Here’s some great advice from The Moorings, the worldwide charter powerhouse, about what to take on your next charter vacation. If you’ve never gone on a charter before, read this and take heed; if you’re a veteran of many charters before (lucky you) then this could serve as an easy reminder of what to take (or leave home) next time.
The basic rule of thumb for a successful charter is that less is more. You really don’t need to take a lot of stuff. After all, charter boats are pretty much their own self-contained universe. But you’ll still need some essentials.
Before you go, sit down with your fellow charterers and make a meal list. The Moorings, and most other large charter operations, will be happy to provision the boat for you, so all you have to do is walk down to the dock and start your vacation right away. On the other hand, you may want to do your own shopping. But first you’ll need to figure out how many times you’ll want to eat out, and how many dinners you’ll need to prepare on board. Or maybe everybody just wants to have sandwiches (and a few glasses of wine or rum punch). But figure this all out before you go; you don’t want to have to use up valuable cruising time once you’re underway trying to find the nearest grocery store – which probably isn’t very nearby after all.
Once on board, make sure to secure gear. All your gear. Close any hatches in your cabin; you don’t want to find out when you turn in that your bed has been soaked by salt water. And remember to put away anything loose in the head, too; if you leave your electric toothbrush sitting on the counter, it probably will end up in pieces on the sole after the first mile or so.
And pack like a pro. Take soft-sided luggage or a duffle; hard-top suitcases are not appropriate for boats. And don’t overpack. A bathing suit, some shorts, T-shirts, lightweight, long-sleeves shirts for evening warmth and sun protection and perhaps a lightweight sweater is about all you’ll need. Don’t forget a hat and your shades.
Probably most important of all: Take lots of sunblock, more than you think you’ll need. The UV rays in the Caribbean or the Bahamas are more powerful than they are back home. Apply often and apply liberally. A bad sunburn isn’t any fun – or good for your long-term health. Read more: