Simpson Marine Search Yachts
11th December 2023

Yachting Vacation Wardrobe: What to Pack for Style and Comfort at Sea

Whether setting sail on the open ocean or drifting lazily along a picturesque coastline, dressing appropriately for life on the water is a practical consideration that offers excellent opportunities to showcase some style and panache. Depending on the length and nature of your waterborne excursion, you might need anything from the latest chic beachwear to divine ball gowns and everything in between. Here at Simpson Yacht Charter, we have a lifetime of collective experience in all aspects of yachting and have gathered some tips and tricks to help you pack for time on board a yacht. First things first:



Essential for practical reasons of safety above all else, choosing the correct footwear for a yachting trip should be paramount in your mind. There will be different surfaces to navigate, not all with much grip to offer. Some of them will be downright slippery, in fact. As tempting as it might be to go for a fashionable alternative, it will be a decision you soon regret when dealing with wet surfaces and being unable to stay upright. Some common obstacles/surfaces you can expect to encounter include: 

  • Wooden pontoons
  • Wet decks (various materials)
  • Rocks and harder surfaces like concrete
  • Sand


Never fear because many kinds of footwear offer a perfect balance of style and practicality when boarding, disembarking, and moving around on waterborne vessels. From the humble deck shoe to more extravagant alternatives. Give yourself enough time to investigate and you will find all kinds of appropriate footwear available. You may also have the option of bringing several pairs of shoes if your trip is longer than a day and some light pumps or sandals can be slipped into a day bag easily enough if not. Some other excellent choices include:

  • Boat shoes 
  • Loafers
  • Espadrilles
  • Sandals (non-slip soles) 


Avoid choosing the seemingly ubiquitous plastic shoes that have grown popular over recent years. Comments on their stylistic assets aside, they are exceptionally slippery when wet, to the point of being dangerous if you are onboard a vessel with a wet deck.

  • Tip — Many yacht owners prefer guests to remove their footwear before boarding so be sure to ask first. 



Daytime on the water can be hard to dress for as there are simply so many potential activities that may come up. Layering is the best option with swimwear underneath and light, breathable fabrics over the top. Light, loose-collared short-sleeved shirts are always practical and have the bonus of drying quickly. Cotton is an old favourite but more modern materials exist that allow the skin to breathe and are particularly popular among land-dwelling gym-goers. If you wish to keep the harmful sun at bay, some materials offer sun protection and come with an SPF rating. Add a wide-brimmed hat to the ensemble to help keep your face shaded, and don’t forget a pair of fully-protective, polarized sunglasses.


It is worth remembering that while the sun often shines and temperatures soar in locations where yachting is popular, all that can change very quickly. The potential for feeling very cold suddenly at sea is high and can be dangerous if hypothermia becomes an issue. This is exacerbated when clothing is wet, and it is essential to have a fleece or other warm layer you can put on if the weather changes rapidly. You can also consider:

  • Lightweight kimonos
  • Sarongs
  • Oversized scarves



Evenings spent on a yacht can vary from grabbing a light snack on the knee in the movie room to a full-scale dinner party and everything in between. There is no generic answer to how evening-wear should look and the best course of action is to check with your host before leaving home. If they plan to ramp the formality levels up to the maximum, you need to know in advance so you can pack accordingly.    

Simple, elegant outfits work well in a wider range of situations than elaborate ones, so keep things simple and classic. Accentuate the simplicity of your choices with unique accessories and statement pieces of jewellery to draw the eye. Always have a light shawl, wrap, or cardigan as the temperature will fluctuate and may drop drastically when the sun goes down. The ocean does not reflect the day’s heat back at us the way the land does, so when the sun is gone it can very quickly feel cold at sea.



When in doubt, it never hurts to embrace the nautical theme with some outfits inspired by the traditional garb of sailors. Navy and white stripes offer a timeless reminder of the past and look just the ticket. It is all too easy to stray into cartoonish territory with anchor motifs and rope accents, but this can be pulled off with a hint of irony if handled cautiously. Blazers and shorts or linen skirts keep the nautical flag flying and are suited to any occasion. A pair of classic boat shoes complete the look and reduce the risk of dangerous slips and falls. 



  • Soft bags
  • Roll bag (popular with water sport enthusiasts, effectively a waterproof tube, sealed at one end, that can be rolled up and will keep your belongings dry in almost any conditions)
  • Thin, light shirts and dresses
  • Flip flops
  • Sturdy shoes if heading ashore
  • Swimwear
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket and trousers (for longer trips)



When embarking on any yacht journey, it is advisable to find a balance between practicality and style that errs on the side of practicality when push comes to shove. Clever use of accessories and adhering to the nautical theme can really bring any outfit to life, and with a few strategic wardrobe choices, you can make any sailing jaunt look good. 



 We love nothing more than talking about all things yacht-related here at Simpson Yacht Charter, so please get in touch with any questions or comments. Our friendly, knowledgeable team members are ready to hear from you and share any advice and guidance or give you further details on our peerless range of yachts. 

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