Packing for a trip to the Caribbean can be an uphill task particularly if you have never been to the region and don’t have a clue of what to expect. In a bid to ensure you are well-prepared, here are a few pointers on the essential items to carry with you:

1) What clothes to pack

For bareboat sailing in the Caribbean, pack a set of T-shirts and casual shorts as you’ll spend most of your time in these. You could also carry two or three pants and long sleeve shirts which will come in handy not only during the rare cool evenings but also for those scorching days when you need to protect your skin from the sun. Other clothing gear to also include in your packing list encompass gloves, swimming trunks and reef shoes.

2) Bad weather gear

rain caribbean

To save up on limited space, the travelling attire you use can double up as your foul weather clothes particularly if you are from a much cooler climate than the Caribbean’s. It might also be prudent to include a jacket or two for those days when the rain pours and the cold really bites.

3) Equipment

Sailing and other related equipment form the backbone of a bareboat sailing trip to the Caribbean or anywhere else in the world. About 80% of your packing space will be consumed by essential gadgets and electronics so it is important to know how to balance things out. Here’s some insight as to what you’ll need:

i) Snorkeling gear and a waterproof camera


No doubt many charter boats come with their own lineups of snorkeling gear but sharing these is the equivalent of sharing toothbrushes so it’s best you carry your own. It also goes without saying that you most definitely need a camera for a bareboat sailing trip to the Caribbean for what is a good vacation without pictures?

A water-sealed camera is the next item to put down on your list but if you don’t have one you can simply get an underwater housing for the model you have.

ii) Guides and charts

You’ll also need some reference material for the specific location in the Caribbean where you are headed but luckily there is an abundance of such information on the interwebs. From Google maps to written material, get all the visual aid necessary to successfully navigate unfamiliar territory.

iii) GPS, Binoculars and lights

Each crew member should have a few spare batteries, a standing light and a headlight. The latter is preferred over a handheld torch as it frees up your hand for added stability on deck. A pair of binoculars and a palm-sized GPS system are also quite useful.

iv) Backpack and electronic nitty-gritty

The electronic nitty-gritty here refers to those accompanying accessories for your phones and other devices such as USB cables and chargers. A 12V inverter is a must-have as a majority of the boats are usually equipped with a 12V outlet while a light backpack is useful for hiking and resupply trips.

v) The mobile office

Having a portable office is not of the essence unless you need to do some work while you are away from the office. A MiFi device, laptop and other office items should be carefully packed in soft-padded bags to protect against damage during rough weather.

And that rounds off our packing list.