When cruising everyone dreams of sunny skies, crystal blue water and 80 degree temps. Jimmy Buffet music fades in and out as your boat slips easily through the flat calm seas. Just nod your head if you see where I’m going here…
Mid September I am working with a couple that just purchased a Grand Banks 43 Europa with Cummins Zeus Pod Drives.
We started in Annapolis headed to South Florida figuring all was well with T shirts and shorts. It’s still summer, right? With a few of these trips under my belt I knew better and packed one pair of long pants and a few long sleeve SPF shirts…just in case.
The shirt serves a duel purpose in that the SPF will protect my arms in the sunlight and the long sleeves will keep me warm in the early morning chill often found on the Chesapeake this time of year. Although the days might still reach the 80s, once the sun goes down the thermometer registers numbers in the 50s. Brrrr. And, the lightweight fabric dries easily if I find the need to do a little laundry on the trip.
Other standard cruising clothes are socks to keep my feet warm and dry…just in case my deck shoes get splashed from unexpected liquid sunshine. And silly as it may sound for this time of year, a neck-up, dickey or scarf to keep my neck warm. Remember that a scarf brings it’s own set of problems. A scarf can easily untie or get caught on a boat part if hanging outside of your coat. So we prefer the fleece neck-up pull overs for safety’s sake.
On my latest training trip, some overnight guests had to use dish towels for scarfs and towels for leg warmers. Good thing they weren’t handling lines with those get-ups! So don’t forget to remind your guests what functional clothes to bring when they come for a cruise visit. Save the 5 inch heels, billowy sundresses and linen shorts for the BIG cruise ships. We are cruisers not boat riders!
Many of you wouldn’t recognize me without my signature dark BCGs -fit over sunglasses. They might not be the height of fashion but are so effective on the water. Polarized glasses are essential for seeing ATONs and other boats despite the glare from the sun and reflection off the water. Don’t know what BCGs are? Check out my photo, think really hard and if you still don’t know then ask Alyse and she’ll share!
And of course I wear my signature bright yellow First Watch Float Coat year round. With at least 3 useful purposes, the bright color stays clean and wears well because of the strategically placed black fabric on high impact areas. You may think this is overdressing for cruising clothes but remember that it always feels at least 10 degrees cooler out on the water than on land. Then add some wind either from mother nature or from the speed of your boat. So primarily it keeps me warm. Next, this amazing garment is a terrific rain coat too. And the best purpose of all, I now am wearing a certified Type III PFD, Life Jacket…just in case.
Another important thing to remember if you get anything damp or wet and you do not have a dryer aboard…just hang everything in the engine room overnight. Really, it works! and no worries about forgetting to take them out because when you check fluids the next morning you won’t miss them. And, your laundry will be warm and dry.