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 overpack when I first got on a bareboat charter, but I quickly learned my lesson. I will never bring too much stuff again.
So to have a free stress sailing holiday, avoid overpacking and take only necessary belongings. Believe me. You’ll enjoy your trip on the water much more.

How Much Stuff Do You Need?

Many charterers overpack when going sailing for the first time, like me, as mentioned above. Be aware that most of the time, you’ll be swimming and sunbathing, and even if you go ashore, you’ll mainly wear light clothes and flip-flops. That’s all!

What Type of Bags to Bring?

Waterproof Bag

waterproof Duffel bag

Since the storage on a boat is quite restricted, you need a bag that is easy to fold and preferably 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 easily.

Waterproof dry bag

You will also need a waterproof dry bag for a shore excursion to store some stuff like sunscreen, phone, keys, and other small accessories. A dry bag will keep all your content dry and safe throughout the trip.

Travel Documents

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


  • Hairbrush + Hair ties
  • Brush teeth
  • Toothpaste
  • Prell Shampoo for saltwater
  • 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 hats. It’s always good to have some spares in case you lose them due to the wind.
  • Non-marking and non-slip boat shoes are a must on any boat to not slip and leave marks on the deck.
  • Flip flops are great for going onshore. (Nylon dries faster than leather)
  • Sandals for boating or spending time on shore (The same as flip flops, try to take only nylon, as they dry faster)
  • Two swimsuits are more than enough as you’ll be mainly swimming, snorkeling, and soaking up the sun.
  • 4 T-shirts fast drying material with long sleeves to protect your arms and shoulders from the sun.
  • 3 Shorts and light pants. For women, a skirt, a light beach dress, and a pair of beach pants will be great.
  • Underwear.
  • Sarongs have become extremely popular lately. These lovely pieces of textiles are versable, allowing you to use them as a dress, cover-up, and even as a thin towel to rest on. They are unisex, so both women and men can wear them.
  • 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 shorts or light pants with a T-shirt and sandals or flip-flops will be perfect for the evening.
  • Bring several beach towels. Opt for lightweight towels that don’t take up a lot of space.
  • 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 to store laundry, wet stuff, and even documents.
  • Clothespins, you will surely need a few to dry some clothes on the boat.
  • Aloe Vera cream lotion for the sunburns
  • Soft-sided Cooler to keep drinks and foods cold. You can easily bring it with you as it’s light and foldable. It will also come in handy when taking a dinghy to go to the beach or bringing some provisions to your boat.
  • Snorkeling equipment. However, most boat charters provide snorkeling equipment onboard. 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 of losing them)Hair dryer
  • Jewelry or valuable things
  • Hair dryer
  • Hair straightener
  • Makeup only if you can’t without it.
  • High heels, never on a boat.


  • Make sure you label all of your bags with the name and 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 sunrise.
  • Get travel insurance when you book the bareboat charter holiday.
  • Bring Sea bands with you. Sea Sickness is pretty common on boats. So, do not forget them! Or Bring Ginger; it helps reduce sickness!
  • Drink a lot of water to avoid dehydration, particularly at sea.
  • I am getting fade up of playing cards every time I go sailing. Music is much more fun and relaxing. So don’t hesitate to bring a small musical instrument to play on the boat, like a harmonica, flute, mandolin, Ocarina, Kalimba, or a Jew’s Harp.

In Conclusion

So, remember, when you pack for your bareboat charter, keep it light and simple and, most importantly, have a wonderful sailing holiday! Happy boat charter trip!

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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.

8 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:)

  4. What do you think about bringing your own (inflatable) life jacket? I realize they take valuable space, but they are so much more pleasant than the kind charter companies provide? Is it worth it?

    • Hi Valerie,

      Sure it’s worth it if you prefer to wear your own life jacket:)
      Just ensure you choose the right type and that it meets the US Coast Guard requirements.
      You may want to check this list of the best life vests for your upcoming bareboat trip.
      I hope it helped.
      If you have any questions, let me know. I am always happy to assist.
      Thank you for your comment, and I wish you a lovely day.


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