How to protect yourself from the Sun while Sailing

  • 16 May 2023

Protecting Yourself from the Sun While Sailing: A Quick Guide

Sailing is one of the most enjoyable outdoor activities, but it also comes with its risks, especially when it comes to sun exposure. As sailors, we love being out in the sun, but the combination of wind, sea spray, and water reflection can cause us to underestimate how much exposure we're actually getting. In this article, we'll explore some simple tips to help you protect yourself from the sun while sailing.

Wear UV Protective Clothing

UV protective clothing is a must-have for sailors. Not only does it deflect sun rays and protect your skin, but it also wicks away sweat and helps keep you cool. Many sailing brands now produce UVP clothing, which is both stylish and effective in protecting you from the sun. Be sure to choose breathable fabrics and high-SP clothing to provide maximum protection.

Wear a Wide-Brimmed Hat

A wide-brimmed hat is essential for protecting your skin, hair, and scalp from the sun's harmful rays. When choosing a sailing hat, go for one that is lightweight, quick-drying, and has a wide brim to provide maximum coverage. If you're sailing in windy conditions, a hat with ties will stay in place. Wearing a hat can also help prevent dehydration of your hair if you have long locks.

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Protect Your Skin

Skin protection is crucial when sailing, as UV rays can penetrate clouds and cause skin damage. According to the World Health Organization, male skin cancer incidence is forecast to double over the next 20 years, and almost two men die of skin cancer for every one woman in the UK.

Remember that if you go for a swim, assume that your SPF is reduced by 50%. Towel dry and reapply sunscreen for maximum protection. It's also worth noting that some sunscreen chemicals can harm coral and marine life, so be sure to use eco-friendly options.

Invest in Quality Sunglasses

Sailing often involves sun and water surface glare, which can strain your eyes and cause damage in the long term. Quality sunglasses with polarized lenses can reduce glare and provide UV protection. Choose wrap-around, impact-resistant sunglasses, and consider using a strap to keep them in place. Floating sunglasses are also an option if you're prone to dropping them in the water.

Timing is Everything

Try to avoid too much exposure to the sun between 11 am and 2 pm, when the sun's rays are the strongest. However, this can be difficult as wind and tides dictate our course. If you're on a skippered charter, your skipper will take this into account and expect you to come suitably attired. Whenever you're out on the water and the sun is shining, follow these simple rules to protect yourself from the sun.

In Conclusion As sailors, we all love the sun, but it's important to take precautions to protect ourselves from its harmful effects. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat, investing in quality sunglasses, using eco-friendly sunscreen, and wearing UV-protective clothing are all simple steps we can take to protect ourselves from the sun while sailing. By following these tips, you'll not only enjoy your sailing experience more but also protect your health in the long term. At First Class Sailing, we take sun protection seriously, and we encourage all sailors to do the same.