What all must be on the trip? And what is superfluous? How much luggage can each crew member carry on board? SeaHelp explains what belongs to the basic equipment for sailors and why voluminous evening dresses and elegant leather loafers better stay at home..
Sailors and marines carry their belongings in a canvas duffel bag aboard the big ships. The sacks have two big advantages: You can quickly stack a lot of things on top of each other and stow them away. And they are reasonably soft. At least soft enough to rest your tired head on.
Today’s sailors usually choose a practical, large bag to carry clothing and personal items. In order to discreetly draw attention to the fact that it’s time to get back on board during the voyage, this is not just any bag, of course. But a spacious travel bag, on which either the logo or the name of one of the international manufacturers of sailing clothing is unmistakably emblazoned or which was made by a regional sailmaker from recycled sailcloth. It is important that the bag is large, can be filled from the top, is made of a lightweight material and is water resistant.
This means that elegant leather suitcases (which, once unpacked, won’t fit under the bunk or in the bottom of the closet when folded up) are just as much out of the question as hard-shell suitcases when it comes to choosing the right piece of luggage. A dock in the marina is not a gate at the airport, the characteristic rrrt, rrrt, rrrt noise of the rolling suitcases rather undesirable. The only exception: large sailing bags with integrated rollers, which relieve you of lugging the heavy bag on arrival.
What must purely in duffel bag, sail bag & Co.?
In addition to personal items such as underwear, stockings and T-shirts, the right oilskin is especially important. It is true on board: who freezes is stupid, lazy or vain. Some also replace the word “vain” with “poor”, the result is the same in both cases: If you are not properly dressed on board, you will not enjoy sailing. If you are going on a cruise for the first time, you don’t have to buy everything new. In addition to professional agencies that lend oilskins in mint condition, you can always find someone who will lend you waterproof pants and a jacket for a few days.
Because waterproof oilskins must always with, depending on the season and sailing area lined or unlined. In addition, a pair of non-slip shoes with which you can weather more than a few drops of splashing water. Usually a pair of sailing shoes or sneakers with light soles is enough, if it gets colder, rubber or even special sea boots help.
Underneath you wear – according to the onion principle – depending on the temperature several layers of fleece or even ski underwear. Cap – or cap – against cold and sun complete the outfit. Not only as a fashion accessory, sunglasses should always be present to protect the eyes from the reflections of the water.
And what else needs to go in the duffel bag?
What keeps you warm and dry at sea is only conditionally dressy on land. Who gets “landfein”, takes off the warm long underpants and put on the sporty clothes, according to their own style, weather and travel area. Since closet space on board is limited and only a few items can be hung on hangers, anything that folds up well is much more practical than elegant business outfits that quickly wrinkle. Trousers, skirts, dresses, T-shirts, sweaters or cardigans, shirts or blouses can all be conveniently folded up in the compartments on board. Add a second pair of shoes, maybe a pair of slippers or flip-flops for the shower, and a light jacket. On most yachts, however, especially when all berths are occupied, there is limited closet space. Better to pack a travel wash or find a laundromat in one of the ports than to move in with an excessive amount of personal wardrobe on board! Bathing suits and trunks are indispensable, however, and belong in the duffel bag just as much as a large towel. If you want to save space here, take a quick-drying microfiber towel that folds up very small.
Evening outfit on board?
The days when many people only felt like real skippers when they strode down the gangway in red Cowes trousers, white shirt, club tie and dark blue blazer are over, at least outside the English sailing mecca of Cowes. Those who leave the ship are allowed to be casually and sportily dressed – and still like to emphasize their connection to sailing by wearing shirts from a popular sailing brand or a regatta. If you know before you set off that you will have to dress really elegantly at least once, choose an outfit that can withstand swells and rocking during the crossing. Men’s suits are quite well protected by hanging in a garment bag in the closet, but elegant dresses, often with voluminous skirts, are more difficult to store. This is partly because space is limited in the few closets on board, and partly because only a few yachts are equipped with floor-to-ceiling closets. To avoid squeezing the gorgeous dress, it is better to take a dress made of a soft, flowing fabric, which is also forgiving of less attentive treatment. Highheels, which are what make such an outfit perfect, are best put on only on the jetty or promenade.
Is this all for the duffel bag?
In addition to clothing for the time at sea and in port or ashore, everyone must bring their own toilet bag on board, plus the medicines they need themselves. Similar to choosing the right bag instead of a bulky suitcase, it is also recommended to do without an XXL hard-shell Beautycase and take a smaller, soft bag. Within the crew, you should determine in advance who will take care of the equipment of the first-aid kit. Very important: a medicine against seasickness. Nice if you do not need it, but good if you have it with you. Sunscreen with a high sun protection factor is also part of a sailor’s basic equipment. Even when it’s cool at sea, the skin needs to be protected. People who wear glasses should remember to bring a spare pair. A waterproof bag for wallet and cell phone is helpful for a trip ashore with the dinghy. A final important item on the packing list is chargers and a power bank in case there are not enough sockets on board for the various mobile devices. Analog instead of digital is the book that completes the personal basic equipment for the trip. From SeaHelp there is a selection of the best maritime classics.