Charter March 18, 2018

Packing for charter

Every yachtsman or just a person who loves or wants to try yachting, sooner or later turns to a charter (uses own license to sail a yacht or rent one with the hired skipper). The charter is the best option for those who do not have their own boat.

Usually, a tourist organization gathers groups of people, hires a skipper and arranges cruises in warm, or not that much, corners of the world. If you want to feel the spirit of freedom, romance, and adventure that this kind of rest gives  you, sooner or later, get in such a group.

You buy flight tickets, get visas, do the same things as an ordinary person does when going to take a trip. Everything goes as it is supposed to until you start packing. This is when the question arises: "What to take on a yacht?". The question is quite unexpected and comes up right when you start realizing that a rest on a sailing yacht, like any active type of holiday, is, actually, quite different from an ordinary vacation, which, for the most part, means staying in a hotel, going sightseeing, lying on a beach and beside a swimming pool.

Especially for you, we prepared a short list of what you might need on board. All these things should not be overlooked when planning your trip. This way you won’t be caught unawares by the lack of something needed during the weekend. So, what do you pack?

1. No suitcases

Sounds strange? Okay, let us explain: you come with a large suitcase full of things, unpack it, putting your stuff all around the cabin. If you were on a yacht at least once, you, probably, noticed that it’s not that much room there. Of course, there is enough space for comfortable living, but it is precisely dedicated to certain things, and if a huge object with wheels, handles and code locks appears in the cabin — be ready to sleep next to it.

A yacht has a large mess deck and various lockers, but there is not enough room to put a suitcase, let alone a few of them. The solution was made long ago — a soft travel bag. It doesn’t have rigid sides, however, it usually has several handles and wheels for comfortable transportation. This kind of bag can be easily folded and put in a closet or under the bed mattress.

2. Hygiene and medicine

Don’t even think about taking a detergent. As for bandages, greenery and aspirin (hopefully, you won’t need them), you will always find these things in the medicine cabinet on board. What you should take is a toothbrush, a razor and stuff like this. It is also strongly recommended getting a strong sunburn protection cream, sea sick medicine (you can find it in any drugstore), spray for mosquitoes and drugs which are prescribed to you individually (they may not be on board).

3. T-shirts, socks, etc. (for every day or more)

It’s unlikely that you will get on the yacht with the washing machine installed and, most likely, you will not be able to do some serious laundry on board.

4. Several pairs of shorts, pants, shirts and T-shirts

The kind of clothing depends on the area of navigation and the time of year. Shorts get wet and often there is not enough time for them to dry out; the white clothes get dirty, and the dark ones get salt water spots. T-shirts and shirts should have both short and long sleeves, unless, you are a fan of redskins, of course.

You should be very considerate when choosing the material of the clothes, although the choice is quite individualized. Getting wet, cotton loses its shape and it takes time for it to dry out — quite a few believe that this is not the best choice, however, I, for example, prefer it, because I don’t like synthetic fabrics. To make sure you always look great, we recommend packing quite a wardrobe — a travel bag is very roomy.

5. Outer clothing

No matter what hot country you are going to, the sea has its own weather and there can always be cold. The wind may start to blow any time, it may rain, and the temperature differs significantly from the one we are accustomed to on land. The ideal option would be a special yacht jacket — a windbreaker or a tarpaulin, which are water- and windproof with a hood and face protection (high collar with Velcro turning into a hood).

These jackets are produced by such companies as: Musto, Gill, Helly Hansen, Gaastra, Slam and others. You do not need expensive, heaped models for ocean or northern navigation, the simplest ones will do. At the very least, any good windbreaker will work. Just in case, it’s worth taking a sweater, a warm hoodie or a thermo-jacket.

6. Footwear

Surely you have heard about a million times that you can get on board of a yacht only in shoes with a white sole. Any "expert" would show off with this little detail rolling the eyes when talking about yachts and shoes, especially if this information is new to someone.

This opinion is quite common, but, it is well-known in the narrow circles that the color of the sole does not matter. The material the sole is made from is what actually matters, to be more specific, whether it leaves marks, if it does not, the sole may be even crimson sky color — nobody cares.

Such shoes always say "non-marking" (that is a special technology that does not allow the sole to leave marks on the surface, for example, the deck of a yacht). This technology is used by such manufacturers as: Nike, Crocs, New Balance and others, as well as all companies which produce yachting shoes.

In any case, you should have the closed-toe shoes, otherwise it makes no sense anyway, as it is the rigging and spar which you may get your feet injured with. Just as important is the air flow capacity of your shoes. Ideally, in a good weather, shoes should quickly dry out and breathe or completely and immediately release water, like Crocs do.

7. Sunglasses

Water ripples and glares heavily, hitting the eyes hard. If you care about yours, do not neglect the recommendation.

8. Docking station for charging your favorite devices

In most cases, you will have several 220-volt outlets available, but only 1 or 2 when the boat is sailing. They may not be enough for everybody on board, so it is better to have some power at hand. However, be ready to face many of those who will want to use your power source.

9. Some waterproof items for your favorite devices

10. Sailing gloves

This is the thing that will never be superfluous on a yacht. Active rest is supposed to have fun activities, and you, eventually, will want to take part in sailing the boat. You may need to pull on some rope or help with the mooring ropes. Usually, someone who is on board for the first time, wants to do something and be useful. Of course, there are those who just want to be lying, drinking whiskey and watching the sunset, but there are just a few of them. We hope that we helped you figure out some things about this small, yet very important issue. These tips should make your travel more comfortable and pleasant.

Kirill Soliar
Navigator

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