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What sun protection level everyone should apply when sailing

Posted by Bettina Crafoord on Mar 5, 2018 12:40:42 PM

Read more about what to wear whilst sailing and the best sun protection

We have created a checklist of what you need to protect your skin on the water. A safe amount of sun exposure is good for your health in the form of  vitamin D, however if you are spending time on the water sailing then the sun's rays intensify from reflection off the water. So you need to be even more vigilant and increase the level of sun protection


Did you know that a melanoma can appear anywhere on your body not just on spots where you've been sunburnt?
Did you know that skin caner on the face can be a contributing factor to brain tumors and cancer?

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Not a pleasant thought and probably the thought furthest from your mind when you are at the start line, counting down to the start of the race. If you haven't had time to slip, slop, slap before the start of the race it's unlikely you'll reach for the sunscreen during the race unless you literally feel your skin burning and by then, it is too late.

We all know the damage that long hours sitting on the rail or manning the helm whilst cruising or racing can do.  You may already have had to deal with the consequences of too much sun exposure with a visit to the Dr or Dermatologist for some not so pleasant procedures. It is important to be vigilant with sun protection but in the midst of the preparation and excitement of sailing it's easy to forget.

What's the answer? Preparation before you step aboard. The best place to start is with the right gear. If light weight, comfortable UV protective clothing is part of your crew kit then you will go a long way to mitigating the damaging effects of the sun.

Incorporating a hat into your crew uniform and donning sunscreen as part of your crew rituals is another great steep you can introduce to protect you and your crew and ensure that everyone come off the water safe and well.


Sunscreen SPF 50 or higher to be applied regularly (NOTE - be cautious of sunscreens wearing off from the water, toweling off and  sweating in the hot sun)

Long Sleeve UV shirt with a collar (cover up as much skin as possible)

Broad brimmed hat

Sunglasses with UV protection and glare free polarised lenses

Sailing gloves

Boat shoes

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