Are you a first-time dinghy sailer and wondering what kit you need to get started? Well we’ve put together a list of the basic essentials when it comes to dinghy sailing kit. And don’t worry, it’s budget-friendly, so just in case sailing is not the sport for you – you haven’t made a great investment before you need to.
First thing to note that in most cases, if you’re a complete beginner, you probably won’t be getting into a boat in your very first session, however, it’s best to get advice from you various coaches on this. Either way, the most importance items you’ll need to get you started are:
1. Buoyancy Aid: This is a number one requirement and must-have item for ALL sailors, whether new or seasoned. A buoyancy aid simply helps you to stay buoyant if (when!) you fall in the water. At RLR we stock Crewsaver buoyancy aids, one of the leading brands in marine safety equipment, and stock sizes from ‘junior’ to extra large.
2. Gloves: You might think these are just for keeping your hands warm in winter, but in fact sailing gloves serve a very different purpose. These are for extra grip when pulling ropes, and to avoid getting blisters in the process. Therefore gloves should be tight-fitting, without restricting blood flow, and are often ‘short-fingered’ to allow for extra agility. Choose from our range of Musto or Crewsaver gloves which come in both long or short-fingered versions.
3. Neoprene Boots: Perhaps the least ‘essential’ on the list, as you could get away with sailing barefoot or with an old pair of trainers in the beginning. But once you experience sailing with a pair of ‘booties’ you will understand their benefits and usefulness. They serve the multi-purpose of helping to grip while moving around the boat, and also protecting your foot from all the ways one can bang and knock yourself while dinghy sailing. Your ankles with thank you later! Thankfully, these boots are very affordable which earns them their place on the essentials list.
4. Wetsuit (Seasonal item): A wetsuit is a necessity for the Winter sailing season, and tends to be required between the months of January to May while the sea is at it’s coldest. The price of wetsuits varies greatly depending on the brand, and while a good wetsuit is a long-term investment that you won’t regret (assuming you care for it properly), you’re better of starting with something on the lower end of the price scale, especially if you are young and likely to grow out of it quickly! Luckily we have a number of styles and brands to choose from at RLR so you can find just the right one for your needs.
Besides these items, we do also recommend a good hat (with a retainer clip!), sun-protective gear and quick-drying clothing. At RLR we’ve got you covered with all the items on this list, and more! And what’s more, as a member of a sailing club, we also offer fantastic discounts on all dinghy gear. Contact our sales team for orders of inquiries.
– The RLR team.