WHAT TO WEAR OFFSHORE SAILING
Get Prepared To Go Offshore Sailing
As the saying goes, “The good seaman weathers the storm he cannot avoid and avoids the storm he cannot weather.” This sentiment is as true before you set sail as it is out on the water. After all, you can dodge any number of potential problems, dramas and even safety hazards if you prepare for your offshore sail with the right clothing and equipment.
Offshore sailing is worlds away from coastal sailing and, as such, comes with its own particular set of required essentials. An offshore sail can last anywhere from 24 hours to a many weeks, so it’s important to be aware that you can encounter a different set of extreme conditions when you’re that far from land. Whether you are a seasoned professional or new to the world of offshore sailing, it’s absolutely vital to be prepared with the right offshore sailing gear before you hit the water.
What is considered offshore sailing?
There is no singular definition of offshore sailing, but at its essence, it’s sailing in water unprotected by coastline. It can mean any journey that takes you out of sight of land and usually lasts 12 hours or more. When it comes to inshore vs offshore sailing, inshore sailing refers to a passage that is bound by land or within a short distance to a safe haven, so offshore sailing is a passage that goes far beyond this.
When you’re this far from land, it’s crucial to have the right offshore sailing clothing and accessories for your trip – and when you’re engaging in this high-intensity sport so far from shore, it’s not enough to simply have the best offshore sailing jacket on the market or the very best offshore sailing drysuit. You need to think in terms of layers when it comes to dressing for offshore sailing, and that is why we’ve put together our ultimate offshore sailing clothing list for you. Take a look at what you will need before you embark on your journey, and let Zhik help you ensure you have all the right gear for offshore sailing.
Offshore Sailing Clothing
Not sure what to wear offshore sailing? Your baselayers are the foundation of your offshore sailing kit. These are the items that will keep you warm out on the water, providing insulation, trapping your body heat and wicking away sweat and moisture, which can become very cold very quickly if allowed to stay on the skin.
Zhik’s Core Baselayer range is the ideal all-rounder for offshore sailing in a variety of conditions, offering insulation whilst being quick-drying, breathable, form-fitting and extremely lightweight. If you’re looking for offshore sailing clothes for colder conditions, try Zhik’s Superthermal Hydrobase tops and pants – they are some of the best offshore sailing gear thanks to their amazing moisture-wicking technology, which rapidly draws sweat away from your body to leave you dry and warm when you need it most.
UV protective clothing
While sunscreen is a must on any offshore sailing kit list, it’s only part of the sun-smart equation. Be sure to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays as best you can while offshore sailing with UV protective clothing that features a high UPF Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating.
What is a UPF rating, you ask? UPF indicates how much UV radiation can penetrate the fabric of your clothing and reach your skin, potentially causing you harm. UPF50+ is the highest rating, blocking 98% of the sun’s rays – and our range of UV Active tops are made from UPF50+ UVActive fabric. Plus, they’re quick-drying and moisture-wicking.
While the baselayers are important to draw moisture away from your body out on the water, the midlayers of your offshore sailing clothing are vital for insulation and are your primary means of generating heat in those freezing conditions. Lightweight, breathable midlayers are essential to give you warmth and protection from the weather whilst still allowing for a full range of motion.
As the base layers wick away moisture from the skin, the breathable design of Zhik’s midlayers expels the water vapour, leaving you warm, dry and insulated. Our fleece men’s and women’s offshore sailing jackets are the ideal midlayer for moderate conditions. With a heavy focus on sustainability, these tightly knit, durable Polartec tops have been crafted from 100% recycled microfleece to provide superior warmth and protection with an eco-friendly promise. The high pile surface offers top-quality thermal insulation and maximum breathability.
For those who are looking to take their midlayers to the next level, go no further than the Cell Insulated Puffer jacket and the 3L Softshell. These jackets utilise XWR water repellency on the outer face of the garments to increase protection from water ingress, slim and athletic fits to aid comfort levels and enhance the ergonomics of the midlayer jacket, along with utilising microgrid fleece in the Softshell and Repreve® recycled synthetic fill in the Cell puffer to maximise heat generation.
While your base and midlayers have you covered for warmth and insulation, your outer layers are the essential barrier between you and the harsh conditions, giving you protection from the wind, water and other elements while you’re out on the water.
Water repellent and highly breathable, an offshore sailing jacket, smock, or salopettes will keep you protected in a harsh marine environment, no matter the conditions. Our range of offshore sailing jackets, smocks and salopettes are all engineered to offer supreme breathability, waterproofness and durability, with different styles crafted for various offshore sailing conditions.
The latest range of offshore jackets, smocks and salopettes, the OFS800 range, has been crafted in partnership with eVent® Fabrics, leaders in military-grade shells, and engineered in accordance with testing with the world’s leading sailors in the Volvo Ocean Race. With new generation fabrics and design, Zhik’s range of offshore sailing outer layers is unrivalled.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to add an all-important pair of offshore sailing gloves to your cart – a vital piece of offshore sailing gear to keep your hands protected from chafing and blisters.
Offshore sailing can be hard on your hands as they grip and slide on equipment and ropes, so a quality pair of sailing gloves is a must for any offshore sailing enthusiast. Gloves protect your hands from blisters and rope burns, help keep your fingers warm and dry as you sail, and can provide you with extra grip to pull those sheets with precision.
For winter sailing, full-fingered neoprene sailing gloves are the best option, though when the weather’s warmer, short-fingered gloves allow for more dexterity. Zhik’s G1 series is ideal for lightweight grip in warmer conditions. Both the half-finger gloves and full-finger sailing gloves are ergonomically designed for comfort, with reinforcement at the palm and padding in key areas for added comfort and a strong breathable upper.
Our high-performance G2 series of sailing gloves feature Kevlar stitching and palm and finger reinforcement for enhanced durability, an abrasion-resistant outer face, and an extended finger grip.
For extreme conditions in cold climates, we also offer the Superwarm Glove, a thermal insulated 3mm neoprene glove engineered to keep frostbite away during long days in freezing conditions. For those looking for an ultimate lightweight glove with flexibility, high sensitivity and grip, try the Tactical Gloves that feature a soft and seamless Nylon liner with a high grip sandy latex coated palm.
Offshore Sailing Footwear
Having the right offshore sailing shoes is also crucial for offshore and ocean racing. Superior support, a sole with strong grip, waterproofing, insulation and agility are all important features to look for in a good pair of offshore sailing boots, and Zhik’s Seaboot 900 ticks all those boxes. Crafted from rubber and neoprene, these are undoubtedly some of the best offshore sailing boots available, thanks to their high-grip sole, fast-draining gaiter system and comfortable 3D mesh lining.