Dear Kim: Yes, I do wear sailing gloves which are leather and have the fingertips cut off so that you can still untie knots. Our Expert Dr. Barnewolt had recommended them before Vendée Globe 08, saying that they would support the joints in my fingers and hands, plus protect the skin from cuts which can get infected, and thus they are preventative.

Right hand

Plus our ropes have covers that have a lot of friction so that they will hold well on winches, but one result also is that the friction is placed on everything else, including your hands.

In those pictures, those are not blisters, the photos were taken after a lot of wet work on the foredeck, and so the skin is puckered not blistered. My hands look a mess and I thought it would be interesting!

Question submitted by Kim’s class, Aurora NB, USA