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Lets’s face it, the Weta is a wet boat – particularly in winds much above 15 knots. And because you are exposed on the tramps, wind chill is a significant issue. In temperate climates, a spray top can be the difference between having a good day on the water and becoming hypothermic. As a rule of thumb if I’m too hot when changed into my sailing gear on the shore, I’ll be just about right on the water and always take a spray top with me just in case the wind gets up.I’ve found the so-called breathable spray tops loose their waterproofing after a year or so and the fabric doesn’t stretch so they have to be baggy which makes them easy to catch on the tiller extension – I’ve always found the velcro neck seals irritating and it doesn’t stop the water from getting down you neck.The Rooster Pro Lite Aquafleece has a stretchy waterproof PU outer, fleece lining and a fleece-lined high neck with a drawstring closure that doesn’t rip into your skin.On a cold and windy day with gusts up to 30 knots (air temp 14.4 C – felt like 9.0 according to the forecast) I was warm as toast with a Gill Hydrophobe top under it – even after a swim.Those who don’t feel the cold and sail in their underwear won’t need it but for the rest of us mere mortals, I recommend it highly.
AU$144.20Buy online from Rooster AustraliaOr find a stockist hereRonstan Regatta Smock TopThe Ronstan Regatta smock top has an “athletic” cut so not as baggy as some others.The old version of the Ronstan Smock Top (with the white sides) had a micro-mesh lining which provides a captive air layer for temperature control and helps to prevent that ‘sticky’ feel in humid weather. This has been removed in the updated version which is available in all black or white.However, the neck seal is closed with a square of velcro above the zipper which doesn’t really prevent water ingress and can irritate the skin – but you can use the zipper for additional ventilation. Also the velcro at the wrists loses its ability to create a seal and tends to easily get caught with the velcro on your gloves.
AU$192.00 from RonstanNot the most refined equipment on the market and inclined to be a bit baggy and the material is thick compared to the Ronstan – but you get what you pay for.Possibly better for the less svelte sailor on a budget.
AU$99 from BurkeIf you’re really on a budget or mainly sail in warm weather then the Decathlon Smock may be just what you need – most of their gear is reasonable quality despite the low price.AU$59 from Decathlon
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