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Kit Guide

Layering for Dinghy Sailing in UK Wintertime

By Steve Cockerill 30th September 2020
Sailing in the UK during the winter time might sound like a bad idea, but with the correct kit you can be comfortable and unrestricted - it's all about selecting the right layers for the job. UK winter time is generally between 3 and 12 degrees, often windy and very damp.

Upper Body:

Base layer Start with our PolyPro garments. Worn next to the skin, they are naturally hydrophobic so you will remain warm and as dry as possible. These garments will come out of a good spinner almost dry enough to wear. On cold, wet days I find myself wearing them to the club under my jeans. My wife loves her PolyPro Socks and gets rather upset if she loses one. Polypro Socks Mid Layer The ThermaFlex™ top is the most adaptable mid layer made at Rooster. Used on its own you can cope easily in windy hot climates, or in less windy British summer climates. When combined with a Polypro top you can sail through all but the worst of the UK winter season.

ThermaFlex Top

Having argued for the versatility of the Thermaflex® and Polypro combo, if you are really serious about being on the water when most would rather be drinking mulled wine at the bar, then the Supertherm® Top is ideal.


Top Layer Aquafleece® - Now with Classic, Pro Lite and Pro versions. Rooster designed the Aquafleece® fabric, the style of top, and own the trademark. With a wide range of colours and styles available, you can be sure they all stop the windchill in a more comfortable and snugly way to a standard spray top. The Aquafleece Range is also becoming popular with many other watersports enthusiasts.

Lower Body:

I wear my hike pads over the top of the Supertherm® Longjohn inside a pair of Race Armour Lite shorts.

SuperTherm Longjohn SuperTherm® Longjohn
Accessories: Head Gear - My Dad used to get rather hot under the collar when he saw sailors in cold weather not wearing a hat. I must have heard him say that you can loose 3/4 of your body heat through your head so many times that I almost believed him. I absolutely love the Pro Aquafleece Beanie. It's just the right tension which means it's not going to fall off in a winter gale, in or out of the water, and when I get hot from working hard, it's the easiest thing to take off and stuff down the front of my buoyancy aid during the race. Its taped seams and extra thick Aquafleece® fabric are ideal - at least my Dad would be happy. Pro Aquafleece Beanie Hands Hands are the hardest things to keep warm AND keep the dexterity you require. My first recommendation is to use Polypro Glove Liners. Worn under a pair of summer gloves, they can work down to 8 degrees or so. Our Aquapro Gloves are very unique and warm. However, the Aquafleece® fabric itself is not cut out for rough rope work, so we have used as much extra reinforcement as we can to ensure you get the grip and dexterity you want. If you have a strange grip on your rope you might find they wear more quickly than you would like. Your next option would be our All Weather Neoprene Gloves which use a heavy duty Amara all round with extra soft PU coated grip for the high load areas.
Polypro Glove Liner Polypro Glove Liner

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