The Dos and Don’ts on the Charter to Make Your Experience the Most Enjoyable. Chartering a yacht combines privacy with impeccable service in a relaxed environment. However, following a few simple yacht charter etiquette rules help your trip run smoothly. Here are a few dos and don’ts to make your trip more enjoyable:
Yacht Charter Etiquette: DO
#1 DO fill out the preference form in advanceThis handy document goes a long way in making your trip the most enjoyable. Return it prior to setting sail: everything, the service, the cuisine, the onboard experience will be better because of it.
#2 DO listen to safety briefingYour captain and crew take safety very seriously. And that’s why all charters begin with a brief safety talk. So, make sure you provide undivided attention, in the case of rough seas or an issue onboard, the information you’ll learn can be very helpful.
#3 DO be flexible on your itinerary (weather dependent)Your captain and crew will do everything possible to follow your itinerary suggestions. But remember: Safety is always the most important. Weather can throw your plans off course; it’s helpful to be understanding if the changes have to be made for weather-related reasons.
#4 Do treat the yacht as you would your own homeA simple rule to follow. The crew want you to feel at home and equally the boat owner will appreciate care taken with his property.
#5 Do bring suitable luggageStorage is always a big issue, so hard-sided luggage is discouraged in favour of soft luggage that can be collapsed for stowing. Steamer trunks might be the “in thing” on ocean liners, but not on yachts, so try to pack light.
#6 DO respect your crewAll crew members work tirelessly to provide impeccable service and meet your high expectations. Everyone is there to make sure you have a truly memorable time. Treat them as you would your most-valued employees.
#7 Do allow time for housekeepingGive the crew a chance to make up the beds and perhaps service the various systems while you spend time onshore exploring or shopping. If there's no chance of getting off the yacht, do try to leave the crew time to do their job while you sunbathe and swim.
Housekeeping generally takes place after breakfast. Head up to the sunbed on your yacht’s bow o and take in some morning sun, or go up to the flybridge while your crew makes up your rooms and prepares for the day’s journey.
#8 Do follow the “bare foot” ruleAs soon as you step onboard, you’ll notice a familiar sight on any yacht: a basket for shoes by the gangway. Teak decks are expensive and fragile, heels can scratch and damage the teak decking, black soles can leave scuff-marks, so come prepared to go barefoot. If shoes are allowed on deck, keep in mind that they should be soft-soled “boat shoes”.
#9 DO tip the crewaccording to MYBA (Worldwide Yachting Association, the industry's professional trade body) the crew gratuity is between 5-15 percent of the value of the charter. It can be scaled up or down depending on your satisfaction of the service. At the end of your charter, you can hand an envelope with the tip to the captain, who will divide it equally among the crew, who will be very grateful for you.
Yacht Charter Etiquette: DON’TS
#1 DON’T do anything illegalThere is zero tolerance aboard yachts for illegal or illicit activities. The penalty for any such behavior is the yacht itself being seized and the license lost. Therefore, the captain and crew will end your charter and return you to shore, if any illegal activities have taken place.
#2 DON’T enter the crew quartersAvoid crew areas, unless you’ve been invited. The galley, or kitchen, is typically off-limits to guests, unless invited by the chef. Most yachts have mini-refrigerators with drinks and snacks, if needed. Plus, your crew will be on hand to provide beverage service and take any food orders throughout your stay.
#3 Don’t expect the crew to be your childcareWhile many yachts encourage charter guests to bring children of all ages and often stock a wide variety of water toys and games, the crew members are not babysitters. They’re busy and cannot always provide a watchful eye If you bring small children, plan to care for them yourself or bring a nanny, who can often be accommodated in a spare cabin.
#4 DON’T waste fresh waterA yacht is a self-sufficient unit, and as such, the crew needs to manage all aspects of power generation, waste disposal, and water consumption. Showers aboard should be short, and it may be suggested that you turn the water off when you soap up. Follow the water restrictions to ensure there’s always hot available.
#5 Don't violate the smoking policyIn general Smoking on yacht is prohibited, but there may be specific areas on deck set aside for smokers. If you or some of your party are smokers, make sure that is clear to your charter broker from the outset. If smoking is permitted on deck, a thoughtful guest will enjoy their dessert cigar on the stern or downwind side of the yacht where the smoke blows away.