December 27, 2013

Choosing the best Sailing Glove - Part 1

I am sure there has been a time when you have reacted to a cleat or clutch slipping and grabbed a line without thinking.  Rope burn - it happens.  Unfortunately, if you have the wrong gloves, this can still occur.
The simple act of protecting your hands while sailing has no simple solution, so the team at Whitecaps Marine Outfitters has put together a set of tools to help you select the right glove every time.
Gloves can take a beating, especially if you are an active racer and are in a trim-position.  The idea of spending $30 or $40 on a pair of gloves that will be in the trash at the end of a regatta can seem a huge waste.  The alternate however can be worse - blisters, cramping hands, rope burn, dropped gear and a host of other pitfalls.

Medium Size Gloves (LtoR): Ronstan Sticky Race Gloves, Slam Vela, Harken Reflex Performance,
Henri Lloyd Stealth Pro, Gill Pro, Gill Deckhand

Glove selection depends a lot of what you do on a boat, how often you sail, what type of lines you use onboard and the size boat you sail on.  This is before appreciating thermal needs.  Some things you should consider when selecting a glove:
A firm fit that doesn’t allow free movement of material against your skin causing blisters – similar to good fitting shoes.  A particular consideration for women as most gloves are cut with a male-fit bias.
Line size and type
Gripping a ¼” line is quite different to a 1” line just as an easy-grip sheet line as compared to a slippery Spectra line or similar changes grip requirements.
Gripping Style
Often position dependent.  Hauling a halyard uses a different grip style to headsail trim for example.  Also trimming a spinnaker can have a different wear pattern to main-trim.
Slip vs Grip
A question of easing (slip) a line through your palm under high speed and / or pressure repeatedly drives a different need to someone at the mast hoisting a kite.
Size of Boat
Line dimension, multi-role positions and resistance force.  Bigger sails means more pressure and it is harder to grip a line for an extended period of time.
Helm or winch grinding
Different requirements to line-work and highly dependent on size of boat or type of helm and grip material.
The need of nimble fingertips may be the difference between full finger or ¾ finger gloves.  Using instruments, charts, race instructions, bottle opener etc.
Wet performance
Does the glove perform as capably when wet as when dry.

There are a lot of sailing gloves on the market.  Each brand approaches the task slightly differently which is why it is important to know what you need from a glove.  You will notice a difference once you select the right one – it fits like a glove!

You can find our full range of gloves at

As always – we have FREE SHIPPING on ALL orders in the USA and don’t forget to take advantage of our Free Merchandise loyalty program.

Ship to shore – We’ve got you covered

December 19, 2013

The Tale of Two Races

The Clipper Around the World Yacht Race is in full swing and the 6th and next leg of the event is to compete in the 630nm Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race alongside the 100ft Maxi’s, Volvo 70’s and a host of other impressive yachts in the 94 strong fleet.
The Clipper 70 yachts are crewed by amateur sailors. At the prize giving for the last leg where the yacht Henri Lloyd took honors, race founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnson commented, “I am excited to see what they will do against the professionals in the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race.”
The Sydney to Hobart race is one of the great Ocean Races of the world and from its beginning in 1945 the race has attracted a large number of international and local competitors, with a good mix of professional and amateur crews  The race commences on December 26 – Boxing Day as it is called Down-under – in the beautiful Sydney Harbour.  Most racers aim to be in Hobart by New Years Eve although the SuperMaxi’s sometimes manage to complete the race much quicker.

Line Honors Sale
To celebrate the Sydney to Hobart race, Whitecaps Marine Outfitters are having a Line Honors Sale.  From race start to the first boat across the finish line in the Derwent River, Whitecaps will offer a further 10% off Henri Lloyd, Ronstan, Gill and Ella Vickers products.  A 20% saving when combined with our Free Merchandise loyalty program.  The discount will be applied automatically at checkout and excludes clearance specials.  As always, we include Free Shipping on all US orders.
Like us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the race.
The crew at Whitecaps Marine Outfitters wish the competitors the best of luck and look forward to seeing the Clipper Fleet when they arrive in San Francisco in early April.

November 26, 2013

Whitecaps Marine Outfitters
now offering the Ella Vickers Recycled Sailcloth Collection

Whitecaps Marine Outfitters are proud to be able to carry a wide selection of the Ella Vickers bags and accessories from the Recycled Sailcloth Collection.

The Ella Vickers handcrafted bags and accessories are made from tough recycled sailcloth from a number of sources.  The pre-consumer materials come from sail-makers offcuts so they have not had a sea-trial while the post-consumer bags are made from retired sails.  Either type, the Ella Vickers Recycled Sailcloth Collection puts new life into previously discarded material.  Your bag may have been to places you have only dreamed of.

From the very beginnings, the attention to detail and purposeful construction started before the first prototype was sewn.  The first bags were made from the sails of the successful defender of the 1958 America’s Cup – Columbia, the first to win under the 12 meter rules beating British yacht – Sceptre in a straight 4 – 0 series win.  Later, Ella Vickers was first mate on Columbia where the idea to reuse the sails came during one off-season as the sails were being replaced.

Constructed in the USA with marine-grade components which create eye-catching accessories that are both fashionable and ocean-durable, the bags are able to withstand the wind, salt and spray that comes with a boating lifestyle.  There are a selection of bags for hauling gear as well as stylish handbags for everyday use around town.  The water resistant materials are perfect around the water and the Recycled Sailcloth Collection even has a great amenities bag for when you are visiting an exotic port.

In addition to the standard designs, most Ella Vickers bags and accessories can be customized with your team or company logo, boat name, sail number or anything else you can imagine.

To celebrate our new partnership with Ella Vickers and the Whitecaps Marine Outfitters relocation to San Francisco, we are giving away an Ella Vickers “San Francisco” bag.  Like us on FACEBOOK and share this post on Facebook for your chance to WIN. (Promotion only available to USA residents - winner will be randomly drawn on Dec 17th).

As always – we have FREE SHIPPING on ALL orders in the USA and don’t forget to take advantage of our Free Merchandise loyalty program.

Ship to shore – We’ve got you covered

November 19, 2013

Welcome to Whitecaps Marine Outfitters

With so much great technical gear available and so many strong brands now providing a comprehensive range of gear, Whitecaps Foul Weather Gear has become Whitecaps Marine Outfitters.

The change in our name is a reflection of the great gear now available from traditional brands like Henri Lloyd, Gill, Slam and Atlantis as well as brands extending into sailing apparel with a strong heritage in other categories such as Helley Hansen and Ronstan.  Now Whitecaps Marine Outfitters provides the best selection of apparel and accessories for ALL of your marine activities.

You will find your favorite sailing gear and boating equipment for all of your nautical needs whether racing or blue-water cruising, sport fishing, a day on the bay or around the club house.  Ship to shore, we’ve got you covered.

New brands and categories strengthen the Whitecaps Marine Outfitters catalog to provide the best range of high quality marine apparel and accessories.  The innovative and high quality, USA made, bags from the ELLA VICKERS range is just one of these new product lines.  Ella Vickers makes fashionable bags and totes from recycled sail cloth which can be customized with your own design, logo or sail numbers.

Although our name is changing, our commitment to customer service and satisfaction has not; it is even better than before!  We are increasing our stock to be able to deliver more products to you quicker.  As always, we still provide FREE SHIPPING on ALL USA ORDERS.

With the holiday season approaching, watch out for our great deals and specials.  Like us on Facebook and take advantage of the various opportunities to save while outfitting your friends and family with their favorite marine apparel and equipment – or treat yourself!

March 8, 2013

Sail Magazine Review of Gill PFD's

In the January 2013 issue of Sail Magazine, and at, the new Gill USCG Approved PFD's were reviewed.  Here's what Sail Magazine had to say:

"Gill's new dinghy and technical style lifejackets (PFD's) are configured with racing in mind, but thanks to their comfort and freedom of movement, they also work well for inshore cruising and day sailing. 

The [Gill PFD] jackets are fully adjustable and available in a number of different styles and a wide range of sizes.  Other features include zippered pockets, adjustable shoulder straps with neoprene padding, and crotch straps on lifejackets in children's sizes."

The Gill 4913 Side Zip PFD and the Gill 4918 Front Zip PFD are both available at

Have a question? Let us know in the comments section below. We'd love to hear from you!

March 3, 2013

Sportboat Clothing Reviews from Sail Magazine

In November 2012, Sail Magazine and published a great review entitled "Sportboat Foulies" by Meredith Laitos.  Here is some of what she said:

"When selecting racing garb, sportboat sailors should dress from the waist down based on water temperature and the the waist up based on air temperature.  They should also think about their boat's proximity to the water, the strength of the wind and the waves, and the likelihood that these things will combine to leave them drenched.  Factor in comfort, warmth, and weight, and you will arrive at the perfect outfit."

Featured in the article are Gill's Trapeze Boot, Gill's i3 Fleece, Gill's Lycra Socks, Gill's Pro Top, Ronstan's Sticky Race Gloves, and Ronstan's Sleeveless Skiff Suit.

January 28, 2013

Coastal Foul Weather Gear Reviews from Sail Magazine

In October 2012, Sail Magazine and published an article by Lindsey Silken reviewing  coastal foul weather gear.  Here's some of what Lindsey had to say:

"Coastal cruisers and racers experience a range of temperatures and weather, so crossover garments that can be layered--or not--can be worn racing or cruising will top the list.  Look for lightweight outer layers and cozy, warm base and mid-layers that won't trap air and moisture.  The same three-layer materiels used in bluewater gear are now beginning to make inroads in coastal gear as well.  But a set of foulies made with quality two layers fabric will still keep ou plenty comfortable without breaking the bank."

Among the products featured are Gill's i5 Crosswind Salopette, Gill's Extreme Gloves and Atlantis Weather Gear's Aegis jacket, all available at with free shipping and free merchandise credit.

January 17, 2013

Foul Weather Gear Reviews from Sail Magazine

Starting in September 2012, Sail Magazine and published a three-part gear review focusing on foul weather gear.  The first installment is about Bluewater foul weather gear. Here's some of what Sail Magazine had to say:

"Bluewater racers and cruisers have to deal with whatever the elements throw at them, which means foul weather gear has to be as weatherproof as possible, and durable enough for weeks of hard use.  Look for heavy-duty breathable three layer fabrics, robust wear patches and well-taped seams.  Wicking base layers need to minimize chafe--remember you may be wearing them for some time--while mid-layers that can also double as a light outer layer are great for making the transition from foul weather to fair."

Among the products featured are the Dubarry Ultima boot and the Gill i5 Crosswind fleece midlayer.