What should I wear?

So you have taken the first step and signed up for a sailing trip! However the decisions don’t stop there as your mind wonders towards your adventure and the age old problem of what to pack. Especially if you are new to sailing there is way to much choice.

You can find a suggested kit list on every voyage description and we also send you one on confirmation of your booking. However we want to answer some questions that we always get asked, It might help clear up some things in your mind. 

Are waterproofs supplied?

  • If you have your own waterproofs and have space to take them then we would always recommend it. They are always going to fit you the best.
  • Many of the UK fleet will provide waterproofs; either gortex material or thick fisherman waterproofs. Please check the kit list to make sure.
  • The Dutch boats (Europa, Oosterschelde, Morgenster and Tecla) do not provide waterproofs.
  • If you need to take your own your own, we would suggest that you look at a good outdoor waterproof. Especially if you are just starting off in your sailing career there is no point spending huge amounts on marine waterproofs. If you are using it to walk the dog and its waterproof, then its going to be of use on a boat. 
  • Waterproofs not only keep you dry but will also keep you warm.
What to Pack for a Sailing Holiday


General Packing Check List to Print or Download.


If in doubt take your own waterproofs. However many of the uk boats offer waterproofs
Waterproofs not only keep you dry!

What footwear shall I take?

This is a question that we get asked about a lot. 

  • Whatever boat you are sailing on you want to have shoes with good, solid soles that are not going to slip on wet metal or wood decks. 
  • We would also recommend taking two sets of shoes to allow you to have one for wearing on deck and potentially getting wet and then one for when you are down below or when you go ashore to explore. 
Footwear onboard the boat
A large variety of footwear to wear on deck or below
  • If the boats are sailing well there is a high likelyhood of water coming over the deck. Many of the boats were built that way to allow the decks to be washed as they worked.
  • For the UK and Colder climate sailing- If you own a pair of wellies that are comfortable for long periods and have good grip then take them with you onboard. Alternatively if you have walking boats or a pair of trainers that you aren’t worried about getting wet then they will work as well.  
classic sailing
stay warm and safe
  • Hot weather sailing- In order to protect your feet when climbing the rigging or from the heat of the deck we would recommend closed toe walking sandals. They are quick to dry and have a good sole and can also be worn off the boat when you head off to explore. 
Good sandals ondeck allow you to get involved
Good sandals are a great addition for sailing in hot conditions

What bag shall I take onboard?

Space is always at a premium onboard any of the boat and so always opt for a soft shell duffel bag or rucksacks that won’t take to much space. Wheels are always a good idea if you are having to transit between airport and boat but do not take hard cased bags onboard

So once you have considered the larger more bulkier items that you will need to take on your adventure you then want to think about the rest of your clothing. While we can’t make you a packing list, here are some helpful hints. 

It is all about layers!

For all voyages you need to think about packing thinner layers that can be used in various combinations.

For instances if you are sailing in Scotland, it has been known for you to experience every season in a day. You could start the day in full thermals and end up the day in shorts. However there will be voyages that are consistently hot or cold and then you need to moderate your packing accordingly. 

It is all about the layering
It is all about the layering

How much shall I bring?

Its highly likely that you will always bring to much stuff for your first time on the boat and that through practicing you will perfect the art. 

On longer voyages of over two weeks many of the boats, who have onboard facilities will try and offer the option of clothes washing depending on the sea state. We would always recommend taking some hand washing liquid just in case. But work on taking enough clothes for 10 days if you on a longer voyage over two weeks long.  

Should I pack a hat?

Whether a sun hat or a woolly hat its always worth throwing one into your bag. Its amazing how much heat is lost through your head or similarly how painful a sun burnt head is.

Enter the woolly hat fashion competition and keep warm
Enter the woolly hat fashion competition and keep warm


Nothing worse than a sunburnt head
Nothing worse than a sunburnt head

Should I wear sun cream 

Yes, to protect your face against the elements. Whether its wind or sunburn you are very likely to end up with a rosy face at the end of a day sailing. 

I want to wear gloves to protect my hands!

Getting hands on and involved in pulling ropes will inevitably take its toll on your hands and many people choose to wear gloves to protect their hands. There are good yachting gloves that can be completely fingerless but there are other options that could be equally effective if you are trying sailing for the first time. Gloves used for Rugby and other sports that create another layer of protection. 

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