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Foul weather gear misery


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Yesterday's sail ended in a downpour. The good thing is I had rolled up sails and stowed them in my starboard hull before the rain started. The bad thing is I found my foul weather jacked is anything but water tight. Shoulders and arms wet to the skin in minutes. This garment is at the end of its eight season if my notes are correct. Eight seasons of very light use. There are no signs of wear and the cloth looks completely intact yet a few minutes of rain was all it took to get wet.

Will washing and re-impregnating bring this thing back to form or is this the new normal for fancy, brand named foul weather gear? Right now this thing is just a fancy wind breaker.

/Martin

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Fancy/expensive foulies in rain = wetness.  My theory is that it's the "breathable" nature of the material - as in it should let the fresh water leak out while keeping the salt water (bigger particles) from getting in.  That may be fine but I have never understood what keeps the fresh water from getting in.  I gave up on fancy wet weather gear many years ago.  If you want to stay dry in the rain, wear a raincoat.

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When I was selling this stuff, the best spraytop was the cheap Gul non breathable.

They were waterproof for a couple of full-on British race seasons, and at around £30 were easy to replace. Paired with the Gul bib dinghy trouser thingies I found them great, and never had complaints from people buying them.

Actually, I need to get some more.

 

Edit...

In my experience, breathable fabric is best in freshwater, and tends to lose its waterproof-ness in a salty environment.

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Where I am now, Stockholm, Sweden, salt is not part of the environment. Apart, that is, from the salt they spread on icy roads.

I have other 'breathable' all-weather gear for other types of outdoorsy activities such as my (non-pandemic) daily bicycle commute and have had no such problems until wear is rather obvious. The one disappointment was  a bright blue thing from an American brand starting with the letter P. The watertight/breathable coating started flaking after two years.

When I was still living on the Swedish west-coast where wind and real waves means spray (salty spray), my favorite fouls weather gear was a overall from Helly-Hansen. Non-breathable material but ventilated design. Still have it and probably still fine but over the top 99 out of 100 sailing days where I am now so have switched to bibs + jacket. Most of the time bibs is enough.

/Martin

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Fisherman or professional seafarer gear, good quality outdoor hiking gear and motorcycle wet weather clothing. All of them will be at least as good or better than average yachting gear that I have experienced. Musto HPX is excellent but you pay something like 1500 euro for a set. Basically you are going to get damp no matter what, but there is warm and damp, all the way to cold and wet.

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https://www.nikwax.com/en-gb/products/twin-tech-wash-tx-direct/

I have had very good results from using this stuff on breathable gear. Be very meticulous with the cleaning directions, getting rid of all soap residue in washing machine is critical. 

Pants and jackets worked good as new if not better in one case, didn't last as long as new but definitely worth it. Get about 3 treatments from the kit. 

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2 hours ago, BOIGuy said:

https://www.nikwax.com/en-gb/products/twin-tech-wash-tx-direct/

I have had very good results from using this stuff on breathable gear. Be very meticulous with the cleaning directions, getting rid of all soap residue in washing machine is critical. 

Pants and jackets worked good as new if not better in one case, didn't last as long as new but definitely worth it. Get about 3 treatments from the kit. 

+1 for this.  I use it on snow sport gear (ours gets thrashed in a normal season, not so much this year :-( )  I have a 30-ish year old Oliphant Gortex shell jacket that has been my go-to for pretty much every weekend over that time and a nikwaxing at the start of any season has always held up.

If it holds up against rain in the Ruapehu snow environment, it'll hold up anywhere! 

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1 hour ago, Black Panther said:

Wet weather gear. Like so many products on the market these days,  inferior product at inflated prices.

Maybe hunt around for some old fashioned pvc gear.

1971 Line 7 PVC, white leggings, lime green jacket, I binned them about 10 years when shifting south.

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In NZ Kaiwaka make PVC based fully waterproof and windproof gear for commercial fishing (NZD $220 for a hi-vis parka) and sell the breathable stuff for recreational sailors (NZD$470 for a jacket).

When it turns real bad I want to know that it's blocking the water and wind from the outside.

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10 hours ago, SloopJohnB said:

1971 Line 7 PVC, white leggings, lime green jacket, I binned them about 10 years when shifting south.

Had a pair of Line 7 PVC bibs 35+ years ago. Very durable but also very heavy and clumsy.

I do have a complete set of PVC, high-vizibility foul weather gear for when I know I will get dirty and don't need mobility/agility. Low cost but for standing up in bad weather rather than sailing my boat.

The H-H overall I mentioned keeps me drier and offers more agility than the PVC stuff. Going for bibs + jacket is a convenience thing.

/Martin

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3 hours ago, DoT said:

In NZ Kaiwaka make PVC based fully waterproof and windproof gear for commercial fishing (NZD $220 for a hi-vis parka) and sell the breathable stuff for recreational sailors (NZD$470 for a jacket).

When it turns real bad I want to know that it's blocking the water and wind from the outside.

Have been Working with these guys over the last year on a sailing gear range . Have been using the prototypes for a year now  and it’s very very good .  It does not leak and it does breathe and it is also warm .

At the nailing down the styling stage now so hopefully it will make it to market before the end of the year . Supply chain issues have slowed things down massively .

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14 hours ago, BOIGuy said:

https://www.nikwax.com/en-gb/products/twin-tech-wash-tx-direct/

I have had very good results from using this stuff on breathable gear. Be very meticulous with the cleaning directions, getting rid of all soap residue in washing machine is critical. 

Pants and jackets worked good as new if not better in one case, didn't last as long as new but definitely worth it. Get about 3 treatments from the kit. 

Instructions says "Drip-dry or tumble dry on a low setting if the care label allows". Which did you do? Tumble dry is out of the question according to my jacket's care label.

/Martin

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8 hours ago, MartinRF said:

Instructions says "Drip-dry or tumble dry on a low setting if the care label allows". Which did you do? Tumble dry is out of the question according to my jacket's care label.

/Martin

Used a front load washing machine, after carefully cleaning out soap tray etc. Don't wash with laundry powder!

Drip dry after. 

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On 13/09/2021 at 7:46 PM, BOIGuy said:

Used a front load washing machine, after carefully cleaning out soap tray etc. Don't wash with laundry powder!

Drip dry after. 

Done this today. Drip drying as we 'speak'.

I had some luck and stumbled on a particularly good deal (for being in Sweden) on a Nikwax wash and impregnating combo.

Btw, I sailed mid-week using my Helly-Hansen overall (due to temperature, not wet ride). I had forgotten how nice it is and it is 30+ years old. Velcro strips are not in mint condition but hard to replace without compromising weather proofing.

/Martin

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