What's the perfect outfit for a deck hand on the Great Lakes look like?

Just got my MMC today? Curious to the outer wear I should get.

Bring lots of hand and foot warmers for the fall.

I was an engineer there but I really liked my Carhartt synthetic shell jacket with detatchable hood for colder months. Only downside is mine is black so it’s not particularly safety-colored. If your job doesn’t provide them get rain pants also. A lot of deck guys wore the puffy insulated flannel shirts- may not be the best choice but seems to be the standard. Don’t skimp on your jacket and gloves but otherwise you can get away with cheap polyester layers beneath until you start making some money. A wool watch cap always serves you well but true 100% wool caps seem harder to find- hunter orange synthetic is OK if you have to. Long underwear, obviously. 100% cotton long underwear is thin enough that it wicks away moisture, but if you have to do extended watchstanding on deck you may want an intermediate wool “pajama jumpsuit” layer- I wasn’t on deck enough to need one myself. Sweatpants, Crocs, and sweatshirt for walking around in the cabin.

This forum is slipping. I thought for sure there would be a picture of something ridiculous on this thread. Sadly im not smart enough to post pictures


Thank you

Smartwool is good stuff. Good for socks, good for long underwear (long sleeve shirts and pants), and they have neck gaiters that work really well as either a neck gaiter or hat. Warm, but thin enough to go under a hardhat. Carhartt jacket and bib separates are better. More versatile. Grunden rain gear sized so you can wear it over your Carhartt. This is about $400-500 in gear.

GOOD rain gear; Grundens or Helley Hansen (get the commercial green not the multicolored yachty stuff).

Summer: sturdy work pants…hit Salvation Army or Goodwill, tshirts, hoodies, comfortable work boots.

Fall/Winter/Spring: quality long johns, two pair, wool shirr and sweater, pac boots, Carhart or Dickies insulated bibs and parka. Layer as needed.

Watch cap, ball cap, wool socks and liners…you will do laundry every few days; 4-5 pr of u-trou and something to sleep in will fill your duffel

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You will be outside hosing down a lot. Bring sturdy rain suit, rubber boots, and rubber gloves. Some companies provide some rain gear. Don’t count on it though. Your bags will fill up quickly so you can ask the company before you join the ship if they provide rubber boots. 1 Coveralls, 2-3 pair of pants, warm long underwear, helmet liner, 3 pair of work gloves. Some companies require safety-toe boots. Waterproof safety boots would be a good idea anyway. Companies may provide safety glasses and hearing protection (foam ear plugs) but I usually bring my own to be sure.

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Currently sailing as an AB on the lakes. Bring good rain gear and rain boots. Most vessels wash down the entire deck after loads/unloads to clean the ore dust off. Lake Superior still drops down to 35 degrees lowest in July, but can also rise to 80 so expect both temperatures. A few guys on the ship should have boot warmers in case they get wet during rinsing