The captain and crew in particular will be careful to ensure the safe and responsible use of water-sport equipment or ‘toys’. Adolescent children and men of all ages need to act responsibly in what may be an unfamiliar environment. In fast craft, directional control at speed is a skill which needs practice. Whilst exhilarating the hazards need to be understood and the crew’s instructions complied with fully. Bring your local certificates, licences, permits to operate personal water craft, jet-skis, sea-doos etc. along with you for your charter.
There will be national requirements exercised by individual nation states for the guest’s use of boats, personal water craft (PWC) and other equipment. Local training and certification is mandatory in many established cruising grounds. Most yachts carry suitably qualified instruction in the use of the Toys that they carry. The use of PWC, water skiing and the towing of inflatable rings, bananas and such is often restricted to nominated areas. It is frequently prohibited in peaceful anchorages or close to swimming beaches. Some beaches have specific buoyed approach lanes to separate swimmers from craft; these too need to be strictly observed.
It is natural for guests to want to explore the coastline they can see but before venturing towards the adjacent island or getting drawn into that lively bar around the corner you’ll need to be briefed by the crew and accept responsibility for your own actions which may involve calling for a pick-up from the crew if things unfold differently or not as initially intended, stay in contact with the yacht. You may be provided a radio with explanation on use and channel or call from your mobile phone.
The use of unpowered craft needs to be properly thought through, some guests and their children will be skilled in the use of sailing dinghies, sail boards or kite boards. However, there is always the possibility that they will tire or be injured and may have difficulty regaining the yacht. For this reason it is necessary that guests understand that they may need to wait until adequate safety supervision is possible. This is especially true shortly after arrival at an anchorage or around crew meal times. Even in secluded anchorages there may be other vessels and a degree of mutual respect in the timing and nature of excursions may need to be considered.
There are other areas where behaviours may have to be moderated. Probably the greatest of these owes to the consumption of alcohol. While drinking is for many a normal part of a holiday, reason should prevail. In addition to the accepted social norms many aspects of life on a yacht are complicated by unsteadiness, poor vision or ‘inspired ideas’. Activities hampered by alcohol consumption include: swimming, boat/toy use, entering/leaving the tender during a transfer and diving which should never be undertaken after drinking even if consumed the night before, duty of care must prevail.
Regarding drinking water onboard, while the water onboard is potable it is customary for guests to drink bottled water while the potable water is consumed for guest services, hotel and deck activities. Many yachts provide each guest a new dedicated water bottle and have water bars onboard to refresh the guests water compliment. Recycling systems are in place onboard, and all guests are encouraged not to let plastics blow out to sea whether while onboard or ashore beachside, for example plastic bags, single use plastic utensils or plastic straws. Efforts are constantly being made to replace or recycle onboard super yachts - going Green to Save the Blue!
To paraphrase the Captain’s Authority and Responsibility, MYBA Agreement Clause 7, while the same attention will be shown the charter party as if the Charterer were the Owner the Captain will comply with all reasonable orders given to him/her by the Charterer regarding the management, operation and movement of the Vessel, wind, weather, and other circumstances permitting. The Captain shall NOT, however, be bound to comply with any order which might, in the reasonable opinion of the Captain, result in the Vessel moving to any port or place that is not safe and proper, or might result in the Charterer failing to re-deliver the Vessel upon the expiration of the Charter Period, or would, cause a breach of Clause 13 or any of the contract Clauses.
In regards to the use of water-sports equipment, the Captain has the authority to exclude the Charterer or any/all of the guests from use of any water-sports equipment if they are unsafe, or behaving in an irresponsible manner, under the influence of alcohol, or are failing to show due concern for other persons or property when operating this equipment.
Upon arrival, guests and their luggage may be screened upon embarkation, welcomed aboard, toasted with greetings and introductions then shown to their cabins where they’ll be provided a familiarization of the amenities and shown the location of their life vests. Following this guests are usually gathered together in the main salon for a safety and security briefing outlining for example the “in case of” event procedures while luggage is allocated to their cabins.
Yachting is not a simulated experience, it's as real as it gets. Thank you for your kind consideration of the above points, which are all straight forward.... Now get out there - enjoy your seriously super luxury crewed yacht charter! Go TEAM!!!
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The Marine Building Suite 1000 355 Burrard Street Vancouver, BC V6C 2G8 Canada