How to dress like a sailor

Sailing will be much more enjoyable if you’re dressed properly and prepared for changing weather conditions. A few things you should wear and/or bring with you out on the water include:

  • cap or visor hat - with strap so it doesn’t blow off
  • track pants or comfortable long shorts
  • fleece top if it’s cool, or other quick drying top
  • cotton short and long sleeved tops are good, particularly if layered – it’s usually cooler out on the boat than in the marina and you need to cover up from the sun which can be stronger out on the water
  • several thin layers are better than one heavy woollen layer – the more wind there is, the better the sailing so be prepared for it to be a bit cooler out on the water than on land
  • gloves and a beanie hat for warmth are handy to have in your bag
  • synthetic leather sailing gloves are great if you’re going to go out sailing often
  • white or light coloured soled shoes – it’s best to change from your street shoes before you get on board a yacht. (sails and decks are usually white or light coloured, and sails are hard to clean if they have been on a dirty deck). Deck grips
  • sunscreen is an absolute must, and apply liberally and often – in the cool wind out on the water you may not feel the heat of the sun, but trust us, you’ll feel it later if you aren’t properly prepared for the New Zealand sun
  • lip balm with a strong sun protection factor (SPF) helps prevent wind burn on the lips

What not to wear:

  • jeans can be too restrictive and do not dry quickly
  • bare feet are usually a no-no on keel yachts – you need shoes as you’ll be doing a fair bit of moving around on deck
  • never wear black soled shoes on a deck as they mark the deck and in turn dirty the sails – best to change from your street shoes to deck shoes once you get to the marina