Adding sailing as a primary activity on my adventures in turn adds a whole new set of gear I need to bring along. I can leverage some of my basic Travel Gear (base layers, headlamp, etc.), but there is a lot of specialized gear, too. See below.
My base layer consists of the same set of clothes as mentioned in my “Travel Gear” page. Quick-dry Ex Officio boxers, quick-dry Patagonia T-shirt, and Mountain Hardwear Piero pants. I usually add an Icebreaker or Patagonia long sleeve shirt under the T-shirtt. Then I layer with fleece or zippered pullover. And for normal conditions, my outer layer is the wind and waterproof Marmot Precip or Marmot Minimalist shell.
FOUL WEATHER GEAR
HANDS AND HEAD
I have an assortment of hats, gloves, and shoes. For hats, I have a fleece hat, an Under Armor thermal facemask, and a broad-brimmed fair weather hat from Outdoor Research. For gloves, I have standard Gill sailing gloves, Gill foul weather winter gloves, and West Marine full finger gloves.
KNEES AND FEET
I wear Spinlock kneepads to protect my knees from the kneeling that goes on when sailing. For footwear, I have lightweight, fair weather shoes from Sperry, and a new pair of Dubarry leather boots for those cold wet days.
Safety of course is a big concern, so a big portion of my kit is dedicated to things that will keep me safe and alive. I wear an inflatable Personal Floatation Device (PFD) at all times, and carry spare CO2 cartridges. The PFD is from West Marine, is offshore rated, and has a built-in harness. Attached to the PFD is a safety whistle and a Gill personal rescue knife.
When offshore, I will use an elastic safety tether; one end clips to the safety harness built into my PFD, and the other ends clip to the boat. The boat end has two clips so that I can clip the second to a new position before unclipping the first from the old position. That way I am always clipped onto the boat, even when moving around.
I will wear an ARC ResQLink GPS-enabled Personal Locator Beacon. Should the unthinkable happen and I go overboard, this PLB will send a signal to special search and rescue satellites which will aid in finding me.
For communication, I have a waterproof Uniden VHF radio which I usually clip to my PFD. Again, in the event I go overboard, I would be able to communicate back to the boat. The radio might also be used for fun. If we anchor in a bay and take the dinghy ashore, I can radio back to the sailboat and request that they start making coffee or chilling the beer.
I carry a dull-tipped NRS sailing knife (used for cutting away a rope in an emergency, or opening a bottle of beer) and a Leatherman “Charge” multi-tool. Both of these are clipped to my belt. (As mentioned above, I have a backup knife clipped to my PFD, since when I wear my foul weather gear, the belt knife is harder to reach.) At night, I will have an Esky waterproof flashlight tucked away in my jacket pocket. (That’s in addition to my standard Black Diamond "Storm" headlamp (with red/white light) that is part of my standard Travel Gear.)
For navigation, I have a new Garmin 78sc handheld GPS unit. I also carry with me old fashioned navigation tools like a hand-bearing compass, dividers, pencil, pencil sharpener, eraser, and ruler. (I didn’t bring my Portland Plotter on this trip because the boat already has one and I was worried mine would snap in half in my luggage.)