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Packing for Your Sailing Holiday? Don’t Go Overboard!

17th July 2019 Print

Your booking has been confirmed and you’re counting off the days until you cast off and set sail on your holiday. However, as a first-time sailor, you might be worried about what you should take with you. Before you start, you should choose the right luggage. 

The problem with taking a suitcase is that it isn’t very practical for a boat – not only because it’s difficult to manoeuvre on and off the vessel but also because storage space on board is very limited. Instead, you should pack your belongings into a soft bag which can be folded easily such as a duffle bag or rucksack. 

Experienced sailing companies like Nautal will be more than happy to answer any queries you might have about your boat hire and what exactly you should bring with you. Think about: 

1. Clothes and Footwear

Sailing holidays tend to be relaxed so the majority of your clothing should be casual lightweight clothes like shorts, t-shirts and swimwear. It can get chilly if there’s a breeze so you should also pack a long-sleeved jacket/shirt and a waterproof anorak. For evenings out, you should bring some dressy outfits. As you will be stopping at different harbours, you could even get away with packing only one formal outfit. 

As far as footwear is concerned, most of your time will be spent wearing flip flops or sandals or going barefoot. Although you don’t need to purchase boating shoes, any enclosed footwear you bring for onshore sightseeing trips should have rubber soles to avoid leaving scuff marks on the deck and/or you slipping. 

2. Toiletries and personal belongings 

You need to bring all your own toiletries such as shampoo and soap. Sun protection is essential for any summer holiday and even more so for sailing holidays. The reflection of the sun off the sea can magnify its effects on your skin while a cooling sea breeze can hide the tell-tale signs of sunburn until it’s too late. A hat and sunglasses also provide necessary protection. 

Although most boats have a small first aid kit, bring a small supply of provisions to prevent or treat the most common ailments such as seasickness, insect bites and headaches. Don’t forget to bring any prescription medication you need to take (along with an explanatory note from your GP). 

3. Entertainment on board 

Depending on how active you wish to be on your sailing holiday, think about some onboard entertainment for the evenings. Packing things like a deck of cards or travel versions of popular board games won’t take up much room in your luggage. Electronic devices which contain a choice of your favourite music or books will also be invaluable but don’t forget to pack the charger and an international adapter.

Although snorkelling equipment can be hired from the charter company, you should bring your own mask and flippers for shallow dives. 

Whatever you do, don’t pack too much. Storage space is limited and you’ll find that the way of life on a boat is much more relaxed so that you won’t need half of your belongings. That is the great attraction of sailing holidays. 

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