If I have only one piece of advice to offer you it is wear GORE-TEX®.
Unless you are an habitual dinghy sailor, doomed for eternity to squeeze yourself into a wetsuit, you must have had to put on a set of oilskins. (This is what we call wet weather gear where I come from in England).
If you are old enough, you would have to remember the appalling range of wet weather gear available pre-GORE-TEX®. Who can forget slipping into a sodden mass of wet nylon and bits of mesh, masquerading as a "waterproof", a contravention of the Trades Description Act if I ever met one. Ill fitting and with the absorbent properties of a bath full of sponges, these garments served only to hasten the onset of pneumonia if worn for any length of time and would increase the weight of the wearer to life threatening proportions.
But then there was progress....I remember being overjoyed when my parents stumped up for a set of French Equinox oilies. These were basically just extra thick PVC in shocking yellow, yet the knowledge that when sent to the foredeck, you would return wet only half way up your arms and halfway down your chest made the experience almost tolerable. But sit for a while and OH the sweat! This led to a constant robing/disrobing process, which would often make the entire crew look like it had fleas. But then, after decades of misery, miracle upon miracle, there came GORE-TEX®.
GORE-TEX® has made wet weather sailing pleasurable. GORE-TEX® means coming ashore free of a full body case of nappy rash. GORE-TEX® means you won't smell like the lost property bin of the local gym. GORE-TEX® is Great. GORE-TEX® has to have improved the life of more sailing folk than any other invention since salted beef
So where is the flood of ideas I expected on Best Sailing Invention Ever? What are you waiting for? Do I need to offer prizes? First prize, a mooseburger dinner date with Sarah Palin perhaps? Full details on how to participate at Best Sailing Invention Ever.