Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Sticky Fingers

While sailing my Laser on Saturday I wore a pair of regular full finger neoprene sailing gloves but for the first time since last winter my hands were starting to feel cold. So on Sunday it was time to bring out the heavy artillery in my sailing gloves arsenal... my APS Dry Gloves.


These are made from natural latex rubber and have a tapered wrist seal that keeps water from entering the glove. With a polypropylene glove liner inside, these gloves keep my hands perfectly warm and dry in the coldest weather.

Things were fine for the first few races, but then a very strange thing started to happen. My fingers started to stick together! Why was this happening? I've never had this problem before. Is the saltwater attacking the latex and turning the surface into glue? Have the gloves picked up some contaminant? Is it just old age? (The gloves not me.)

And more importantly how can I prevent "sticky finger syndrome" in future. Is the answer here? Or here?

I don't know. Any suggestions?

5 comments:

AdriftAtSea said...

You do realize that there are alot of solvents that could be attacking the latex in the gloves. Any petrochemical, including Vaseline, will dissolve or attach latex to some degree. I'm very surprised that your fingers got cold in full neoprene gloves. I wear a set of 5 mm neoprene gloves made by Stearns for commercial fisherman for cold weather sailing, and they work just fine. I have to wrap the exterior cuffs of my foul weather gear around them fairly tight to keep water from sneaking up the gauntlet-like wrists of the gloves, but other than that, they're completely waterproof.

A lot of the neoprene sailing gloves are pretty useless, as they're not designed to be waterproof.

Tillerman said...

Hmmm - so you think the hole in the tip of the thumb of one of my neoprene gloves might be one reason they let the cold water in?

Litoralis said...

It's the same thing that causes drysuit seals to corrode. You are the ex-chemist so you could probably tell us all the chemical reaction...but the solution is probably Aquaseal Seal Saver. The problem is that this stuff will make the rubber slippery, so you might need to wear sailing gloves over the latex gloves.

OG said...

Come on Tillerman. What are you doing!!!

Tough it out!!! Wear the standard Ronstan sailing gloves and be done with it. Or better yet, invest in a pair of X-tra Grip Winter Gloves from Sea Equipment Australia (http://www.sailequipment.com.au/category7_1.htm) (scroll down)

Can't wait to read the review!

PNW505 said...

Atlas 451 (300-I) ThermaFit Gloves are the best solution I have found. When it is really cold I put some liners underneath.
My grip is lousy when it's cold and these make it possible to sail year round. Granted it rarely freezes here...but worth a try.
get them at a hardware store. The thin ones are great in the summer but are not good in winter.

http://palmflex.com/atlas.htm

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