Monday, March 21, 2011

Cruising hats

It may seem a little early...  But come on - is it ever really too early to talk about cruising fashion?

Even tho there are lowering, dark clouds outside and it is threatening to rain, we Pacific Northwest cruisers need to think about sun protection.  What does the well-dressed PNW cruiser wear for headgear?

One of the most commonly seen is the ubiquitous baseball cap.  It will cover your head, and the bill shades your eyes from glare (that's why the bill goes in the front, dude).   And for just a touch of pride, you can have your boat's name embroidered on the cap.  We have ours made at KAM Gear, in Ballard.

But the baseball cap does not protect the tops of your ears, or your neck (unless you have it on backward, dude).  For better all-around protection, the standard cruising hat (this example is made by Dorfman and sold by West Marine) is a dramatic improvement.  And it has a string to keep it on your head in a breeze, something sailors are hopefully experiencing.

But variations on the Aussie bush hat have it all over the standard floppy cruising hat.  The advantage of the bush hat is that you can snap up the brim on the side away from the sun, and get an improved breeze on that side of your face and head.  It is also supplied with a string to keep it on your head.  This well-used one is my favorite - it was a gift from my kids.

Here in Seattle, it should not be too surprising to find that the classic Seattle Sombrero and its copycat equivalents are frequently used as cruising hats.  Not only do they block out the sun, but they are waterproof, so the occasional Seattle Sunshine won't dampen your locks.  Unfortunately when the sun does shine, they can be a little steamy because of this.

Beyond these, a wide variety of odd headgear gets pressed into service for cruisers - and sadly, sometimes fashion takes a backseat to function.  Tho clearly not the case here, this beauty had to be retired from cruising service because the brim was too wide to pass between the mizzen shrouds and the bimini.


Finally, it must be observed that any headgear which protects you from the sun will also serve to protect you from the rain.  So maybe it's not too early to talk about this after all.  And you are going to want to break in that shiny new hat.  Nothing says "newbie" like a crease in your hat.


Drew Frye said...

I have EXACTLY the same hat collection, except my sombrero is black/red. My daughter laughs, but she has hair!

Deborah said...

Isn't "cruising fashion" an oxymoron? Don't even get me started on the fugliness of most boat shoes.

bob said...

Drew -

Is that then a "Chesapeake Sombrero"?

Deborah -

"Fugliness" - now *there's* an adjective!


SV Estrellita 5.10b said...

On a burly girly note, I'm a big fan of Wallaroo. Crushable, packable and SPF 50+. They do not have a string to tie them to your shirt (just a tightening cord) so I'm going to add one.

Drew Frye said...

No, it's still Seattle Sombrero, since it's only worn in Seattle weather.

Summer Chesapeake weather is 95F and humid and requires a lighter weight version of the bush hat.

Joel Taylor said...

What about Tilleys! They snap up, Tie on, and float. They also don't mildew and have a lifetime warranty.

Anonymous said...

Nothing says Canadian geek like Tilleys. But if you really want versatile protection and fashion statement, check out the Buff:|13029|buff||S|p|6729694445&cm_mmc=ps_google_OW-_-Category%20-%20Apparel-_-Apparel_Brand_Buff-_-Buff&gclid=CNqqjo307acCFRx3gwod_QWubw

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