What to Bring on a Sailing Trip

Are you planning a boat trip? Let's find out what to bring on a sailing trip in this blog post.

Space Mindfulness

You have to keep in mind that the space on the boat is limited. Remember that the more of it you occupy with your luggage, the less is left for things that provide comfort and safety.

Space Mindfullness
Pro tip: If it takes you too long to decide whether to bring a thing with you on the trip or not, then leave it at home.

For a sailing journey, it is better to choose multi-layer apparel, than to bring clothes for all occasions.

All the storage space available onboard consists of either shelves or small lockers. Therefore, the items you take with you should be easily folded and be able to withstand pressure.


Here is a list of the bare necessities you might consider bringing with you.

What To Bring On A Sailing Trip

Documents and money

As for any other trip, take a passport with the necessary visas with you, as well as money. Having both cash and card with you is advised.

Having suitable insurance is an absolute must.

Another useful addition to the set of documents you bring would be a logbook that can be used for various check-ups with the authorities or just for personal records.


For a sailing trip, a soft bag is more suitable. Ideally, your sailing bag can be folded and put into a closet in the cabin. If you take a plastic suitcase, it will occupy precious space onboard, blocking the passageways, access to the shelves, and the cabin exit.


For the trip, you need light shoes or slippers, preferably on a light sole, which will not leave marks on the deck. To go ashore, you can take any other comfortable shoes.


To travel on a sailboat, take comfortable clothes that do not constrain movements.

The set of apparel that has to be taken on the journey highly depends on the weather conditions at a specific time when you choose to go. However, a check-list of pieces that come as useful, regardless of season, looks as follows:

  • Shirt with short and long sleeves
  • Shorts
  • Swimming trunks or swimsuit
  • Light trousers
  • Knitted sweater
  • Thermowear
  • A light shirt with long sleeves
  • Waterproof jacket preferably complete with pant
  • Sailing vest
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Sailing gloves
  • Headwear

It should be noted that the clothes that you will wear during the transitions on the yacht can get wet in saltwater. Therefore, taking spare parts for going ashore is recommended.

You might also want to take into consideration that it is much easier to take off some of the layers of clothing than to go down to the cabin and completely change clothes there. It is essential to have windproof pieces with you. A set of waterproof clothing can come in handy even during the summer, as a sharp drop in temperature during a downpour often feels like an autumn storm.

First aid kit and hygiene products

Be sure to add medicine for motion sickness, plaster for wounds, ointment for burns and sprains.

Hygiene products are best taken in a set of miniature sizes that can conveniently fit into a separate cosmetics bag.

Electronics / Photo / Video

Onboard of most sailboats, there are both ordinary sockets (220 V) and 12 V sockets (similar to a cigarette lighter of a car). It is good to be aware that 220 V sockets most often work only when there is a shore connection. The 12 V ones, on the other hand, function at sea from onboard accumulators, which in turn are charged from the engine.
It is worth remembering that there probably will not be too many outlets (usually 1-2 of them per vessel, less often 4-5).

Therefore, if you do not have an urgent need to work on a trip, then think carefully whether you really need to take a laptop with you.

Low Angle View Of Smiling Man Sitting On Yacht Boom
Low angle view of smiling man sitting on yacht boom
Pro tip: For the sake of saving space, agree with other team members on which power supply cables you take. It will probably be so that you will have to take turns in charging phones and other electronics, so it would be pointless to bring several identical ones.

As for cameras and video equipment, here again, it is worth thinking through the prism of a team mindset. Make sure that your crew space is not overloaded with various devices. More than that, take enough memory cards, so you don’t depend on third-party storage and electricity. Be sure to take a thick compact bag to protect photo and video equipment from the sun, wind, and splashes.

A good idea is to purchase a special waterproof case for your mobile phone so that it succeeds in avoiding possible damage.

Racing Equipment

If we talk about another dimension of sailing, being a racing sport, the requirements for the amount of equipment taken onboard are a lot more strict.

Bon Voyage

Sailors have to work in extremely challenging and ascetic conditions and get by with tightly limited supplies: ​​the race does not allow the luxury of having stops. As in all long offshore races, every kilogram counts. Nothing extra should be taken.

So, how to get ready for a regatta and not forget anything important?

Racing boats are very different from cruise boats in terms of comfort. For the worse. When every extra kilogram can be crucial, there is no longer a place for beds with 20-centimeter mattresses. Therefore, your main friend between the shifts would be a thick and soft sleeping bag.

Things like sunscreen and toothpaste should also be taken care of. However, the organizers of some competitions usually provide those to the participants. If not, then it would be logical to share all the necessary hygiene products between crew members.

An eye mask for sleeping can be very beneficial: this will make it possible to take a nap in your free time on duty, even during the day. But earplugs are best left at home. You should always be able to hear alarms and cries for help if an emergency happens on the boat.

More than that, a digital watch with a backlight is going to be very useful. Make sure it is functional and reliable, especially if living in the coming days will not be divided into day and night, but into three-hour watches.

Other items needed in the regatta are a pair of waterproof shorts and several pairs of thick breathable socks. Most of the time, you will have to sit on a hard surface or stand. Therefore, it will be useful to take care of the protection of the legs.
Forget about flip flops on a racing boat. Walking barefoot on the deck is also a trauma hazard. Therefore, in a sailing bag, there must be a place for classic deck shoes and boots (in case of bad weather).


Know Your Way

Obviously, depending on climatic conditions, equipment requirements vary, and if you are sailing in the North Atlantic, warmer waterproof clothing will be required.

The most important fact to remember is that a successful sailing preparation process is all about balance. Keep in mind all the essentials, double-check them before your trip, and, nevertheless, do not overpack your sailing bag and avoid unnecessary load.

Congratulations! You are now well-prepared for your journey!

Bon Voyage!

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