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What To Wear On a Boat in Maine?

Mike and Michelle

Summer boat trips off the coast of Mount Desert Island, Maine, are a wonderful way to enjoy the scenic beauty of the region. However, dressing appropriately for such a trip can be a bit tricky. On the one hand, you want to be comfortable in the warm weather, but on the other hand, you need to be prepared for the cooler ocean temperatures and the possibility of rain or wind.

Here are some tips for what clothing to wear on a summer sailboat or powerboat trip off the coast of Mount Desert Island:

Lightweight and Breathable Clothing

In the summer, temperatures can soar, especially during the day. Hence, it is important to wear lightweight and breathable clothing that will keep you cool and comfortable. Cotton and linen fabrics are perfect choices for summer as they are natural fibers that breathe well, making them ideal for warm weather.

Sun Protection

While you are sailing, you will be exposed to the sun’s harmful rays, which can cause sunburn and skin damage. To protect yourself from the sun, wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and apply sunscreen with a high SPF to any exposed skin. Long-sleeved shirts and pants with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) can also offer additional sun protection.


When choosing footwear for a sailboat trip, it is important to opt for shoes that are comfortable, lightweight, and have good traction. Boat shoes, sandals, or sneakers with rubber soles are great options. Avoid wearing high heels or flip flops as they can be uncomfortable and pose a safety risk.

On the nicer vessels or on a friend’s boat, it is often appreciated if you wear non-marking soled shoes or go barefoot. Whatever you do though, please do not wear socks without shoes.  Keeping your footing is very important while rocking around on a boat.  Socks without shoes are just too slippery and unsafe.

Waterproof or Quick-drying Clothing

While sailing, you may encounter rain or ocean spray, so it is important to wear clothing that is either waterproof or quick-drying. A lightweight rain jacket or windbreaker will protect you from the elements and keep you dry. Avoid wearing cotton clothing that can take a long time to dry, as it can leave you feeling cold and uncomfortable.


Even though it is summertime, the ocean temperatures can still be chilly, particularly in the early mornings and evenings. Therefore, it is essential to dress in layers so that you can adjust your clothing as the temperature changes. Wear a lightweight sweater or jacket over a t-shirt or blouse that you can easily remove if you start feeling too warm.

Hat and Sunglasses

A hat and sunglasses are essential items to bring on your sailboat trip. The sun’s glare can be quite intense on the water, and a good pair of sunglasses can help protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays. A hat can help keep the sun off your face, neck, and shoulders, and can also protect your head from the heat. I personally wear a hat and sunglasses on every trip unless I accidentally drop them into the water 🙁

Lifejacket / PFD

There are many Maine laws about life jackets and they sometimes change.  At the time of this writing, all children under the age of 10 need to wear a life jacket at all times. 
For  Get Out Sailing charters, please make sure we know the ages and approximate weight of any children coming on your charter.  We will make sure that we have enough of the more comfortable style jackets for the under 10 kids.

Dress for Maine Boating Success

Dressing appropriately for a summer sailboat trip off the coast of Mount Desert Island, Maine, requires careful consideration of the weather, ocean conditions, and your personal comfort. By choosing lightweight, breathable clothing, sun protection, appropriate footwear, waterproof or quick-drying clothing, layers, and essential accessories such as a hat and sunglasses, you can enjoy your sailboat trip in comfort and style. So, pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready for a fantastic adventure on the high seas!

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