Are you ready to take to the water?
Now we're not saying that if you forget your sea-smock you're destined to be somebody's lunch midway through the RORC 600; but everybody who has braved a windy October afternoon in the Solent knows that a good set of 'oilies' can make or break a sail.
In the olden days oilies, or oilskins, were literally that- sailcloths layered with tar to keep the water out. The first mass produced maritime-garments came along in around 1930, with linseed oil replacing tar as the water resistant layer ontop of a type of canvas. Nowadays we see modern materials such as PVC, Gore Tex and DWR coated Nylon becoming the backbone of increasingly-more scientific innovations by marine clothing manufacturers. All of these brands have just one goal in mind: to create technical sailing gear which makes the life of sailing men and women more comfortable. SLAM is one of the leaders in this field.
SLAM FORCE 2 JACKET
This is a jacket you buy in the full knowledge that at some point you're going to be at the mastbase in the dead of winter, with blue fingers, putting a reef in the mainsail and wondering why you bother sailing at all.
But isn't it just such a great feeling? Generally SLAM tends to say that the Force 2 is geared towards inshore sailing- with autumn regattas and those of us still crazy enough to take to the water in November in mind. Nevertheless this is an excellent allrounder and is found onboard a huge number of superyachts as well as cruisers- mostly used by deck crew on the odd occasion that the sun doesn't shine.
Key features include a reflective hood and whistle for safety; double cuffs for keeping the cold out; and 2 internal pockets which can be used for dry-storing important bits of paper like, you know, the navigation notes or your job list.
If blue-water sailing is more your bag (and you fully expect to be lashed onto the helmstation at some point in a force 8), then we recommend you take a look at the SLAM Force 3 or SLAM Force 9 versions of this excellent piece of clothing. That being said, if you're considering going out in conditions worthy of the latter then your money might be well spent getting your nerves tested too!
SLAM TECH PANTS
Similar to the Force 2 Jacket, the SLAM Tech Pants are built to perform in those yachting situations where your average pair of beige cargo-shorts or chinos might not cut the mustard.
Crucially these pants feature the addition of reinforced grip knee-pads; which are the kind of 'tech' you'll be glad for after you've spent an hour on your knees operating a winch. Sail trimmers (and those of us regatta crew who are only ever taken on as mobile rail-ballast) will also be pleased with the reinforced seat-padding!
The Tech Pants are made from a light fabric which means they are both breathable and functional for everyday use onboard as well as in heavy weather.
Of course, SLAM have a few different versions of these trousers which are aimed at satisfying even wetter and windier conditions. Serious offshore sailers will prefer the 3-layer Force 9 Long Johns, which come highly recommended by us for Ocean Crossings in particular.
SLAM HISSAR SHORTS
So it's sunny, and you're day-sailing in the Caribbean: shorts weather ahoy!! But there's still spray to content with, and even the odd squall- so staying dry is a feature you won't let slip when packing your bags for this trip.
These SLAM Hissar Shorts (you'll be pleased to know) are made from 140-gram microfiber twill, which means they're some of the quickest-drying legwear on the market!
Superyacht crew are particularly keen on these. They're just brilliant for everyday use during washdowns and tender runs; where the odd splash is more-than-likely and the interior crew have limited availability for drying crew uniform amongst the mountain of guest laundry. Well done SLAM!
SLAM DAVIE SHORTS
Davie shorts are a classic female 'bermuda style' cut and are pretty well known amongst Superyacht Interior crew, female deck crew, and on yacht club quays around the world.
Whether its for working or relaxing, these SLAM Davie Shorts are comfortable in cotton and always look the part.
Here it is, the one you've all been waiting for. This one item alone has saved an unnameable-number of embarrassing moments for female yacht crew. It's of course the skort.
Half skirt, half shorts, the SLAM Skort is the go-to item for stewardess' across the globe. With cleverly inbuilt shorts and subtly concealed pockets, this has to be one of the world's best yacht uniform items.
SLAM PATERSON POLOSHIRT
Here's another staple item for both professional and casual crewmembers- the stylish-yet-functional Paterson Polo Shirt...
There's not too much to say about these which you won't already know. But just in case you've been hiding under a rock since Columbus wore his Paterson at the helm of the Caravelle, these polo shirts come in long/short sleeve; you can choose from an array of colors; they're super breathable and are made of incredibly quick-drying material. So there we are then.
If you don't already have one of these onboard your yacht or at home in your sailing-shirt drawer then I'd start to wonder if yachting really suits you at all...
Fair winds to all our yachting friends!