Moth sailor out sailing

Top Sailors Kitbag Essentials for the 2021 Moth Nationals

As you pack your sailing bag for your next dinghy sailing event, have you ever wondered what the pros are packing in theirs? We’ve had the chance to speak to 5 top moth sailors as they pack for their next sailing event: The Wetsuit Outlet 2021 UK Moth Nationals.

What kit bags do they use?

So first of all, you’re deciding which kitbag to use. This question had a very varied response from each sailor. Both Dan Ward, and Alex Adams use a Gill sailing bag with Dan’s reason being that his 60L Gill bag is a good size for his kit, can be folded up to reduce the size if needed and is watertight so doesn’t leak when he stores his wet kit in it. Whereas Kyle Stoneham, has taken a completely different approach and says he uses a large builder mixing tub, which fits perfectly in his trailer and is easy to clean out.

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What’s their favourite item of kit?

We wondered if this would be something new and exciting they have just bought because they love the new features or an old but trusty piece of kit that they have relied on season after season. Kyle Stoneham swears by his changing robe which is a hooded towel to help you change in and out of your wet kit with decency. On the other hand, David Hivey believes safety is most important as he says ‘it has to be the buoyancy aids for me, I have a small, thin one for the summer to maximise manoeuvrability and when it is colder, I have an impact vest that is great for keeping warm as it is tight’.

Alex Adams says ‘I got a Musto Foiling ThermoHOT Impact Steamer this winter. It's been a few years since I last replaced my winter wetsuit and I was worried the Musto steamer wouldn't be warm enough as it is a bit thinner. However, it’s just as warm but much easier to move around the boat which is essential for foiling tacks’. Dan Ward reveals his favourite piece of kit is his ‘Gill championship long finger sailing gloves as they feel light on the hands with good grip and have lasted me multiple seasons’.

What is their kit bag must-haves?

Now, we know this is a hard question because surely all your kit is essential? But we wanted to see what the sailor’s thought the most important item in their kitbag was that they couldn’t sail without. David Kenefick is prepared for when the sunny weather comes and believes sun cream is a must-have.

Both Kyle and Alex said their sailing gloves are a must-have as the moth boats have thin lines with high loads so hand preservation is key. Dan ward says ‘My Zhik hiking power pads. From sailing lasers years ago I’ve always used hiking pads and I struggle to sail and hike out properly without them now’. If you’ve ever sailed a boat without hikers you’ll know the pain that Dan is talking about.

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What is their favourite sailing brand?

The clear favourite answer to this question is Zhik. The sailors' reasons being that ‘their kit is highly durable so it seems new even though it’s a few years old’, and ‘the microfleece skiff suits are brilliant, super warm, super thin and really well-fitting’.

On the other hand, Dan Ward says ‘mainly Gill as I was lucky enough to be sponsored by them a few years ago. Saying that all my kit I use is currently on its third season and still in good shape. I’ve used my Gill Long John wetsuit racing in Perth, Australia as well as in the UK summer’.

Kyle Stoneham swears by Gul for well-fitting sailing kit and says ‘there was a time when no other brand would properly fit but now I’m more of a regular body shape, they do’.

However, Alex isn’t loyal to one brand and says he picks every piece of kit in his kitbag on its own merits, that way he can have the best of everything.

What is something they’ve forgotten to pack before? (And would advise you not to do the same)

If you’ve ever gotten all the way to a sailing event after weeks of preparation and months of training only to realise you’ve forgotten a piece of kit, then you’ll know how annoying it is. We recommend using this dinghy sailing clothing guide as a checklist so you know you’ve got everything you need. We asked the sailors what was the worst thing that they forgot when packing for a sailing event, and we got some pretty funny answers.

Dan Ward said he forgot his Zhik Power Pads which as we know, was his favourite piece of kit. He said his ‘soft legs didn’t appreciate it’. Kyle said he finds it very annoying racing without a watch. With a bright watch like the Optimum Time big yellow watch, it would be hard to leave behind.

David Kenefick stated, ‘the worst is when you forget one boot’. Likewise, David Hivey, who has the worst story out of them all, said ‘In 1995 I went all the way to the Optimist World Championships in Sweden and forgot my sailing boots. Had to sail in my Dad's deck shoes!’


We want to find out what your kit bag essentials are! Reach out on social media to tell us your must-haves, favourite brands and something you can’t sail without @wetsuitoutlet


Written by Lucy Harris

Updated on 12th August 2021

Originally published on 11th August 2021 in Sailing

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