If you have been invited to go boating there are some guidelines to follow, regardless of the size of the boat. Any boat larger than a skiff is considered a yacht. Speedboats, cruisers, sailboats and pontoons are all yachts. The dock and the open waterway call for attention to rules. Etiquette goes everywhere. On the water it is even more important. Following these guidelines will make you a guest who will be welcomed back.
Be on time
The Captain does not want to wait. They desire to be on the water.
Don't go empty-handed.
Treat the yacht as if it were someone's home. Never go empty handed. Avoid glass containers.
Hard soled shoes, heels and black sole shoes are not welcome on boat decks. Any shoe with a white or light colored sole is appropriate.
Space on yachts is limited. Use soft-sided luggage. Easier to store.
"Permission to come aboard?" This should always be asked before boarding. This is an old traditional rule built on respect to the captain.
Take a Coat
Well, maybe a jacket to protect against the chill of the open waters especially after dark.
Know where the life jackets are stored. Use one if you feel uncomfortable. Learn the location of the boat's fire extinguishers.
Never assume alcohol is welcome. Ask your host in advance.
Find out how to operate it. It does not work like a land line bathroom. It can be very messy if used incorrectly and the user's responsibility to clean.
Operating a yacht can be expensive. Whether you offer to contribute toward fuel will primarily depend on your relationship with the person who invited you. An excursion may cost several hundred dollars in fuel. Offering a contribution toward fuel is a thoughtful gesture.
Don't jump off the yacht after you dock and rush to your car. Cleanup following a yacht trip may take a couple of hours. Offer to help get things back in order. It will be appreciated, even if you are declined. If they accept do it willingly and cheerfully.
Etiquette on a yacht should have the utmost attention. Close quarters, Mother Nature, and the inability to escape can make boating a challenging gathering. Practicing these simple extensions of good etiquette will make the excursion fun and safe for all.