Aboard a Yacht!

Is this your first time aboard a yacht?

Would you like to know what to expect!

It's like stepping into an alien environment filled with equipment not encountered on dry land! And when it moves; when there are roads and all sorts of foreign objects trying to trip you up, it's also apparent that it demands reasonable co-regulation and balance not to go slip slipping into something that could cause you damage.

So if you are to enjoy the cruising yacht a few fundamental guidelines should be known and observed. Some yachts do have a pre-sail chat about safety aspects and where to find things, the weather expected and destination.

When boarding a yacht what you should know!

• The skipper is in supreme command, there is no true democracy! OMG sometimes it is put on plaques like 'The Skipper is Always Right' in case you forget!

• Yelling and shouting from the skipper, (I do not like it) but do not get into an argument about it, why? Three very good reasons … one being he could be yelling a command or warning because he has concern for your safety or the safety of the yacht. The second reason is you're going to be spending a lot of time in a bound space together, no excuse. And number three is it is a sailing tradition that the crew buy the skipper drinks once ashore, even if he has been abusive. Still do not like it!

• Watch your footwear. No black soled shoes, high heels, dirty sole all that could mark the deck and make you unpopular. And do not unpack your gear and spread it around, space is something that most yachts do not have a lot of, consider others.

• Always remember this essential rule, 'one hand for the boat, and the other for what you are doing.' Why do you think it's called man overboard? Because a lot of men that go overboard … have their flies undone. And a lot of other injuries come from not adhering to this rule, this includes in the cabin, you will find a lot of 'hand holds' inside and outside a yacht.

• Using the toilet (heads) needs a set of instructions on its own when aboard a yacht. First thing is usually on a plaque saying; "Do not put in the heads anything that has not been through the body."

Marine plumbing is smaller and notoriously forward to fail, ask how to use it before you have your legs crossed and desperate to treat yourself. Most have a pump system that does not like too much toilet paper and needs a certain amount of pumps with the sea cock open. Ask the procedure here.

All a bit to remember when new on a yacht, and they are not all the same, so save embarrassment, ask! Good sailing etiquette will keep everyone happy!

• The boom, the horizontal attachment on the mast, can swing from one side to the other with or without warning, stand up or even sitting in its path and you could get a hefty blow that could send you overboard or cause major damage typically to your head. One of the times you could hear the skipper get very vocal as a warning or instructions that he is changing course.

• Do not sit on any ropes or pieces of gear, as they can move at amazing speeds and cause rope burn, whip out and leave a nasty welt and in the worst scenario take off fingers.

• Sitting in the companion way when aboard a yacht, especially if this is close to the 'main' (sail) traveler, is a hassle to others wanting to get in and out, and a danger to you if the traveler slides from one side to the other, another way to cause self-damage.

Do not let any of this put you off sailing and going aboard a yacht! Remember when you came into this world you had to learn the rules!

So now go out and experience the enjoyment of sailing and being aboard a yacht; it really is a whole heap of fun!

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