08/02/2006 09:23:53
Garry R
Anyone like to comment on their drysuit experiences regarding makes offering, durability, effectiveness and value for money?  I am contemplating an imminent purchase!

08/02/2006 09:35:34
Right then.  Firstly they are the bees knees - I now sail with mine on for about 10 months of the year unless it's exceptionally warm!

I first had a bog standard gul non breathable one, and whilst perfectly satisfactory, it did leave me a little damp after a strenuous race. This can transfer to getting chilled in between races.

I'm now fortunate enough to have a Musto breathable one and it is fanastic. It's now 3 years old, and I have to say it isn't as breathable as it once was, but it is still great. The advantage is that you can wear it when it is too warm for a normal drysuit, but it is raining, and therefore wear less kit than you might and weigh less.

Unfortunately the breathable drysuits aren't cheap. i think the Musto/Henri-Lloyd etc ones are probably much of a muchness - find whichever one you can for the least dosh!

08/02/2006 09:48:25
I have found Hammond drysuits to be indestructable.

08/02/2006 09:50:49
Jon S
I have found Ravenspring very reasonable and I have now had mine nearly ten years and only had the seals replaced, again by Ravenspring.

08/02/2006 13:34:39
I've had the Gul Solent breathable for a couple of years now. My first one started leaking in the summer so I returned it straight to Gul who checked and replaced it - no problem and good customer service. Since then it's been fine - as proved last weekend when we took a dip through bad balance trying to drop the spinnaker on a windy reach!

The Gul suits have neoprene neck and cuffs which are more comfortable than the rubber ones and less perishable. The front zip is also really easy and the seat is of tougher material.
I can recommend it anyway!

You do need to try suits on for fit as the different makes vary considerably in sizing.

08/02/2006 16:12:15
Steve 3439
I find it curious that the Musto dry suit mentioned above has become 'less breathable', why would that be? and what does it mean in practice? I too am thinking it is time invest and was thinking about paying up for the musto one

08/02/2006 17:11:44
Ben 3451
Gul drysuit,zip in the front,Typhoon teddysuit,animal knee high skisocks and I was warm as toast crewing at the Bloody Mary.On cold nights the missus and I watch tv wearing the 'babygro'teddysuits mmmmmmmmmm!

08/02/2006 17:34:25
That's just tooooo much information......

08/02/2006 17:40:16
I'm not really sure why it's less breathable.  Partly I suspect that I'm not always the best carer of it, and partly that in repeated exposure to the elements and cleaning, the gortex finish wears off a little.  It probably only needs sending back to Musto for its 3year/200 days sailing service.

08/02/2006 18:45:09
the best suit is the one that fits you - I'm looking at the ravensbourne suits which are made to measure, although I would be interested if anyone has experience of others such as magic marine

08/02/2006 18:48:41
Alan F
Whilst we are on favourite brands, Trident I have used for years, you can get hybrid, e.g. breathable top, not legs, being less pricy, you can get big feet on thin bodies (Mark) etc.
I think that breatablity is due to micro-porus holes and they get clogged up over the years.

Best place, if you can make it, is to go to the dinghy show at Ally Pally, try a few on for fit and feel.

You also need to think about front zip or back shoulder zip. Personally I always go for back zip, as the older zips across the body were not flexible, but I understand that now there are more flexible versions on some makes.

09/02/2006 09:19:10
Back zips make mid race weeing rather tricky...

09/02/2006 09:24:03
Garry R
Mags you are supposed to test for leaks by immersion not by filling the suit internally.  Thanks for all the advice given - no-one seems unhappy with any suit from any maker !!!  So you just get the most comfortable for you I guess.

09/02/2006 10:24:28
I think they may become less breathable with age as they get dirty, salt and gunge clog up the goretex pores. Solution for breathable oilies is to stick them in the washing machine. Don't know if this is recommended for drysuits-ask the manufacturers. 
Ultimate proofing from the inside has been tested far beyond reason by a certain very well known 505 sailor from the Bristol area (think; handlebar moustache), who, I'm told, had a BIG accident (as opposed to "little" accident) in his dry suit during a race at Portishead. A warning to all not do overdo the milk of amnesia the night before, as he had....

09/02/2006 10:31:48
I presume it was the milk of magnesia that was the problem, although milk of amnesia was probably wished for after the event...

As for washing, I think the material itself is OK, but the problem arises with the latex seals. Might bo Ok on a cool limited rinse job I guess.

09/02/2006 13:44:43
Can anyone remember where you can buy milk on amnesia from?

09/02/2006 15:18:52
I could until I drank all that red wine........

09/02/2006 19:29:03
We always put our drysuits through the short rinse and spin cycle (no washing powder) after they've been near salt walt and the breathability seems fine on mine after 2-3 years.  

I prefer a back zip - front zips are too bulky, but Mags........ if you think a mid race wee is a trifle difficult, you should try being a woman!!!

09/02/2006 19:33:01
That should read "salt water"!

09/02/2006 20:31:49
mags trying to be a woman in a dry suit? that'll draw the crowds at the dinghy show!

09/02/2006 22:39:36
I'll be trying that then.  The musto breathables have front zips and I've had absolutely no problems with it restricting manoevrability.  Go buy one!

10/02/2006 09:07:49
Jude, thats why women evolved larger bladders!

10/02/2006 22:20:03
'Spindrift' at Benfleet (in the trading estate near Hyde's former works) appears to be a Musto outlet shop; worth a visit if you are nearby.

They have new Musto drysuits at reduced prices, and 'previously used' drysuits at much reduced prices. Used Musto breathables appear to be offered at about £190 to £150 according to availability, condition and perhaps time of year. Occasionaly cheaper offers appear - in August I found a very faded Musto breathable for £40!

Well worth a visit?

02/03/2006 10:05:34
Garry R
I contacted Spindrift but they do not do USED drysuits mail order even if you guarantee not to return it.  Shame


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