Sailing Holiday Etiquette - The Do's & Don'ts of Boating

You will feel like you have a private island on your boat vacation. However, you should know that this small island also has its own rules. These are the rules necessary both for the happiness of everyone on board and for safety. Knowing these rules, when you step on the boat, you will adapt to the boat life much more easily and you will be able to enjoy your holiday better.

Sailing Holiday Etiquette - The Do's & Don'ts of Boating

What Should You Do on Your Boat Vacation?

  • Listen to the safety briefing carefully

If you are renting a boat without a captain, before anchoring, the charter company officials will tell you the systems of the boat, the safety rules, and the things that the guests on the boat should pay attention to one by one. Even if you have been on the boat before, please listen to all of them carefully, because there may be some situations specific to each boat and sailing area. Even if you know the basic rules, learning them can be crucial.

If you are renting a boat with a skipper, your captain will give you a briefing before the cruise. Since your captain can be very busy during sailing, he may not be able to keep track of what everyone on the boat is doing at that moment. Make sure you give your full attention to the briefing, the information you'll learn can be very helpful.

  • Be flexible with your travel plan

Your captain will do everything possible to take you to the most beautiful bays and ports of your choice. However, it may be necessary to change the route from time to time depending on the weather conditions. Trust your skipper's experience with the sailing area and enjoy it even if you have to go to a different place. Who knows, maybe not at all; you will encounter unforgettable beauties…

  • Support your skipper

Be sure to listen to the captain's instructions carefully, and avoid actions that may endanger navigational safety, such as walking around the helm station while sailing. It would be nice to collect fenders or to lift the ladder if you are the last person to board the boat. If you don't know how to do it, you can always ask your captain. These are small gestures, but supporting the captain during the cruise will make you feel like a real sailor and make your holiday more enjoyable.

  • Tip the captain and the crew

This, of course, depends on your satisfaction. However, in general, we can say that a figure like 10% of the charter fee would be appropriate.

  • Enjoy your holiday

Yes, you are on one of the best holidays of your life! If you are on a boat for the first time, maybe you will feel a bit nauseous or you will experience shyness in some issues until you get used to it. However, when you are positive and cheerful, you will see that everything will become more beautiful and you will adapt to the boating much easier.

  • Take lots of photos

Enjoy the moment, but don't neglect the photos. When you add a little bit of your creativity to the beauty of the boat, you can take amazing pictures for social media.

  • Do not walk on the boat in street shoes

In addition to dirt, dark-soled shoes and boots, even if they are clean, leave marks on the wooden floor. Heeled shoes can cause tiny bumps on wooden floors. “So what are we going to wear?” If you say so, we recommend that you bring a white flexible-soled and clean shoe with you to wear on the boat. You may want to keep your shoes during sailing but you can walk around comfortably with bare feet while the boat is moored in the marina or at the anchorage.

What You Shouldn't Do On The Boat

  • Don't waste water

Of course, you will have plenty of showers on the boat, but keep in mind that the water supply is limited. If you keep the water on for a short time, you will not have any problems.

  • Don't bother your fellow sailors

The best part of a sea holiday; is to experience nature with the sound of the wind and the smell of the sea. Just as you are bothered by the blaring music of neighboring boats while enjoying a quiet and beautiful bay, this is also true for others. 

  • Don't forget to wear your life jacket

In every situation the captain says; make sure to wear your life jacket.

  • No smoking in the cabin!

There is no need to explain much for this, right?

These are the things you should always keep in mind if you're going to be the skipper:

  • Don't drink enough to get drunk while sailing 
  • Don't go full throttle, take the boat slowly. Especially in marinas and ports
  • Turn off your engines when there are people in the water near your boat
  • Don't get too close to the shore. Someone may be swimming or diving around your boat
  • Follow the advice of charter operator officials about weather conditions and dangerous cruise areas
  • Keep your phone charged all the time
  • Don't forget to follow the weather forecast


Share your story!

If you have any story, insights, advice, tips or experience to share with your fellow sailors, please send it to [email protected]. We will publish it on our website with your name!