what to wear sailing

Sailing has been a popular pastime in the UK for generations; being an island nation, there are countless opportunities to partake in some form of sailing, whether a leisurely cruise on a yacht or dingy and yacht racing or exploring the bays in a catamaran.


  • What Clothes Should I Wear for Sailing
  • Sailing Accessories
  • Sailing Boots
  • Sailing Gloves
  • Sailing Glasses
  • Sailing Clothing Brands
  • Sailing Wetsuits 
  • Summer Sailing Wetsuits 
  • Winter Sailing Wetsuit
Yacht racing clothes

What Clothes Should I Wear for Sailing? 

There are, in fact, some things you should and shouldn't wear when sailing. If you take to the seas on a hot summer in, say, a vest and pair of shorts, you run a risk of wind or sunburn; similarly, wearing a pair of jeans on a cooler day isn't a good idea either, as they will be very uncomfortable when wet. 

Your best bet is to wear thin breathable clothes that can be layered and quickly dry. A long sleeve neoprene top or rash vest is a great option, and when paired with a fleece and sailing jacket, you can guarantee you will be warm and dry! 

We also stock some dry suits and bib trousers which will keep you warm and dry through your time on the water.

Sailing Accessories 

When sailing, some of the essential items to bring are sailing accessories. Items such as sailing buoyancy aids can be imperative, if a little obvious, pieces of safety equipment. However, items such as a decent sailing hat can also be just as important. A hat will prevent you from getting sunburned and heat stroke, which in the summertime can be a severe danger. 

Sailing Boots 

The deck of a boat can be a dangerous place, especially when wet. You can seriously injure yourself by slipping or standing on a sharp object. Therefore, a good pair of neoprene boots or shoes are vital safety equipment. 

At Wetsuit Centre, we have a vast range of neoprene shoes and boots appropriate for various watersports activities. This includes a great range of sailing boots.

Sailing Gloves 

Similarly to sailing boots, sailing gloves can also prove to be a vital piece of sailing gear. When sailing, you are handling ropes continuously, and ropes can slip. However, wearing a decent pair of sailing gloves can maintain a firmer grip on the rope and avoid the dreaded rope burn. We have a range of sailing gloves in stock which include:

  • Open-palm sailing gloves. 
  • Full-coverage sailing gloves.
  • Fingerless sailing gloves.
Buoyancy aid for sailing

Sailing Glasses

Water is a reflective surface. Therefore, when you are out on the open ocean, you will often be troubled by a glare bouncing off the surface of the water. Gill has a fantastic range of sailing glasses specifically designed to perform well on the water. 

With options such as the Gill reflex II sailing glasses, which are anti-glare and polarized, you will never to blinded by rogue beams of sunlight again. 

Sailing Clothing Brands

Our sailing clothes and accessories can come from industry-leading sailing retailers with decades of experience designing and manufacturing some of the best sailing clothes on the market. Notable brands include:

Sailing Wetsuits 

Sailing in a wetsuit can be a great choice, especially in the summertime.

Sailing wetsuit

Summer Sailing Wetsuit 

The O'Neill Reactor wetsuit is a firm favourite for all water sports and is a fantastic choice for summer sailing. Although this was designed with surfing in mind, the O'Neill reactor possesses qualities that can translate well to the needs of a sailor. 

The Ultraflex Neoprene is super soft and malleable, and when paired with the seamless panels of the wetsuit, you get an exceptionally flexible wetsuit which will provide you with the full range of motion you require for sailing. 

The O'Neill Reactor comes in both full-length and shorty, and we have options for men, women and children. Check out our range below.

Winter Sailing Wetsuits 

When looking for a winter wetsuit for sailing, there are a few more factors to consider. Wintertime in the UK can be very cold, with water temperature reaching as low as 6 degrees. Therefore, thermal protection will be vital. 

One of the warmest wetsuits on the market is the Rip Curl Flash Bomb Heat Seeker. Designed to be the most technically advanced cold water wetsuit on the market, it has been created with heat-generating materials and quick-drying thermal lining.

The most valuable element of the Flash Bomb Heat Seeker is that it is designed to generate heat when you move in the suit; therefore, the more you move, the more heat the suit will generate and the warmer you will be, which is ideal for a sailor who needs to remain as warm as possible. 

Finally, the Fashbomb Heat Seeker retains flexibility, regardless of its increased thermal protection, allowing unrestricted movement when manning your boat or dingy. Check out our range of Rip Curl Fast Bomb Heat Seekers as well as the original Rip Curl Fashbomb below.

If you require further information or advice on the products mentioned here, don't hesitate to contact Wetsuit Centre today. We can ensure you choose the best water sports equipment for your needs and requirements.