Preparing for a Sailing Trip

woman on a boat

One of the best things about a sailing trip is that you can completely customize it to your needs and preferences. But before you go, there are a few things you should know. We’ve compiled some tips for preparing for your next sailing adventure below.

What to Pack

You should pack the specific items you want to bring on your trip, not what someone else thinks you might need. Think about whether they’re necessities and how valuable they are. Be sure to check for space when packing. There’s little room in a cabin and cockpit, and anything that isn’t needed can be stowed in the bilge to make more room. Always check the weather, too. You might need items that could keep you safe or comfortable if the weather takes a turn for the worst.

The essentials:

  • Sunscreen, sunglasses;
  • Warm clothes;
  • Hat for sun protection;
  • Sunglasses strap;
  • Footwear for walking on the surf, water, or on the beach;
  • Non-slip boat footwear

Things to consider:

Prepare for seasickness by getting plenty of rest before departure, staying hydrated, and packing motion sickness medicine or ginger candy in case symptoms occur. You’ll also want to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and rash guards if you’re going on a more extended cruise during the warmer months.

Make sure to take care of all essential tasks at home while you can still access Internet-based services like bills or banking. Don’t forget that cell phone services might not always be available out at sea.

If you have a pet, make sure they are fitted with the proper gear to travel safely. Include items like leashes, harnesses, bowls, and bedding in your packing list. If you’re bringing your furry friend along for the ride, remember that it’s possible to get seasick just from being around them, so your pet should stay off the boat on days when inclement weather is expected.

If you’re cruising with kids, make sure to bring plenty of snacks and entertainment. Board games, electronics, or cards are all great options, and kids also need sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats. Don’t forget to pack a First Aid kit as well.

For the sake of your friends, family, and boatmates, you should consider bringing along a gift. It could be anything from something special to drink on the trip to tasty baked goods when arriving at your destination. If you know someone new to sailing or is interested in learning more about it, offer to teach them a few things.

Sailing Trip Considerations

a woman on a boat

Preparing for a new boat owner or sailor:

  • Be patient with their lack of experience. They might make mistakes or seem unsure of their next move.
  • Avoid asking them to do anything trivial and avoid micromanaging. Allow them to make mistakes while you’re there to guide or assist if necessary.
  • Let them know what your expectations are for the trip, but remain flexible. The more newbies learn about sailing on a boat, the more capable they’ll be of handling a trip on their own.
  • Make sure the boat is in good condition before sailing. Yacht maintenance is available for any boat owner that needs assistance.

Keep Safe While Enjoying Your Trip

Keep your eyes open while you’re out on the water. You’ll see some fantastic things, and it’s essential to stay safe while doing so. If you see something or someone in distress, know how to properly deal with the situation by attending a safety course or taking an online course to brush up on your skills.

Know the proper way to tie up at your destination and how to properly secure your boat while you’re out on the water. Check out our Guide for Safe Mooring, and make sure to take every precaution necessary when anchoring.

When traveling by boat or sea kayak, always be mindful of any marine life that might be around you. It includes other boats, sea turtles, dolphins, sharks, and jellyfish. Read up on what to do should you come in contact with each.

Know the proper safety equipment to use should an emergency happen at night. Check out our guide for night sailing, and remember to stop, drop and roll. Make sure you have all the required safety equipment on your boat. Check out this list to make sure you’re covered.

While planning the trip, it’s helpful to know what you can expect. Preparing for your boat trip helps ensure that the whole crew has a safe and enjoyable time out on the water.


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