Mailport: July 2014
Sailing gloves are often mesh and/or open on the back of the hand, which is exactly where harmful UV rays hit. I have searched for UV-blocking gloves without much success. Helming gloves need not have abrasion protection once the trim is set and could be from a non-marine supplier. What do burn victim or carcinoma survivors wear?
We’ve not yet tested gloves for sun protection but any fabric covering your hand will create a physical barrier and will offer some protection. Reader Robert Settle recommends fingerless gloves made by Dr. Shade. He said the Lycra-like material is rated UPF 50, and his have stood up to over two years of use. He added that they would not stand up to handling lines though.
We also suggest checking out gloves from companies specializing in sun-blocking apparel, like Coolibar, which sells the fingerless and full-finger aqua gloves. These look pretty heavy-duty and are saltwater-resistant. Coolibar’s regular gloves may be a better option for warm-weather sailing.