First-timers usually do not know what to pack for a BVI Sailing Trip. That’s why we created an everything-included list to let you know what clothes, gadgets, foods, and safety kits to pack. Read on and find out what pieces of equipment are a must-have in BVI—plus some expert tips…
Summertime BVI Sailing Trip Necessities
At Sailingyes, we want to make sure every traveler—especially the first-timers—will face no problems visiting BVI. So, our editorial team decided to provide a list, answering what to pack for a BVI sailing trip question.
Being a British overseas territory, the British Virginia Islands is one of the must-see places on the map. Nowadays, however, more tourists are aware of this treasure near the USA and scheduled trips have increased enormously in recent years.
Since summer sailing charters are the most in-demand plans, the following list is designed to help you pack for a BVI sailing travel.
Clothes and Things to Wear
Being exposed to direct sunlight for a couple of minutes is a good idea. But not when it comes to the blazing UVs of the BVI summer sunlight. Doctors, indeed, suggest 20 min. of sunlight exposure per day. But you’ll definitely get much more than that when in Virginia Islands. That’s why a pair of glasses are a must-have.
Your eyes are one of the most fragile organs requiring full-time protection—and you cannot neglect that.
Experts advise having a backup pair of glasses as well. That’s because you may lose one during swimming and/or snorkeling and end up being excessively exposed.
Vessels don’t offer large free spaces to the sailors—unless we are talking about the AZZAM. So, you better have a light backpack to store your stuff in while abroad. Keep in mind that you’d probably never get a private closet or lock in a chartered vessel. So, having your portable safe—a backpack—is vital.
Getting a waterproof pack is the finest move. You could have it on while walking near the shore and/or even swimming, not being worried about any water-related incident.
As mentioned earlier, BVI is a hot place to be. Most of the American tourists find it one of the hottest regions they’ve ever been to. So, if you want to make the most of the 80-degree days, bring a proper swimsuit.
Those barely-there bikinis are among the finest options you have when it comes to packing for a summertime trip to BVI.
However, don’t forget that nights are usually chilly in this land and you better have a backup plan as well. We recommend you to pack one pair of pants and two long-sleeved shirts just in case things went chilly.
You’ll not need shoes on your trip to the Virginia Islands. So, instead of packing your coolest boots, try to buy some comfortable flip flops or sandals. They will leave enough space for the airflow, which is necessary for your feet as the temperature rises.
Inappropriate footwear may cause health issues and stop you from having fun during the trip. Doctors also recommend minding your toes while wearing flip flops as some of them may cause a blister.
Find footwear with soft line straps that are not stiff. Otherwise, your feet’ health may be at risk.
Using a raft is fun for sure, but things are different when it comes to folding it. Many amateur sailors don’t want to struggle with all the hard work required to fold such equipment and that makes them nervous. However, the good news is that you can use a disposable raft, deserting it after you’ve finished off rafting.
These products will dispose of in time, leaving no track behind. So, they won’t harm the environment and/or sea creatures.
These are some waterproof plastic containers that you could use for storing just about anything. They will keep your stuff fully dry and you would have no problem carrying them on or in the water with you. We recommend them to photographers and/or athletes who are planning to spend long hours in the water.
You can put the backup cameras, batteries, snorkeling equipment, and/or your clothes in it to keep them dry—and safe.
Multi-Port USB Charger:
Normal charter boats do not have more than 3-5 outlets. So, charging the electronics will become a major issue while abroad. To deal with such a problem, you better get two or three multi-port USB chargers to double/triple the capacity of each outlet.
You would be able to charge more than 5 different devices using one outlet when such a gadget is connected. This means you’d not need to worry about the charging line or possible quarrels!
Mainly, all chartered vessels come with a default kit for snorkeling. However, you better have your stuff—since you don’t know the backstory of those pieces of equipment. The safest move would be buying proper gears for your sailing trip to BVI, avoiding those you find in the boat/yacht.
Underwater Camera Cover:
This one may not be a crucial gadget for everyone. But assuming that the breathtaking scenery of BVI will force you to take pictures, it’s never a not-a-good-idea to have it. This device would allow you to turn your normal camera into a professional waterproof one.
They are very cheap and you could even make your own cover watching some DIY videos on YouTube. However, bear in mind that they come in various sizes and shapes based on cameras’ models. So, buy one that suits yours.
Your camera, flashlights, VHF radios, and almost all other electronic devices work with batteries, right?. So, it would be smart to have a couple of fully-charged backup batteries on you when away from the boat. This move not only will assure having no power-related problems but would also increase the safety level of your trip.
Food, Money, and Safety Kits
Prepare yourself for some of the hottest days ever. BVI has a very hot climate, making the average annual temperature 75/77 °F. So, not having sunscreens would leave you with traumas of unbearable sunburns.
Previous travelers who have bee to this place during summer recommend you to have at least 1 sunscreen tube per person for each day!
There might be people abroad who have not spent much time abroad. So, the trip to BVI—which is fairly long—can cause seasickness. Therefore, you better prepare a kit containing Prescription Scopolamine skin patches and wristbands.
Ask the sick people to avoid staying in closed areas such as below the ship. And do not allow them to stand on the back or frontend of the vessel—these are the areas with the most motion. Just ask them to keep close to the rails and close their eyes for a couple of minutes. If the situation got out of control, try to seek professional help and go to a hospital.
First Aid Kits:
Can you imagine any discussions about safety without mentioning the importance of First Aid Kits? Uh-uh.
Sailing is a risky activity and danger is always behind the sailor’s back. There are no excuses for not having a First Aid Kit on a boat; so, don’t even try to find one. When onboard, you must be prepared for an emergency all the time.
Food & Beverage:
There are restaurants and supply stores where you can re-provision and fulfill the food- and beverage-related needs. However, there are some downsides to such an idea. First, you can’t find them easily and sometimes an additional driving may be necessary to come across a shop. Second, the prices are somewhat fancy and you may end up crossing the budget line.
So, bring 20-30% more food than you were planning to have abroad. In other words, if you’re trip to BVI is going to last 10 days, bring as much food as you’d need for 12-13 days.
ATMs are not available in most regions of the Islands. So, having cash on you is vital. Otherwise, you must pay extra money to get a cab, withdraw money, pay the cab fee to return, and take care of the bills. This would be the worst idea—especially if you’re on a budget.
You must have at least $500 in cash to cover the minor expenses and get stuff where there’s no ATM or credit card machine.
Note: some tourists and travelers have reported that their card numbers and information got stolen during their trip to BVI. So, having cash is also a security requirement. Do not use your credit cards in unreliable places and small local stores.
Documents You Must Carry
If the bareboat chartering is an option, having a verifiable certification is necessary. You cannot opt to hire a watercraft unless proving you’re able to skip it and/or have hired someone who can.
ICC or International Certificate of Competence is the most-known pass to use overseas. However, you can also opt to get an ASA IPC or NauticEd SLC™ to verify your sailing capabilities.
For more information, here’s a guide on the bareboat chartering outside of the US.
Have your passports with you all the time and keep the boat documentation in a safe place. There might be moments when officials ask for you and your boat IDs. So, be prepared and follow the rules of the BVI.