The Ultimate Sailing Trip Packing List of 2021

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A sailing trip can be a fun and exciting experience for you and your loved ones. There is nothing quite like embarking on such an expedition, with nothing between you and the horizon but that gorgeous, endless ocean.

However, like any great endeavor, a substantial amount of preparation is required before you can leave the shore. You will not want to be caught without any vital pieces of equipment, especially on a sailing trip, as a great many things can go wrong.

Knowing where to start when it comes to preparing can be difficult. Luckily, you are not alone – many a sailor has braved the ocean waters and has returned with plenty of pointers for future seamen and women. In this article, we are going to highlight the essential items you will need to pack for your next – or first – sailing adventure. Rest assured that all of these suggestions have come from only the saltiest of salty sea-dogs. Read on to get started.

The Bare Necessities

As always, it is best to start with the most crucial equipment before packing some extra items for good measure. You will need all of these things no matter the circumstances surrounding your sailing trip, while everything else adds a few extra cherries on top.

Quick-Dry UV Top

When you are surrounded by that much water, it makes sense to bring along some clothes that will keep you dry. We recommend getting a hold of some quick-drying tops with built-in UV sun protection. That way, you will not only prevent yourself from getting too wet, but you will also be moderately protected from the sun, as well. We all know how much of a pain having sunburn can be. That being said, you should still bring along plenty of sunblock. Make sure you don’t forget sunglasses that are simply must-have for any sailing trip.

Deck Shoes

No one wants to have to constantly swab the poop-deck, and when you wear shoes with non-marking soles, you probably will not have to. Some of the better deck shoes on the market will not only prevent you from leaving a bunch of nasty marks wherever you tread, but they will also keep you from slipping and sliding all over the deck thanks to some excellent grip.

This will come in handy when sailing between different anchorages. However, we would recommend staying away from deep-tread soles, as they tend to pick up stones and sand that can track onto your deck and make a mess.

Wind/Waterproof Jacket

Even in mild sailing conditions, you are probably going to encounter plenty of wind and water (the ocean is funny that way). With that in mind, you will want to have something to protect you against the elements, and that means getting yourself a wind and waterproof jacket.

The best of these have at least two layers of laminated fabric and a durable waterproof finish. You should also try to find one with a high neck and adjustable cuffs that can be adjusted to suit the particular weather conditions you might face.

For Good Measure

Now that you have all of the bare necessities, you can start packing some extra items for good measure. While none of these are essential, per se, they are great to have with you when you embark on a sailing trip.

Duffel Bag

This item might seem a little obvious – after all, you will need something to keep all your stuff in – but it is important that you bring along a soft-sided duffel bag that can fit almost anywhere you put it. Hard-cased bags are considered to be bad luck when on board a ship, and for good reason. They are tricky to store safely in cabin luggage holders. You may also want a duffel bag with added water protection, but it is not necessary.

Transparent Waterproof Phone Case

Not everyone has a GoPro for all of those cool underwater shots, but luckily, not everyone needs one if they can find a good, transparent, waterproof phone case. With one of these snapped onto your phone, you will be able to take photos while underwater.

They are fully submersible and touch-screen friendly, and some even have a Lenzflex back window that can make for some impressively clear shots while beneath the surface of the water. If you are the type who loves photo-documenting your every adventure, this accessory may be a necessity.

Sailing Gloves

Sailing can be tough work, and it is more than likely that you will get your hands dirty at some point while on your sailing trip. To this end, it is a good idea to invest in a fine pair of sailing gloves. These are designed to protect you from rope-burn, cuts, and blisters, which are certainly a pain to deal with.

Sailing gloves are made from ultra-tough materials, and will definitely keep your hands in good shape. Again, this may very well be a necessity for anyone who wants to live that authentic sailor life.

The Cherries on Top

Lastly, it is a good idea to bring along some things that will keep you occupied and in a good mood. While nothing here is essential by any means, any one of the following items has the potential to truly enhance your sailing trip.

A Good Bottle of Rum

Any alcohol will do, really. While you should always drink responsibly, it can be wonderful to enjoy a glass of whiskey or gin while relaxing on the deck.

Portable Speaker

Oddly enough, you will not be coming across many radio signals while out on the waves. We suggest bringing along a portable speaker to keep those sea shanties playing.

A Good Book

This one is great if you are a reader, of course. A couple of good magazines will do, too.

Board Games or Playing Cards

If you are going along with your family, it is a good idea to keep some family-oriented activities in mind, like board games or playing cards.


You can bring along just about anything you want, as long as you have the bare necessities covered. That being said, you probably should not bring anything too valuable with you, in case anything gets lost in the ocean.

We have covered essentially everything you need at this point. The rest is up to you. Happy sailing!

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