tall ship essentials

11 Essential Items for Living Aboard a Tall Ship: Surviving the Seas

Living aboard a tall ship is a dream come true for many sail enthusiasts. These ships are a wonder of engineering and craftsmanship, and living aboard one can bring you closer to the sea and nature.

But, just like any other form of living, it requires preparation and some essential items to make your life more comfortable and safe.

In this article, we will guide you through the 11 essential items for living aboard a tall ship.

1. Tools and Maintenance Equipment

Living aboard a tall ship means you will have to do some repairs and maintenance yourself. Therefore, it is essential to have the right tools and maintenance equipment.

Basic tools like a set of screwdrivers, a hammer, pliers, wrenches, and saws are a must-have. Other crucial equipment includes a multi-meter, a caulking gun, spare ropes, and fasteners.

2. Navigation and Communication Equipment

Communication and navigation equipment can be a matter of life and death when living aboard a tall ship.

It is crucial to ensure that you have the right equipment installed and know how to use it. The equipment you need includes a compass, GPS device, VHF radio, binoculars, radar, and EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon).

It is essential to have a reliable and accurate means of navigation to ensure that you stay on course and reach your destination safely.

3. Safety Gear

Safety should be your top priority when living aboard a tall ship. Safety gear is a crucial part of living onboard. Essential safety gear includes life jackets, safety harnesses, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and smoke detectors. It is also essential to have a plan in place in case of an emergency.

4. Water Filtration and Storage System

Living aboard means you will have to rely on a supply of water that may not always be safe to drink. Therefore, it is essential to have a reliable water filtration and storage system. A water filtration system can remove impurities and contaminants, making the water potable.

You should also have a storage tank to store freshwater.

5. Cooking Equipment

If you plan to live aboard a tall ship, you should have a small kitchen and the right cooking equipment. The equipment includes a stove, oven, refrigerator, pots, pans, utensils, plates, and cups. The kitchen should be designed to be compact and easy to use.

6. Lighting Systems

Good lighting is essential for safety and comfort when living aboard a tall ship. It is essential to have reliable lighting both above and below the deck. LED lights are recommended due to their low energy consumption and long lifespan.

7. Heating and Cooling Systems

Living aboard a tall ship means you will have to face different climates and weather patterns. It is essential to have an efficient heating and cooling system to maintain a comfortable temperature onboard.

Heating systems like a stove, furnace, or diesel heater can warm the cabin during cold weather. For hot climates, a fan or air conditioning system will be beneficial.

8. Power Supply

The power supply is crucial when living aboard a tall ship. A reliable power supply can power lighting, communication equipment, water filtration systems, and other essential equipment.

Two power sources are recommended, including a battery bank and a diesel generator. Solar panels and wind generators are also efficient and eco-friendly ways of producing power.

9. Clothing and Personal Items

Living aboard a towering ship necessitates the possession of suitable attire that caters to the prevailing climate and atmospheric conditions. Examples of such accouterments include inclement weather gear, snug apparel, and commodious footwear.

In addition, it is imperative to have personal effects such as toiletries and medications readily available and in close proximity whilst on deck.

10. Storage Space

Living aboard a tall ship means living in a constrained space. It is crucial to maximize the available space and store everything you need efficiently. Cabinets, shelves, and lockers are recommended for storage. It is also recommended to have items that can be easily stowed away.

11. Entertainment

Lastly, living aboard a tall ship does not mean you have to give up on entertainment. You should have some form of entertainment on board to pass the time. Books, board games, and musical instruments are essential for entertainment. It is also essential to have an adequate internet connection to stay connected to the world.


Living aboard a tall ship can be a lifelong dream for many sailing enthusiasts. With the right preparation and essential items, you can make the experience both comfortable and safe.

Having proper tools and maintenance equipment, navigation, and communication equipment, safety gear, water filtration and storage, cooking equipment, lighting, heating and cooling systems, power supply, storage space, and entertainment on board ensures your experience is smooth and unforgettable.

Follow these recommendations, and you will be well-equipped to live aboard a tall ship.