If you plan to be on the water this winter, guard yourself against hypothermia by dressing in cold-weather clothing that will protect your core body temperature. Even in warmer parts of the country, hypothermia is a serious concern during winter boating or paddle sports. Prolonged immersion can mean trouble, even in moderate water temperatures.
To protect yourself, wear a base layer of thermal underwear, which will wick moisture away from your skin, keeping you warm. Over that, you should wear a layer of neoprene, such as a wet or dry suit, to keep your body insulated.
Available in a range of thicknesses, wet suits trap a thin layer of water against the body to keep it warm. Look for suits constructed of breathable material like Gore-Tex; they will keep you more comfortable than nonbreathable suits. If you wear a wet suit, you’ll need a windproof top layer, such as a jacket.
Much more expensive than wet suits, wind- and waterproof dry suits are closed at the neck, ankles and wrists by latex gaskets.
Don’t forget footwear such as winter boots or fleece-lined rubber boots.
Prepare for any crisis
Learn how to handle any emergency while underway by taking our Emergencies Onboard seminar.