OCSC Sailing School

What To Bring

What to Wear | What to Bring | Motion Comfort | The OCSC ProShop

Sailing gearWhat to Wear


• Your comfort is a very important component to having an enjoyable sail. Dress in layers. Long pants, a long sleeved shirt (breathable material is recommended) and a warm fleece jacket will generally be sufficient. There is plenty of room in the boat to bring a bag with a change of clothes and extra layers.


• White/ light soled tennis or soft deck shoes. Thick socks will keep your feet warm! As you progress, you may want to consider buying a pair of sailing boots.
• Avoid dark soled shoes or work boots as they will leave scuffmarks on the boat.

Foul weather gear and a flotation vest

• With OCSC Courses, Skippered Charters, Teambuilding Events and Activites, spray gear and a flotation device rental are included at no charge. When bareboat chartering, members and guests can rent ‘foulies’ and p.f.d. for $10 here at OCSC. When you're ready, you can purchase your own set in our ProShop.

Sailing gloves

• The first piece of gear that will help you enjoy the sport is a pair of sailing gloves. We’ve found that bike gloves and workout gloves don't hold up well to salt water and give less protection than the long fingered sailing gloves we carry here in our shop.

What to bring sailing with OCSCWhat to Bring

Feel free to bring along a soft duffle bag or backpack to hold your belongings. There will be room in the cabin of the boat for your bag. Make sure you’ve considered the following items, most of which we have available in our ProShop:

  • A change of clothes
  • Sunglasses (with retainers)
  • Sunscreen / lip protection
  • Warm hat
  • Sun hat / cap (with clip)
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks e.g. nutrition bars, dried fruit and nuts
  • Lunch*

*Lunch (soup, salad, sandwich) is not provided for students attending all OCSC courses. However, we do provide provisions on some overnight courses.

If you are bringing food and beverages along on a charter, please consider the following:

  • Put food in soft-sided containers like Tupperware as opposed to glass or casserole dishes.
  • Minimize the use of glass bottles. Try to use plastic or box-type beverage containers whenever practical.
  • Soft-sided coolers are preferable, and
  • Paper bags are preferable to plastic bags. Plastic bags tend to blow off the boat and create more of a hazard for marine wildlife and vessels.
  • If you bring beverages in six-pack containers, please be extremely careful not to let the plastic retainer fall or blow off the boat. Even better, remove the beverage cans from their retainer and throw the retainers away on shore. These retainers are harmful to fish and wildlife.
  • Enclose paper plates and plastic utensils in reusable Ziploc-type bags to keep things packaged together, dry, and easy to place on and off the boat.
  • Keep in mind that a boat is constantly in motion and in the elements (wind, spray, sun). Bring food and beverages that are appropriate to these conditions and will minimize the likelihood of creating a mess on the boat. Think about the possibility of your food and drink spilling and consider if it is likely to stain the cabin or deck of the boat, clog drains, etc.
  • Bring cloth or paper towels and napkins.
  • Specify one or more of the grocery bags you bring aboard as the trash bag, keep it in a secure location inside the cabin, and be sure to pass all trash down below before it has a chance to blow off the boat.

Sailing motion sicknessMotion Comfort

If you're susceptible to motion discomfort, there are things you can do to reduce its impact or prevent it altogether.

  • Avoid greasy or acidic foods before going sailing.
  • Eat a light meal so that your stomach acids have something to hold on to!
  • Throughout the day, drink lots of water and avoid caffeinated/ alcoholic beverages (both are diuretics).
  • If possible, avoid the cabin and enclosed spaces. Limiting your view of the horizon makes you more prone to motion discomfort.
  • Stay in the back of the boat as there will be less motion there.

Medications and Natural Preventatives:

  • Ginger is a great natural remedy! Sailors Secret (capsules of powdered ginger) is available in our ProShop. Take it at least an hour before you go out on the water with a full glass of water.
  • Dramamine, Meclizine and Bonine are medications that can be bought in a pharmacy.
  • Wristbands, patches, etc. are other alternatives.

OCSC ProshopThe OCSC ProShop

You will find most of what you need for sailing on San Francisco Bay at the OCSC ProShop, including:

  • Foul weather gear & PFDs
  • Sailing gloves and boots
  • Navigation charts & equipment
  • Hats
  • Sunscreen
  • Clif bars
  • Ice
  • Water
  • Sunglasses
  • Ginger, for motion comfort
  • Sailing bags
  • And much, much more!