What To Wear On A Boat When It Is Cold

Winter can seem very long for most people because of the cold that puts a halt to many activities. If you are one of those people who enjoys riding on a boat, having to wait throughout winter for warmer months to roll by before you begin riding can be quite annoying and can be almost impossible.

There is no reason why you should have to wait though, as you can carry out winter boating anytime you feel like it. You only need to make sure that you are warm enough and take the right precautions when boating in winter and you will enjoy the activity as with any other season.

It will do you no good to get on your boat for a fun day out and end up becoming wet and cold.

All that means is that you will become miserable if you don’t plan ahead for your warmth, and the activity would lose its appeal for you.

There are different clothing items that are ideal for boating in cold weather.

These items will keep you sufficiently warm and dry, plus, they will enable you to enjoy your boating activities as you usually would despite the weather. The first rule that you would need to follow if you are going to be outdoors on a boat is to layer up effectively, and although it seems obvious, you should try as much as possible to stay dry.

You can stay dry by making use of breathable sailing gear that prevents condensation from building up within your clothing. Whatever clothes you choose in the end, ensure that you are very comfortable in them. Avoid bulky clothes as you would need to move around a lot in the boat, and you need to do this with ease.

The following are a few clothing items that you can wear to stay warm on a boat:

Waterproof jackets

It goes without saying that since you are going to be riding on water, you should invest in waterproof clothing items. You are going to put a dampener on your outdoor trip real quick if you get cold or wet, so wearing water-resistant but breathable materials is a great way to avoid that happening.

Waterproof sailing jackets would also help to control your body temperature.

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They are easy to put on or take off, and they have seams that are fully sealed. When purchasing a waterproof jacket, keep in mind the number of layers you’re going to be wearing underneath, so you did not choose one that would become too tight.

Sailing smocks / Windbreakers

Sailing smocks are another way to keep warm and dry when sailing as they provide ample protection from the elements. They are similar to waterproof jacket except that they do not come with a zip.

They also offer more of a seal than waterproof jackets as they have a neck and an elastic hem that helps to protect you from wind and water. Smocks also create room for more movements and are less bulky.

When shopping for the one you want, put into consideration the inner layers of clothing you’re going to wear so that it does not become too tight.

Brandit Men's Windbreaker Jacket, Grau (Anthrazit...
  • Integrated fleece lining
  • Comfortable to wear.

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Sailing gloves

Gloves are essential in keeping your hands warm and in protecting them too. Sailing gloves an absolute must, especially if you are going to be handling lines as they help to save your hands from abrasion and blisters.

Gloves that are big and bulky are not recommended as they will make it almost impossible to carry out activities that have to do with boating or fishing. If you are going to sail, you’d be better off with short-fingered gloves. They keep your hands adequately warm and allow for enough manoeuvrability.

You should consider such factors as the fit of the gloves when you are purchasing them. Aside from that, you should also consider the grip it offers, that is, whether it offers enough friction to reduce hand fatigue and grip lines or not.


Most times, when it is freezing, we can choose to use thick wool socks as they help a great deal to keep our feet warm. If you are going out on the water and you decide to wear thick socks, you should remember that your boots will be compressed by the socks. If this happens, your feet will not get enough circulation to it. So it is best that when you shop for shoes for boat riding in the cold, you look for shoes that are about the size and half bigger than your shoe size.

This way, you can have enough blood circulating around your feet and still be warm. The type of shoes you wear to a boating trip in the winter also matters a lot when trying to keep warm.

Just wearing a pair of regular shoes is just not good enough. Instead of that, you should invest in shoes that are warm, non-slip, and will keep your feet dry. These Karrimor boots that are made of waterproof upper material are widely recognised as being great for boat riding in winter.


Aside from keeping your body warm, keeping your head warm is also essential if you’re going to be sailing in low-temperature weather. While it is not conclusive yet as to whether we lose the majority of our body heat through our heads on not, you should invest in a good hat for sailing, particularly one that covers your ears.

You could get a fleece-lined, thermal hat that fits you perfectly, or you can make use of a traditional wool knit cap.

There are also hats that are designed to cover a good portion of the face, the ears, and the chin. If possible, you can use one of such hats, especially if the weather is freezing. Luckily enough, hats are not expensive, and you can easily get a good one that would keep you considerably warm even in the coldest environments.

Ski balaclava

If the cold is quite extreme, you will want to take measures to keep your face as warm as possible. You can use a ski balaclava to achieve this purpose. There are different types of balaclava, and you could even make use of one that exposes part of your face, all that exposes only your eyes and mouth, depending on how cold the weather is.

There are also balaclavas that are designed to have a full-face opening and can be rolled back to form a hat that covers your forehead. You can get any depending on the style you prefer and what you feel would suit your purpose best.

Final Thoughts

The way you layer your items of clothing is very instrumental in keeping you warm if you are going boat riding. Layering properly would help you trap layers of insulating air between your body and your clothes and will help you lock in your body heat.

Also, you can shed some layers of your clothing if it begins to get too warm when you are well into the boat riding activity. While making enough preparations before going on your boating trip is certainly a wise decision, you should always be prepared in case of hazards.

As an extra precaution, you should invest in a drysuit in case you suddenly find yourself in the water. Boat accidents are not as common in the winter as they are in the summer, but they are just as dangerous, if not more so. Drysuits will keep you dry even if you find yourself in the cold water.