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Old 22-02-2012, 09:43   #16
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

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Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
I had five rules for guests.
  1. Learn to properly use the marine head
  2. Wear proper boat shoes
  3. Learn to properly use the marine head
  4. No hard luggage
  5. Learn to properly use the marine head
For some reason, guests had problems with rules 1, 3 and 5.
So true.

And for that exact reason, in order to be a better host to my often non-nautical guests on board, I have bought from our Hop-Car a fresh water electric macerating toilet for the guest heads. All you do is push a button. I was embarrassed that my guests had to work so hard just to answer a call of nature.

And I was embarrassed that they were always puzzled by the page-long of instructions I had laminated, hanging on the wall of the guest heads. As someone else recounted, I had someone who, it turned out, just held it, out of intimidation by the old Jabsco. At the point I decided -- that toilet has to go.
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Old 22-02-2012, 09:45   #17
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

Given that the rules on each boat (and the expectations of each Skipper) do differ widely, from minimal to wildly unrealistic - Skipper does need to communicate the rules to crew / passengers and ideally at least the main points before they get onboard.

And nothing comes between folks better / worse than money . It may appear a simple thing to address by the Crew simply putting hand in pocket at every available opportunity - but that can also be taken the wrong way as it does suggest that the Skipper cannot afford things. Particularly annoying if an element of truth to it.........

Personally it all very much depends on how well crew are known and length of voyage (and how much I need them onboard!) - but my starting point is crew / passengers don't pay (except ashore, then it's the usual thing - whatever that is) and my plans would not expect the crew to bring anything consumable (but nothing turned down!).....I would have onboard some basic spare personal kit, but would chat through what they could / should bring to make their own life more pleasant.

Anything longer than a weekend I would suggest a fixed per day contribution to expenses, both for my benefit and also for the crew / passengers to feel they are contributing, but also are not being taken advantage of. But simply put, folk come aboard my boat because I enjoy their company and in practice that tends to exclude those who take the p#ss - including money wise.

I had to chuckle at the suggestion that the Galley be off limits, easy to have the opposite rule - help yourself, as don't expect to be waited upon!......personally I would add if crew is making a cuppa, digging out snacks or cooking that they offer to everyone else (also means Skipper can keep a rough track of WTF is going on and gives a good chance of the evening meal not ending up in a round of sandwiches ).

At the end of the day, IMO blah, blah, blah, it is down to the Skipper to set out the rules / expectations and doing so clearly (and early) is appreciated by the crew - at least those who can't read minds . (yeah, it's obvious to you - because you know what you want ).

With crew, like much else with boats, it is the case that the more effort Skipper puts in the better the likely result (for all concerned) - but no guarantee of that . Wishful thinking alone don't tend to work out well.

Etiquette? make sure you don't use a fish knife to butter your croissant . and don't tip the butler .
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Old 22-02-2012, 09:48   #18
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post

And I was embarrassed that they were always puzzled by the page-long of instructions I had laminated, hanging on the wall of the guest heads. As someone else recounted, I had someone who, it turned out, just held it, out of intimidation by the old Jabsco. At the point I decided -- that toilet has to go.
Amen! I found this was especially true with older guests. Nowdays, when my mother comes aboard, I tell her to just keep hitting buttons until the toilet does what she wants it to do.
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Old 22-02-2012, 09:55   #19
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

I originally wrote this in answer to a question about kids on board. Sems to apply here, too.

I often reflect on this question (seen here and often on the internet). I recall a couple who came to buy our C25 in 1998, with two little kids. The mother was all over the kids, with "Don't do this, don't do that..." The list was becoming endless. While it looked like they wanted to buy the boat (and did put in an offer, subsequently nixed by some bubbles on the keel paint that she incorrectly thought was hull osmosis), I just pulled her aside and said: "What we've found works is two simple rules: One hand for yourself..., and please do what I ask you do to WHEN I ask you, then feel free to ask any questions later." Those two simple things work for grownups, too.

The other points about safety relate to just about every guest I've ever had on board.

Giving the kids "their own" place, finding a place for them in the cockpit when the parents are busy boat handling, wearing YOUR lifejacket if you expect the kids to wear theirs, are all important.

But it's consistency that matters, just like at home. Why is a stove on a boat any different than one at home?

The trick is to teach your kids what they CAN do, not to begin an endless list of what they can't. [Same for guests.]

We also learned that trying to explain the head when they first come aboard is useless, 'cuz by the time they need it they've forgotten. What we do is: "When you need to use the head, we'll explain it to you." Works just great.

Three things I learned are very valuable (for kids and grownups!):

"Yes, later." Then you don't say "No" all the time!

"Give me a few minutes to think about it."

"Convince me." (Works best when they start talking)
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Old 22-02-2012, 11:12   #20
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

You've made me self conscious around my older Australian relatives. Do they have complex expectations of me that they aren't just saying? Am I blissfully unaware of all the little ways I've made them mad in the past, while they silently stew and get more mad? Am I going to get a formal letter from them before my next visit?

As a Gen X/Y, and American, my culture is to be quite a bit more direct. From my perspective, it's most polite to just be open and say something immediately -- "Dude, don't jump on the trampoline" or "Dude, I don't have enough money to pay for your groceries."

Notice how Dude is a necessary part of each sentence, for establishing detachment, neutralizing the tone, and making it clear it's a general thing rather than specific to that person. Perhaps that's what you are missing -- Dude.

So... I think if the letter is how you want to do it, that's good. A bit stilted and oddly formal, from my perspective, but better than having complicated expectations for someone, not communicating them clearly, and then getting mad at them without telling them why. That just seems like an episode of a daytime 70's sitcom, like Three's A Company.
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Old 22-02-2012, 11:29   #21
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

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Originally Posted by msponer View Post
Notice how Dude is a necessary part of each sentence, for establishing detachment, neutralizing the tone, and making it clear it's a general thing rather than specific to that person. Perhaps that's what you are missing -- Dude.
Dude, after you've enjoyed the hospitality of our boat, take ten minutes to write something called a "Thank You Note" to my wife, thanking her for putting up with you. Then, Dude, drop this note in the mail after first stuffing it in an envelope and affixing a postage stamp. If you find this difficult, Dude, your parents can probably help you master the ancient technology we call "mail."
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Old 22-02-2012, 11:43   #22
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

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Originally Posted by Seawindow View Post
Hi there,

One of our motivations for purchasing a boat with additional berths etc was to share the sea life with family and friends. It was a way to keep in touch and share the experiences we enjoy.

However and unfortunately, some take the invitation as a freeloading holiday (either through ignorance of boat keeping costs) or the fact that they are part of Gen X,Y, etc who make the most of living by being VERY conservative in their parting with their own cash.

In order to ensure harmony on the boat + guests I was thinking of putting out a letter to people before they join us on rules & etiquette whilst enjoying our hospitality. This could include sections on:

1. General safety (safety gear, protocols, emergency drills etc)
2. How to input to everyday tasks (or 10 ways to get off your butt and contribute.... This is not the QE2!)
3. Means to share costs. $ per person per day? Split bills like food, fuel etc? Combination of each?
4. Care for our asset (or DON'T JUMP ON THE DAMN TRAMPOLINES)

I'd be interested in any views or running sheets that people use with their guests... The objective is to get the important rules communicated, costs neutral and an environment where both visitors and owner are R E L A X E D! Appreciate your response and I will publish what I finally summaries for general view or use. Especially like to hear of your experiences and how you overcame the stress.

Cheers,

Dave
IMHO, inviting guest and expecting them to share costs or pay a daily rate makes them sort of....not guests.
If guests bring things, great, but I'd be a little offended if they offered to share expenses. When for some reason I couldn't afford to have guests, I wouldn't invite them.
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Old 22-02-2012, 12:19   #23
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

I need to get invited to some of your people's boat just to run wid for a few days! Granted I probably won't get to come back, but the wild freedom of the few days sounds great!
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Old 22-02-2012, 12:28   #24
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by msponer View Post
---
Notice how Dude is a necessary part of each sentence, for establishing detachment, neutralizing the tone, and making it clear it's a general thing rather than specific to that person. Perhaps that's what you are missing -- Dude.
----
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If the Captain is old enough to be your grandfather don't call him "dude".
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Old 22-02-2012, 12:34   #25
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
Dude, after you've enjoyed the hospitality of our boat, take ten minutes to write something called a "Thank You Note" to my wife, thanking her for putting up with you. Then, Dude, drop this note in the mail after first stuffing it in an envelope and affixing a postage stamp. If you find this difficult, Dude, your parents can probably help you master the ancient technology we call "mail."
See, Dude works. It adds a token amount of civility and humor to an otherwise rude thought.

Is it really the manners to address the thank you note to your wife? I would have never guessed that. That detail seems rude, to me, it has a sexist subtext that guests are more of a burden on her because she is responsible for all of the house work. I would never single out the wife for a thank you note.

The preference for a written letter... That's interesting. I've been invited to weddings over email. I did not think it was still common for a written letter to be considered more polite.
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Old 22-02-2012, 13:10   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msponer


The preference for a written letter... That's interesting. I've been invited to weddings over email. I did not think it was still common for a written letter to be considered more polite.
This is a matter of knowing your hosts. Most people raised before email expect the extra effort involved with a handwritten note. Even younger folks often appreciate the touch, but are less likely to expect it. Basically, if your hosts have a mailing address that they check frequently, you can't go wrong with handwritten.
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Old 22-02-2012, 13:19   #27
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

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Amen! I found this was especially true with older guests. Nowdays, when my mother comes aboard, I tell her to just keep hitting buttons until the toilet does what she wants it to do.
Just rewire one of these to make it run the toilet.

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Old 22-02-2012, 13:32   #28
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

I agree with a lot of the posts so far.

First thing that came to my mind when reading the OP is "Do you ask guests to pay when they come to your house?"

When we live aboard and are cruising, we'll treat guests the same as we do at home, with the exception of telling them how to operate things that they need to operate and basic boat safety.

Only major difference is that depending on the area you are cruising, food costs can be more expensive than they might be in a land based home. If we had guests for more than a weekend or so, I don't think it would be out of order to ask that they contribute to provisions - I think good friends likely would contribute though without being asked.
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Old 22-02-2012, 13:34   #29
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

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Originally Posted by msponer View Post
Is it really the manners to address the thank you note to your wife? I would have never guessed that. That detail seems rude, to me, it has a sexist subtext that guests are more of a burden on her because she is responsible for all of the house work. I would never single out the wife for a thank you note.
Dude! You're cracking me up! You send it to the wife because she'll appreciate the note, and her husband isn't going to bother to read it.

And let me assure you, Dude, that if you clog the head on my boat, that part of the "house work" won't fall to the wife. This is why you get the 45-minute lecture before we let you pee.
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Old 22-02-2012, 14:13   #30
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

Forgetting about sharing expenses (something which you should clearly work out in advance, if that is your need and expectation), I still believe that sending our landlubber friends a generic attachment to an email with some simple, written advice/suggestions can not only help us, but them to have a better time. Topic areas should include:

1. the need for deck shoes (or shoes with soft soles in a color other than black).
2. the need to pack in only soft duffel or carrying bags (I had one guest arrive with large, hard-shell suitcases).
3. suggested attire (best to let them know that the opportunity for wearing dress clothes, heels, etc., etc, will be extremely limited if not non-existant); bathing suits, light cottons shorts, one pair long pants, etc.
4. food items - best to let them know that large, glass serving trays of appetizers, pies in glass dishes, etc. will be a hazard (yes, it happens); indeed, we generally tell them that due to limited refrigeration/storage space, we prefer to provide all food stuffs.
5. for the reasons above, beer should be in cans
6. on most boats, forget the hair dryer/straightener; if a guest is a musician, please ask in advance if there will be space to store your guitar (or....?);
7. water limitations, if any
8. privacy limitations, if any
9. the need to bring their own towels, if any?
10. that they will receive a short briefing on their arrival on how to use certain of the boat's systems - especially the toilet and refrigerator (don't leave it open unnecessarily!) and any special equipment (such as an on-demand water heaters, etc.).

Tell them that if some of the points being made seem obvious or even insulting to their intelligence, you apologize - the list is a generic one that you send to all guests in order to save time. As to the boats systems, let them know that as all boats are different, that even you require (and want) a 'briefing' if you are sailing on somebody else's boat.

The day to day stuff when sailing is something that I discuss in person as the need arises. However, for the real land-lubbers, I still believe that an attachment to an email covering subjects such as above, can not only improve thier stay, but save them embarrassment.

Brad
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