What to pack for a sailing adventure

What to pack for a Whitsundays sailing adventure

The Whitsundays is THE best place to learn to sail. But if you’ve never set foot on a yacht before, it can be a bit daunting.

Here’s a list of things to consider taking with you on your next Whitsundays sailing trip to the land of white sand, calm turquoise ocean and Heart Reef so you’ll be more prepared than most!

The bag

Soft backpack or waterproof bags are essential for a sailing adventure

First of all, you need a sailing-inspired bag to put everything in. Anything with navy and white stripes will do, but if your luggage is covered in anchors or rope graphics, you will instantly gain respect from your fellow sea dogs.

On a more practical note, it’s better to take a soft duffle bag or backpack that will easily fit in the storage space on board and a waterproof dry bag to store your wet swimwear in, or to keep your gear dry. Nobody likes a saturated suitcase!

The essentials

These items are a bit obvious, but it’s worth ticking them off as you pack so you don’t miss the boat (pun intended):

  • Towels. You’ll need a good beach towel and travel towel to save some space. You can pick up micofibre and light travel towels for around $10.

  • Swimmers, boardies and a rashie (that’s a swimsuit, board shorts and a rash shirt to you non-colloquial folk). You’re likely to get spend a bit of time enjoying the water so bring one or two pairs of bikinis, tankinis, one pieces or DTs (aka Speedos or trunks, depending on how European you are). Whatever rocks your boat.

  • Waterproof sunscreen, hat + sunnies. Pack a cap that is likely to stay on your noggin’ during the sailing action and a big floppy hat for chilling out. Leave your favourite sunglasses at home and take a pair that you don’t mind getting wet. Polarised lenses are best for long days on the water.

  • A couple of non-needy T-shirts (the ones you don’t have to iron). It’s essential to bring a nautical white-and-blue-striped, boat-neck shirt for good measure!

  • Footwear on sailing boats isn’t limited to the boat shoe. If you’re not a pro sailor just yet, take a pair of trusty flip flops and some flat sandals for post-boat activity. Having said all of that, you will spend most of your time on board barefoot.

  • A bright sarong or kaftan will come in handy in between swimming and sailing, too!

  • Anti-sea sickness tablets and ear plugs if you’re a light sleeper.

  • A good book or some trashy magazines to flick through while you’re enjoying a hard-earned drink at the end of the day.

Technical stuff

There’s no point embarking on a sailing adventure without a waterproof camera. Otherwise, how will your friends get jealous and have FOMO?! GoPros are the perfect tool to capture photos, video and timelapses of your first sailing trip. (Here’s some GoPro tips we prepared earlier.) Don’t forget to bring your underwater housing for your camera or even your smart phone.

After a day or so in the Whitsundays you will be an old hand at telling the time by looking at the sun’s position in the big blue sky, but it’s a good idea to bring a waterproof watch.

Pick up a sailing dictionary before you jump on board to brush up on sailing lingo to impress your captain and crew!

Set the sailing mood

Here’s a few classic songs to consider for your sailing playlist.

Why not go one step further and BYO captain hat, parrot or pirate outfit? You’ll have an aaarrrrrrrrrsome time!

Sailing inspired dress-ups are awesome fun for the whole crew

What are your ‘must-have’ items for sailing trips?