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Old 21-02-2012, 21:32   #1
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Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

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
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Old 21-02-2012, 22:01   #2
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

Don't forget to discreetly elicit medical info in the event of an emergency and need to call for help. Don't count on the victim being conscious to tell EMS.
Don't need to know about hangnails, acne and vitamin deficiencies.
Do need to know about things like special meds, epilepsy, angina, severe sting/food allergies, hemophilia; and don't forget sleepwalking.
Also don't forget to inform your crew of your status should you be the one to need help.
Leads right into EMCOMM procedures briefing before getting underway.
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Old 21-02-2012, 23:30   #3
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

Good post. I mostly live on a yacht in Bundaberg and work as Medic on a survey boat on the (Ozzie) west coast and can share your concern. People will do things on a boat that they would never do visiting someone's house. Funny that.

On our commercial survey boat, we have very well articulated expectations covering everything, including codes of behaviour, safety, man overboard, dining arrangements, responsibilities and schedules. We have regular meetings and a very formal safety code. But it is also relaxed (as we do 24 hour operations) and people can enjoy time off in comfort and relative privacy.

This works because it is spelt out clearly at the outset - I think that is the key. The document could be a skippers checklist (one page, dotpoint, laminated) or a prescriptive list. Perhaps even a video, as we have on our survey vessel.

In my "Welcome Aboard" list I would have:

1. Pre Voyage:
Clothing, footwear and sun protection
Personal gear and contributions to the galley
Personal Safety Gear
Medical and food requirements/medications and allergies

2. On Boarding:
Using the marine head
Personal space and stowage of gear
Keeping a tidy ship
Fire extinguishers - location and use, fire blanket
Lifejackets and grab bags
Liferaft deployment
Flares, Epirb, radios and flares, other safety equipment
"One hand for yourself" and moving around the vessel
Helping out - your contributing to a working ship/yacht and morale
Illicit drugs and alcohol

3. On Voyage:
Watchkeeping arrangements, sleep and consideration for the off watch
Man Overboard
Distractions on the bridge/helm - collision avoidance and keeping a lookout
Arrangements for meals and snacks
Environmental considerations - what can be thrown overboard (if anything)

The previous post is also spot on - as our ship's medic - that is a mater of course. Nobody objects. Also with dietary requirements, allergies etc.

I would like to see some more draft "Welcome Aboard" items too. Like in an aircraft. Laminated. Might then make up my own list.

Richard of Charon
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Old 22-02-2012, 02:26   #4
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

If you have to provide family and friends with checklists to enlighten them as to how to behave then you either have a crap set of family and friends or you dont have the art of verbal communication sussed.

Just tell them.
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Old 22-02-2012, 02:34   #5
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

A members signature on another forum....

Quote:
Visiting friends welcome
Relatives by appointment only
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Old 22-02-2012, 03:00   #6
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

items to add to list
use of water
power
dingy
informing you if anything is broken or damaged
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Old 22-02-2012, 03:49   #7
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by anjou View Post
If you have to provide family and friends with checklists to enlighten them as to how to behave then you either have a crap set of family and friends or you dont have the art of verbal communication sussed.

Just tell them.

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Old 22-02-2012, 05:25   #8
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by anjou View Post
If you have to provide family and friends with checklists to enlighten them as to how to behave then you either have a crap set of family and friends or you dont have the art of verbal communication sussed.

Just tell them.
The best answer


Having a boat with guest space is just like owning a ski chalet or a beach house -- it is a tremendous amenity to your friends (you will suddenly have more) and relatives (some of whom will crawl out of the woodwork).

And if that's not what you wanted in the first place -- you should have bought a Contessa

Freeloading? That's what guests do. That's the definition of a guest. So if you don't want your friends freeloading, then don't invite them. Hospitality means giving people the chance to freeload. If it gives you pleasure, do it. If not, don't.

I intentionally bought a boat with lots of guest space (sleeps seven not counting the salon, I have not infrequently ended up the one sleeping on the settee in the salon because all seven other beds were occupied -- I have lots of friends ).

Of course it is a big financial strain to have a month or six-week long cruise with the boat full of guests all the time, so I am always pleased, and always gratefully accept when my guests chip in for marina fees, meals in town, provisions, fuel. If I'm personally concentrated on running the boat, I am always glad when guests entirely relieve me of the cooking and washing dishes, especially when the guests are not helping much with the sailing. I, personally, would never, ever demand any of this, make up some formula for it, or even discuss it -- well brought-up folk do it naturally. If you're not pleased with some guest's willingness to contribute, just don't invite them next time. Simples.

When I am a guest on someone else's boat, I always buy all the provisions and booze, pay all the restaurant bills, and make damn sure to do my share of the dirty jobs on board -- carrying off garbage, helming when the autopilot is on the fritz, flaking and covering the mainsail, washing dishes, fixing things (other boat owners are more grateful for this last point than anything else you can do, in my experience). Is it rocket science? My mom taught me the principles of this when I was about six years old, I don't know about the rest of you.
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Old 22-02-2012, 05:46   #9
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

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.
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Old 22-02-2012, 06:07   #10
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

I agree with Dockhead. Family and friends don't come with 'conditions'. If I can't afford to take them out...then I don't make the offer. If they offer to split costs..then we will discuss (and agree to) that before shoving off. But with that said, one would not invite a friend/family into their house (children are usually excluded from this 'rule') and it be a given that they can 'plunder' the kitchen. Thus this rule should also apply to a galley. On our boat my wife if both the the nurse and wench. If anyone needs something from the med kit or the galley, she WILL be consulted with first. She will also ask all visitors if she needs to be aware of any medical conditions. But we do offer a small cooler of ice that can be used for things that visitors might prefer over what we already have aboard.

And as the skipper...I agree completely with Hud3 as well. Wow....I have had friends and family, alike, not use the head when they needed too because they didn't know how after the first 'lesson'. Agreed, it is not a normal toilet....but to 'hold it in' for an entire trip will take the pleasure out of the trip as well!
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Old 22-02-2012, 06:48   #11
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

I have one rule for ALL persons aboard Seraph.

It's posted in a prominent position;

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS TRY DOING WHAT THE CAPTAIN SUGGESTED
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Old 22-02-2012, 07:22   #12
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

rtbates, I love your rule! Now I need to post it in the prominent position... the head! LOL
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Old 22-02-2012, 07:32   #13
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

I have to agree with those who say you don't put "conditions" on guests. Living in Florida, we regularly get those friends and family who want to come down in the winter. Some get invited to stay at our house. Others get an informative rundown on nearby hotels and attractions.

Having said that, with a boat I do think it is important to talk to visitors about the head. This is one item that they are likely to have to use, that is distinctly different than what they are used to on land.

I'm "between boats" now, but I still have a step-by-step set of laminated instructions that I made up for my last boat. This was kept in the head for reference, and anyone who was new to the boat was taken down, shown the head, and stepped through the instruction sheet. At the same time I explained to them WHY it was important to follow the instructions, and made it clear that if they did NOT follow those instructions then THEY were going to be the ones who were elbow-deep in crap cleaning things out while I instructed and supervised from a suitable distance. This always seemed to serve to avoid problems.
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Old 22-02-2012, 07:45   #14
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

We agree with Anjou. Our family and friends ask what they need to bring, what they can do to help, how to use the facilities (head, water conservation, etc.) If they acted like yours, they wouldn't be invited again.
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Old 22-02-2012, 08:36   #15
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re: Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat

When I owned a home, I didn't ask houseguests to share expenses. Why would that be different if my home is a boat?

Any guests aboard for more than a daysail are asked to wear proper boat shoes or white-soled tennies. I do not allow running shoes aboard the boat. Even Wonderblond takes hers off on the dock steps.

All guests, even experienced boaters, get a brief orientation to operating the head, since ours is a macerating head with no manual pump. Gentlemen are asked not to use the head in a standing position, even in port. I have a nephew who ignored this rule repeatedly, and he is no longer invited to come sailing.

Toward the end of the school year, my graduating TAs are each granted a day sail to which they can invite as many friends as will fit in a single car. They are requested not to bring glass aboard. (This rule never applies to friends with degrees.)
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