One of the most frequent questions fielded by Let’s Go Sail is, “What should I wear?” Here are the sailboat essentials for a day’s adventure on vacation.
The easy answer in summer is whatever you have on for the day in the way of shorts and shirt, plus a hat and sunscreen. Temperatures out on the water parallel those found on land.
Spring and Fall are different. From March to April, temperatures are cooler on the water because the York River has had all winter to chill out. Hence the breezes are cooler. Pants and sweaters are the usual garb.
By May, things even out so that what you would normally wear on land works just as well on the boat. That situation lasts through June, July, August and September. Shorts and short-sleeved shirts are the uniform of the day. Swimming off the stern is a pleasant relief on a hot day when the winds are calm.
Come October, the air temperature drops but the river water is still warm from a long summer of sunny exposure. Hence the temperature on the boat is relatively warm and certainly as warm as on land. So no special garb is required. This lasts right into Halloween.
By November, the water has begun to cool so that the air temperature on the river dips slightly below that of land. Long pants and sweaters become the norm along with a light jacket. After Thanksgiving, temperatures on land and water begin to drop, and it’s time to end the sailing season.
Hats & Shoes
A hat is vital all year because of the rays of the sun in Summer and the cool air of Spring and Fall.
As to footwear, light-sole Nikes or other running/walking shoes are best. The light soles avoid dark scuff marks on the deck and make for easier navigation. Flip flops are okay except that it’s easy to trip with them. Street shoes, golf cleats and high heels are no good on a boat unless it’s a ferry. Finally you’re also welcome to take off your shoes and let your feet breathe.
Let’s Go Sail, comfortably
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