Yacht Etiquette: Mind Your Manners
Have you ever imagined that when you are in the lap of luxury what is the least that you need to know or do? Apart from being best dressed in that designer suit you also need to keep a check on your attitude and gesture which we classify as etiquettes. With that million dollar smile and style which make you classy, you would definitely eliminate the crass factor.
Yachting is more than 300 years old and traditions in yachting have been developed both of necessity and under the influence of ceremonies. As just as basic etiquettes at work is imperative it is also so with yachts, read on to get acquainted with basic etiquettes in yachting if you wish to earn appreciation and better service of your crew and fellow passengers!
Permission To Come Aboard
It is good etiquette to ask the captain’s permission before setting foot on the Yacht. Something like ringing the door bell before you enter someone’s house. Of course the request is not meant to be formal, just a simple “May I come aboard” will do.
Footwear & Clothing -
- In Indian tradition we remove our footwear before entering any place of worship, or an elder’s home to show our respect. Likewise, it is courtesy to remove your shoes before setting foot on the deck as someone has taken great care in managing it. The surface is generally highly polished, and can be easily damaged by high heels or Clark’s shoes. Even when you return from sightseeing on an island it is important to note that your footwear isn’t covered in grease, tar, oil or sand which can be carried back onto the deck. Hence, it is advisable to carry another pair of sneakers, tennis or deck shoes. Normally most yachts do offer deck shoes, slippers etc for the convenience of their guests. They say that her majesty the Queen of England removes her shoes when she visits a yacht. They say that there is a special chair and deck slippers for her. Remember, the upholstery and furnishings are probably hand made from the best fabrics of the world designed by elite and private designers to suit the taste of the owner, making it essential for everybody to take utmost care during their stay on the yacht.
It is customary to wear white on a yacht - sun, sea, cleanness. Clothes must be specialized. In other words, clothes must be convenient, comfortable, and clean, but if it got wet, it should get dry quickly. Clothes should protect you against the wind and moisture in the evening.
Travelling light always helps on a Yacht as most do not have lavish and full sized storage space. For the courtesy of your fellow passengers and crew members, carry lightly packed luggage which can be easily stored on board.
Maintain Noise Volume
- When on waters the most soothing sound is that of the waves hitting the side of the moving boat. Sound travels through air and much louder when there is open space. Blasting music or loud voices going the same way as the wind can be disrupting to others. Particularly in this environment, even normal conversations can land up hitting the ears of people around. So just relax and enjoy a panoramic view of the horizon.
Galley is only for crew –
You may be excited to explore the various ends of the Yacht. Right from the crew cabin all the way down to the gallery. But if you suddenly decide to barge into the gallery then don’t expect to be greeted with smiling faces. While the chefs could be preparing you a lip smacking dish, it also happens to be their own little private zone. Just as we don’t like to be disturbed while doing something important, this is important to them. Take permission and then take your tour inside.
"Water, water, everywhere
And all the boards did shrink
Water, water everywhere
Nor any drop to drink." — Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Fresh water is vital to all. Every vessel has a limited number of gallons on board which should be used respectfully by all travelers. Running out of fresh water in the middle of the ocean could prove fatal. Some charters even have rules about washing your hair with fresh water and permission comes straight from the captain. Oh and yes, there is no limit to the amount of sea water that may be used.
Follow the Head Instructions
The term used to identify a toilet on-board a yacht is “The Head”. Not knowing how the marine head functions can sometimes lead to difficulty, namely clogging. Clogging will indeed cause a lot of inconvenience to both crew members and other guests. Hence, it always helps asking a crew member how to operate the head. There is a proverb - as you treat the yacht, so she pays you. Do not create inconvenience for another boat
Aye-Aye Captain !!
The Captain of the ship is always responsible for the well being and safety of every person aboard including the guests. Like the scout leading the team he has a final say in almost all matters. Even while touring islands, its possible you may bump into some friends or friendly folks, whom you wish to invite on the yacht for some cocktails or romantic dinner, it is your responsibility to first inform the captain of the yacht first as at times excessive guests can also cause a safety issue.
There are situations when you are powerless. But the captain knows better than you what should be done in such situations. The captain is not a servant. One needs to listen to him and he can't be told “no” on a ship.
A handy tip to the crew is always appreciated. Around 10-15 % of the total charter fair should be good but you must also consider all the services that you’ve taken aboard. The list includes navigation team, wait staff, bartender, chef, housekeeping diving instructor, dinghy driver, tour guide etc. Your captain can always help in telling you how to distribute it accordingly.
The waves and the wind; the smell of sea air; unusual people and unknown destinations; a yachting holiday will take you through many unforgettable experiences. At the end of the journey, you will bid happy and respectful goodbyes, taking comfort in the knowledge that you have been a first class guest.