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What Gear Do You Need for Sailing? A List of Sailing Essentials for Beginners

What Gear Do You Need for Sailing? A List of Sailing Essentials for Beginners

Before casting off and sailing away on your boat, you must remember to pack several essentials in your personal sailing bag.

December 15th, 2020

Before casting off and sailing away on your boat, you must remember to pack several essentials in your personal sailing bag. While each sailor may have different ideas of the ideal gear to take on board, we’ve found some pieces to be more useful than others for everyday sailing scenarios.

Once you learn what these pieces of gear are, you can check out these helpful tips for a safer and more meaningful sailing experience.

What to Remember Before Packing

Before we get to our list, there are a few things to remember before packing for a cruise. These include:

  • The boat’s limited space
  • The boat’s weight capacity

With these two considerations in mind, you can’t just pack whatever you like. You must focus on packing what’s useful for your adventure to make the most of the boat’s limited space and weight.

Ideally, your baggage should be limited to one duffel bag and a backpack or two soft-sided duffel bags.

Sailing Essentials

Whether you are going on a short or long cruise, it is important to have the following things in handy:

1. Hats and Caps

These pieces of headwear allow you to take cover from the elements. Bring at least four caps or hats with you since the winds are bound to blow away at least two during your trip. Even better, fasten hats around your neck using shoelaces or any thin fabric so that they don’t go overboard when they fly off your head.

Also, bring caps and hats suited to the particular conditions you are sailing in. For instance, grab a couple of good brim hats for sailing in tropical seas to get excellent protection from the sun. Then, when sailing at night, you can wear one of those breathable and comfortable watch caps to help your body cool down.

2. Gear for Bad Weather

When it comes to the weather at sea, you don’t want to take any chances. Pack a full set of foul weather gear in case the weather goes haywire. The jacket and pants you bring along should match the particular conditions, too. This means lighter gear for the tropics and heavier gear for rainy passages.

Complete your attire with a pair of high-quality sea boots to ensure that no foul weather ruins your sailing experience.

3. Marlinespike and Sailing Knife

Knives are a must-have for those who are setting sail. Ideally, a marlinespike and sailing knife should be on a sailor’s belt while he or she is at sea.

Yes, you don’t just pack them in your bag; you keep them attached to you at all times. This way, when emergency situations that require cutting or slicing occur during your trip, you will have easy access to your knives.

A knife can be secured to your belt using a lanyard. A lanyard also ensures that even when the knife slips from your grip, it will still be attached to you. This can be crucial if you fall overboard with a rope tied to your leg, which, you’ll be surprised, occurs more often than you think.

4. Undergarments

Your feet can’t be naked inside those sea boots because that is a surefire way to experience the most painful blisters. What you want to do is ward off those blisters by wearing thick, heavy socks.

Obviously, it is not just the feet that should be protected by a layer of undergarments, but the rest of your body, too. Make sure you don a protective under-layer beneath your foul weather gear. They should be made of moisture-wicking materials to keep your skin warm and dry and prevent your body from the cold. Microfiber synthetics are usually the go-to material for these types of garments.

5. Sailing Gloves

The worst thing about handling sailing lines with bare hands is that it can cause rope burns. The line running out fast between your grip and peeling away at your skin can be an excruciating experience. A pair of sailing gloves will keep you from falling into this trap.

When you purchase a pair, make sure to go for a “three-fourths” length that keeps all but the tips of your fingers covered. These provide the best protection for handling halyards, sailing sheets, and boating anchor ropes.

6. Medications

Any offshore trip is bound to bring with it seasickness. As such, you would want to pack some type of medication to prevent such an occurrence. You need to be in top form at sea so that you can assist with sail changes, stand watches, and work with your team to accomplish day-to-day objectives, even when you’re not feeling your best.

Now You’re Ready to Set Sail!

So, there you have it: the five must-bring sailing essentials to make your current and future trips safer and more fulfilling. Being at sea, while freeing and powerful, also leaves you at the mercy of the wind and water. Hence, you must pack offshore gear pieces that address these elements efficiently and effectively. You can also check www.hatrealm.com/ for the different kinds of hats that best fits you.

Laura Bartlett

Laura Bartlett

Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.