An Argument Against Gloves and Headset Communicators

Every once in a while, you will see a couple pull into an anchorage wearing gloves and head set walkie talkies. This is our cue to get out the boat hooks and prepare to fend off!

Sailing gloves are marketed towards people who don't sail often and need protection from rope burn. They say that sailing gloves will protect your hands if you don't have the callouses developed from frequent line handling. In the winter, my callouses go away, and once it warms up, they come right back. If you handle the lines properly, you will not have pain on your fresh hands until the callouses return.

You never want to let a line slide through your hand. Callouses will not protect you from the burn that will develop as your skin is chafed away! Instead, let the lines pass through your hands in a controlled manner and no gloves or pain are needed. I hold the line and pay it out using two hands, never letting the line slide.

The second thing that I consider the red flag are the headset walkie talkies. These are wonderful devices that allow you to communicate effectively even if wind and dodgers are in the way! This does not replace going through the plan with each other before the maneuver is executed. Maddie and I always go over the whole plan before coming into an anchorage or jibing to make sure we are both on the same page even though we do this time and time again! 

These people with the headset walkie talkies will pull into an anchorage and talk back and forth while they are in action. Neither of them are on the same page, and the ease of communication simply ensures that they both hear those words that would typically be whispered into thin air. This leads to arguments that everyone can hear in the whole anchorage.

We have found that these people are not willing to accept help and would rather do it themselves. This is why we simply get the boat hooks out to fend off if they come too close. 

Since they don't sail often (hence the gloves) they don't know what parts of their gear are broken, and all these surprises escalate the situations that are clearly discussed between them. 

If you feel the need to wear sailing gloves and walkie talkies when you go out sailing, consider that people have been sailing for thousands of years without them. Instead of more gadgets to fail and need repairs, consider learning how to properly handle lines and to discuss everything before you execute a maneuver. This way simple hand signals will suffice and no one else in the anchorage will be expecting an entertaining show when you arrive.