IN THE DAYS BEFORE HELLY HANSEN®
you're aboard the boat and it starts to rain. But you still have 25 more
lobster pots to check before you can head for shore. As you slip into your oil
clothes, you probably don't even think about how light they are, or how dry
they keep you. Unless they get tom, they're always there for you, hanging on
the hook where you left them.
There was a
time, not so many years ago, when fishermen didn't have it this easy. Up until
about the 1930's, the only way of keeping dry was to wear heavy, smelly jackets
and pants called oilskins. And they were really just that: raw, heavy cotton
clothes soaked in linseed oil. They did keep the water out, but they had to be
re-oiled often. They froze in very cold weather, and they were very flammable.
Many fires started because oilskins were hung too close to a burning lamp or