Are you sailing for the first time and wondering what to take and what not to take with you on board? Have a look through our hints and tips to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything important. Of course, if you’ve been yachting several times already, you probably have your own list and won't need this one. But still it’s best to make sure that you don't forget anything important this year.
Before setting sail
When taking over the boat take copies of the documents that you sent to the charter company (crewlist, booking confirmation, insurance) and certainly don't forget your valid captain's license and for Croatia also a valid radio operatorlicense.
On the voyage
The cruise itself is, for the most part, a holiday by the sea so you should pack accordingly. Just keep in mind that most of the time will be spent on board and storage space is often limited. In fact, certainly after your first voyage, you’ll discover that half the things you took the first time you didn’t need.
Swimwear is necessary, then summer clothes and don't forget about shoes, because the deck is not always the ideal temperature plus it’s slippery. You must have a light sole so as not to leave marks on the ship’s laminate but they should not slip either. Such shoes are versatile for the summer.
At the same time don’t forget that the weather may not always be sunny and sometimes it can be rainy and windy. Definitely pack a waterproof jacket and a hat. Headgear will also come in handy for sunny weather.
If you get burnt on the first or second day at sea (it happens often), then you will appreciate a long-sleeved shirt which won’t be hot and will protect the sunburnt skin.
What you must not forget are sunglasses. The sun at sea is strong, the water surface reflects its rays and if you don’t protect your eyes, you'll regret it. It’s handy to attach the sunglasses on a cord around your neck so as not to lose them in strong wind or movement on board.
Again, a lot depends on how often you want to moor at marinas and small towns on the coast. In general, however, we recommend meals that can be made quickly and ideally for the entire crew. How about some spaghetti? Don’t presume, however, that it can be cooked in pure salt water. You need to add three parts of non-saline water too. It’s best to prepare for your basic diet before you travel and have some backup option if things don’t work out according to plan, and you have to improvise. Definitely buy water for the voyage in the marina before setting sail. A trolley is available and you can bring the whole cargo to the boat. Count on at least with 1L of water per person per day. For 8 people for a week that works out as 56L of water, i.e. 37 plastic bottles of 1.5L. You’ll definitely not want to get this at a small island shop where you’ll pay at least double.
We definitely recommend taking some money with you, although this depends a lot on how often you plan to stop in populated areas and take advantage of the restaurants on the coast and in small towns. It is also great in the morning to buy some supplies at the market - fresh seafood and local fruits and vegetables are definitely a must. In Croatia you can’t go wrong with euros plus you’ll find an ATM in every marina, where you can take out the local currency. When selecting the local currency from ATMs always choose to be charged in the local currency (no conversion). This will leave you about 10% better off.
On the boat
Ideally you will be enjoying yourself most of the time on board where you won’t need much more than swimsuits and sunglasses. But vary your anchoring time by bringing basic diving equipment - glasses, flippers and a snorkel. You will find that below the surface, it is also very interesting.
Boats often come equipped with binoculars, but they don’t always have the ideal parameters and condition. If you have some of your own, don't forget them - where else to use them than on the boat?
First aid kit
It’s certainly a good idea to bring basic medical equipment with you. You will probably not forget any medications you take regularly or if you suffer from allergies but also bring medicine for basic health problems you may encounter- fever, sunburn, diarrhoea or seasickness. Occasionally you will come across mosquitoes when anchored and many a sailor as a result has been forced to change bays. This is not always the case but repellent will always come in handy. Definitely bring sunscreen with a high protection factor (min. 20) and protective lip salve.
We also have some tips on what may not be absolutely necessary but might simplify your time aboard.
There are 12V sockets on board (same as the cigarette lighter in your car), and so it is advisable to have a converter to 220V, or a USB car charger. However, you should charge primarily when navigating with the motor and in marinas, because you could easily "knock out" the ship flashlight.
Flashlight or headlamp
Again the boat often comes with a flashlight but it isn’t always possible to rely on it, and if there are minor repairs, night sailing or travelling to the mainland and back, a good flashlight comes in handy.
Take the necessary (and old) fingerless cycling gloves - when working the ropes, you’ll be glad!
There is water around the boat and occasionally water on the boat itself. An unsealed window when tilted or a big wave cause mischief and there is nothing easier than adopting the technique of keeping something like a phone in a waterproof case.
Trust us, you will have to dry some laundry or towels on board and you don’t want to lose them.
Do you have a walkie-talkie at home? A boat is well-suited to this. You’ll need it to communicate with each other on car trips, on excursions at stops.
And what else can we recommend? For more enjoyment on the water and underwater, you can borrow an inflatable paddleboard or subwing. You’ll have a lot of fun with them and in Croatia you can bring these water toys directly to the boat in selected marinas (Sukosan, Biograd, Trogir, Kastela).