Proper Attire – How to Dress for a Sailing Adventure

Attire can vary by the type of trip and time of year. However, clean casual is always in order. Cover-up as necessary to protect yourself from the sun or to stay warm. For example, in the summer, you may spend the whole day in a bathing suit. BUT, you still want to be sure to have a jacket handy as, even on a way day, the temperature on the weather can get chilly quickly. You’ll also want to wear plenty of sunblock all year round. Long, flowing hair and loose garments should be avoided, as there is some equipment onboard that could cause you to lose part of your carefully coiffed ‘doo’.

On blue water (ocean) trips, everything is bigger (the boats, sails, wind, and costs), so sailing gloves are a good idea as they will allow you to handle the lines more comfortably. They’re seldom needed on local lakes, as the forces of sailing are generally mild compared to ocean sailing.


The most important part of your outfit is the shoes. They need to be comfortable so you can safely complete your ‘crew’ duties. They also MUST have soft, light colored, non-slip soles. Soft, so they will give you some traction on the deck to help prevent slipping. Light-colored (white, beige, or grey) so they won’t leave black scuff marks on the boat. Tennis shoes are often preferred because they are lightweight, cheap, and will dry quicker than most other types. An extra pair of shoes is also a good idea.

Personal Items & Provisions
For a list of recommended personal items and provisions, view our recommended list of things to bring. It is up to the Crew of each Boat to decide if they want to share the cost of food and drinks for their boat, or leave it to individual responsibility. This decision should be made before the trip.

Cabin Assignments
Skipper gets first pick of the cabins. Co-Skipper or 1st Mate gets second choice of cabins. Choice then goes in the order that crew paid for the trip, so get your money in early if you want a choice of cabin or bunkmate. Some of the boats have 2 or 3 cabins; therefore, you will be sharing a cabin with someone. On the other hand, for many paid tours and excursions, the best accommodations are reserved for the guests, so it really just depends on the context of the trip.