What To Wear On A Boat Ride – Set Sail In Style!

If you’re planning a trip on the water, consider your outfit carefully if you want to have a good time onboard with your friends. Yes, clothes can affect your comfort, safety, and enjoyment. So you better know what to wear on a boat ride. But no worries, here is an ultimate guide to help you make the right choice and ensure you’re ready for an unforgettable and safe boat trip.

Post updated: 06.04.2023

What To Wear On A Boat Ride


A hat made of polyester material can be your best bet for boating. This fabric does an excellent job at repelling moisture and, therefore, will keep you well protected from the water and sun. The winds at sea are stronger, and the sun is intense, so it’s important that the hat has a string to make sure it doesn’t blow off of your head and that the brim is wide enough to protect your head, neck, and ears from UV rays. You may want to take a look at this article about the top-rated hats for sun protection to help you make the best choice for your needs.

Sun Protection

As I mentioned above, the sun is powerful in the summer, but at sea, you don’t feel the heat as much as you do on land due to the winds and water splashing, which creates a pleasant airflow sensation. Yes, it’s refreshing, but it can be very dangerous. Also, the water reflects on the water, making the sun’s rays even stronger on your skin. In short, you should never go boating or swimming without applying sunscreen cream. Something worth mentioning is that sunscreens tend to leave oily stains on boat seats and also cause damage to the ocean. So it would be best to choose a sunscreen with a high level of sun protection (30, 50, or 100) that is free of oxybenzone.


Footwear choice is extremely important when it comes to boats. Opt for water shoes, boating sandals, or boat shoes. They need to be comfortable, breathable, and constructed with fabric that dries fast. However, no matter the type of footwear you choose, make sure they have a non-marking and anti-slip sole to not mark the deck or, worse, fall over.

Best boat shoes for men


Shorts are fantastic to wear on boat rides, especially in the summer. They keep you aerated and comfortable throughout the trip. You can even swim in your shorts, and no one will be aware of it. Plus, they dry relatively fast, which allows you to go hiking or stroll around towns after the trip. Polyester with SPF 50 is the best material for boat shorts as it dries quickly, provides a high level of sun protection, and repels water.

Long Sleeve T-Shirts

Opt for long sleeve T-shirts to protect your body and arms from the sun. Yes, sunscreen provides good protection against UV rays, but it’s not enough because the sun is much stronger than you may think. So another layer of protection will keep your skin free of burns and safe. Plus, mornings and evenings are pretty cool at sea.

Light Jacket

A light jacket is always good to have to keep you warm on a windy and cool evening. Remember, winds are stronger at sea, and in the evening, they are even stronger. Try to opt for a waterproof and windproof jacket to protect you from the winds and water.


Swimwear on a boat is a must. Period! Unless it doesn’t bother you to go swimming in your underwear or with your clothes on. For the most part, on a boat, you suck up the sun, jump in the water, and explore the underwater world with a snorkel mask on. So bring it with you, and I would even suggest getting another swimwear spare in case you want to change. Oh, and don’t forget your swimsuit cover-up, either. It can help you stay nice and cool under the intense sun.

What To Wear On A Boat Ride In Fall

Get your hands on a rain jacket that protects you from both wind and water and offers high levels of breathability as well. These types of rain jackets can be ideal for autumn boating ease and relaxation.

Rain suits can provide you with top-notch protection from aggressive fall elements. Look for a waterproof suit that’s made out of hard-wearing material such as PVC.

Bibs, sometimes called salopettes or sailing bibs, are pants that come with shoulder straps, and since they are water-resistant, they offer excellent protection against water and winds. It’s one of the best choices for people who go boating in the fall.

A hat made of synthetic material can be your best bet for the fall season. Because synthetic sailing hats are waterproof and repel water exceptionally well instead of socking it, they’ll do a great job at keeping your ears and head warm during your fall boating trips.

Slip-resistant neoprene deck shoes or water shoes can come in handy for autumn boating requirements. Neoprene is a great material for insulation. It can help people keep their toes and feet nice and dry as well. If you want to invest in footwear that’s not slick, you should explore neoprene options that are on hand to you.

What If You Go On A Boat Ride In Cold Weather?

Waterproof and windproof jackets can keep you warm during boat rides. They can fight snow, rain, and mist. Look for jackets with adjustable cuffs that can seal in warmth.

Fishing bibs offer comfort and can safeguard winter boaters from wind, rain, and dampness overall. They offer insulation, too.

Concentrate on polyester, nylon, or polypropylene base layers for thermal wear. These layers wick away moisture and keep the body warm. Merino wool also makes an excellent base layer material. It regulates the temperature of the body and protects it from overheating while keeping it dry.

Wear a windproof thermal face mask cover. It can keep your full face and head warm. Although it can promote warmth, it still offers breathability.

Wear thermal underwear. Thermal wear, in general, can be beneficial for outdoor activities. If you want to trap body heat, thermal underwear can help you.

Wool socks can often offer temperature regulation that’s natural. Since they’re thick, they can help you maintain warm feet and toes for a while. They offer warmth and wick away sweat. They insulate well, too.

Invest in deck boots with non-slip and non-marking soles. Non-slip boots can protect you from deck falls and injuries. Since they have rubber outsoles, they offer excellent grips that can protect you any time you walk on slick surfaces.

Non-marking boots are flat and devoid of cleats. They typically have rubber soles that, unlike leather ones, won’t create deck marks.

Pick deck boots that are water-repellent. They can help you maintain warm, dry feet for hours. Also, go for deck boots that have breathable linings that promote breathability and ample warmth.

Gloves that grip well and that are made out of thermal materials such as neoprene are essential, too. Neoprene gloves consist of breathable materials that dry quickly. They offer strong insulation and can safeguard warmth in times of dampness.

Foul weather gear that promotes dryness, in general, is vital. Look for sailing boots and gloves that are labeled as being ideal for foul weather use.

Foul weather gear to wear on a boat ride

Accessories You Need On A Boat Ride

Polarized Sunglasses

Wearing Polarized sunglasses is extremely important on a boat ride because the UV rays reflect off the surface of the water and can damage your precious eyes if you don’t wear any. Polarized sunglasses block the glare, helping you to see better and reduce eye strain, not to mention they give you a nice look! So my advice is to never get on board without your sunglasses. 

Polarized sunglasses for boating

Waterproof Dry Bags

One of the most important accessories when boating is a waterproof dry bag. A dry bag will protect all your belongings from the water and keep all your content safe and dry.
Those bags are lightweight by nature, and they come in different sizes to suit your needs. They are easy to use; you just fill out your bag, roll it down, secure it, and you can be sure that not even a drop of water will get inside when you are out on the water.

Yes, you can count on it to make your boat ride hassle-free and enjoyable, as you don’t have to worry about your stuff getting wet.

Waterproof Dry bagpack

Life Jacket

A life jacket is a must on a boat; it’s required by the law. If you are underway, you should wear a life vest and preferably one that is comfortable, and that works properly. So never forget your life jacket, as it can save your life!

Life jacket


Before you go on a boat ride, there are certain things you should know. Here are some excellent tips for you to have the best experience on your boat ride.

Bring only what you need. On a boat ride, you don’t want to be cluttered with too many things. Keep it simple, wear simple clothes. Believe it. You’ll have a far more enjoyable boating experience.

Mosquito Repellent: Usually, mosquitos are more active in the early morning or late evening. Hence carrying a small tube is recommended.

Seasickness: The movement of the boat can cause stress on your balance system, which can make you sick. In case you are a first-time traveler, carry these pills or wristbands as a precautionary measure.

Stay hydrated: Drink lots of water, and if you don’t like water, drink something else, apart, of course, from coffee and alcohol, as it dehydrates the body.

Sunscreen: I can not stress enough that you make sure you don’t forget your sunscreen; it will protect your skin while you enjoy your boat trip. There are great products on the market, so make your choice and pack it in your bag.

Final Words!

When boating, consider the weather, the activities you’ll be doing, and the type of boat you’ll be on when selecting your outfit. Opt for comfortable, practical, and weather-appropriate clothing, and don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen, sunglasses, and long-sleeve t-shirts. Happy boat ride!

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20 thoughts on “What To Wear On A Boat Ride – Set Sail In Style!”

  1. Thanks a lot for such an amazing review about what to wear on a boat ride and explanation are given.

    I wanted to go on a boat trip for a long time, but we don’t know what clothes to wear. After reading this article I found out all I need

    Thanks again for this post. If you don’t mind, I will share this article on my social media account. Good luck!

    • Hi there

      You are welcome! I am glad you found the article useful and I hope it will serve you on your next boat trip.

      Let me know if you need more info. I’ll be more than happy to assist. Thank you for comment and I wish you a lovely day!

  2. Daniella, thanks for a list of what to take on a boat ride. I figured the swimsuit and cover up, but I can see where a jacket and the right shoes would be necessary. I have been invited to a trip to Lime Cay in the Caribbean waters in April this year. Although it is not a long ride, I now have a list provided by an expert and I am ready to go. Thank you !

    • Hi JJ,

      Great, I am glad you like it! The Caribbean is beautiful, I am sure you’ll have the best time ever there!

      Let me know if you have a question, I’ll be more than happy to help!

      Thank you for the comment and I wish you all the best!

  3. This is a really great list of supplies! I have only taken a few boat rides, but let me tell you, I could have used a gander at these supplies beforehand. Things like sunglasses and swimsuit, I had taken care of. However, I was missing the waterproof bag, which would have been really helpful. It’s definitely something I need to look into for next time! Great job and great post!

    • Hi Steve,

      Yes, a dry bag is one of the most essential gears because it keeps every safe and dry, which is extremely important when out on the water.

      Thank you for the comment and I wish you a great day!

  4. I love that you talked about what you need to take for a boat ride. My wife and I want to get away from the city. We thought about going on a cruise or a boat ride. We both love the sea, and we’ve never been on one before, so we were looking for tips about what we’ll need to take. We appreciate your tips about taking extra water with you and sunscreen.

    • Hi Eli,
      I am glad you found the article interesting.
      If you need help with anything, let me know, I’ll be more than happy to assist!
      Thank you for the comment, and I wish you a lovely day!

  5. Thanks for very informative post! Now that I have a better idea of what to look for when choosing outfits for a boat ride, I can plan for the fun I’ll be in for on my boating day.

    • Hi Robert,
      You are very welcome. I am glad you found the article helpful.
      Having the proper outfit will give you peace of mind, and you’ll be able to enjoy your day trip on the water thoroughly.
      If you have any questions, please let me know. I am always happy to assist.
      Thank you for the comment, and I wish you a fantastic and safe sailing trip.

  6. It’s advisable to wear closed-toe shoes with good traction to prevent slipping on the boat’s deck. Boat shoes or non-slip sneakers are ideal


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