Sailing Shirts: A Detailed Guide

As a sailing enthusiast, I can’t stress enough the importance of good sailing shirts. What is a sailing shirt, you ask? Well, it’s a shirt specifically designed for sailing activities. It’s not just about looking stylish on the deck, but it’s more about protection and comfort while you engage in your favorite water sport.

Types of Sailing Shirts

There are several types of sailing shirts that you can choose from, each with its unique features and benefits. Let’s explore them one by one.

Short-Sleeve Shirts

These shirts are ideal for warm and sunny weather. They are lightweight and provide ample ventilation, making them perfect for a hot day on the water.

Long-Sleeve Shirts

For colder climates or longer sailing sessions, long-sleeve shirts are a good choice. They offer full coverage and are often made with thermal materials to keep you warm.

Rash Guards

Rash guards are excellent for protection against harmful sun rays and water irritations. They are typically used by surfers but have found their way into the sailing world.

Polo Shirts

For a more formal look, polo shirts are a great option. They are usually made with moisture-wicking fabric to keep you dry and comfortable.

Materials Used

The material of the shirt is crucial in determining its functionality. Let’s dive into the common materials used in sailing shirts.


Polyester is a common material for sailing shirts due to its quick-drying properties and durability. It’s also lightweight and resistant to wrinkles, making it a favorite among sailors.


Cotton is soft, breathable, and comfortable. However, it may not be the best choice for wet environments as it absorbs moisture and takes longer to dry.


Some shirts are made with a blend of materials to combine the benefits of both. A common blend is polyester and cotton, which offers the comfort of cotton and the durability of polyester.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Sailing Shirt

Choosing a sailing shirt is not as simple as picking the first one you see. There are a few factors to consider to ensure you get the most out of your purchase.


First and foremost, the shirt should be comfortable. You’ll be wearing it for extended periods, so it’s important that it doesn’t cause any discomfort or irritation.


The fit of the shirt is also important. It should be neither too tight nor too loose. A proper fit allows for unrestricted movement, which is crucial when sailing.

UV Protection

Since you’ll be exposed to the sun for long periods, choose a shirt with UV protection. It will shield your skin from harmful UV rays, preventing sunburns and other skin damage.


A moisture-wicking shirt draws sweat away from your body, keeping you dry and comfortable throughout your sailing adventure.


A breathable shirt allows air to circulate, preventing you from overheating. This is especially important in hot weather.

Top Sailing Shirts in the Market

To help you start your search, I’ve rounded up some of the top sailing shirts in the market.

Columbia Men’s PFG Tamiami II Long Sleeve Shirt

This shirt is made of 100% polyester and offers UPF 40 sun protection. It’s lightweight, breathable, and comes with a rod holder, making it ideal for fishing enthusiasts.

Helly Hansen Men’s Crew Polo Shirt

Made of cotton and polyester blend, this polo shirt is soft, comfortable, and quick-drying. It also features a stylish design that makes it suitable for casual occasions.

Gill Men’s UV Tec Long Sleeve Zip Top

This rash guard provides UPV 50+ protection and is quick-drying. It’s made of stretch fabric for a comfortable fit and allows for unrestricted movement.

Musto Men’s Evolution Performance Long Sleeve Shirt

Made of fast-drying polyester, this shirt offers UV protection and is durable enough to withstand harsh sailing conditions.

Proper Care and Maintenance of Sailing Shirts

To ensure your sailing shirt lasts long, proper care and maintenance are necessary. Always follow the washing instructions on the label and avoid using harsh detergents.


A good sailing shirt is an essential part of your sailing gear. It provides protection, comfort, and functionality, making your sailing experience more enjoyable. So, next time you plan a sailing trip, don’t forget to pack a well-fitted, comfortable, and protective sailing shirt.


Can I use regular shirts for sailing?

While you can, it’s recommended to use a specialized sailing shirt for better protection and comfort.

How often should I replace my sailing shirt?

This depends on the frequency of use and care. With proper maintenance, a sailing shirt can last several years.

Are sailing shirts waterproof?

Most sailing shirts are water-resistant rather than waterproof. They are designed to dry quickly when wet.

Do all sailing shirts provide UV protection?

Not all, but many sailing shirts are designed with UV protection to shield your skin from harmful sun rays.

What size sailing shirt should I get?

Go for a size that allows for comfortable and unrestricted movement. It should not be too tight or too loose.

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Michael Thompson

Embarking on a lifelong love affair with the sea, I found solace and exhilaration in the art of sailing. From navigating treacherous waters to harnessing the wind's untamed power, my passion has evolved into a mission to inspire others. Join me on a voyage of discovery as we explore the vast horizons of sailing's timeless allure.

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