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Old 16-06-2008, 15:22   #1
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What Rules Do You Have for Guests Aboard ?

I am curious what some of you Captains and Admirals have come up with for rules aboard your boat when guests are aboard.
I ask this because we recently spent several days aboard with 9 people (6 guests) and I am sure things would have run much smoother if we had implemented a few rules. Don't get me wrong we had a great time but it seems things were harder than need be because we were not clear enough on what was expected.
A few rules that seemed to make sense to me was that each guest is allowed one medium size duffle bag and items are to remain in the bag and bag put up at all times. Also that each guest should take turns preparing meals and doing cleanup.
I would love to hear more ideas from some of you folks that have some practice in crowd control

Jackie
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Old 16-06-2008, 15:24   #2
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Rule #1: no guests!!! Just kidding, we never have more than 2 guests at a time. No boat is big enough.
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Old 16-06-2008, 15:33   #3
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. . . each guest is allowed one medium size duffle bag and items are to remain in the bag and bag put up at all times.
Doesn't this obviate bringing the bag of items in the first place?

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Old 16-06-2008, 15:34   #4
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This hilarious thread from Holding Pattern No More Company...EVER. might give you a few ideas.
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Old 16-06-2008, 15:37   #5
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I stand corrected. What I meant to say is that the items are to remain in the bag unless they are being used. It seems that these duffle bags (which there were at least 20 of) seem to implode all over our salon which made walking through the boat almost impossible.
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Old 16-06-2008, 15:38   #6
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Again, I am a newbie to boats, but I can imagine that if we had six guests in our house, at the end of the weekend I would be thinking to myself, "Well, that was a lot of work!!". Six extra people is hard no matter where or the size of your accommodations. In a boat, I can imagine that it would get a little hairy.


And smelly.
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Old 16-06-2008, 15:42   #7
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That is a great thread! I sure hope we have no surprises like that
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Old 16-06-2008, 15:51   #8
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I stand corrected. What I meant to say is that the items are to remain in the bag unless they are being used. It seems that these duffle bags (which there were at least 20 of) seem to implode all over our salon which made walking through the boat almost impossible.
I knew what you meant, jp, I was just having a little fun with your post, not correcting. And I completely agree with you - there must be rules, and they must be adhered to. That doesn't require a Captain Bligh, just common courtesy.

I'm also of the opinion that more than a couple of guests are too many. A boat is a small, contained space, and it shrinks quickly with each additional body aboard.

Oh, BTW (just a little more fun), imploding bags = no problem; exploding bags = serious problem.

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Old 16-06-2008, 16:04   #9
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Expectations are a critical thing. What you expect as a boat owner includes many things that might be known to another boat owner but still a lot of things that are about you personally and about the specifics of your boat.

1. Don't be shy about any rules.

2. The rules don't go down easier later. Start the process of the big ones before the trip even is solidified.

3. Be explicit with using the head. Boats heads and people that have never used one are difficult. They get too embarrassed to ask and their bladder gets too full not to go.

4. People don't mean to be a problem even when they are. You still don't want problems.

5. You need to write all the rules down at least for yourself. It's easy to forget that one thing you know you never are supposed to do
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Old 16-06-2008, 16:43   #10
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I think limiting the amount of guests to two is a really good idea. We have been back for two days now and we are finally loosing the glassed over look in our eyes. If we would have set up rules form the beginning like suggested it would have been much more a livable situation but we did not want to be perceived as Captain Bligh. I have come to the conclusion now that Captain Bligh was not really that bad
Upon our return the captain and I had a long talk about having guests aboard in the future and came to the conclusion that unless we set up some strict rules we would have to limit guests to two or better yet do the buddy boat thing.
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Old 16-06-2008, 17:27   #11
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I believe it is very important to lay out the general rules before casting off. If most are commonsense then generally I have found no problems and the cruise has gone well. Last year the largest was seven, including myself and girlfriend.

The points I cover are…. In no partcular order.

Toilet….. nothing goes in which have not passed through your body. (everyone during the eventual tour), even young kids have a go and continue until they have successfully completed a cycle.

Everyone is welcome to become involved in all aspects of sailing (depending on their skills or desire to learn…. I will accept their statement of experience, but check that ability with a careful eye. Or not be involved in the sailing part.

Those who cook never wash up the same meal. (On one occasion I had a lady guest who stated that she didn’t feel up to any sailing activities but would be happy to cook. The poor girl was so seasick down below, that cooking was impossible on another occasion a different lady provided daily a five star cuisine). In any event, they never wash up, someone else does and everyone takes turns…. No exception

Whether they are experienced or not, when I say return to the cockpit, put on life jackets etc they must and they must do it expeditiously, without question. ( I give an exaample that a weather change might be imminent and I need to look to the boat and although not necessarily dangerous there are possible safety factors and I need to know they are being carried out). By the way I have never had a problem ever, re safety.

I smoke, but no one smokes below in sleeping cabins.

If they make a mess, they clean it. ( I show them where the cleaning items are located)

No matter how experienced they may be I conduct them around the boat….Above and below… and explain how everything works ( or more to the point how I work it) Seacocks, electricity, gas (cooker) ,water usage/capacity (showers) and food/drinks.(take what you like when you like, but remember if we have to return to shore to buy or take on water, then the cruise of the deserted islands is curtailed.

If they are drinking the last cold beer, then ask where the remainder are and put them in the cooler to chill….same ice, water, mixer etc.

Excessive drinking and sailing don’t mix….enjoy but within parameters.( especially if its my good scotch)

If you are feeling seasick stay above deck....If thats not possible tell me

However the above are I believe generally commonsense and quite acceptable to everyone. I have specific MOB and sailing safety items depending on experience of guests.

What I believe contributes to the overall success of the cruise, is a few words about space. Firstly we keep all the spaces above and below tidy. I stress safety rather than neatness, but touch on the latter. IE loose item from books to knitting needles can be dangers so put them away.

However it is the personal space which more often needs to be addressed. I do mention that we are people in a small space and the pleasure of the cruise requires some unique courtesies. ( I tell a white lie and say it traditional on a happy boat and gained by years of experience).

I stress that as space is limited, when we seek privacy in our cabins or on deck then the approaching individual should have the courtesy to “ask if they may join that person or group” Normally an “ofcourse please do” ensues; however sometime we need the space and a simple “actually I was just thinking out something… could I just have a few minutes, ensures privacy. (This does not apply to common areas such as salon and cockpit… if you are there, you want company)

When tied to land, everyone should offer a kindness.. I/we are going to the village, would anyone like something (This means they are going alone, can we get something for you is a kindness). I/we are going into the village, would anyone like to join me/us. No isn’t a bad word and is not antisocial.

I/we are going for a walk, swim etc….see you for dinner/lunch. Means they want to be alone. We are going for a swim,pub, walk etc would anyone like to come is an invitation, to be accepted or kindly declined. Often in a mixed group, economics can vary. So an invitation to an expensive restaurant/club is out of the question for some, even if everyone likes the other’s company. So the invitation is made and either accepted or declined.

The latter points, I believe has made my cruises a success, indeed some friends, who were going through a sticky patch in their relationship, use the same system in their relationship on land to some success.

However, little of the above works with admirals and ‘she who must be obeyed”.

What I do know is that the moment of arrival is the time to address those of above you feel worthy. Those of little experience will accept what they think as normal. Those with experience will understand.

Regards


Alan
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Old 16-06-2008, 17:55   #12
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3. Be explicit with using the head. Boats heads and people that have never used one are difficult. They get too embarrassed to ask and their bladder gets too full not to go.
I don't think this can be stressed enough! Definitely the first thing anyone new to your boat (or boats in general) should be instructed on! I'm also always amazed when folks cry out for toilet paper and can't figure out the use for the hand held bidet wand which is right where a toilet roll dispenser would normally be expected? In any event -NO TOILET PAPER ABOARD!

Other rules to explain:

-no marking sole shoes (normally just no shoes)
-no dishes in the sink. Clean upon finish.

-keys have a nasty habit of working their way free and onto the floor and causing damage, therefore everyone needs to put their keys in the "Key Jar". Of course this is complete bullocks, but my reasoning for it is two fold: 1. it allows me to see each person as they leave and offer them a departure greeting, and make sure they're safe to hit the road; 2. It provides for a natural 'buffer' time for those not in the know to see that the cleanup has started. Most wouldn't dare ask for their keys whilst everyone else is starting to clean, but with keys in hand, some will make a beeline for their vehicle as soon as the lines are tied without giving any thought to lending a hand. That buffer zone adds just the right pause to an end of a cruise imo....

-I try to help newbies remember port and starboard by telling them that 'port' and 'left' both have 4 letters. Seems to work...
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Old 16-06-2008, 18:04   #13
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<snip>
-I try to help newbies remember port and starboard by telling them that 'port' and 'left' both have 4 letters. Seems to work...
Excellent observations, suede. I love your "key-jar" concept.

Also, red is shorter than green, port is shorter than starboard, left is shorter than right.

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Old 16-06-2008, 19:10   #14
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Only two rules so far...

We have only come up with two rules so far...
1) It's a heavy steel boat and real hard to damage. People are soft and damage easily. Do not put fingers etc. under ropes or put your arms, legs etc. between the boat and a hard place.
2) Young children and poor swimmers wear life jackets when outside the cockpit (even in the marina).
I don't know if I have frightened prospective crew away or it's just the weather.

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Old 16-06-2008, 19:34   #15
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