What else to take sailing: tried and tested pieces of kit from experienced sailors

What else to take sailing: tried and tested pieces of kit from experienced sailors

We’ve put together a few tricks of the trade that are a must for experienced sailors. These items aren’t usually found on basic lists of essentials, but they can make your voyage easier and may even get you out of a tight spot.

What are the things that experienced sailors never set sail without and why? We've put together a sailor's kit — tried and tested essentials you should always pack. Not only will they make your sailing holiday more comfortable, but safer too. So, what are they?

Sailing gloves (cycling gloves will do)

Even the most seasoned mariner occasionally has a problem grabbing hold of a mooring rope with their bare hands in a dirty harbour. No matter what the conditions, handling ropes and lines daily takes its toll on unprotected palms.

YACHTING.COM TIP: Want to buy clothes for sailing but not sure what to get? Try our guide to choosing yachting apparel. And, for advice on a truly essential piece of kit, check out our article Life jacket: Do you need your own?.

gloves for a boatGloves will protect you and also make you look professional ;)

Boating apps

Download a smartphone app for forecasting weather and wind conditions. Apps showing the location of marinas and anchorages, as well as important contacts, will also come in handy.

Duct tape

Known by travellers throughout the world. Things sometimes fall apart, unravel, need a temporary fix, to be held in place, joined together or wrapped. On board a boat this is taken to a new level.

Protective eyewear

Sailing is beautiful even when the weather is terrible! To keep the rain out of sight, get at least one pair of protective glasses for the helmsman. You can get them cheaply at almost every craft store.

Sunglasses on the boatWear sunglasses on a cord around your neck

Snorkelling kit (mask, snorkel, fins)

Not only will this gear come in handy if your swimwear or sunglasses fall into the sea, but also if you need to inspect the hull or untangle a line. Not to mention observing the wonders of marine life. If you like to snorkel when on your sailing adventures, check out our article on the 7 most beautiful snorkelling spots in Croatia.

Clothes pegs

These things get lost easily or just vanish, yet you’ll need them more and more often the longer you're on board. If you’re not the careful type when removing clothes pegs, bring your whole supply from home. The others will love you for it!

220 V adapter

Even though there is always a 12 V socket on a boat, we recommend taking an adapter that converts 12 V to 220 V and which provides a standard socket. That way you won’t have to bring multiple USB cables to plug into the cigarette lighter.

Waterproof case

Water and moisture are everywhere on board a boat. Plus, a case or bag will also come in handy when travelling in a dinghy — it's also not much fun finding yourself in a marina shower with a towel caked in salt.

Equipment boatBinoculars are a must-have

More yachting tips:

Microfibre towel

It is small, easy to store and dries fast. And it's always useful to have a separate towel for the sea and shower.

Disposable wet wipes

A really convenient item for sailors to have around. Water is in short supply on a boat and wet wipes are great in an emergency. But be careful to dispose of them properly, they certainly don’t belong down the toilet.

YACHTING.COM TIP: Are you a novice sailor or going on a boating holiday for the very first time? Take a look at our step-by-step guide to renting your first boat. Or, for a complete guide on how to prepare, what to expect and how not to act like a "rookie" check out: First time on a sailboat: 10 things you need to know before you depart.

Various tools and utensils (not just for the kitchen)

Sharp knife, tweezers, toothpick, bottle opener, corkscrew (or 1 high-quality multi-tool), matches, sewing kit, pencil and paper.

Sunglasses cord/strap

The sun reflects brightly at sea so it's best to prevent them from flying off in strong winds.


The harbour may look deserted during the day, but late at night you may suddenly be joined by a yacht packed with a rowdy crew in the party mood or an underground nightclub might open just off the pier. Or simply, you may just be stuck with a snoring cabinmate.



Measures current, voltage and resistance — for anyone who has experienced dead batteries or malfunctioning electrics on a yacht.

Equipment boatBoat equipment

Repellent, sunscreen and lip balm

There's no hiding from mosquitos and they really start coming out at dusk, so take a repellent. Because it's so easy to get sunburned at sea, you'll need sunscreen to protect your skin. And don't forget lip balm to soothe irritation by the salt and wind.


On board and ashore, it lights the way whilst freeing up your hands. You'll appreciate a high-quality light you can rely on if the boat breaks down or you are sailing at night.

First aid kit

There is always one for emergencies on board a sailboat, but take along your own that includes medications for stomach, fever and allergies. Something for seasickness is handy too — try candied ginger or ginger tea in addition to traditional remedies.

YACHTING.COM TIP: How to deal with illnesses when at sea? Which illnesses are the most dangerous when sailing and what are the specifics of first aid on a boat? Find the answers in our article on how to deal with illness while sailing and administer first aid .

Water and more water (perhaps the occasional beer)

Drinking enough liquid is essential so stock up. An intense sun, the wind and salt all dehydrate you and can quickly lead to heatstroke or sunstroke.


YACHTING.COM TIP: If you want to be truly relaxed, bring a spare of everything easily lost at sea (sunglasses, scarves, caps, etc.). If you're a first-time sailors and want a more detailed list, check out our article on sailing essentials.

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