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Discussion in 'Day Sailers' started by Shorefun, Feb 11, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Shorefun


    Joined Sep 5, 2018
    133 posts, 16 likes
    Hunter 170
    US Northfield, NJ
    What kind of shoes work best for boats like the Hunter 170. I expect to get wet and likely be on the water when the water is chilly. I also expect I might have to get out into some marsh mud if I get stuck. I own a pair of wet suit booty's. I have to get the 8 year old and 14 year old with the right foot stuff.

    I have heard any dark soles sneakers mark up white decks. What if I get invited onto real sailboats?


  2. cb32863


    Joined Jun 29, 2010
    951 posts, 179 likes
    Beneteau First 235
    US Lake Minnetonka, MN
    A decent pair of boots will work. Gill makes a "Cruiser Boot" but, it is solid and does not breathe very well. When things get chill up here I use my Sperry Sea Racer boots. Those start at around $180, sailing boots get spendy fast. You are going to want shoes that do not mark a deck. That's one of the quickest ways to never get invited back. Wondering why you would need to be in marsh mud if you have a sailboat? Also, your boat is a real sailboat, just not as big. Sperry has a great line of shoes, look them up. Peruse the West Marine website and most foulie companies, Gill, HH, etc, make or brand shoes as well.

  3. jmce1587


    Joined Mar 20, 2011
    349 posts, 68 likes
    Hunter 31_83-87
    US Kemah
    +1 on the Gil boots. Have been using the short ones for years back when I sailed Lasers many moons ago. Still use today when the weather is chilly and the ride wet.

  4. Project_Mayhem


    Joined Sep 24, 2018
    231 posts, 50 likes
    O'Day 25
    US Waukegan
    Not all black soles will leave marks but then again there's only one way to find out. I started out last season wearing shoes. I ditched them about a month in and never looked back

  5. shemandr


    Joined Jan 1, 2006
    3,914 posts, 864 likes
    Marblehead Skiff 14'
    US Greenport, NY
    You definitely need shoes if you are going to step into bog. I've lost shoes to the marshes so go easy on the expense. I've been seeing crew show up with basically a sandal with boat shoe like sole. They seem to work well and I'm told they're not a fortune. Cold weather? Cheap rubber boots and good socks.

  6. Shorefun


    Joined Sep 5, 2018
    133 posts, 16 likes
    Hunter 170
    US Northfield, NJ
    So for the marsh muck.

    Two things,

    Where I will be sailing there are shifting low areas I could end up hitting. I can see jumping out to push off of something.

    I have 2 boys and we like to explore so we are likely to pull up places and see what there is, I have been out on the water enough to know it is easy to find marsh muck :)

    I was looking at West Marine and saw all the shoes ($$$ for some of them). I have read enough to know I need something that does not leave marks. I also think I need to worry about handling water as it is safe to assume we will all get our feet wet. I am in NJ so when it warms up in the air the water tends to still run cool. I do not like to go bare foot as I have seen first hand what broken glass does to a foot and we have dark water that is hard to see the bottom.

  7. shemandr


    Joined Jan 1, 2006
    3,914 posts, 864 likes
    Marblehead Skiff 14'
    US Greenport, NY
    I had a 15' centerboard boat so I think I can say with confidence that your feet will get wet if not the rest of you. I would wear a wet suit for early season sailing up until the water is over 60 degrees. I swim in 60 degree water without a wet suit and become accustomed to it to stay in as long as I care to. So you may be a bit uncomfortable being splashed with water that temperature. On a sunny day you'll be fine. No Sun and a breeze and you won't be so happy.

  8. markwbird


    Joined Nov 26, 2012
    977 posts, 227 likes
    Hunter 34
    US Berkeley
    West marine rubber boots. You can get them tall or short. Non marking, grippy on the deck and not expensive.

  9. Rick Webb

    Rick Webb

    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    2,808 posts, 176 likes
    Hunter 23.5
    US Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
    At 8 and 14 they tend to grow out of them quickly. Good news is the younger one may be able to wear the older ones later. There is no sense spending much there will not be a lot of standing on a 170 deck so you are mostly concerned about covering the feet. Any cheap sneaker should work just fine.

    Many of the kids in our sailing program wear "water shoes" that work well to protect the toes and soles of the feet. If your dealing with muck on the bottom I'd be concerned with them getting sucked into the goo and slipping off. I'm thinking a pair of Converse high tops or something similar. With girls of that age it tends to be more an issue of style than anything else anything else. Come to think of it does not change as they get older. A frequent conversation with my wife is how her shoes hurt her feet and comfortable shoes don't match or look like old lady shoes. My arm still hurts from the time a told her "Well, you are now".

    Crazy Dave Condon likes this.
  10. DrJudyB


    Joined Jun 25, 2004
    318 posts, 231 likes
    Corsair F24 Mk1
    003 US San Francisco Bay, CA

  11. Jackdaw


    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    9,933 posts, 2,977 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    If you want to do it right, get them a pair of dinghy boots designed for racing. Gill makes good ones. They are warm, very comfortable and super grippy.

    Only downside with kids, they can never seem to keep them from developing a wicked odor. They usually just throw them wet and sweaty in their sailing bags to fester. The solution is rubbing alcohol. Kills it 100%

    Simon Sexton likes this.
  12. JimInPB


    Joined Aug 22, 2017
    1,399 posts, 409 likes
    Hunter 212 & 170
    us West Palm Beach
    Bimini Bay makes some light weight waterproof boots for about $20 that are not terrible. I pack them in my bag for deliveries up north. Crock makes some higher ones that are black & similar weight, for a bit more. Rugged Shark makes some fishing boots that are pretty darn tough & get a pretty good grip. Be sure to buy them big enough if you get those. They don’t have so much give in them. The Gill boots are more sure footed & more expensive. If you want something really warm, then Dubarry is the way to go, but they are very expensive. I would not want to walk them through mud.

    If you can hack the cold, then a cheap pair of water shoes should be a good choice on the 170. In the southern climates, I like the well ventilated styles, kind of like these - If I was in a cooler place, I might go for the ones that are made out of blown neoprene cloth without the vents, perhaps like these. Some of the hybrids out there these days are truly cheap & might be a good choice for kids that don't tend to take care of things - At less than $5 per pair, they are pretty close to being disposable