Do you fancy a holiday with tequila in your hands and feeling the sea breeze brush as you sail onboard? If you do, then maybe it’s time to put your yacht on the water and course a new sail again. A yacht holiday is not only an adventure that you journey but also a challenge that requires skill and expertise.
It becomes more challenging if you plan to captain everything on your own. If you’re a yacht syndication owner and plan to book a helmsman and crew with you onboard, it’s also important for you to know the basics and safety precautions to ensure a seamless yacht holiday.
Regardless of who will captain the yacht, it is vital to prepare, familiarise, and know the essential tips. Tips that won’t only secure you, but also ensure that you’ll be having a blast on your holiday. To get you started, here are 6 tips to help you have a smooth sailing yacht course.
1. Start with a yacht checklist
One thing that people do first when planning a holiday is to create a checklist in their minds. A list of things that they will do, bring, visit, and eat. It’s fun and exciting to make a list of the things that you plan to check off and try on your adventure. But, if you’re going on a yacht trip, it’s more important to prioritise and start with the yacht’s checklist.
If you ask, what should I list? The answer is this: essentials. Start with the things that you’ll need in case of an accident. Bring a life jacket, first-aid kit, flashlights, firecrackers, ropes, and a fender. Make sure that you also have with you your boat license (if you’re driving it) as well as other documents supporting the yacht.
Having these essentials onboard will provide you and the people you’re with a great deal of peace of mind.
2. Have the boat checked before you use it
If you haven’t used your boat for quite some time, it’s important to have it checked by a specialist for safety purposes. If you own a boat under a fractional yacht ownership arrangement, request your yacht manager to arrange a check-up at least 2 weeks before your holiday travel.
Check if the propeller works well and if it needs replacement or not. Does the boat have an anchor? Is its engine in its best condition? How about the yacht’s control panel? Are all the buttons and wheel working perfectly fine?
Have it assessed by a professional to avoid any critical lapses that might suddenly occur while you are onboard. If there’s a part that needs to be changed, have it changed. Also, make sure that its gas tank is secured as well.
Ask the specialist if your boat’s gas and oil needs to be changed. These are necessary and you’ll feel a big improvement on how smooth the yacht can course once its oil has been changed.
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3. Research the waterways of the area where you will be coursing
Just like the roads, there is also a right of way when using a yacht. Research says that one of the top causes of boat accidents is associated with driver’s error. To avoid that, research is a must.
If you’re a shared yacht ownership owner, it would be nice to ask your co-owners for some advice about the area that you are planning to visit. If you have a co-owner who uses the boat regularly and is well-versed in the waterways of yacht course locations, their ideas and suggestions will be very useful on your travel.
You can also ask your yacht syndication company or manager about other yacht operation protocols that are applied in certain areas. You might wonder, is it even necessary to know those and be that cautious? Yes, it is more than necessary than you think.
If you are visiting an area that is popular for boat travels, it is critical to follow and know about waterways regulations. If you meet a boat that comes from the opposite direction, keep in mind that you have to stay on the right side. Don’t try to move close to the boat coming from the opposite direction. Just like on the road, ‘stay on your right lane.’ This is just one of the basic waterway rules. Do your research and captain safe!
4. Test drive the yacht a day or two before you officially use it
You might wonder, ‘why would I test drive my yacht when I know more than anyone else how it works?’ The answer is simple: for safety purposes. After you have your yacht checked by a specialist, test drive it. If you just had your yacht’s oil changed, the better.
If you haven’t used the yacht for a long time, this is necessary. We’re not saying that it’s because you might have forgotten how it works. But, it’s because we want you to kickstart your trip by familiarizing yourself with the yacht.
If you’re under shared yacht ownership, it’s important to test drive it too. Check if the owner who previously used it changed something in the navigation. Or just simply check the driving condition of the yacht.
Drive the yacht for 30 minutes and try to use all of the panels that you will be using on your trip. Get a feel of how it works and navigate the wheel and controllers. Once you feel like all is well and works smoothly as you expected, then it’s a sign that your yacht is ready for your holiday.
5. Refuel your yacht and bring some refills if necessary
After you check the condition of your yacht, it’s time to refill its gas for your getaway. Make sure that you fill it up with the amount that will cover your trip. Bring in some refills, too, if you can for emergency purposes.
If you will travel to a different location and will stay on the yacht for more than a day, it is best to bring some refills. Even if there will be fuel docks for stopovers, it’s best to have a refill with you onboard. Use the fuel docks to refill your gas tank but have an extra onboard in case of an emergency.
Also, never leave your yacht unattended when refilling its tank. Overflows are not only messy but also dangerous for you and your yacht. When refilling, surround the gas opening with paper towels. One thing to keep in mind is that gas leaks can cause damage to your yacht’s wax and finish.
If ever a leak or overflow happens, close the gas tank, then clean the gas as quickly as possible. This will prevent your yacht from being damaged by the gas. Also, if your yacht model is old, and excess gas is released at the bottom of the yacht, it can harm the water. That’s why it’s important to never leave your yacht unattended when refilling.
6. Lastly, it’s time for you to hop on board and enjoy your holiday
Once you’re done with all the shared tips above, all there’s left for you to do is hop on your yacht, and enjoy your trip! Keep in mind all of the safety precautions and always prioritise your safety more than anything else.
Pack up your essentials and make the most out of your holiday. It’s all yours to maximise, enjoy, and relish. Have a great and smooth sailing holiday!