What to Pack for a Charter

Have you ever seen charter newbies showing up at the dock with hard suitcases, only to find out there is nowhere to store them on the boat? Very often, simply because you did not know, or because you are a first timer, you really do not have the right stuff. Here is your guide of what to bring and not to bring on charter.

Stuff You DO NOT Need To Bring:

* Any kind of towels and/or linen

* Cooking and eating implements/utensils – that includes a barbeQ grill

* Full snorkel gear (it’s all on the boat or at the base)

* Foul weather jacket – unless you’re chartering with a minimalist company

* Navigation tools, charts.

* First aid kit; all boats have them on board, but they’re rather basic.

* Ladies: First leave the expensive jewelry at home. Then…make sure to forget this:

– Fake nails (they break immediately)

– Fake eyelashes (they fly immediately)

– A lot of make up

– A hair-dryer

* Work from your office

* Worries

Note:This is to the best of our knowledge with reputable, established Charter Companies. It is always best to inquire with your charter company or charter broker before leaving home.

Stuff You MAY Bring:

* Small flashlights, pocket multi-tools

* Your own binoculars

* Hand held GPS (for bare boats). Boats usually have a fixed GPS/chart plotter. Inquire if you’re not sure

* Family 2-way radios to communicate with your mates

* If your charter boat dos not have an inverter, you maybring a small DC/AC inverter to charge things like cell phone, radios, laptop, etc.

Stuff You MUST Bring:

Remember: Use a soft, collapsible duffel bag. There is rarely any room for a hard suitcase, unless you are on a 45ft.+ boat with only 2 people!


TIP: When you pack at home, put all your stuff on your bed. Then take half the clothes, and put them back in the closet. Trust me, it works.

* Tee shirts / tank tops – lots of ’em (I take 1&1/2 t-sirt per day)

* Shorts

* Long sleeve, cotton cover up for first couple of days if your skin is not sun-friendly

* Several bathing suits…No, 1 is not enough!

* Hat with wide brim AND restraining tie of some kind.

* Sunglasses – polarized sunglasses are great because they let you see the reefs underwater

* Have a tie for your hat and sunglasses- at marine stores, or in the Islands but for much more money!

* Beach and / or walking sandals

* One light windbreaker/ sweater in case you encounter cool nights.

* A tote bag or a back pack for the trips to the beach in the dinghy.

* It happens that bags get lost/delayed, take a small carry-on bag with everything needed for 2 days. Just in case!

Notes about cool and uncool stuff (if you don’t want to look like a geek):

* Cool: Boat shoes (no socks, please!) – Walking barefoot (that is until you get some splinter in your foot) – Tee shirts/caps with the name of a race, sailing team, or boat on them; Caribbean 1500 looks WAY cool!

* NOT cool: Ending your cruise looking sunburn-lobster-red


* Basic toiletries – shampoo, tooth paste, etc. NO SOAP – extensive make-up discouraged đŸ˜‰

* Sun lotions … lots of it. If you are the light-skin type, get SPF 25 or higher.

* A second pair of prescription glasses / contact lenses if you use those.

* Any specific prescription drug you need

* Antihistamine and/or cold medicine

* Aspirin or equivalent

* Antibiotic /cortisone creme

* Sun burn medications (Aloe Vera gel works wonders)

* Insect repellant – look for a brand called “OFF”, which you can also find in the islands.

* Large band aids and elastic wrap

* Tweezers, nail clippers, a needle (for slivers)



* Credit cards and/or travelers’ checks.

* Call your credit cards before leaving and let them know you will be abroad. If not, your card may be blocked after first purchase.

* Books / magazines (good to be left to the crew or with the base staff)

* Your MP3 player. Most boats now have an MP3 port in the sound system.

* Camera. Also, pick up a disposable one before you leave. Neat to take underwater pictures.

* Small, personal flash light (helps you find stuff at night without waking up other guests.)

* Sailing gloves if you’re used to them.

* Quality mask & snorkel

* Soft side cooler. Fill it up with clothes or other items, and use it as a cooler on the boat.

* Cards, board games

* Computer if you must — normally 12V. plug and an inverter are available–but check ahead.

* If you want to get fancy: Handheld GPS and VHF

* Great for kids.

– Star finder–fun at night

– Book or waterproof cards with pictures and names for marine life.

– A treasure hunt on a desert island

– A book to learn how to make knots

When Provisioning, Do Not Forget:

Paper towels. Paper dinnerware if you don’t want to bother with dish washing.

Coffee (very expensive in the islands)

Garbage bags

Candles w/ citronella for the table.


Salt/pepper and condiments.

Otherwise, you can pretty much get anything as in a Super Market at home.

– by


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