Calla (our labradoodle) trying to decide what to pack for her next trip!

Packing Tips For Charter

The initial consideration is not what to pack, but what to pack it in… Because storage space is at a premium the best idea if you are planning to take a charter is to use a duffel bag. I love the hard bottom duffel I bought from Eddie Bauer a few years ago.

Also, make sure to pack your travel documents if you plan to visit the British Virgin Islands you will want to have your passport. The currency that is used in the BVI is the US Dollar. Most businesses are equipped to handle credit card transactions, just be sure to notify your credit card company in advance so they do not place a hold on your account. Due to the high bank charges in the BVI most establishments will charge a 3% to 5% fee on all card transactions. Always have some cash with you to pay for moorings, or to use in some of the smaller bars and restaurants.

There is less access to medical care in the islands so I would also make sure not to forget any of your prescription medications and I usually pack ear drops because I am prone to developing ear infections. There will be a basic first aid kit available on the yacht.

Another common question I have been asked by my girlfriends is about hairdryers, curling irons, etc. Unfortunately you cannot use a hairdryer or other stylers aboard most yachts, unless you your yacht has a high output inverter, at least 2000 watts. Life in the islands is very casual and laid back, once you have wound down to ‘island time’, you probably will not want to blow dry your hair! We say let the tradewinds do it for you. You always have the option to go into one of the BVI’s marinas, and use the onshore facilities or you can consider purchasing a battery operated styling device for your trip.

You can recharge small electrical items (i.e. phone, camera).

Moxie has a stereo system so feel free to bring your Ipod to hook up and play your favorite music!

Almost all yachts forbid the wearing of street shoes aboard, and most have a dedicated basket where footwear is deposited when you board. Don’t overdo it on shoes – two or three pair is all you’ll need. This coming from the girl who packed 10 pairs of shoes for 7 days during her first charter 🙂

During a day of sailing, your attire will likely consist of bathing suits and a simple cover up of some sort. Even going ashore for dinner doesn’t usually require a change out of the garb you’re wearing during the day, unless you’re feeling the need to freshen up and thrown on a casual sundress. You may want to also consider bringing a lightweight jacket in case a squall blows through or the weather is cooler than expected in the evenings.

Our charter company provides snorkel gear free of charge… If you have a set that you own and love I would still consider bringing your own.

Avoid packing sunscreens containing oil, which can stain both teak decks and canvas deck and sunbed cushions.

Sunglasses and hats for protection from the sun are always a good idea and we always bring along bug spray (thankfully I don’t think we have ever had to actually use it). It’s always better to be safe than sorry though.

The charter company will provide linens and bath towels, but not beach towels so be sure to pack beach towels or purchase them once you arrive on the island for your trip.

The cruising grounds are fairly calm, but if you are concerned about possible seasickness pack some non-drowsy over-the-counter medication to have on hand just in case. Even for people who don’t get seasick, taking something on the morning of the day you board is a good idea – it will give your body a chance to get used to and adapt to the motion of the boat. Many people have good luck with the prescription Transderm Scop® (Scopolamine) behind-the-ear patch.