As the co-founder and operations coordinator of luxury charting company the Sailing Collective, Ross Beane spends a lot of time on boats. He runs sailing vacations to the Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands, Martinique, Saint Martin, Anguilla, Saint Bart’s, the Mediterranean, Italy, Croatia, Thailand, and Madagascar, and is always researching new places to add to the itinerary.
Beane started sailing when he was young, and bought his first boat when he was 16. It was called The Pelican, which spurred a family tradition of only naming boats after birds—the various sailors in his family have had The Falcon, Seagull, Albatross, and Goose, among others. In 2015, he and his stepbrother, Dayaan, quite their jobs to run the Sailing Collective full time.
And since his travels are of the water variety, his packing list is slightly different. There’s less suits and grooming products, and more headlamps, drybags, and plenty of grub for all the “serious snacktitioning” that happens on boats. Read all about it, here.
“Sailboats are really the way to see coastlines.”
I personally love coastlines. I love the ocean but I’m not an open ocean sailor. I don’t like just being out at sea. I think that coastlines are often the most beautiful spots in any given place that you want to go, and sailboats are really the way to see coastlines. You’re moving at a slow enough speed that you have time to really take in the surroundings and you’re on a small enough vessel that you can tuck into beautiful little hidden anchorages in a way that you wouldn’t ever get to on a cruise ship. I love the act of sailing and just moving under the power of the wind, and the way that weather affects your destination because every trip that we do is a little bit different because we’re at the mercy of the wind in some ways. Having to shape your itinerary based on weather is a really immersive way to experience a place.
“I end up barefoot, actually, most of the time when I’m working.”
For shoes, I bring Sabah slippers. Then these are Founders boots, from a friend’s company, they make durable Italian dress boots. I end up barefoot, actually, most of the time when I’m working. I pretty much don’t wear shoes. The East Surf Wax is a friend’s surf wax company, which I bring if I’m on a trip where I’m going to be able to surf. I usually don’t get to surf while I’m working, but before or after. I rarely travel with a surfboard, but I have some stashed down in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I try not to travel with boards because they get broken in transport a lot.
“It’s nice to have a headlamp.”
As for reading material, I always have guidebooks, and I usually bring The Complete Sailor, that’s my favorite learn-to-sail book, to share with clients. I always travel with a headlamp and a bright flashlight, for making your way around a boat at night, exploring the beach at night, those sorts of things. It’s nice to have a headlamp. A bath towel to use as a towel, obviously, but I also use it as a table cloth sometimes, or to lay out on the beach…it’s pretty all-purpose. It can be an article of clothing in a pinch. I always travel with bandanas, some silk, some cotton—when you’re cold, you can tie a bandana around your neck; if you’re too hot, you wet a bandana and tie that around your neck; if you’re getting too much sun it’s nice to have a bandana. So they’re just really versatile. My silk ones are vintage from thrift stores, and my cotton ones are from Muji.
“Here’s a travel tip: Sun Bum makes the perfect carry-on sunscreen.”
Sun Bum sunscreen is definitely the preferred sunscreen brand. Here’s a travel tip: Sun Bum makes the perfect carry-on sunscreen because it’s in a hard case with a screw top and so it never explodes in your bag, and it’s the maximum carry on size, so it’s enough sunscreen for a week. I avoid toiletries that are going to explode in general.
- 1Go Pro, $250
- 2Sabah slippers, $190
- 3Founders Brown Cap Toe Boot, $324
- 4East Surf Company surf wax, $3
- 5The Complete Sailor, $19
- 6Turkish bath towels, $25
- 7Muji handkerchief, $15
- 8Jungmaven button down shirt, $94
- 9Life Systems First Aid Kit, £16.99
- 10Sun Bum SPF 30 Original Sunscreen Lotion, $15.99
- 11Exped Fold Drybag, $31.95
“I’m always trying to make a boat feel homey.”
I have a candle lantern because lighting is super important on boats, and you can hang these. It pops up and just takes a tea light, which makes it easier to create environments wherever I go. Sometimes I’ll bring tablecloths. I’m always trying to make a boat feel homey and tablecloths go a long way. Candles are awesome. Books, having the reading material out, books and magazines.
“You really have to pay attention to who’s writing the guidebook.”
If I’m going to a new place that I’ve never been before I’ll read all the guidebooks. I don’t stick to just one brand. I read Lonely Planet. I read Eye Witness or something that does the more pictorial oriented guidebooks and sometimes they’re really good. You know how to find a good guidebook? Go to a store that has all the brands. There’s this amazing guide book store in Manhattan called Idlewild and they have just bookshelves and bookshelves of guide books. The way that I find the good guide book for where I’m going is I flip directly to the “About the Author” section, and I pick the author that has lived in the place the longest or is the local. When I was younger, I was traveling in South America and I met a guide book writer. I was in Punta Arenas in Chilean Patagonia and he was spending less than 24 hours in this whole town to write about that town. He was just stepping into a place, writing down his initial reactions, cruising onto the next place. That made me realize the difference between a good guidebook and a bad guidebook is basically just misinformation, so you really have to pay attention to who’s writing the guidebook.
“I like the notion of putting a little extra effort into looking nice.”
My grandparents’ generation got dressed up to travel and I like the notion of putting a little extra effort into looking nice. I feel like that helps with security and it helps with the courteousness of the airline staff. I definitely want to be comfortable but not slumpy. I mostly wear Jungmaven shirts—Jungmaven makes Sailing Collective shirts for us as well. They’re made from hemp, so they’re really durable and clean nicely and don’t get smelly when you wear it. Ticamide makes button down shirts and shorts, and they’re my favorite. They make incredible travel clothes.
“On long flights I’ll just power through movies.”
I am a serious airplane movie watcher. That’s like time travel for me, so on long flights I’ll just power through movies. If I don’t like the selection on the plane or even worse if there’s no screen, I make sure to have movies downloaded to my phone and to my computer and extra batteries because if I don’t have movies then the flight just goes forever. I don’t watch a lot of movies in my everyday life so on an airplane I catch up on all the movies that I’ve been meaning to watch. I totally mix it up. I try and get in a few documentaries that are educational and that I know I should watch and then I’ll also watch like “The Fast and the Furious.”
“I’m in charge of serious snacktitioning.”
I do all the provisioning on the boat, so I’m in charge of serious snacktitioning. Snacking on a boat is really important because when you’re underway and sailing it can be intense and so sometimes a full sit down lunch or something doesn’t feel right, but people get hungry obviously, so snacks are incredibly important. For the airplane I usually bring like granola bars or nuts and nothing more complicated than that. Then I often buy food on the plane if they have food for sale. I do the plane food thing and I often regret it because plane food is usually pretty bad but I just…I’m sort of a captive audience at that point, just buy that food.