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Transatlantic Gear

The starting gun's announcement is right around the corner, and Yachting's associate editor is doing his final packing.

November 13, 2009
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Setting out on a transatlantic voyage requires a certain amount of preparation. In addition to the physical and mental preparation necessary for spending weeks at sea, there is an endless list of gear to bring. In addition to a PFD, an offshore harness, and all of the other safety items that a transatlantic crossing requires, I’ve also rounded up some top of the line offshore apparel.

Staying dry on an offshore trip is paramount. It’s hard to have an enjoyable sail when you are wet, cold, and ready to sink the boat if it’ll get you to a dry bed in a warm hotel room. The Atlantis Weathergear Aegis Jacket ($295) and Hybrid Bib ($295) are a great one-two punch when trying to combat the elements. www.atlantisweathergear.com

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In a dead-heat with staying dry, having comfortable shoes that will grip a wet or heeling deck is crucial. The Sperry Ventus lace-up ($120) is the latest in high-performance sailing shoes. And for when the heavens really open, and there’s so much rain you’re not sure where the boat ends and the sea begins, a pair of Dubarry Ultimate Sea Boots ($345) is a must. www.sperrytopsiders.com, www.dubarry.com

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Now that an exoskeleton impervious to the elements has been assembled, I have to make sure I’ll be comfortable underneath. That means soft shirts that will wick away sweat and keep me cool, and shorts and pants that are durable and comfortable. I’m bringing shirts from the Columbia Omni-Dry and Omni-Shade technology line-Skiff Guide short sleeve t-shirts ($45), Mountain Tech long sleeve t-shirts ($35), and Technical Trails long sleeve t-shirts ($48). I’m also packing Camet’s line of sailing pants and shorts. Lightweight, comfortable, and tough as nails, the Camet Aruba sailing shorts ($78) and Camet 7000 sailing pants ($89) are a good bet for any offshore cruiser. www.columbia.com, www.camet.com

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What sets this sailing trip apart from others that I’ve been on is that I will be documenting it. The Canon PowerShot G11 digital camera ($500) with its waterproof case is a great camera for taking print quality pictures from the high seas. www.canon.com

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And since the WiFi signal is a little weak in the middle of the Atlantic, I’m bringing some essential offshore technology. For Internet access virtually anywhere in the world, it is hard to beat the Iridium 9555 SAT phone. A bonus? If the boat happens to sink while I’m updating my FaceBook page, the last coordinates transmitted will be relayed back over the Iridium network to rescue services. Now, if only Iridium could update my FaceBook status…www.iridium9555.com

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