What to Bring for a Bareboat Charter – Your Checklist Guide!

What to bring for a bareboat charter is a question that often comes up to mind when planning a sailing trip especially if it’s the first time!

I used to pack ten times more stuff than I really needed and after sailing a few times I’ve finally got my lesson well. I wished I would have learned from others’ mistakes; I would have sped up my learning curve:)
So, you would agree with me that to having a free stress sailing holiday, it is a must to take only necessary belongings and, of course, avoid over packing. Read on!



How Much Stuff Do You Need?

Many charterers over pack when going sailing for the first time. Like me, as mentioned above, I made this mistake a few times:) Be aware that most of the time you’ll be swimming and sunbathing, and even if you go ashore, you will certainly wear light clothes with a pair of flip-flop with no makeup on, girls:)



What Type of Bags to Bring?


Waterproof Bag

Since the storage on a boat is restricted, and the deck is quite delicate, it is better to usewaterproof Duffel bag soft bags that are easy to fold and without wheels to avoid scratching the deck. The Duffel bags are the most appropriate as they have all the features required to be stowed away on board efficiently.



Waterproof Backpack

You will also need a waterproof backpack for an excursion on shore with some stuff in it like sunscreen, and small accessories. You will surely need it!



Travel Documents

Passport and visa
Driver license
Bareboat Skipper license
Single-use credit card
Cash for small expenses
Travel Assurance
Medical prescription if needed.




Waterproof Drawstring Mesh Bag to put all your toiletries such as:

  • Hair brush + Hair ties
  • Brush teeth
  • Toothpaste
  • Prell Shampoo for salt water
  • Conditioner
  • Body lotion
  • Deodorant
  • Face cream
  • Waterproof Sunscreen
  • Electric razor for men




  • Polarized sunglasses will protect your eyes from the sun
  • Sailing gloves. Remember? You are the one who navigates the boat.
  • 2 to 3 sailing hats as it is easy to lose them with the wind
  • Non-marking shoes is a must on any boat as they grip well the deck, thus prevent you from slipping and hurt your feet as well.
  • Flip flops to go onshore. (Nylon dry faster than leather)
  • Sandals for boating or spend time on shore (The same as flip flops, try to take only nylon, they dry faster)
  • 2 swimsuits are more than enough as you’ll be mainly swimming, snorkeling and jumping in and out of the boat.
  • 4 T-shirts fast drying which two of them with long sleeves to protect your arms and shoulders from the sun.
  • 3 Shorts and a pant. For women, a skirt, a light beach dress, and a beach pant will be great.
  • 1 underwear per day
  • Sarongs have become extremely popular lately. These lovely piece of textiles are versable, allowing you to use them as a dress, cover up, and even as a thin towel to rest on. These can be for men and women as well. Highly recommended!
  • Dinner outfits: Keep it as casual as possible. For women, a summer dress, airy beach pants matched with a light top, and sandals. As for men, casual short or a light pant with a t-shirt and sandals or flip flops will be perfect for the evening.
  • Bring 2 beach towels only if you think you’ll use them. They take a lot of space. Think about it!
  • A Light Jacket: it gets cooler in the evening.




Waterproof camera to take memorable pictures
Batteries and Recharging
Phone: It is possible to rent a phone or a sim card at the airport. If you want to use a laptop or a cell phone, check the rate for an internet access plan before you start your sailing trip. However, many islands offer Internet connection (WI-FI) if you decide to use your own.



Useful Stuff 

  • Ziploc Bags, there are very helpful to store laundry, wet stuff, and document.
  • Clothespins, you will surely need a few to dry some clothes on the boat.
  • Aloe Vera cream lotion for the sunburns
  • Soft-sided Cooler as it sounds is a bag to keep drinks and foods cold. You can easily bring it with you as it is light and foldable. It is very helpful when taking a dinghy to go to the beach or to bring some provision to your charter or even as an alternative to a refrigerator.
  • Snorkeling equipment. Although most charter companies provide a wide choice of snorkeling equipment and in any sizes but some people are picky and would rather bring their own gear.




Some charter companies will offer you the option to deliver the food to your boat, but this can be more expensive than if you do it yourself.
There is a proverb that says: You are never as well served as when you serve yourself:)


What You’ll Find on The Boat

  • Life jackets
  • Safety equipment
  • Bed linens
  • Dinghy
  • Cooking utensils
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Biodegradable Soap
  • CD player
  • Cruising Guide



What You Should Not Bring

  • Travel check ( You may run the risk to lose them)Hair dryer
  • Jewelry or valuable things
  • Hair dryer
  • Hair straightener
  • Makeup unless it is waterproof
  • High heels




  • Make sure you label all of your bags with the name and the phone number of the charter company you sail through
  • Roll your clothes instead of folding them. You’ll save much more places in your Duffle Bag
  • Bring insect repellent. Mosquitoes love humid conditions, especially early in the morning and at the sunrise!
  • Get a travel insurance when you book the boat charter holiday.
  • Bring Sea bands with you. Sea Sickness is very common on boats. So..do not forget them! Or Bring Ginger, it is very effective!
  • I’ve mentioned it in a few articles, and I will do it again. Drink a lot of water to avoid dehydration, particularly at sea!!
  • I am getting bored of playing cards every time I go sailing:) To me; music is much more fun! It is very relaxing, and it brings people together. So don’t hesitate to bring a small music instrument to play on the boat like a harmonica, flute, mandolin, Ocarina, Kalimba, or a Jew’s Harp.



In Conclusion

So, remember, when you’ll pack for your bareboat charter, keep it light, simple and most importantly, have a wonderful sailing holiday! Still didn’t book your bareboat charter?


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What about you? Do you know what to bring on a bareboat? If so, feel free to share it in the comment below.

6 thoughts on “What to Bring for a Bareboat Charter – Your Checklist Guide!”

  1. Wow, this is really great information to use. I believe I can actually use this for similar trips for my beach excursions. I have printed it out. Inevitably, I forget something important. Then I stress over the fact that I forgot it. And the whole reason for the trip is to relax. Your site is awesome and I have bookmarked it. I would love to go sailing, but I would have to be just a passenger.

    • Hi there,

      Thank you for the kind comment, I really appreciate!

      Yes, most people tend to bring too much on vacation (included me:)

      You can use this list for a beach vacation as well, it is very similar:)


      Thank you very much for having bookmarked my website!

      Wish you a wonderful day!

  2. On my very first cruise, I too overpacked as I had no clue as to what I really needed. When I cruise again, I’ll be a seasoned pro, and board the ship with a grocery bag, like a gentleman that I had the pleasure of laughing with upon boarding the ship.
    With a bareboat charter, I like the list that you provided as a reference on what/what not to bring. How long do bareboat charters typically last? I think that this is something that I would like to try.

    • Hi Christian,

      Well if it’s your boat, apparently you can sail as much as you want but if it’s a bareboat charter, then one week is the minimum, and from there you can extend the trip.

      Yes, this a great idea, should try but for a bareboat charter, you need a skipper license and if you don’t possess one then you can hire a skipper. It is definitely a great option!

      I hope it helped and if you need more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me, I’ll be more than happy to assist!

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a wonderful day!

  3. Thanks for the information about what to bring on a sailing charter! My wife and I have one planned for our anniversary, and we are very excited. Thanks for mentioning to bring a light jacket because it gets cold at night. That isn’t something I would have thought about. We will be sure to pack some warmer outerwear.

    • Hi Burt,

      You are very welcome. It’s my pleasure! I am glad you’ve found this article useful:)
      I wish you a Happy anniversary and a wonderful sailing trip!
      Thank you for the comment:)


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