Check List for First Time Sailors

You've finally organized the boat holiday you've been dreaming of for years. Your route is set, your crew is ready, everyone is very excited… Since you will be on the boat for the first time, and, you have great expectations.

Check List for First Time Sailors

Do not be intimidated by this “necessity” because when you set sail after a good preparation, everything will fall into place in an instant. You will have a wonderful boat holiday away from all daily worries.

During the planning phase, the priority is in determining your route. Because your route can also give you clues about what to take with you on board. For example, if you have a route to visit the ruins while visiting the bay, it means you will also do trekking; In this case, you should take socks and sports shoes with you. For sailing on a diving route, your diving equipment (snorkel, goggles at least) must be complete. Of course, as we will repeat in the rest of the article, you should have few and essential things with you, but if you are going to drop by marinas and towns and go to nightlife, it is okay to tuck a stylish dress and stilettos to one side of the suitcase (provided that you take them off before you step on the boat)…

Some things deserve a "must have" list, regardless of route. Snorkel and goggles for example! Because you will definitely go to the most beautiful bays on your route. When you dock at those glassy coves, we're sure you'll enjoy exploring underwater rather than lamenting "Oh, why didn't I get my snorkels and goggles".

Write on paper! Do not just keep in your mind…

The secret is to make a written list before packing the suitcases. A complete but light suitcase will also make your enjoyment complete. However, packing for a boat vacation is a little different than packing for other trips. The things you will need on a boat vacation should mostly be for comfort. Because comfortable clothes will allow you to enjoy the sea life more. Casual wear is the only trend that never goes out of style for a sailing holiday! Of course, things that will make your travel easier, electronics and your health related needs are just as important.

For a more enjoyable sailing holiday, we highly recommend doing some itinerary research and meal planning in addition to the list. You can collect good restaurants, bars and must-see places on your route in a document and print it out. You should plan how many evenings you will eat out, how many evenings you will eat on the boat, your breakfast, snacks and drinks. You should also plan which provisions you will take with you and which ones you will buy from the local markets. We leave the subject of food shopping in another article and share with you the general principles of suitcase preparation and our sample checklist.

General Principles

Few essential items

Be sure, even if there is a lot of space on the boat and you take all your clothes, you will prefer to wear whatever you are comfortable with. So choose clothing items that are comfortable but you love. Even if you have planned your vacation for hot summer days, you may prefer to lie on the deck at three o'clock at night, so having a sweatshirt with you is important.

Travel packs are easier to tuck away

If you transfer your necessities such as shampoo, conditioner, body cream to these small bottles, you will be very comfortable on the boat.

Health related items are crucial

Boats usually have an emergency kit, but it would be wise to take the medicines you are accustomed to using for minor injuries, insect bites, burns, and pain; especially if you have children. More importantly, you should never forget your prescription medications. In addition to these, if you are going out to sea for the first time, it would be good to have seasickness tape and ginger with you. We strongly recommend you to read our blog post, where we explain how to combat seasickness, especially before your first sea holiday. (In the blue place, let's put the link.)

In the meantime, you may also consider taking a mosquito repellent with you. You never know!

The sun is no joke

If you don't have SPF 30-50 sunscreen on board, you're in danger. In addition to the direct effect of the sun, the reflections from the sea can burn you bad. Moreover, without feeling anything with that sweet breeze of the sea... Of course, a hat and sunglasses that fit well on your head and will not fly away in the first wind are among the essentials. If you have burn-prone skin, you should also consider adding a long-sleeved white blouse or t-shirt to your list or a thin shawl to cover your neck. You can also add a spectacle string to your list to avoid dropping your precious sunglasses in the hectic boat life. Speaking of the harmful effects of the sun, let's add the following; you will need to drink more water than your daily usual on your yacht holiday. You may want to pack a reusable water bottle for everyone.

Choosing the right suitcase

We mentioned that there is limited space on the boat. Nobody likes to have suitcases occupying space in the middle of the cabin or boat. For this reason, it is very important to use a foldable, soft suitcase. In addition, a wheeled suitcase can damage the wooden floors of the boat, and you may encounter a lot of difficulty while dragging a hard suitcase into your cabin. It would be best to take a soft suitcase and put the contents in your cabin closet or on your shelf, then fold your suitcase and put it away.

Some items are private, some are shared

You can consider dividing necessities among crew members. One crew member can bring toothpaste, another one shampoo etc.

We believe the list below will help you. However, everyone's holiday understanding and needs are unique; so you can make your own additions or deletions while reviewing this list…

Boat Holiday Checklist/Weekly


  • Boat shoes: A non-slip, white bottom, non-scratching, closed-toe shoes for comfortable walking on the boat.
  • Sneakers: A good pair sneakers that won't let you down when you go ashore to explore towns, national parks and natural beauties.
  • Sandals or flip-flops
  • Hat
  • Sweatshirt
  • An evening outfit: We anticipate that you will stop by the seaside towns once or a few times during your sailing journey. You may want to change your sailor image around here, and consider taking a nice dress or shorts-shirt with you.
  • Bathing suits
  • Four pieces: dress and shorts/skirt and t-shirt for women, shorts-t-shirt for men.
  • A soft pair of trousers: It can get chilly in the evenings.
  • Bedwear: Whatever you like to sleep with…
  • Underwear and socks
  • Pareo or shawl: You can wear it over a swimsuit during the day and wrap it around your shoulders at night.

Everyday-personal needs

  • Towels: One for the beach and one for the showers (if not provided by your operator).
  • Toilet paper
  • Shampoo, conditioner and other essential care products in your daily routine. (Not all at once though!)
  • 30-50 SPF sunscreen
  • Lip balm: Its presence does not take up space, its absence can ruin your lips and even your holiday.
  • Moisturizer: When the sea and the sun come together, it turns into a brutal skin dryer. It is highly likely that your entire body, as well as your lips, will need moisturizer.
  • Toothpaste, toothbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Comb
  • Sunglasses
  • Notebook-pen if you like books and writing/note taking
  • Guidebooks or printouts of your research on the route
  • Swiss army knife
  • Everyday bag: A small collapsible bag to use when going ashore.


  • Salt water can reach any part of the boat. That's why you can take a good carry-on bag or even an underwater bag with you for your electronics
  • Chargers and adapters
  • A small flashlight: at night when all lights go out, so you can go to the bathroom or the deck without waking up anyone...
  • Speaker: To transfer your mobile phone to a portable speaker, to play your “playlist” that you have prepared especially for your boat holiday.


  • Your prescription drugs. We recommend that you take a few days of backup with you in case anything goes wrong during your vacation.
  • Painkiller
  • Burn cream
  • Plaster
  • Topical iodine
  • Antibacterial cream
  • Mosquito repellent spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Seasickness band
  • Ginger: in case of seasickness


  • ID/passport
  • Visa (if required)
  • Health insurance
  • Some cash in the currency of your destination

Share your story!

If you have any story, insights, advice, tips or experience to share with your fellow sailors, please send it to [email protected]. We will publish it on our website with your name!