What to pack for a sailing holiday

What to pack for a sailing holiday with Classic Sailing

This is a general description of what to pack for a sailing holiday complete with tips and money saving ideas.

Please note all our sailing vessels have a description on each voyage of what to pack on your sailing holiday.

General Packing Check List to Print or Download.


What to pack


Hot climate – sun hat, sun glasses, sun cream

Cold Climate – warm woolly stay on tight beanie – sunglasses and sun cream.


Hot Climate – casual clothing, shower proof top and trousers. Swim wear, beach towel.

Cold Climate, lots of layers – warm waterproof gloves – Ski gloves are quite good. Proper wet weather gear.

(Don’t buy top of the range sailing gear, mid range is good for ocean crossings, coastal for coastal and your existing walking kit is good for your first short trip.) 

First trip

If it’s your first trip don’t buy any wet weather gear but take good walking or hiking gear if you have it. Remember to rinse any salt water off your walking kit after the voyage is over.

Advice for your First Voyage


Taster Voyages are ideal for your first trip.


Foot wear

Hot climate – sandals, but not flip flops as you need sensible protection for your toes. Trainers that will dry quickly if they get wet. Deck shoes if you like but they are definitely not essential. (Our vessels are tough traditional ships, not fancy yacht decks.)

Cold Climate

Trainers for dry areas and below decks.

On deck clean Wellington boots are perfect. Short length yellow wellies are not practical or in keeping.

Hiking ashore

If you are likely to be going ashore take some good hiking boots plus the wellies. The wellies to get you ashore and keep you feet dry when getting out of a dinghy and the hiking boots for the walking.

Long ocean voyages.

You should have the opportunity, by turn, to get your small parts laundry done. #

More Information – What should I wear?

How to pack 

Before you set sail, it’s important to pack wisely and consider the limited space available on board sailing ships. Instead of a bulky suitcase, opt for a foldable bag or rucksack that is easier to store. Pack clothes that are comfortable and practical, but avoid bringing your white clothes as sailing ships have many places in the rigging that will mark you.


Take twice the amount for you need for the time of your voyage. Pack in your hand baggage so if your hold luggage gets lost you have your meds with you. Sea Sickness pills or devices, advice from the UK NHS

Spare – glasses. Batteries for any equipment.

Bed Linen

On some vessels you may be required to bring a sleeping bag, pillow case and towels, see the kit list for the vessel you are sailing on.

Safety Kit

All your safety kit including a suitable sized life jacket will be provided. All lifejackets are approved and part of the ships certified equipment. Even if you brought your own the ship could not approve it for usage.

Odd things

Passport and any required visas. Passports should last 6 months beyond the end date of your voyage.

Travel Insurance is required on all voyages except day sails.

Health Insurance if applicable.

RYA or nautical log book

Tall Ships Guide Book FREE from Classic Sailing

Sketch book

Reading books

Small musical instruments

Camera. binoculars.

Phone and or laptop. Crossing oceans you will be able to receive and send only emergency communications.

Near shore mobile, cell, phones may work in populated coasts.


Charger cables for your electronics. Check the voltage and socket type for the vessel you are sailing on. They may have 240 or 220 volt sockets on board and these could be UK, EU or other types.

Sleep apnea is very difficult on ships. The electronic assistance devices are prone to be very sensitive to the regularity of the electricity supply and ships generators many not be sufficiently modified.


Most vessels can cater for vegetarian and vegan meals but for specific diets check with the ship. 


Let the ship know if you have any and bring epi-pens and spares if required.

Please Note – All Classic Sailing customers are required to complete a health and safety questionnaire to ensure your well being when you are in our care at sea.

More Information that will help you understand what to pack for a sailing holiday.

My First Voyage

Voyage Preparation

Print or Download this Page. PDF


Download or Print Packing List PDF


Packing List

  • Valid travel documents and papers.
  • Insurance card and a copy of your policy.
  • Medical insurance for your home country and travel insurance which covers medical expenses abroad, loss of luggage, and third-party liability.
  • Sleeping bag, sheets, pillowcase and towel.
  • Motion sickness medication is advisable if you are susceptible to getting seasick.
  • Personal medication and its accompanying prescription or doctor’s statement.
  • Warm and waterproof clothing, windproof jacket and/or waterproof trousers,
  • Waterproof shoes or rubber, clean wellington boots, in total a minimum of two pairs of shoes/boots.
  • Trainers or comfy shoes,
  • Sandals but not open toed.
  • Sun hat or warm beany
  • Scarf and gloves for cold climates
  • T- Shirts – shirts
  • Warm fleece
  • Underwear
  • nightwear/pyjamas.
  • Socks
  • toothbrush, toothpaste,
  • Shampoo
  • Camera and equipment, Binoculars
  • Sunscreen
  • Glasses and spare pair or Contact lenses and toiletries
  • Sunglasses
  • Small backpack
  • Reading books or on your Kindle.
  • Addresses for sending postcards to friends and family.
  • Pen and paper for jotting down notes and memories.
  • Wall socket adapter (if from a country with a different voltage system).
  • Foldable bag or rucksack instead of a bulky suitcase.
  • Luggage labels with your name, destination, mobile number on both the outside and inside of your bag.
  • Leave valuable jewellery at home to avoid the risk of losing it while travelling.

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