What you should not say to the owner, what pictures shouldn’t better be posted on Instagram and why Mariah Carey is not the one to talk to when deciding on a yachting style. The 30-year experience yachtsman enthusiast, the proud owner of Sabre 38 Sachem and the Etchells racer, Johnathan Russo, has written an article for the The Observer magazine. The article has tips for the person who got invited on a yacht for the first time.
What to talk about and when it’s better to stay silent when having a conversation with the yacht owner to get invited aboard at least once again, instead of leaving you on the closest uninhabited island. Keep reading to find out about that and more.
Having got invited to go on a yachting trip, be sure to have the most exciting time of the summer. Technically, saying "yacht", we mean a pleasure boat, which is not used for commercial fishing or as a means of transportation. Even a 30-foot motor boat falls under this category.
However, for the purpose of this article, we will be using "yacht" as a bigger type of boat that needs at least one professional crew member. Usually, this is the case for yachts 60-foot long, at least. You don’t need to know how to sail this kind of boat, but being generally aware of the things aboard, is something that should not be missed out if you want to get invited ever again. First, there are two types of yachts: motor and sail ones. The purpose of these yachts also differs for the most part as well as the temper of their owners. Below are several tips on onboard dos and don’ts.
You were invited on a motor yacht.
Get some information on that yacht. No matter who invited you, a friend, a relative or anyone else, google who built the boat and when, its size, etc. The owner will be quite impressed when talking it turns out that you actually know something about his yacht. This level of yachting means large investments. Owners don’t mind boasting about the designer’s name, the shipyard that built it and its model. You should keep that in mind.
If you got on the one that’s been built by Feadship, Benetti, Burger or any other Dutch shipyard — you are on board of something special. Be sure to let the owner know you are aware of that. If the boat is a production model and was built by the shipyards like Choy Lee or Trinity, just don’t say anything. Learn a couple of sea terms. A restroom is called latrine, backside of a yacht is stern, and there is no such thing as "left" or "right", but "port" and "starboard".
Do some studying to find out who the designer is. The origin of the yacht is something very important to the owner. If he/she is a famous designer, like Sparkman & Stephens or Hargrave, that will be a good conversation piece for you.
Appreciate the efforts. As long as the yacht has its captain and the crew, it is thoroughly maintained. The crew members get paid for the job done. Mention the shiny lacquered woodwork, polished chrome handles and impeccable interior. The owner has a "thing" on this, so you will have quite a talk.
An excellent conversation starter would be to ask the owner where he sails and where his yacht stays in winter. Another one is to talk about how he spends his time on the yacht. All of these can make a good bonding experience with the owner.
Do not talk about fuel saving. The environmental issue is quite a common topic in the yachting industry and almost everybody says that their products are eco-friendly. But in fact, getting a private yacht is next to the worst things one can do to the environment. Fuel burning counts by gallons per hour and, believe me, you don’t want to know the actual number. Fueling a 90-foot yacht may easily cost up to 25 000 $. Better don’t talk about the expenses on the crew, maintenance, the yacht cost itself and so on. You are here to have a good time.
You were invited on a sailing yacht.
Get some information on the boat as well. If it is the Swan, Hinckley or Wally, be sure you are on a very expensive yacht. Having a conversation, talk about the quality of what you see around. If the yacht was designed by Bill Tripp, Jr., Bill Tripp lll, Ted Hood, or Chuck, you should say that they are the best ones.
Look up some sailing. It is not as hard as it may seem. Just remember that the front sail is called staysail and the one behind it — mainsail. Of course, it’s more difficult when there are three sails or more, but remember these two terms just for now.
You also need to know that there are several directions a wind can blow, so do a little studying on that as well.
As mentioned above, talk about the adventures the owner had sailing on his yacht. Ask him if he sailed in the ocean or took part in offshore regattas. You may also ask why he chose this type of yacht among classic, race and cruise ones. Keep asking question to go on with the conversation.
Yachtsmen can’t stand stupidity. Never ask this: "Can it fall over?". Sail yacht never does that! No one will be willing to sail just for you when it’s storming. Both sail and motor boat would have to get back to the harbor. There is no easier way to make the sail yacht owner lose its cool, but asking stupid questions. If you get nervous when the yacht is banking, just put up with the fact that it’s okay and keep smiling.
Both on a motor and a sail yacht.
To avoid getting seasick, ask to show you around the interior while the yacht is still in the berth. The fastest way to get seasick is to go to the cabin when the yacht is on its way. Stay outside, watch something on land. If you start getting sick, distract yourself with something. To keep focusing on the seasick is the worst you can do. Some warm clothes will be good to have. Usually, it’s colder at sea, especially when it’s windy and you are on a sailing yacht. Even if it’s hot at the beach, you should put on some warm clothes anyway.
Put on clothes that make you feel comfortable, but nothing baggy or too long as it can get tangled in a winch or hooked on the moving parts of the boat. A yacht is nothing like a night club, don’t follow the Mariah Carey’s tips! Dress up properly. Treat the crew with respect. All the members are high class professionals doing a tough job. They are at work, so don’t try to flirt with them, asking to put the sunburn cream on your back.
The binoculars are made for watching the endless sea horizon and remote lands, but not for glancing at bigger boats. And don’t even think about talking about those boats that seem to look more expensive. Admire them, but it to yourself.
Don’t post on Instagram pictures of other boats, otherwise you won’t get invited on that yacht ever again!