Whether you are a first time sailor or you’ve never had the chance to hear more about it, the sailing etiquette is a series of unwritten recommendations, advice and standards for smooth sailing in the world of yachting.
If you’ve never been on a sailing holiday, you are in for a remarkable vacation. Once you experience the azure waters, you will fall in love and surrender to the vacation at sea.
Here are some guidelines to follow during your vacation.
While at sea:
Be aware of your speed, position and sailing route at all times. You are in charge of the yacht’s wake speed and therefore responsible for any damage it causes.
Practice the right of way rules for boating - avoid oncoming boats, be conscious of your own wake and make sure there is enough space for larger vessels.
When sailing be sure to leave the natural state of crystal clear seas pristine. It may seem obvious, but with every passing year more trash is collected at sea and the beaches. You are responsible for what you release into the sea while sailing.
When passing by a slower vessel, leave enough space and slow down to a suitable speed. This also applies when someone is passing you by - slow down and allow them to continue quickly.
Inform yourself with regard to locations of pump out stations on your sailing route, and obey and follow the rules of pump out stations.
Try to help out a sailor or a vessel in need, if it’s within your abilities, while always ensuring that it does not impact the security of your own boat and the crew.
Considering quick changes in the wind, please do not drop anchor close to other vessels, in order to avoid tangled ropes and damaged hulls.
Make sure that you enter anchorages or moorings at a slow speed, always be conscious of your wake speed.
Boat that arrives first at the anchorage spot determines the swing radius.
Act quickly if you are dragging your anchor. If extending doesn’t stop it from dragging, try to seek another anchoring spot or try to replace the existing anchor with another one that is maybe better for that type of seabed.
Try to help others with their ropes when docking if there is no one to meet them at the marina.
While in the marina:
If possible reserve a berth before your arrival in the port.
If you know that you will be making a noise, try to anchor downwind and make sure that there is enough space between you and other vessels. Be respectful towards others in the port.
Try to make sure that your mooring area is kept tidy and keep your ropes, mops, carts and such, out of the way.
If you stop in the port to stock up on supplies, fuel up and move to a quieter area.
When using your dinghy at night, be respectful toward others and do not disturb them with a loud outboard engine, high speed, flashing lights, etc.
While on board:
If you can, try to set the rules onboard before departing like smoking, drinking, making noise and similar. Safety and emergency procedures also must be talked through such as radio usage, wearing life jackets, etc.
- If you are in charge of organizing and sailing a bareboat yacht, make sure that your crew members know their duties and tasks, whether it’s preparing the lunch, provisioning or handling the ropes.
- It is essential that you keep the boat tidy and everything in its place. This is crucial when living in small quarters. Always be courteous towards others.
If you have hired a skipper for your holiday, always listen to them. Safety of your crew and vessel always comes first.
Always keep in mind that the space onboard is limited, so pack lightly - bring as few items as possible and use a soft duffel bag.
It’s important to save water, so always be aware of its limitations when drinking, cooking and washing.
Follow these simple guidelines and your next sailing holiday will be a child's play.