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Cruisers Packing List - don't forget the ?

      If your a beginner to the San Juans as well as a beginner to cruising (boat camping) you may find some useful advice here.  But some people don't like being told what to bring or what not to bring, or ask for directions when they are hopelessly lost.  So stop right here if you recognize yourself, and move on.

        Okay, now that the captain and skipper have quit reading lets see if we can ease the pain somewhat.  I'm not going to try to be all inclusive here, but just some little reminders to get you thinking about your cruise.  Obviously you have a spotless well equipped boat and many things are already on board.
  • I'll bet you don't have an underwater flashlight, they are great for teasing sea creatures after dark, and will add hours of entertainment time to answer your children's "I'm bored" comments. (hint, stick a cheap flashlight in a ziplock bag) Now tie it to the end of your boat hook and poke it under water
  • How about heavy duty zip lock bags, or the ones they sell at the outdoor outfitter stores for river running, you know for your cell phone, ipod, camera, wallet, etc, etc, etc.....
  • speaking of waterproof have you got any good wood matches in a waterproof container?
  • here's one you really miss and then its too late  - chap-stick with spf 99 (how high do the #'s go?)
  • remember that hat that blew off into the water?  ditto for glasses!  you need a chin strap or leash.
  • OK, this is a good one, get a second or third corkscrew, uh huh! (try em at home to make sure they work well)
  • Dramamine in all forms for everyone
  • cheap little led flashlights, lots of em, they're cheap
  • plastic kites for beach fun, don't forget the string
  • multi-function tool that you carry in your pocket all the time
  • boat cleaning supplies, wax, polish, paint thinner to remove tars you track on board with your shoes. We seem to do our heavy cleaning while on a cruise, I see others doing the same.
  • misc. boat repair supplies and tools. (sail tape) get a bottle of soft scrub it's my best friend (paint thinner too)

These are just some starter ideas, feel free to add your favorites.
Since some folks really benefit from in depth detailed instructions and are lost without to-do lists, I have added below a list created for a general travel article.
Click here and read more >>>>>

did you make it here?   OK, here's that detailed list. 
This list was intended for travel in general not just boating, but you can figure what you -- oh just read it. 

Travel Checklist

Things to do at home before you leave, and on the day you leave:

Print this list and add to it while making plans. Keep a copy of this list on your computer and update it as you prepare for your trip.  
  • create a trip planner/outline (you know, a rough outline of when - where - what - include dates and places)
  • pay the bills
  • turn off water heater
  • turn down/off furnace
  • cancel paper and stop routine deliveries (have the mail held at post office)
  • hold the mail
  • tell the neighbor
  • leave a list (itinerary)  and keys (with friend, relative) where you are going
  • leave extra keys with someone (you may need them mailed to you)
  • emergency numbers (bring list, include all numbers, e-mails too)
  • mow the lawn, arrange for sprinkler system operation or shut it down preferred
  • arrange for pet and plant care
  • make the house look lived in
  • lock windows, doors, garage
  • set the alarm
  • set voice message
  • forward calls
  • turn off water
  • deal with garbage
  • enable, disable computers, electronics
  • unplug TV's and anything that uses a remote control or standby power
  • credit/debit card info and what to do if stolen
  • if your bringing a lap top, what about a boat charger, photo software, updates, make sure wifi works.
Vehicle checks before you go:
  • tire pressure/condition (buy new tires for peace of mind)
  • spare tire & jack
  • oil check,  carry spare oil
  • check brake lining, master cylinder fluid
  • check hoses and carry spare coolant, atf
  • check the belts, bring extra serpentine belt if you're traveling to remote area
  • tune up and service
  • wipers and washer fluid
  • battery check & connections, jumper cables 
  • cell phone travel charger
  • do you know where and how to check fuses (spares)
  • do you have a fire extinguisher?

First aid kitplus prescriptions, etc:

antibiotic/alcohol wipes (sealed), antiseptic cream, aspirin, motion sickness pills, bandages, burn ointment, elastic wrap, eye wash, hydrogen peroxide, Ibuprofen, insect repellent, sterile tape, scissors, snake bite kit, sterile gauze and pads, sun screen lotion, tweezers, Benadryl

                Regular day wear, out on the town wear, shirts, t-shirts, trousers, jeans, dresses
                Sweater, raincoat, wind breaker, pajamas, swimwear
                Shorts, socks, joggers, hikers, sandals
                Brush, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, TP, soaps, shaving, sunscreen, deodorant,
                Mirror, foot powder, scissors,
Children’s  clothing, toiletries
Pets,  needs, etc.

More stuff to help jog your memory:  plus some good things to bring along but often forgot

Aluminum foil, camp cook kit, cooking oil, corkscrew, cutting board, flatware, spices, knife, measure cup,  paper towels, plastic cups, trash bags, pot holder, tongs, hot dog/marshmallow sticks, spatula, matches, zip lock bags, flashlight, batteries, travel alarm, cell phone, gps, map, rain poncho, chocolate,  pet needs! CASH, camera and tripod, medicines,  hard copy of friends and relatives phone numbers in case your cell phone quits. weather report, books, sunglasses, binoculars,  contact lens prep.  hats,  laundry/wash bags, mini sewing kit, playing cards and games, car inverter to run chargers  >> this list is not all inclusive and needs your additions/subtractions as you prepare for your travels.
Important numbers & things:
  • Passwords for getting online and atm banking etc.
  • do not rely on cell phone or laptop memory for numbers/names/addresses (make a hard copy)
  • Auto insurance info.
  • your automobile license number (in case its stolen)
  • do you have current hard pictures of everyone?
  • Serious medical condition information
  • Passports, photo ID, vaccination proof, reservations, birth certificates


  1. OK, I know some skipper will say you forgot your extra anchor, duct tape and rigging knife, no I didn't, this is a personal OMG I forgot gear list, (except for the boat cleaning stuff) somewhere else on this blog will be a boat list if I get the nerve.
    BTW, I have an anchor in my dinghy with 100' of rode.

  2. Fix what's broken. Don't expect buyers to fix things. If something breaks or looks worn, either repair or replace it. This shows the potential buyer that you still care about your boat. That energy rubs off onto the buyer. Yachts for sale in Cyprus


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