5 Types of Yachting & Sailing Jackets
Before you take to the water in your favourite sailing vessel, you make sure you are dressed in the appropriate clothing and have the right equipment on board. It is a safety and comfort thing. Having the right clothing and equipment could mean the difference between a good experience and a bad one.
Before you take to the water in your favourite sailing vessel, you make sure you are dressed in the appropriate clothing and have the right equipment on board. It is a safety and comfort thing. Having the right clothing and equipment could mean the difference between a good experience and a bad one. As such, it is important that every sailor know his or her gear intimately. As UK sailing gear specialists, we sell a variety of yachting and sailing jackets for adults and children alike. It is not difficult for us to spot someone new to sailing because they often do not know what they need. We are happy to help.
Whether you have been sailing for years or you are relatively new to the sport, a good place to start outfitting yourself is with the sailing jackets you'll need for your entire family. There are five categories of jackets you should be familiar with. Each category pertains to a different level of activity. We explain them below.
Shore Wear Yachting Jackets
Our first category, shore wear, includes sailing jackets and other outer clothing you might choose to wear on shore. Specifically where jackets are concerned, those in the shore wear category are casual jackets. They are intended for those cool or downright cold days spent on the dock, working on your boat, or even just hanging out on the beach.
A shore wear yachting jacket may or may not come with fleece lining. We recommend those with linings. If you can get a jacket with a removable lining, that's even better. The fleece lining will keep you warm on those especially windy days.
Also note that shore wear jackets may or may not be waterproof. Once again, we recommend going with a waterproof model. Despite being intended for on-shore use, the fact remains that you'll be wearing it near the water a lot. You might just as well go with a waterproof jacket and never have to worry about getting wet underneath.
Unlike shore wear, clothing designed for keelboat racers is casual only in terms of looks. Design is something entirely different. Everything from jackets to trousers are highly technical so as to both stand up to the punishment of racing and keep crew members safe, dry, and warm. Keelboat jackets should befitted to the wearer if they are to perform to their full potential.
Understand that keelboat racing is a high-intensity sport. It is also a high tempo sport, requiring crew members to constantly move about the boat. They have to pay attention to a lot of different things during a race; they don't need to be worrying about their clothing.
Jackets in this category are designed to be lightweight, waterproof, and highly breathable. A good racing jacket ensures high performance by not limiting mobility. And because a good jacket is breathable, it is also comfortable. If you are a keelboat racer, you know that a comfortable crew member is a more competitive one.
Inshore Yachting Jackets
The inshore category includes jackets and other clothing items ideally suited for day sailing. Inshore clothing provides more than adequate protection against the weather while you are still relatively close to shore. A good inshore jacket can withstand significant weather conditions ranging from a steady rain to a biting wind. Most have hoods as well.
Inshore yachting jackets are waterproof for your comfort and safety. They are also lightweight and breathable, ensuring freedom of movement and proper ventilation for handling perspiration. A good jacket does not have to be cut fit, but it still should be the rightsize rather than being too big. You do not need excess jacket material getting in the way of a good sailing.
Coastal Yachting Jackets
They are the ‘go to’ jacket for many cruiser and yacht sailors around the world, perfect for day sails, overnight trips and the worst conditions that you would set sail in around the coast. They are up to the job, come with plenty of pockets and features such as built-in reflective patches for higher visibility under low light conditions.
Although sailors often refer to coastal jackets and their inshore counterparts interchangeably, the two are distinctly different. A coastal jacket is a bit longer in the body, providing more protection below the waist. It is also a heavier material as well. Coastal yachting jackets have higher collars and larger storm hoods to protect against inclement weather.
As you might expect, a coastal jacket is waterproof. However, it is also highly breathable to accommodate perspiration.
Offshore Yachting Jackets
Last but not least are offshore jackets. These are considered the most protective among the five categories of yachting and sailing jackets. They are easy to recognise because of their length – they are the longest and largest of the jackets. An offshore yachting jacket is designed to offer maximum protection from the elements no matter how many days you are at sea.
Storm hoods and high collars are key features of the offshore jacket. When the wind and rain come, just pull on the hood and turn up the collar for maximum protection. Your heavy, warm, and waterproof offshore jacket will keep you safe and dry against the elements.
Also note that offshore jackets are designed to be as tough as possible. Most are manufactured with florescent and reflective patches, just like their coastal cousins. The idea is to maximise visibility even when storms are raging.