When ever you start a new sport or activity one of the first questions is ‘what do I wear?’. Going sailing is going to be exactly the same.
If you are going sailing in little dinghies, such as Laser Picos that are used on Hove lagoon, you will probably need to wear a wetsuit and wet shoes. A lot of venues will have wetsuits available that you can use until such time as you want to buy your own. Footwear is a personal thing, some people are happy to wear shoes worn by other people and others prefer not to do so. At Lagoon Watersports in Brighton they suggest that if you do do not have the neoprene wet shoes then old trainers do the job just as well.
If you are sailing larger dinghies or keel boats you do not need to wear wetsuits but will need to have wet weather gear on. Again many venues will provide this. This is the type of boat most courses from Lagoon Watersport on the sea from Brighton Marina. If you are wearing wet weather gear, or waterproofs, then remember the water can still get in around the edges so make sure you are wearing clothes underneath that will not absorb the water – wet jeans can get very heavy! Also take a change of clothes with you just in case.
For yacht sailing it is again all about the waterproofs but you also need to be aware of what you have on your feet. Any deck shoes or trainers need to be either white on the bottom or at least be
shoes that will not mark the decks. Most sailing schools will either provide the waterproofs or at least have some that you can hire.
Being out on the water can be deceiving. It can be a lovely warm sunny day in the marina but once you get out on the water you are more exposed. Wear layers! You can always peel clothes off and
put them in your dry bag but if you have not taken enough out with you you will get cold. A hat is always a good idea whether it be a neoprene beanie if you are in wetsuit, a wooly hat if it is cold or a cap to protect your eyes from the sun. Sunglasses with a strap on the back will stop you getting a headache from the glare of the sun reflecting on the water. Make sure you have a strap, nothing more annoying that losing your sunnies overboard! Another investment is gloves. They will not only keep your hands warm but also stop any wear and tear from ropes.
Before you set out for a day on the water make sure you have eaten. If you are someone who can get a bit queasy then make sure you have something in your stomach, not something spicy or greasy and take a sea sickness tablet. That way you will be able to enjoy your sailing without any of the consequences. It is a myth that if you do not eat you won’t feel ill, trust me you will feel a lot worse with low sugars and an empty stomach.