What to Pack for a Sailing Holiday on a yacht

If you’ve already booked and are getting ready for your yacht charter, then it’s time to start thinking about what to take with you on the boat.

Fortunately, what you’ll need doesn’t really change wherever you will go for holidays or with what size of yacht or with what type of yacht, a sailing yacht, a motor boat or a catamaran. We are all aware of the basics: floaty dresses, flip flops, light shirts, sun hats and sun cream, but there are a few other things worth knowing about that you should pack.

Below we list just a few extra items to add to your list to ensure that you are ready for your trip of a lifetime. So get ready to board to charter yacht, sailing yacht, motor boat, catamaran or luxury yacht.

Yachting Holiday Essentials

Soft-sided luggage

Avoid hard suitcases, as they can be difficult to pack into your yacht cabin and luggage space. Whatever the yacht type and yacht size, storage space is limited.

Instead, opt for soft-sided luggage (such as a knapsuck) which is easy to fit into smaller spaces of the boat and can be folded up and stored away once you have unpacked.

Hard luggage can also cause damage to decks of the yacht, so bringing a soft form of luggage will help to avoid this.

Soft luggage is easier and lighter to move around until you board your sailing yacht, power boat or catamaran.

Deck shoes

Yacht surfaces can be slippery, especially when wet, so investing in a good pair of deck shoes is a great idea to avoid any slips or trips.

Deck shoes are designed to wear on a boat; they are made from comfortable leather, and have special non-marking soles, as well as extra grip on the bottom, making them suitable to wear on wet decks on all types of yachts and boats.

Deck shoes are highly durable and are perfect for both wearing both on and off the yacht – so get them in your bag!

It’s also worth packing a sturdy pair of shoes to wear ashore if you’re planning on going on any afternoon walks to local sites, or hikes to find the perfect sunset view. Although flip flops are acceptable during your visits ashore the islands as summer holidays are carefree and all about comfort. Especially yachting holidays.

Light waterproof jacket

You may be planning for glorious summer weather (fingers crossed!), but there’s no harm in packing a lightweight waterproof jacket, just in case. If it does happen to rain during your trip, you want to be prepared.

Taking a light jacket won’t take up too much space, and it will also keep you warm on misty or chilly evenings on board the sailing yacht or the motor boat or the catamaran or even the megayacht and luxury yacht. It always pays to be prepared!


Don’t forget to pack your passport and sailing licenses, as well as shampoos, shower gels and toothpaste.

A power bank is a great idea to ensure that your phone is charged at all times. Depending on yacht size and yacht type, you may not have power supply while sailing. Some types of yachts, sailing yachts or power boats or catamarans have generators and can have power supply all the time. Smaller yachts may not have a generator so you better be prepared.

Don’t forget beach towels, dry bags, insect repellent and some evening wear, too.

Sea sickness medication is also handy to have on board, just in case.

Fun items

Now that all the serious stuff is out of the way, you can make some room for the fun items of your yacht charter holidays. Pack a deck of playing cards, a backgammon for some great evening entertainment.

On board some types of yachts, you may find some board games, especially on crewed yacht for charter.

Compile your favourite summer playlist to blast out on a sunny day at sea. A waterproof phone case can be a great idea to protect your phone and help you get the best pictures.

Don’t forget to bring a couple of books, and a travel journal – you’ll want to remember this trip forever, and there’s nothing better than writing at anchor on a glistening sea.

It’s also a good idea to pack a bottle of gin or rum for those relaxing evenings under the stars. You can relax on the flybridge of your yacht or if it is an open type of yacht you can relax on the deck.

What not to pack

You do not need to bring any bedding or cooking utensils, as these will be provided on board the yacht, whatever the yacht size or the yacht type.

First aid kits, nautical charts, speakers and any yacht equipment will also be provided.

What to Pack for a Sailing Holiday

So, here’s a complete checklist of everything you’ll need to make the most out of your next yacht charter. Whatever the type of yacht, it can be a sailing yacht, a catamaran, a luxury boat, a power boat, a motor boat, a yacht with flybridge or an open yacht, or the size of yacht. Whatever the type of yacht charter, whether crewed yacht charter or a bareboat yacht charter and whatever the yachting destination. Summer holidays on board a yacht all require the same things!

  • Soft-sided bags
  • Flip flops
  • Light clothing – floaty dresses, light shirts
  • Swimwear
  • Sun protection – sunglasses, sun hats, high SPF sun cream
  • Deck shoes
  • Sturdy shoes for walking ashore
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Passport
  • Sailing licence 
  • Toiletries – shampoos, shower gels and toothpaste
  • Beach towels
  • Insect repellent
  • Playing cards
  • Power bank
  • Waterproof phone case
  • Books
  • Travel journal

* A sailing licence is only required for bareboat charters.

Source: HELM

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