I love it when I read product reviews on other people’s sailing blogs. We learned about Tate and Dani’s new Boss anchor (and other important things) on their blog, and about all kinds of good things over at The Ceol Mors. We appreciate knowing people who are just that far ahead of us in outfitting a sailboat for extended voyaging.
So how about outfitting the sailor? When you sail in the waters up here, protection from the elements is always a consideration. How I would love to be able to just hop on the boat without giving a thought to how cold the water is, how cold the wind is, how hot the sun might be on my bare, middle-aged skin while the rest of me is freezing. Our sailing friends who live in warmer climates have commented in the past on how we’re always wearing jackets and hats in our sailing photos. Know how we can tell that it’s summer when the above photo was taken? I’m not wearing two hats and a wooly scarf around my mouth. Sad, isn’t it?
The scenery is worth it (and also the whales, of course) but one cannot take these things for granted so whenever I’m out and about I’m always on the lookout for new and improved ways of being comfortable while under sail. And I have a decided tendency to think ‘outside the box’, refusing to be limited by product marketers who label things as ‘marine’, or ‘sailing’.
Thus, while shopping for fishing gear at our local Sportco I stumbled upon what have turned out to be the perfect sailing gloves: the [amazon_link id=”B0040GJ7V8″ target=”_blank” ]Madgrip Pro Palm Knuckler Grip 100[/amazon_link]. They were pink and less than $10.00! I figured I could gamble with ten bucks, especially since I can always use new gardening gloves if they didn’t work out.
Have you shopped for women’s sailing gloves lately? A quick Google search will bring up a ton of possibilities, none of them for less than $25.00. I am not averse to spending good money on good gloves if they do the job nicely. But I have some ‘sailing’ gloves produced by one of the leading makers of sailing clothing that leave me less than impressed, to say the least. Price is no guarantee that the glove will suit my needs, I guess. So what do I require as a sailor?
I want a glove that is made of breathable fabric, that protects my hands from wind and sun, that offers good grip to the wheel and extra cushioning for my joints, and that is flexible, allowing for decent manual dexterity. I don’t want to have to take off my gloves to mess around with my mp3 player. And I sure as H-E-double-toothpicks don’t want a glove that will get wet and soggy if water happens to splash into the cockpit. Call me picky. I’m not too worried about them being waterproof, but I do want them to work even when wet, and I want water to drain from them, not make them nasty. Also, I’ve given up on ever finding a glove that will keep my hands warm, other than wool. There is no glove made that will turn my body into a heating machine. That’s what husbands are for.
So I couldn’t wait to try these MadGrip Pro Palm Knuckler Grip gloves on our last trip. My gosh, the name alone is worth the price! Final rating? Excellent! This glove grips like a deprived child given an ice cream cone and surrounded by older siblings. I barely even have to hold the wheel, which is great because after hours of motoring with no wind, my hands get pretty sore from constant steering (yes, we DO need an autopilot). I’ve been known to steer with my feet. The glove is lightweight and breathable, easy to take on and off, and the fingers are the right length for me. As a bonus, the inside of the glove is soft and supple, almost comforting to the skin. At this price, I could have several pair in different colors just to shake things up a bit, which appeals to the girly side of me.
The only downside to this glove is that the cushioning material used actually seems to make my hands colder, like somehow it soaks up the heat from my already cold, lifeless fingers. But, again, I cannot hold the glove responsible for this since my hands are always cold anyhow. Besides, once they reach a certain level of coldness I can’t feel them anymore so what difference does it make? It’s a small price to pay for the incredible cushioning and grip these gloves offer and the sense of protection from the great Mother that they give. If my fingers get too cold to grip the wheel, these gloves will keep gripping it for me.
Attentive readers may have noticed in a previous post that Mike was wearing huge orange gloves while sleeping in the cockpit.
These manly gloves are worn by professional fishermen in this area. They are heavy, lined with fur-like substance, and offer no dexterity at all. But they do keep the hands protected from wind, cold water, and the more dangerous parts of fish. That is, they offer protection from cold water unless one happens to have the misfortune of getting water down inside the glove. And then the gloves will never, ever be dry again without turning them inside out and exposing them to a heat source. Just try getting them turned right again afterwards. Just give it a go. Still, Mike appreciates them on an overcast, cool day on the water. And at less than $20, they are pretty cheap. We also have some unlined ones, which I wear with a polypropylene liner. Those are probably better.
So far, I like the MadGrips much better than any of the dedicated ‘sailing’ gloves I’ve bought. If you need a good, everyday sailing glove that you can wear home and use in the garden, too, give them a try.
Another post script about WordPress: Why is it messing up my photos? Last week it sent everyone an email for an old post, and this week it’s posting photos in weird places and I can’t make it stop. Grrrr. This blogger is getting a wee bit frustrated. I wanted to get this posted, so if the photos are weird, try to ignore it while we determine what the heckfire is going on.