Packing for a Sailing Trip on Hot and Cold Days

Packing for a Sailing Trip is confusing, yet a time-consuming procedure. But having a checklist can change things for the better, making every step an easy-peasy one. That’s why our list is recommended to the prospective travelers abroad. The following checklist contains everything you need to have a comfortable and relaxing sailing trip…

Packing for a Sailing Trip on Hot and Cold Days

Packing for a Sailing Trip on Hot and Cold Days

It’s not easy to decide what to pack for sailing—not to mention how confusing it may become when you’re a first-timer. But in this post of Sailingyes, we’ll provide you with the packing for a sailing trip checklist to ensure the arranging phase will become all easy-peasy!

The following list contains 6 main categories including several must-have items for sailing on each. By the end of this paper, you’ll know what are the most essential pieces of clothes, safety tools, cooking utensils, food, and so on.

  1. Cloth Classification

The following is a list of fabrics/clothes you must wear when onboard. Keep in mind that some changes may be necessary when facing climate and weather changes. So, do not take the combination as a fixed set. (The list below is the best sailing suit one can wear).


This is the first layer of protective shell you need for sailing. The thickness of your wetsuit can have a huge impact on its performance. So, if you’re going to sail in a warm environment, try to get a 1.5-millimeter suit. However, if it’s going to be cold, a 3-millimeter one would protect you properly.

There are lots of styles available. So, you will have the chance to choose your ideal wetsuit. The top choice for cold weather is a cover-all suit, whereas the two-piece and short-sleeved ones are better for hot conditions.


UV T-shirt:

You must wear this fabric over your wetsuit to duplicate the protection. It can shield your skin against the hazardous UV rays while creating an extra dry layer above it. So, make sure to get one before heading out on the water no matter what the weather conditions are.


Having them is not essential—especially when you’re on a dinghy or small-sized boat. However, they are a must-have when it comes to keel boating. That’s because they have an additional pad on the backside to safeguard your butt while changing positions during jibing and/or tacking.

Polyester thighs:

You can have 3-4 layers of polyester thighs covering all parts of your body. These fabrics are the ultimate solution for preserving body temperature loss while avoiding hypothermia. Wear several layers of them while it’s cold and make an effort to cover as many parts of your body as possible.


This fabric is waterproof and acts as a handy windbreak when it comes to intense weather conditions. Wearing one will guarantee that your torso (i.e. upper body) and legs will remain dry throughout the sailing trip. So, consider buying one when it comes to packing for a sailing trip.

The smock:

It’s a jacket-like piece of cloth that any sailor must pack. It’s wind- and water-resistant while being so light. Better yet, it won’t get hefty when it’s wet. The smock is one of the lightest fabrics you’ll wear abroad. Just make sure to get one that has no hoods. Otherwise, you may find it getting caught on the boom while moving onboard.



Boots are a vital part of your sailing gear. So, opt to choose one that is soft-soled and closed-toed. You want footwear that is slip-resistant while being capable of shielding your toes against possible damages.

However, bear in mind that the inner layer of sailing boots can easily get wet. This is while it takes too long for them to dry up and become ready to use again. Therefore, do your best to keep the internal parts dry all the time.

Wool socks:

Keeping your feet dry is an essential task. You may end up losing your body temperature and face hypothermia just because having wet shoes or socks on. That’s why you’re better off without any sort of socks but the wool-made ones. These pieces of clothes will help your feet to sustain the heat whether or not they’re dry.


Rope burn is a very common incident that almost any sailor may come across several times. It happens when a rope slides between your hands rapidly, causing the skin to burn. But wearing proper sailing gloves would guarantee constant hand protection while keeping your skin soft and smooth. You can either buy a couple of cheap pairs of gloves and change them when worn out. Or, you could get an A-grade pair and utilize them for several years.


  1. Safety Tools

It’s not fair to consider sailing as an all-safe activity. That’s because the statistics show there are so many dangers such as the risk of drowning while overboard that threaten the life of mariners. Safety gears, therefore, must be on top of the sailing necessities.


There are some moments where you have to cut a rope/line or do some minor fastening and loosening tasks abroad. That’s where you must bring a multi-tool or knife into the play. A multi-tool is a device that contains several vital tools like a screwdriver, wrench, and knife altogether. So, it would not occupy much space and you could even carry it in your pocket.



Standing for Personal Flotation Device, a PFD is the most important piece of safety equipment. It saves your life by keeping you on the water when facing a “man overboard” situation.

First aid kit:

Besides knowing how to perform CPR, you should have a first aid kit abroad for an emergency. There are some ready-to-utilize marine first aid kits in the industry that you could buy when packing for a sailing trip. They contain a handful of drugs as well as disposable sterile gloves, and bandages.

Seasickness kit:

One of the most common situations threatening the sailors is seasickness. You may think that the experienced seadogs face no such illnesses while abroad. But that’s not a scientific fact. Even the most skilled old mariners become seasick once a while. So, purchase an appropriate kit just in case you or crew members face such a situation.

Emergency Beacon:

The US Coast Guard (USCG) protects the vessels sailing/cruising on the United States waters. However, there are situations where you’re out of the protected zone and they cannot reach out to you without being informed (e.g. blue water sailing). That’s exactly where the emergency beacons for boats come in handy. These are electronic gadgets containing GPRS and tracking systems that are capable of sending an alert/S.O.S message to the USCG in case of emergency.

Cooking Utensils & Food

  1. Cooking Utensils & Food

Not all the ships/boats have a fully equipped kitchen. Plus, some do not even own a kitchen at all. So, packing the right stuff for cooking along with easy-to-make meals is imperative.

Disposable grill stopper:

Amateur sailors may forget about the cooking necessitates, thinking the chartered vessel will probably include a fully equipped kitchen as well. But that’s just a huge mistake. Most of such boats lack appropriate utensils, leaving the crew with the least possible amenities.

So, bring your stuff—unless you’ve chartered a luxury yacht.

Quick meals:

Right behind the TV and frozen meals, quick meals are the next in popularity. You will have no problem cooking them abroad as they will only need some boiling water and a handful of spices. Thus, have them in your luggage when packing for sailing.


They are not a must-have, but if you care about the taste, bring some!

Sun Protection and Bathing

  1. Sun Protection and Bathing

Ultraviolet rays of the sun can put you at risk of having skin cancer as well as some other major health-threatening situations such as cataracts. Therefore, sun protection should top any sailors’ to-do list.


The traditional way of keeping the UVs away from your face skin and eyes is wearing a hat. However, you can combine it with a neck and forehead buff to duplicate the fortification.

Polarized sunglasses:

You’re better off without the normal sunglasses as they may not save your eyes from UV harms. Nevertheless, a pair of polarized sunglasses is all it takes to immune them against the blazing sunlight.

Mineral sunscreens:

Chemical products are capable of causing irreparable damages to the environment. And since you can transfer them to the water, it’s better to replace them with natural ones. There are a bunch of mineral sunscreen products that are FDA-approved and free of causing any harm to nature.

Saltwater soap:

If your boat lacks a private bathroom, you have all the ocean for yourself. However, it’s wise to purchase saltwater soaps as you wouldn’t want to pollute the water. These products have environment-friendly formulas, allowing you to utilize them right in the middle of the sea/ocean.


  1. Documents

Generally, no matter where and how you’re traveling, having IDs and documents with you is indispensable. Sailing, therefore, is no exception to that and you must consider packing all the necessary certifications/passes as well.


In case you’re not on the US waters, passports are a must-have. Keep them somewhere handy so that you can reach them when asked for. For more info on what to pack for sailing overseas, read our guide on The Ultimate Packing List for a BVI Sailing Trip.


Chartering a boat overseas requires a certificate called ICC (International Certificate of Competence). This pass lets the sailor to prove that they’re a skillful skipper and, therefore, get approved for chartering a vessel. However, since you may not be able to get this license in the US, we recommend replacing it with an ASA IPC which pretty much offers the same options as the ICC.

Gadgets and Devices

  1. Gadgets and Devices

More equipment means more comfort onboard. That’s why we included an additional gadget list as the final chapter of the packing for a sailing trip checklist. Here are the pieces of stuff to make your trip as comfortable as possible.

Waterproof backpack:

Purchasing the right soft-sided and water-resistant backpack is the key to improve your storing wishes. Since a bareboat charter vessel offers not much of free space to the passengers, you’re better off without hard-sided bags. They don’t fit into tight places and require a large space—which is not always available.

So, instead of packing for sailing as if you were going to reside in a 5-star hotel, buy a waterproof backpack and store all your stuff in it, making the most of the tiny spaces in the cabin(s).

Multi-port USB chargers:

Usually, you’ll get to have 3-5 outlets in the cabins. Thus, power will become an issue when there are more than 3-5 people abroad. However, if you utilize a multi-port USB charger, things will change for the better. Each of these chargers contains 4-6 ports, duplicating the capacity of each outlet.

Dry bags:

Packing for a sailing trip is not all about bringing more stuff. Indeed, a smart mariner would think of storing needs as well. For instance, they would bring some dry bags to increase the capacity of depositing the clothes, devices, and/or tools. These bags come in disposable and normal types, allowing you to choose among the various options based on the current needs/desires.


Extra batteries can save your butt on some occasions. In case your electric devices and gadgets utilize batteries to operate, always carry a handful of extras on you.

Underwater camera cover:

This gadget is not essential in packing for sailing. However, it is a very handy piece of equipment,

capable of turning any sort of camera into an underwater one. Just make sure to purchase one that suits the model and size of your camera as they come in various shapes.


Reference (s):

Sailing Fundamentals



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