What should I pack for a bareboat charter?

When thinking about what you pack for a bareboat charter consider it a hotel room suite with kitchen facilities and you will get the idea. If you wouldn’t find it in the hotel room your not going to find it onboard.
When bareboating, you need to provide everything you are going to consume. Many items we take for granted in our daily life or would expect to be on a crewed boat do not seem important until we don’t have them. If you are going to the Virgin Islands, everything can be bought locally, albeit at a steep price. For many things, it just does not make sense to purchase. What about your favorite brand of coffee? Take, for example, that favorite dish that you intend to make that requires four different spices. Do you want to go out and buy them? Perhaps bring a small amount of each in a small ziplock. We have provisioners and online ordering locations that can make it very easy for you. We can help you with answers on how expensive the food is in the area.

Provisioning Bareboat Charter
Provisioning Bareboat Charter. The joys of doing it yourself!
Things like there will be a flashlight on the boat, but more then one is helpful. Perhaps playing cards or a board game. If you have a cruising guide of the area, then take it along, fishing gear, maybe?  Talk to us about the area you are chartering in
It takes a little planning, the time to find out that you forgot to get bug spray is not when you’re on the beach with the bugs having you as a snack.

Packing List for Bareboat Charters

Here is a list you can consider if you are heading for a bareboat charter in the Caribbean. It would apply to the South Pacific, as well.
  • Two swimsuits, 6 t-shirts, and underwear. If you are female, you probably want a sundress or two that can double for going out for dinner. Males may wish to have a short-sleeved nice shirt again for going out to fancier places for dinner.
  • Two pair of shorts plus the ones you are wearing when you get to the islands 🙂
  • One pair of clean gloves (if you are on a bareboat participating in the sailing)
  • One pair of sandals or flip-flops, perhaps only the ones you wear on the plane. Need to be able to get wet. You will mostly be barefoot on the boat. Make sure your footgear won’t leave black sole marks on a ship. If you have shoes that are not good for getting wet, then bring a pair of water shoes as well. It will come in handy, getting to beaches.
  • Sun Gear which consists of 2 pair of sunglasses. (1 spare) Must be polarized. Have a lanyard with them, so they don’t disappear even better!
  • A light rain jacket. If we get in some squalls, you can cool off quickly if you get wet + wind. Your rain jacket also doubles as a light coat if you get chilly in the evenings.
  • Beach/Sailing Music (my phone) + a UBS cable
  • Flashlight
  • Reading material (Kindles, books)
  • Mask & Snorkel (If you wear prescription lenses or have your own comfortable, well-fitting mask and snorkel, bring it. Although most of the bareboat companies will put on snorkel gear for you or tell you were to rent it, I don’t find them the “best quality.”
  • Towel – Bring one of those “light skinny towels” Even though your yacht will have towels, they don’t dry as quickly.
  • Earplugs. If you have problems sleeping, a disposable pair of these for boat noises may come in handy.
  • Refillable water bottle. Insulated preferred!
  • Hat – to keep the sun off your head all the time.
  • Chargers/batteries for electronics
  • Non-Deet bug spray (DEET stains the fabrics and cushions on the boat. Many people like skin so soft too)
  • Cel Phone/ International Roaming Package/ Local SIM card as you prefer. Quite a few of the restaurants and beach bars will have complimentary WIFI, and many of the bareboat companies now have modems you can rent for the week. Not cheap, I have found them fairly fast in the last couple of years.
  • Motion sickness? Get a prescription for Transderm Scop or bring Bovine, ginger, or the wrist bands. Generally, this settles down if you are prone after the first 24 hours.
  • Money and credit card: All but the tiny beach bars take credit cards. Not much American Express, though. Although there are  ATMs on significant islands, there is not a lot, so they are often out of cash on a Sunday. You will need some money for gratuities for people.
  • Passport. Even if you are American going to the US Virgin Islands, you will require one to go into the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean.
  • The cockpit will have a good shade cover. But everywhere else you’re getting direct sun plus the reflection. It’s like being in a sun broiler.
  • -Non-spray on sunscreen. Spray-on sunscreen on the boat makes it slippery for everyone as most ends up in the air or on the decks. Look for a sunscreen that will not harm the reefs.

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