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Manufacturers' answer to women's equipment seems to be just to make smaller sizes, something between kids sizes and men's. Though for most women this still means rolling up the sleeves and pant legs for foulweather gear.

There are a few manufacturers that are trying to provide a product designed for active women. Of course women like Dawn Riley, America3 helmswomen, and the all-women's team on EF Education, lead by Christine Guillou, competing in the Whitbread Round-the-World sailing race are helping to change this. They are truly pushing their equipment needs to the limit.

SheGear is interested in expanding this list. If you know of equipment that has worked well for you, we'd like to hear about it. Please send us your gear tips to


Lots of boat stores sell these. They're easy to find and are made in women's sizes. However, there are some options. Some sailing gloves come with only the thumb and pointer finger exposed. This gives added protection against possible rope burn.


Solid footing on a boat is imperative! Make sure the shoes have a non-slip tread and that they fit well. Leather shoes will stretch once they've gotten wet, which they will. Also, all boat shoes smell after they've gotten wet a few times. It goes with the territory.

If you know of any tricks for freshening boat shoes, please pass them on!

Women's boat or deck shoes are being made by companies that just make boat shoes to women's athletic shoe manufacturers. Look around for the best fit and comfort.

Ryka, at Lady Foot Locker, 1-800-877-5239. Make sure they have boat shoes in stock.

Sebago Inc
P.O. Box 3000
Westbrook, Maine 04098, USA
Highly recommended from other female sailors for their fit and comfort, and not a bad price. Look for their Bayside or Oceanside styles.

Sperry Top-Siders, Inc.
Lexington, Massachusetts
Tel. 1-800-666-5689

Foul Weather Gear

Fit is really important for the gear to work properly. Men's jacket arms are too long, so you end up rolling up the sleeves. For expensive equipment, this is not an acceptable solution. Most manufacturers of foul weather gear offer multiple sizes. Musto has 11 different sizes from Junior JXXS to Extra Extra Large XXL. For petite women, this will probably be your best option.

Dry Suit

If you're going to be sailing in cold weather and water, or just want to extend your sailing season as long as possible, you should consider a dry suit. As the name suggests, a dry suit is a waterproof jumpsuit that will keep you dry if you go for a swim. The suit has rubber seals around the neck, wrists and ankles that prevent water from getting into your suit. Windsurfing, kayaking and scuba diving also use dry suits.

SheGear is looking for advice on dry suits that are best for cross sport. If you have any advice or experience please send your tips to

Camet International
P.O. Box 83599,
San Diego, California 92138, USA
Tel. 619-224-6737, Fax 619-224-9021
Camet Logo

Douglas Gill
6087 Holiday Road
Buford, GA 30518 USA
Tel. 1-800-368-4445
Web site:
Gill is one of the few companies committed to making women's sailing gear. They just launched their Key West Foul Weather gear in women's cut and sizes. The Key West line is made with Gill-TEX, their breathable and waterproof fabric.
Douglas Gill Logo

Henri Lloyd
11660 Alpharetta Highway,
Suite 530, Roswell,Georgia 30076 USA
Tel. 1-770-753-9887 or 1-800-661-5696

Musto Yachting
1848 Wake Forest Road,
Raleigh, NC 27608 USA
Tel. 1-800-553-0497
Web site:
Musto Logo

Tel. 1-800-patagonia
Web site:
Patagonia Logo

Please send your suggestions and comments to

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