Essential Boating Clothing Gear Items to Enhance Your Safety and Style

When sailing, you need a few clothing items that keep you dry, warm, and safe. You also need a few essential accessories to help with your sailing experience.

Coastal and ocean sailing gear is typically light but offers good coverage in most conditions. Foul weather gear for harsh ocean conditions costs more but is highly functional and waterproof.

Windbreaker or Jacket

A windbreaker is a light jacket that helps to trap heat and resist water penetration. It’s a great option to have on hand when the weather starts getting cool but isn’t quite cold enough to warrant a full rain jacket or wetsuit.

A good quality windbreaker can keep you warm and comfortable while on the water, and it packs up to a small size that’s easy to store in your boat or cabin. Many models also feature snaps or zippers that allow you to remove layers to adjust for the changing temperature easily.

When choosing a windbreaker, it’s important to remember that it’s not waterproof. A jacket coated with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) will protect against the occasional shower, but it’s best to wear an additional layer of protection in wet conditions. A windbreaker may be a bit bulkier than a waterproof shell, but it’s still a good choice for those who want to avoid soaking through their clothing.

The most common types of windbreakers are constructed of thin materials like nylon or polyester. While polyester is slightly heavier and has a plusher feel, nylon is slightly lighter and provides outstanding breathability. While searching for a new windbreaker, you can use  Bass Pro Shops coupons to prioritize your needs and use the weight requirements to narrow your options.

In addition to a windbreaker or jacket, you’ll also need a good pair of waterproof shoes and a hat. A pair of waterproof hiking boots will offer the most protection in wet weather, but seaboots are another excellent option for drier days. A hat should be made of thermal material that retains body heat and can be worn underneath a windbreaker or waterproof jacket.

You can also opt for a pair of shorts instead of pants, but having a long-sleeve UPF 50+ sun protective shirt on hand for hotter weather when you’re sailing is essential. Having an extra shirt in your pocket is a great way to prevent sunburns and save space in your bag.

Thermal Socks

When the temperatures drop, your body will pull all its warmth inward to keep your core toasty. But the cold will seep into your feet and legs if you don’t wear warm clothing. It is why you need a pair of warm socks, maybe even layering them if you like, and thick boots to help insulate your feet and protect against blisters.

Good socks will wick away sweat, keeping your feet dry and comfortable. They’ll also provide a soft cushion against your feet, which can reduce the impact of any sharp or rough surfaces you may encounter on deck. It will prevent any injuries from worsening and make sailing much more enjoyable.

Typically made from thick wool or similar fabrics, they also provide an added level of insulation to keep your feet warmer than cotton socks. This insulating effect can be enhanced by wearing a layer of socks made from synthetic materials which do what cotton doesn’t, namely wick moisture and keep your feet dry.

With the proper waterproof sailing socks, you can keep your feet toasty, dry and move freely inside your shoes. It is crucial if you’re spending time on deck, where you’ll be standing up and moving around a lot.

There are many options for waterproof sailing socks, but you’ll want to choose a low-cut style that hides underneath your boat shoes for the most stylish look possible. It is also the best choice if you wear your boat shoes with a casual outfit to protect your feet without sacrificing style.

You’ll want to choose a product that uses premium materials for the most effective thermal socks. 

Sailing Boots

Sailing boots are waterproof and insulated to keep your feet warm and dry. They are typically made of neoprene or rubber and provide excellent stability and grip on slippery surfaces. They can be used for dinghy sailing or yachts and are available in various styles, colors, and sizes to suit any sailing environment. The most important feature to look for in a sailing boot is durability. Boots regularly exposed to saltwater and intense sunlight can degrade over time, so choosing a pair that will last for years is vital. An excellent way to check a sailing boot’s durability is to read online reviews and check out the brand name.

If you are still deciding what type of sailing boot to choose, consider consulting a specialist or visiting a boating store for professional advice. They can recommend a pair that best suits your needs and the prevailing conditions in your area. For example, you will need a different pair of sailing boots if you sail in warmer waters than if you sail in colder waters.

A good pair of sailing boots will fit comfortably with just enough toe wiggle room. They should also have a soft inner sole that cushions your feet. Additionally, they must be light in weight to facilitate moving on the deck and have a non-marking sole to prevent scratching the deck.

While most sailors prefer the modern style of sailing shoes, traditional boots are still popular for dinghy and offshore sailing. They are less bulky and look more stylish than regular sneakers.

It would be best to routinely wash your sailing boots to eliminate grime and salt to extend their lifespan. It is recommended to rinse them off with fresh water after each use and then allow them to air dry in a well-ventilated area. Add a few drops of shoe polish or silicone to your boots for protection and a longer lifespan.


While gloves may seem like a minor piece of gear, they significantly affect your safety and comfort on the boat. They are essential for handling ropes, maneuvering on slippery surfaces, and protecting your hands from blisters or other painful injuries from excessive use. A good pair of sailing gloves should have a firm grip, be made with a waterproof material, and provide a high level of protection for your hands from the elements. They should also be comfortable and fit snugly in your hands with no excess space.

When choosing gloves, consider your sailing type and your position on the boat. Some people prefer full-finger gloves, while others prefer half-finger or three-fingered gloves, which preserve superior line handling but offer less warmth. Please also consider the thickness of the gloves, as they can be either insulated or uninsulated.

Some gloves are made with a layer of neoprene between the skin and the water, keeping your hands warm and dry. It makes them suitable for winter sailing and harsh weather conditions like heavy rains or fog. Some gloves are even woven with ultraviolet ray protection, which means they can shield your hands from the damaging effects of excessive sun exposure on the boat.

If you are an active sailor, you should look for gloves that can handle the pressure of high-load applications such as trimming sheets. These gloves will not slip off of the lines, and they are designed with strategically placed protective patches for high-wear areas, such as the palms and fingers. They are lightweight, breathable, and feature an adjustable wrist strap for a perfect fit.

A popular choice among sailors is the Ronstan Race Gloves. These gloves are crafted with 3mm neoprene, offering warmth, flexibility, and moisture control. They are designed with a low-cut neoprene wristband for easy movement and a clear view of the sailor’s watch, and they also have double-thick palms and fingers for maximum grip and protection.