Smooth sailing: this term refers to forward motion without obstructions or difficulties, and has been in figurative use since the first half of the 1800s.
Multigenerational yacht charters can create special memories. Younger family members can take to the water and engage in watersports while less mobile grandparents observe from safe perches aboard.
1. Check with the Yacht’s Captain
Whenever planning on chartering a yacht with children or elderly guests, it is always advisable to speak with the captain beforehand. He or she can devise a backup plan should bad weather occur and ensure everyone stays safe and comfortable on board.
As well as considering their experience and qualifications, it’s also advisable to ask whether your skipper knows your chosen destination well. For example, if you plan on sailing the Ionian Islands during July and August, an experienced skipper can guide you more safely through less exposed waters.
A great skipper goes the extra mile to ensure you have an incredible yacht vacation, which is why they deserve a reward for their efforts. It is common practice to leave 10-15% of the charter fee as gratuity at the end of your voyage in order to encourage them to continue providing exceptional services to guests like yourself.
2. Keep an Eye on the Weather
Successful yachting begins with understanding how the weather impacts your destination. Although modern electronic forecasting tools may tempt you, observing surface pressure, tides and currents should remain an invaluable source of information.
Practice close quarter maneuvers before commencing a charter to develop confidence in yourself as a navigator while learning any particularities of your vessel’s layout or potential problems that might arise during its passage.
Astronomy can provide invaluable insight into reading the stars and understanding the messages from them about the weather. Thunder tells a lot about upcoming conditions; counting seconds between flash and boom gives an indication of storm’s proximity; so learning to interpret its signals is invaluable.
Make sure that whether you book a bareboat or fully crewed charter, an advance information questionnaire should be completed outlining culinary preferences, special dietary needs, activities and allergies as well as any other relevant details to assist the captain and crew with preparations for your arrival. Doing this will enable them to provide the best experience.
3. Make Sure You Have the Right Gear
If you want to enjoy all the amenities a yacht charter has to offer, it is essential that it comes equipped with everything that is needed – this may range from water toys and diving gear through to personal submarines! Most charters can provide these items, however if something more specific (like personal submarines) is required it’s essential that this information be given when booking your trip.
As more details can be provided to your broker, they are better equipped to create the ideal experience for you. A yacht’s Preference Sheet can be an invaluable source of this data.
Keep any special requests for your trip in mind, such as birthday or anniversary celebrations, family gatherings or business meetings. Crew gratuity should also be considered; as it can quickly add up. Finally, purchasing cancellation and curtailment insurance could save considerable costs in case your plans change unexpectedly or need to be cut short.
4. Take Care of Your Health
Renting a yacht should be an enjoyable and luxurious experience, but there are certain precautions you must take in order to remain healthy and safe during your time aboard.
Keep in mind that your yacht is an enclosed environment with limited ventilation, meaning airborne contaminants may accumulate quickly. Therefore, it’s wise to bring antibacterial wipes along and use them frequently; additionally, use face masks when snorkeling or diving for additional protection from airborne pollutants.
Making sure that you have appropriate footwear on board includes wearing sturdy shoes, boat shoes or trainers/sneakers to protect your feet and ensure an enjoyable cruise experience. Flip-flops may lead to injuries as you spend time walking about on board; wearing slip-on flip flops could result in such issues. For your own health’s sake it is recommended that sturdy footwear such as trainers/sneakers is best.
As part of your preparations, it is a good idea to bring along earplugs or noise canceling headphones, along with several bottles of water for drinking and an umbrella in case the wind changes directions unexpectedly. Finally, be sure to have travel insurance that provides coverage for yachting trips given that guidelines change on a frequent basis.
5. Make the Most of Your Time
Your crew on a yacht charter is one of the most vital elements of an enjoyable cruise experience, spending many hours planning and creating unforgettable yacht adventures for their guests. Make sure to show them respect by staying out of their quarters as much as possible; this gives them time to recharge their energy levels for optimal performance during your cruise, leading to an unforgettable vacation for you.
Modern yachts boast many amenities to make your cruise more enjoyable, from Michelin-quality cuisine to spa services and hot tubs onboard, water toys for active playback and shore excursions to explore UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Planning meals ahead can also help avoid dehydration and blood sugar dips while onboard a boat, and should ideally occur every four hours for longer party cruises. You could hire a personal chef onboard who can cater to specific dietary requirements as well as suggesting fun activities to do together as a group.