Planning a short yacht trip in 2023? Don’t go unprepared. Keep reading to learn five essential tips for getting the most out of your adventure at sea.
Respect the Crew
Observing proper etiquette is essential whether on a corporate yacht charter or a private voyage. You’ll help ensure everyone feels comfortable and safe while enjoying the cruise. First, honor the “upstairs/downstairs” concept — in other words, don’t venture into private crew areas unless invited. Secondly, treat the yacht’s crew with professionalism and respect. After all, they’re responsible for the comfort and safety of everyone on board.
Etiquette also calls for tipping yacht crew members who assist. Most passengers tip between 15% and 20% of their charter fees. You can give tips to the yacht’s captain, who will distribute your gratuity evenly among the crew members.
Pay Attention to Safety Briefings
Familiarize yourself with safety procedures on your yachting excursion. The captain or another crew member will provide a safety briefing before setting sail. Listen for and note important information about life jackets, rafts, flares, safety harnesses and fire extinguishers. This briefing also includes instructions for using these items.
Follow Applicable Laws
Many laws govern watercraft sailing in both the United States and international waters. Most, including United States Coast Guard regulations, apply to boat operations. Yet as a passenger, you also must obey applicable laws and charter boat requirements. For instance, most commercial yachts forbid smoking on board. Activities considered illegal on land are also off-limits on a boat. Avoid behavior that poses a risk to the crew and your fellow passengers — for instance, disorderly conduct, excessive intoxication, illegal drug use and bringing weapons onto the yacht.
Observe the “Barefoot Rule”
Depending on the yacht, you may need to observe a “barefoot rule.” Some types of shoes, especially stilettos and those with black soles, can leave undesirable permanent marks on a boat deck. Shoes may need to remain outside the cabin or not worn in most areas of the boat. Some yacht operators may allow you to wear soft-soled shoes on board. Be sure to inquire about your cruise’s shoe policy before arrival.
What To Bring
You must pack the right gear to get the most out of your voyage. Short cruises only last a few hours and don’t require you to bring as many items. You can use this quick checklist to ensure that you bring what you need:
- Hat with a wide brim
- Water bottle
- Non-perishable snacks
- Cardigan or sweater
When packing for your yacht outing, don’t forget to choose water- and wind-friendly accessories. Waterproof smartphone cases are ideal. Soft luggage is best because it’s flexible and more easily storable in tight spaces. Dry bags fit the bill, as they’re soft and waterproof.
Enjoying Your Yachting Excursion
While many kinds of yachting trips are available, these five helpful tips can ensure that you get the most out of any outing. When selecting a yachting company, look for one that practices sustainable boating. Green sailing minimizes environmental impact, preserving our waterways for future generations.