Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Shake Jorge

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about the need to wear gloves to protect your hands when sailing - or to have very hardened hands. Most of the commenters to this post agreed that sailing gloves are advisable at least in some situations - except for one sailor going by the name of scheherazade who presumably is some bewhiskered old salt with leathery palms hanging out at the yacht club while simultaneously pouring scorn on the young folk who wear sailing gloves and boring them with stories of rounding the Horn on a clipper in a force 10 storm.

Or perhaps sailors who don't use gloves have a different strategy? I discovered today one method used by professional athletes to toughen their hands in this article entitled Why Athletes Pee on Their Hands.

Eeeuggh! Never shake hands with a sailor who doesn't wear gloves.


OG said...

Surely there is a better way!!!

Anonymous said...

Peeing on your hands really works - As a youngster one of the events I did for my local lifesaving club was reel alarm - either hauling a nylon line with lifesaver and patient to the beach in the light swells or using a cotton line in the heavy swells and the urine really helped to toughen our hands up AND leave them relatively supple - the other method of using methylated spirits was not acceptable as it made our hands crack and bleed.

JP said...


You really need gloves on yachts as the loading on ropes can get very large. I remember an accident that happened to a friend when he was hoisting the spinnaker and the rope got twisted in the jammer.

Then the wind filled the sail so the excess halyard flew through his ungloved hands, not just causing severe rope burn but hauling him two metres up, so his feet were a metre above the deck.

When we got him down we contacted portsmouth hospital and they said we should go to A&E asap. The problem was we were mid-atlantic!

Luckily the skipper was well trained and we had a full medicine chest.

Moral of the story: when loads get high wear gloves!

Pat said...

Carol Anne has pretty small hands with short fingers, so the usual half- or three-quarter gloves go way out to the end of her hand. She had some Gill half-fingers that fit her well, but they got lost in the emergency room after the boom incident. None of the chandleries/suppliers we use seem to have those gloves anymore (short half-finger in women's small or universal extra-small). I've looked in several catalogs and ordered the closest thing than West Marine had, but it definitely was not a fit. I wonder if Gill still makes them?

Eliboat said...

I agree with jp. On yachts ro on boats with heavliy loaded spinnaker sheets, gloves are advisable. In most situations I go without them though. When I was sailing 14's, gloves were essential if you were handling the giant chute. I also found gloves to me mandatory when I was sailing Stars. Most boats have a double mainsheet system with a special pressure release cleat. I had a single sheet system with a normal Harken cam cleat. I absolutely ripped my hands to pieces trying to unlceat the main whilst rounding the windward mark in a blow. I was using Yale-light for that sheet, and I have since abandoned that stuff because of how abrasive to the skin it is. One other interesting thing that I have realized over the years is that fresh water makes my hands far more brittle and succeptible to breaking than salt water.

wingssail said...

I have sailing gloves, and they are getting worn out, not 'cus I wear 'em, but crew members keep borrowing 'em. I usually forget to put them on until too late: When you have a line burning out so fast that you see a quick puff of white smoke comming from your fingertips, it's too late.

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