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Clothing and sailcloth for leisure sailors: looking back 75 years

In this post, Mike Beckett, skipper of the yawl, ‘Bonita’ reflects on how the fabrics for clothing and sails has changed over the years since his father first sailed on ‘Bonita’ in 1937.

Yachting clothing has undergone dramatic changes. The photo shows Dad’s pre-war sailing outfit. By the time the war had finished he had smartened up a bit and was sailing in his demob suit but by 1960, nothing much had changed in terms of clothing. The cine film below was taken on one of our weekend trips down to Holehaven; you can see that my ‘yachting jacket’ consisted of a normal raincoat. As I remember the only wet weather oilskins we had aboard were a very stiff and not very waterproof PVC ensemble complete with sou’wester.

In the film ‘Bonita’ is sailing under her last suit of cotton sails, she got her first  terylene suit in1964. If stowed away wet the cotton sails would go mouldy, a constant concern. As was blowing the sails out; we spent more than one Saturday evening at anchor hand stitching repairs so that we could sail home on Sunday.

From the blog for ‘Bonita’