What to Bring to an Offshore Passage
Crew always want to know what to bring with them on a delivery. We have included the following guidelines to help you pack. Everyone always over packs for trip so just keep that in mind.
Depends on the route. The skipper will let you know what extremes to expect. Warm weather routes require little more than shorts, T-Shirts and a bathing suit. Trips up north, even in the middle of summer, still require several layers. Fall and Spring trips always have a couple of nights where you wished you had brought warmer gear. Decent foul weather gear and sea boots are great when you need them. Do not pack in hard luggage. Pieces with wheels that will scratch cabin soles are also frowned upon. Roll up stowable duffle type sea bags are best.
Overseas Trips: Passports
If you are flying in to meet a boat and sail out of a foreign country you need a letter from the skipper or owner explaining that you are joining a boat. Otherwise you may have problems at the airport. You need to have the name and location of the boat or a hotel name to give immigration if the boat is not in yet. You need to have enough money or plastic to prove that you will not become a problem. Remember you are flying in with a one way ticket. Very rarely a vaccination record card may be needed, but not usually.
If you have a harness or inflatable lifesaving device now is the time to bring it. Flashlight and whistles are great extras. Same goes for your hand held GPS. Might as well bring it. We often have three or four among the crew. You can also bring a personal log book and an overall chart of the route if you want to have your own copy after the trip.
Provisioning will be done right before the trip and we try and take into account every ones preferences. If you have any special spices, condiments, or specialty foods from your area feel free to bring them along. If you have a special recipe that you can contribute one night bring any special ingredients and make sure anything else you needs makes it on the grocery list. If you can not cook at all make sure you are one of the first to offer to do clean up at night. Alcohol is prohibited on any trip I make but boat owners may have their own rules. Beware of any boat that goes beyond the occasional sundowner. We make up for it in port. Illegal drugs, of course, are a definite no-no. Books: If everyone brings one or two good books to read on a trip then their will be a small library aboard and everyone can share.
If you can find out if the boat has a CD or Tape player bring a couple of your favorites. Personal Gear: Besides the obvious makes sure you have sea sickness remedies, sun screen and any other medications you may need.
99% of the time expect to have to provide your own transportation to and from the boat. Sometimes you will be asked to contribute a per diem fee to share expenses. Make sure you know what the fees will be before you join the boat. Our definition of shared expense is dividing up the food bill. With prior knowledge sometimes this may include fuel and dockage charges if it benefits everyone being dockside as opposed to anchored out and having to share a dinghy. This should not include boat maintenance costs or insurance or anything else unless you have made an unusual agreement with someone in advance. Do expect to contribute some elbow work to the daily maintenance and upkeep of a boat at sea and in port. One is seldom too helpful.