty.

Below 60 I use the farmer john, but it's awkward and I'll find myself not going out at times because of the hassle. Below 50 I just don't go, but is extremely rare.

As for booties in the Tampa Bay area.... a MUST. Too many rocks barnicles and sharp shells. The slipper booties are fine most of the time, but a really durable boot height ones are great if cold and rocks/shells around.

Mirage Oasis Tandem
Mirage Outback

PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:35 am 
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:55 am
Posts: 81
Location: Riverside, S. California, USA
Years ago I got a Kokatat dry suit for kayaking down the grand canyon. I could not afford the goretex, so it was full-seal material. When I put it on in my house the day I got it, I was immediately sweaty and thought "no way am I going to be able to stand wearing this on a sunny day. But, in the canyon, it was never a problem. I am not so great a kayaker, so I did a LOT of swimming, in the 50 degree water, and clearly the drysuit was necessary. But on stretches with no rapids, it was seldom too warm, and when it was, I just got wet (by rolling, or by splashing), and I was comfortable again.
So I think worries about overheating in a dry suit are overblown. It will depend more on what you wear under it (I had lightest-weigtht Capilene). And, if you can spend the bucks for Gore Tex, the comfort will be much greater. Bottom line, though, is that immersion in really cold water a dry suit, even with little under it, will save your life like nothing else. I probably will buy another (the first one no longer fits me right :wink: ), though I am pretty comfortable sailing in shorty farmer john wetsuit, splash top, and neoprene booties in our "winter" here in southern CA (but the water is pretty cold).
The seals are the inconvenient part. I would recommend getting one with integrated booties, not only because it makes it easy to have warm dry feet, but because it is easier to get out of. I think for sailing I would get a neoprene neck for the same reason. They don't seal as completely, but enough to provide a lot of protection, and easier entrance/exit and comfort wearing. Actually, diving dry suits have neoprene neck seals, that I gather are quite waterproof if correctly worn.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:22 pm 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 2
Hello all... this is my first post on the forums. I've been lurking in the shadows, but this thread prompted me to jump in. There are a lot of good ideas for dressing to stay warm... I live in Washington state, where there is no warm water, but am a Floridian by nature (and cold tolerance). I'll be retiring to Melbourne in a couple of years. White water kayaking and fishing around here have made me decide that science is wrong - there are four states of water. Gas, liquid, melted snow, and solid. Seems like I end up in the melted snow state more than I like... and, on a couple of occasions, in the stuff fully clothed. The point I wanted to make is that I don't think enough was said about the need to increase flotation when you start adding clothing. Not to sound like a boating safety course, but trying to climb back up onto a boat with soggy fleece, flooded waders, waterlogged sweatpants... can be almost, if not, impossible. Especially if you are already cold and tired. If you add clothes, a good PFD should be the first item. My brother bought me an inflatable for my birthday - it's the Cat's Meow!...

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