You’ve opted for a bareboat charter since you and your friends have sailing experience and won’t need a crew. But before you just assume that the price includes the boat, the whole boat, and nothing but the boat, check with your charter company to find out whether they stock you with provisions. Many bareboat charters operating through 12knots.com will stock you up with the basics. Let’s begin our checklist there.
Before planning your shopping check whether any provisioning will be done by the boat’s owners, and if so, what this will include. In general, you shouldn’t expect anything beyond bare basics, so chances are, you’ll still have a shopping list with a few special items and luxuries to buy for the trip.
Opportunities to make landfall for a little light shopping go with the territory in some areas. Depending on the duration of your sailing trip, that will come as a relief since you’ll have limited space for storing provisions in the galley. When cruising in areas like the Greek islands, pausing to take in the local scene and stocking up on local specialties will be part of your adventure. Plan accordingly, assuming that you will be able to get some treats and some standard groceries just about everywhere you visit. However, Belize, for example, might not give you an opportunity to shop, so check your destination and route.
It will save you a lot of time if you can get any groceries you need to stock up on delivered to your boat instead of having to head out shopping. Look for opportunities to shop online with delivery included.
If you’re liaising with folks that will be meeting you along the way (a divemaster, for example), find out if they’ll be willing to help you with a few fresh supplies at your rendezvous. It’s not really part of the service, but many of them will be happy to help out.
Do check whether all berths will be supplied with bedding before you pack your own – they usually are, but it pays to be sure. Do bring along a few extra bin liners, a corkscrew (just in case), extra toilet paper, kitchen towels, a cigarette lighter or two, a torch, and bug repellant. To be on the safe side, bring your own cruising and anchorage guide. Just in case, have a handheld GPS or download a navigation app. And just as a reminder – make absolutely sure you’ve packed your documents.
Remind them to bring sunscreen and sunglasses, and ask them to travel light. Ideally, they should try to limit packing to a tote bag and maybe a backpack (not a hard suitcase – they’re hard to find space for).
Clothing needs will vary according to the season, but assuming you’re planning for a fine-weather trip, it seriously needn’t consist of much more than a couple of pairs of shorts, T-shirts, and a swimsuit! Just in case, a set of warm clothes rounds off the list. Footwear is mainly for shore visits, and flip flops will do. If they really don’t feel comfortable without footwear, boat shoes will be acceptable.
Any electronics will go in ziplock bags to keep them dry and it’s best to bring as few valuables as possible. For the rest, it’sall the usual holiday tips and your travel companions should know the ropes.
Are you primed, provisioned and ready to go? Your bareboat charter in exotic waters will be an adventure, but thanks to your forethought, not an uncomfortable one! All that remains is a final stocktake to ensure you’ve got all the basic necessities, and you’re ready to sail. Glorious times await. Enjoy them!