Ahoy, matey! Getting ready to embark on your RYA course? Packing the right gear is almost as important as knowing your port from starboard. Forget visions of overflowing suitcases – with a bit of savvy and a sprinkle of humor, you’ll be ready to set sail with a perfectly packed bag and a grin on your face. Think of this as your ultimate pre-adventure checklist, filled with sunshine, salty air, and maybe a touch of sunscreen-related mishaps. 

Packing for Your RYA Course: What to Bring (And Why It Matters) Are you gearing up for an exciting sailing adventure? While mastering sailing skills is top priority, what you pack can make or break your onboard experience. Here’s your ultimate packing checklist, with a few pro tips to keep you sun-safe, comfortable, and organized at sea.

The Essential Bag
● Bag of Tricks: No Mary Poppins Needed: A 50-70 liter soft duffel bag is your best bet (no one wants to spend all week sleeping next to their hard suitcase) – it’ll fit all the essentials without taking up the entire cabin. Bonus points if it magically produces your favorite snacks when you get peckish. We have snacks, but if there is something specific you want along the way, pack it in there.

Sun Protection: Your First Line of Defense
● The Sunscreen Saga: It’s Not Mayonnaise: Slather on that SPF 50 like you’re frosting a cake. Remember, you want to resemble a happy sailor, not a boiled lobster.
● Hat Trick: Don’t Let Your Head Get Cooked: Wide-brimmed, lightweight, and ventilated are your hat’s superpowers. One with a chin strap may be a bonus, so it doesn’t end up as a stylish new home for those cheeky seagulls.
● Sunglasses: Don’t Squint Your Way Through Paradise Protect those peepers and add a dash of flair. Opt for a pair with a strap, because the ocean loves to collect shiny things. 

Staying Clean (and Human) Onboard
● The Shower Kit: It Ain’t the Ritz, But It Works: Pack those shower essentials – think travel-sized for maximum space magic. Baby wet wipes are a lifesaver when the marina showers are miles away (but do NOT flush them – the sea creatures will not be amused).
● Shirt Strategy: Less Sweat, More Smiles: Tees or polos for daily wear will keep you comfy. For sailing itself, long-sleeve UPF 50 shirts are your best bet against angry sunburns. If you forget them, refer back to sunscreen application.
● Underwear: The Unsung Heroes of Freshness: Choose breathable fabrics for maximum comfort, and enough pairs to avoid creating a new biohazard zone below deck.
● Socks: Socks! You may not be a socks and sandals kind of person and for that we are all very grateful, but enough liner socks for your deck shoes will make for less smelly feet on board – which everyone will appreciate, including yourself.
● Towel: Hitchhiker’s Guide Fans, Rejoice!

Clothing and Bedding: Gear Up for Comfort
● Deck Shoes: Funky Feet, No Thanks: Proper deck shoes grip like a gecko and dry fast. If you opt for regular trainers, expect some playful teasing about your “innovative slip-and-slide” approach. If you are looking for a great shoe with little expense, we love the Dunlop Volleys which you can get from Big W in Australia. Make sure whatever you bring covers your toes and will not slip off!
● Fleece: Your Cozy Cocoon: Perfect for chilly nights, impromptu naps, and pretending you’re a cuddly bear. We know we are on the Sunshine Coast, but it can get chilly at sea, even in the summer.
● Woolie Hat / Beanie / Headband: For Stylishly Messy Bedhead: Keeps your head warm on night watches and hides the fact you haven’t brushed your hair in 2 days (we won’t tell).
● Shorts and Trousers: Sailing Fashion 101: Quick-drying materials are your friend – nobody wants to wear soggy clothes.
● Lightweight Shower Jacket & Pants: Because Weather is Fickle: Even on the sunniest days, a rogue rain shower can sneak up. Be prepared to look like a slightly damp, but victorious, adventurer.

Mandatory Bunk Supplies: For Avoiding Shipboard Mutinies
● Sheet & Light Sleeping Bag (or Light Comforter): Choose your cozy preference: a sleeping bag or a light comforter. Forget these, and you might find yourself sleeping with the fishes (and not in the way you were hoping for). Do not forget the sheet, we recommend just a flat sheet, twin or double will be more than enough.
● Pillow: For Happy Heads and Sweet Dreams: Unless you plan on using your bundled-up clothes as a makeshift pillow, this one’s non-negotiable.

The Rest of Your Essentials
● Mobile Phone Charger: Lifeline to civilization (and epic sailing selfies).
● Sea Sickness Tablets: For when the ocean gets sassy.
● RYA Textbook/Course Material: Knowledge is power – all books are available for purchase
and we find they are really helpful if you read them in advance of the course.
● Passport & Photo ID: Adventure awaits (legally).
● Travel Insurance: Because life throws curveballs.
● Money: We often stop ashore for a dinner or ice cream, bring a little extra money for those stops ashore.
● Next of Kin Details: Just in case you run away with the circus (we wouldn’t blame you).
● Health/Dietary Needs: Don’t starve on a boat – your instructors want you happy, not hangry.
● Passport Photos: Avoid the “Wanted Poster” look but do not forget to bring them as we can’t provide you with your certificate if not!

Bonus Packing Pro-Tips
● Enthusiasm & Humor: The Best Cargo of All