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Old 01 December 2008, 04:53   #1
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dry suits?!?!?!

Im trying to work out the vlue of a dry suit!!

Migrating from a hard boat to a rib i seriously under estimated how cold a rib would be!!

SO whats a dry suit do apart from keep you dry?? Or does it keep you warm too??

do you wear clothes or thermals underneath.... is it a major clothes change to go the the pub after??

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Old 01 December 2008, 05:15   #2
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I've only just started with RIB's this winter and keeping warm was my first concern.
I got a XL drysuit so I could fit clothes underneath. I wear jeans, T-shirt, fleece easily and I'm like toast. Just make sure what ever your wearing doesn't have a high collar as this will tighten the neck seal, something I found out
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Old 01 December 2008, 05:17   #3
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Another good idea is a balaclava and one of these
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Old 01 December 2008, 06:33   #4
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A drysuit is essential Rib wear if you plan on going out on cold and wet days. If I am out on a nice sunny but cold day then I stick to salopettes and a good Jacket like the Gill Key west stuff as they are a little less difficult to get on and off when I get to the pub!

Gill Key West

When I wear my drysuit or indeed if its cold and I am in the salopettes I have a base layer trousers and top like this ..

Base Layer

then a midlayer which normally I would wear some fleece trousers and top

Mid Layer

Sometimes with the drysuit I will just wear it over the top of whatever I am wearing on the day if its not too cold and I just want protection from the wet. However If you plan on going out in cold conditions I would go with the layers.
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Old 01 December 2008, 06:35   #5
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Oh yes the balaclava is great as are a really good pair of waterproof gloves. A Helmet with a visor is good or alternatively some of these....

Oakley Jetski Goggles

BTW when you buy gloves dont get tight fitting ones or you will never get them on when you hands are cold and wet and you will get really pissed off and throw them overboard
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Old 01 December 2008, 08:08   #6
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A membrane (normal) drysuit will only keep you dry, a neoprene drysuit will keep you dry and warm.
I usually where my normal clothes with a diving type thermal suit thingy. Its sometimes more cofrtable and warmer to where shorts with the thermal liner. The liner is designed to take sweat away from your body so you stay dry and warm.
Diving type gloves are good but you lose some feel when working ropes etc.
Gecko helmets are excellent but expensive.

Good luck.
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Old 01 December 2008, 12:30   #7
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At the risk of another tree hugging safety comment...!
For me, it's a matter of safety in the winter.
A dry suit (if suitable under and mid layers are worn) will keep you alive a bit longer if you end up in the piss. Wear one in the dark at this time of year and or if, on your own.

P.S. don't put the codders mobile in a freezer bag in your jeans pocket underneath
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Old 01 December 2008, 12:45   #8
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A drysuit keeps you dry by the property of being well, waterproof.

It keeps you warm by the virtue of insulation. How that insulation is afforded is variable:

An uncrushed neoprene suit (similar to a wetsuit, but with neck, wrist, and optional ankle seals or boots, and a waterproof zipper) has inherent insulation from the bubbles in the material.

Any other type of drysuit (trilaminate, crushed neoprene, butyl rubber) gets insulation from undergarment bulk, which traps air between the suit and your skin. Divers usually use either a very heavy fleece or quilted synthetic fiber-filled jump suit (2 piece outfits have the tendency to creep, leaving gaps) to get the air layer. Generally, it's some material that will be a bit hydrophobic (not absorb much water), and one that retains bulk if it does get wet.

For ribbing, you probably don't need an expensive diving type undergarment; you're not going to be submerged for long periods of time, and the odds of flooding the suit are small. I would think that normal clothes (though most natural fibers can be worse than worthless when wet - up to you) would work well for non-emergency situations. The waterproof property of the suit also means that wind will not penetrate, so you have only convective cooling of the suit's surface to cool your body. You can get by with less than you would wear without the suit.

A good warm hat and gloves, and possibly a balaclava will go a long ways in keeping you warm.

As to how much hassle it is to get in and out, well, that probably depends on the suit. Boots/ankle seals will determine whether you have to take off boots and put on another pair, or simply remove the suit and put on shoes. How much you wear underneath will determine whether you need to layer up after removing the suit. Front or back zip will determine whether you need someone to help you get in and out. Lots of variables.


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Old 01 December 2008, 12:46   #9
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Can't remember if it was at the Lifeboat College or when I did my survival but someone did 24hrs in the water in the middle of winter in a drysuit and thermals. It was all supervised but the lad did it no problems.

You'll be surprised how cold the water is during the summer.

On the Atlantics we were exactly the same gear during the winter as we do in the summer!
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Old 01 December 2008, 13:56   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtflash View Post
Im trying to work out the vlue of a dry suit!!

Migrating from a hard boat to a rib i seriously under estimated how cold a rib would be!!

SO whats a dry suit do apart from keep you dry?? Or does it keep you warm too??

do you wear clothes or thermals underneath.... is it a major clothes change to go the the pub after??

I don't think that a dry suit has much better intrinsic warmth value than a set of full offshore (high collar, good hood etc) breathable waterproofs with good sailing boots (plus hat gloves etc). It might have a slight edge.

It won't even keep you much drier in my experience when on the boat unless you really insist on throwing green water lumps into the boat.

But it will definitely, no question, keep you alive and able to deal with the situation a lot longer if you end up in the sea. Then keeping the insulating layers underneath dry will absolutely save you. Don't forget that (contrary to popular belief) it actually takes several hours to die from hypothermia even in cold water. What can kill within seconds or a couple of minutes is Cold Shock. Cold Incapacitation then kicks in and quickly stops you being able to swim or self rescue. Without a PFD you can easily be dead within 10 mins. With a PFD it's a different matter!

So IMHO value, out of the water depends... in the water, no contest.
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