Dear Peter, I haven’t gotten soaked from the outside to the inside down to my skin yet, mostly because I have good foul weather gear (Musto) and because many of our operations are done inside the big coachroof over the cockpit. Of course we can fill the cockpit, but we’ve only done that once, during the squall to 48 knots with the fractional gennaker up where the boat turned into a submarine and hit its high speed of 30.9 knots, completely accidentally and undesirably out of control. In that episode, there was more water in the cockpit and under the coachroof that is under Niagara Falls.
I do get soaked to the skin however, and that is entirely from sweat with the various operations. Sailing this boat is a monstrous physical challenge, 160 hard revolutions on the pedestal winch to hoist a reef out, and then more for trimming and the leech and luff reef lines. To furl the gennaker is a full on every thing you have in you for 50 revolutions in the highest power, highest load mode, an absolutely exhausting, asthma inducing sprint at your maximum power level. The layers of clothes next to the skin are super important, and I’ve found, unusually, that the capilene Patagonia from about 20 years ago, to me at least, is superior to current products.
Luckily I still have all that gear, and especially the expedition weight clothes. Plus, I have 2 sleeping bags, one to 40° F, and one to 20° F. The latter is what I’m using now, it is warm and comfy, and allows me to sleep.
Question submitted by Peter Lake, Marblehead, MA USA