What to wear when you go boating

Plan for all weather conditions

No matter what the forecast says, or what the weather is like before you leave, be prepared for both cold and windy and blazing hot sunshine. Pack sunscreen and a hat (make sure it fits properly as that pesky wind can strike at any time) as well as something warm to throw on like a denim shirt or utility jacket.

Choose the right footwear

Make sure it’s something that can slip on and off easily. I’m all about a flat but a wedge could also work (although is much less practical). Sandals or converse are perfect – just make sure they have light coloured soles. Black soles that mark the deck are a big no no and the first rule of boating etiquette. Lastly at least with us (Luxury Lake Tours) we collect all shoes/sandals when boarding.

Keep clothing basic

Don’t wear anything that is too precious so avoid silk and anything that you wouldn’t want getting wet – Denim is a great hardy fabric to wear but can stain our white leather. We find it best to wear shorts, board style shorts are very popular. Hats and discarded items of clothing are notorious for flying off the boat too, so be careful!

Take a big bag

I always take a few pair of board shorts and tee’s with me when I go on a boat, mainly because sometimes your clothes get wet or you want something more comfortable to wear. That’s where a larger bag will come in (not too large though for us, space can be a premium) – a beach bag that can handle a few changes as well as your magazines and beauty products.

Take a pair of sunnies (or three)

A cheap pair is better than no pair and forgetting to bring a pair of sunglasses will truly ruin your day. I always have more than one pair available because I find that friends sometimes don’t bring their own or I drop mine in the lake untying the boat.

Arrive with your swimsuit already on

Space can be a big issue on boats and our changing facilities are below deck in the toilet. Small and cramped and terrible if you get seasick so spend as little time in there as possible. Bikinis are just as appropriate as a one piece.

Consider Short Skirts or dresses carefully

Not only are these a bad idea in windy conditions but some  boats are often 2 levels. You spend a lot of the day climbing up and down the ladder between them so don’t wear a skirt of dress. The upper deck is where all the sunbathing happens too!

Other tips

If you arrive in your swimsuit don’t forget to bring your underwear. A kaftan is great for throwing over your swimsuit while eating lunch (and is super sun smart). Don’t be afraid to get into the boating spirit. Nothing says nautical like blue and white with a touch of red and some tan accessories. Oh, and on the practical side – fashion doesn’t apply when you feel like there’s a need to put s life jacket on (when you’re inverting or traversing the seaway for example), and don’t ever get in the water when the engine or propellor are still on.


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