There’s nothing better than heading out onto the open water on a crisp winter's morning. Winter sailing is a wonderful pursuit that, in the right conditions, can be an unmitigated pleasure. If you prefer more solitude on your cruising expeditions then the winter may be the best time for you to head out as the cruising grounds become almost deserted. If you’re thinking about venturing out for the first time, or are an experienced winter sailor, here are our top tips for you to stay warm and safe on your sailing voyage.
Winter brings with it long and drawn out evenings, which don’t always have to be seen as a bad thing. Night sailing can have a contemplative stillness that is punctuated by the light from the moon and the star-lit sea. To keep you safe on your night sailing adventures, we have a fantastic range of torches and searchlights including the extraordinarily powerful Coast Ultra-Distance HP314 Torch. The optics are designed specifically for distance use and at full power of 1060 lumens, it will throw a pure white beam with no blemishes, rings or dark spots for almost half a mile!
We also sell a fantastic pocket torch, perfect for all nautical and sailing purposes. It comes with a 36 metre beam distance and a heavy-duty, water-resistant and impact-resistant construction.
You should also never venture offshore without a range of flares. We only stock up to date flares to ensure you enjoy a full 3 years of operational use. Shop from our full range here that includes inshore, offshore and coastal flare packs.
Lifejackets are another essential, even more so in winter, as water temperatures can plummet. The cold shock of the water can inhibit your ability to breathe and swim. We stock a fantastic range of safe, stylish, comfortable and affordable lifejackets, suitable for all ages as well as one for your four-legged friend.
Having a form of communication onboard is crucial no matter when you’re sailing. The Ocean Signal V100 Gmdss Handheld VHF Radio is ultra-rugged and easy to use, perfect for use on-board and in distress situations.
The battery protection tab on the device means that the primary battery can be permanently attached to the radio without fear of losing its charge. The radio will always be available for use in times of emergency without the need to remove protective labels or the like before use.
Having the right gear that's insulated and waterproof is key for winter sailing. The Gill Neoprene Winter Gloves, also available in junior size, are water-resistant with a durable Sharkskin palm that provides superb grip in wet conditions. They will make things so much easier when it comes to handling lines and tying knots.
Dubarry Ultima Leather Sailing Boot are non-slip, non-marking, water-resistant, breathable boots with a warm Gore-Tex lining that are a great choice for winter sailing.
Also, don’t forget a hat as up to 70% of body heat is lost through the head. Our Gill i3 Beanie Hat is simple and comfortable with 4-way stretch, anti-pill fabric and a soft microfleece surface.
One unavoidable part of winter sailing is condensation. This occurs when water vapour settles on a cold surface, ultimately leading to a damp environment. To help combat this we would recommend a Tube Heater with a built-in thermostat.
The tube heaters create air circulation in enclosed spaces helping to prevent condensation, dampness, freezing mould and mildew. With the added benefit of a thermostat, these tube heaters can be left for months turning themselves off when not required.
We hope these tips will provide you with some guidance before you decide to head out this winter. For more of our essential sailing safety equipment, feel free to take a look at our extensive range here.
Finally, from all of us here at Mylor Chandlery, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!