The trip is probably coming soon, if the question “What should I bring on board?” has crossed your mind. Honestly I was quite concerned with this matter in my first trip. What’s the first and foremost thing I’ll need? Do I have to buy special clothing and equipment? What’s not necessary but may come in handy for comfort and special atmosphere? I’ll try to clear the situation and control every detail so that we got it all covered, both literally and figuratively.
My common suggestion to you – don’t bring many things! Just believe me that most of things you want to take with you will be pointless and absolutely of no use. For example, a hairdryer or an iron that there’s no socket to switch them on, evening dresses, heels or tableware. For such a trip you will need only really necessary and practical things.
Before you start to prepare, take into account that you shouldn’t pack your things into a hard suitcase. On a yacht everything is very functional, every detail and every room has its purpose. There’s no special space for suitcases though. You should take a bag or a backpack so that you don’t stumble over it all the time. All the things are put on shelves before the departure and a backpack is taken away under a berth or ceilings.
Let’s start with shoes
If you have ever been on a yacht, then you know that wearing outdoor shoes on board is considered to be bad judgment. Comfortable footwear is the pledge of your comfort and safety during the trip! It must comply with a number of requirements and it mustn’t mess up the deck in the first place. The sole must be white or dark but with the sign Non-marking on it.
Choosing right shoes pay attention to the fact that it mustn’t scratch the surface, otherwise the whole crew is going to enjoy the view of your uncontrollable elegant splits!
Closed footwear may serve you as a good obscenity prevention: if you’ve ever hit your toe with a table leg, then you know you’ll probably do the same with a huge number of elements of equipment on board.
The optimal option is topsiders. It’s special topside footwear that you can find easily on the Internet. However, if you are not ready for shopping yet, choose a pair of sneakers or slip-ons among your shoes that complies with yacht requirements as much as possible.
Wearing socks on a yacht is not your best choice because they absorb moisture, steam out and don’t let footwear dry. Topsiders are designed for wearing on bare feet.
In addition to yacht footwear it wouldn’t hurt you to have rubber flip-flops for taking a shower in marines and slippers for walking along the ocean floor. There are many sea-urchins in the Mediterranean Sea after stepping on which you will likely need not yacht shoes but health insurance and hospitalisation.
Let’s move on to clothing
Who better than yachtsmen to know that there’s no such thing as bad weather. If you analyse the situation and manage to choose the clothing properly, you’ll be able to adjust to any variation of weather conditions swiftly. Let’s consider several cases:
- The sun. Remember that you’re going to stay in the open air almost all the time, so if you don’t want to get a sunburn, you should cover your arms, legs and neck maximally or stock up on sunscreen with the utmost level of protection (spf 50). In water sport outlets you can buy special lycra long sleeved sweaters which besides dry out fast. Women often put on leggings from the same material as well, they are compact and don’t steam out. Men prefer shorts, but it’s desirable them to reach below the knee so that you don’t get a sunburn on the front part of your thighs.
- Wind. Even if it’s warm outside, a cool wind may cause some discomfort easily, especially if the sun hides behind clouds. So we recommend you to bring a windproof set: a sweatshirt + pants. Such outfits are often used for jogging and it’s not a problem to find them at the store.
- Rain. Preparing for your first trip, you don’t have to run to the nearest shop for a yacht raincoat. You can take your trench coat if you have one or you can lend an oilskin coat from your acquaintances. You definitely should do it, because these things will ease your life a lot in rainy weather.
In summary, a neoprene sweatshirt + shorts or leggings, windbreaker + windproof pants, a raincoat or a an oilskin coat – it’s a complete universal set that doesn’t take much space. You will feel comfortable with it in all weather conditions.
For strolls about a city you can take your usual clothes, but don’t overdo it! Remember that walking to the town alternates with wild anchorages during which you’re not going to change your clothes often. 1-2 pairs of shorts, jeans for chilly weather and a couple of T-shirts – you don’t need more.
And don’t forget your swimming trunks and costumes! It’s better to bring several ones to change than to walk in wet clothes.
Headwear is needed for sun protection in the first place. A cap shading the face or a hat with wide brims will suit perfectly for this aim. But it must be fixed and remain on your head despite the wind, so that it doesn’t become expendable. We usually put some special clasp-pins on the cap and sew a scrunchie to the hat.A collar or a bouff will protect your neck.
To complete your head protection to the fullest, don’t forget about sunglasses, ideally, anti-glare ones. Reflecting the water sunlight causes a strong pressure on eyes and otherwise you have to look against the sunlight in case you’re required to watch the sail. It’s better to buy a scrunchie or a lace for the glasses, because they’re usually expensive and it may be a pity to lose them at the first maneuver.
There’s no necessity to bring a lot of medicines ‘just in case’. The tourist agents will take care of a standard medication set: a yacht first-aid kit contains antiseptics, dressing materials, painkillers and antipyretics, headache pills, travel pills, ointments for bruises etc. Before every trip the list is checked for the presence of all the medicaments and their expiration dates attentively. You can also request a detailed list of all medicine titles on mail. If you have your own “favorite” medicine and special necessary medicaments, bring them with you of course.
On a yacht there’s constant power supply 12B. Smartphones can be charged only with a car battery, it’d be a good thing to buy one. At the marina a yacht connects to land-based supply lines and there’s an ability to use usual plug sockets 220B for charging a laptop or an accumulator for your camera. For the autonomy you can bring a Power Bank with you.
Try not to miss your precious electronics overboard, so that you still have something to charge when the time will come. Remember that your phone can drop out of pockets in shorts easily. It would be better to pack the phone in a waterproof case with a lanyard around the neck and use it as usual: such cases don’t affect touch-sensitive feature of the screen. A camera should be put around the neck as well and a laptop must be used only in a cabin.
Not necessary, but might come in handy
Towels are given along with bed-clothes on a yacht. However, it makes sense to bring your own one with you so that you don’t confuse it with identical towels of other yacht inhabitants. You can buy it in a local store at the marina so that you don’t have to take it from home – it may be a souvenir at the same time.
If your goal of the trip is training or you just want to help the skipper with yacht control, we recommend you to purchase yacht gloves. Leather patches on palms will prevent hand injuries from sheets and uncovered thumb and forefinger let tie knots more nimbly.
I’m going to finish with not practical but so useful things for the creation of a special mood. Everybody has little joys that provide the willing comfort, don’t you? For example, your favorite bar of chocolate with coffee or tea, a stuffed toy or a book. Or, let’s say, it may be a sleeping bag in which you can spend the night under the stars on the deck during a wild anchorage.Or maybe you’re going to take a surprise gift for your loved one who is coming with you.
Hopefully I answered all your questions and now you’re provided with essential information! Pack everything in a veery compact way and welcome on board!
by Olesya Chayun