All this week I have been looking forward to Sunday. Today, I went to Welsh Harp Boat Centre, a shop not far from where I live, recommended by the club, to buy some gear. Initially I wanted to buy a pair of boots, because the trainers wouldn’t keep my feet dry, and a pair of gloves, to improve grip and prevent grazes when pulling ropes etc. So, I went there and spent over half an hour trying boots. The fact that I have wide feet, didn’t help at all. Eventually I decided to get a pair of Ronstan sailing boots. I highly recommend them if you have wide feet. Choosing gloves was easier. I got a pair of Gill Deckhand short-finger gloves. Although short, the gloves go down to the last joint of the fingers. Only the fingertips are uncovered so you have a better feedback and you know exactly what you are holding.
Then I started asking how much a pair of weatherproof trousers were, but I realised that if the boat capsizes a pair of weatherproof trousers won’t keep me dry at all. I asked about wetsuits and it turned out that a full body wetsuit costs a bit too much for someone that hasn’t been on the helm of a sailing dinghy without an instructor. Then the saleswoman told me that they have short wetsuits and the price is not much more than a pair of weatherproof trousers. I tried on a shorty wetsuit and it fit me really nicely. The price was only £35 and I decided to buy it. It is a Gul G-Force Shorty Wetsuit. That will definitely take me until the end of autumn. So the only thing I was missing was a buoyancy aid (life jacket). I can always borrow a buoyancy aid from the club, but since I need a quite large size (larger than average), I thought that they might not have many of those. On the other hand I will need to go to the storage room every time I need to sail and then I will have to return it and it is too much hassle. Before I even went there today I had already decided that after I would finish the course, I would have to go back to Welsh Harp Boat Centre, to get a buoyancy aid. But If will go back there, then I will definitely buy something else, so I took the plunge and got a life jacket there and then. I bought a Gill Racing Pull On Buoyancy Aid.
Now, I don’t need to get back there until autumn and the total bill was just below £120 for boots, gloves, a wetsuit and a life jacket. That is not bad at all.