Briefing your charter yacht crew


You've just arrived at your base and boarded your boat for this much anticipated cruise with 2 other couples, your close friends. You are the unquestioned skipper! If you have been sailing with them before, and if they are sailors, they probably know the drill and a quick reminder of the stuff below might not even be necessary. But if it is the first time they are going on charter with you, and especially if they first-time sailors, you need to do a full briefing about what this is about. This is a checklist suggestion for an organized briefing to your crew.

TIP: A good idea is to print this and give it to your charter companions a few days before leaving so they can already understand what to expect. And remember: as a skipper, your job is to make sure everyone is having a phenomenal time, learns a lot, and comes back thrilled and safe, ready to go again!

Boat Tour

You can either give to your friends a tour of the boat yourself, showing the main parts of the boat and the cabins, or have them participate in the tour the charter company briefer will give you after you board. In either case, it is a good idea to start with it to give a general understanding. Point out the parts that can hurt, like in this boom can destroy your skull if you don't duck when you say!

Life Aboard

Protection And What to Bring

Behaviour On Board

Participation is the key word. When a bunch of friends go sailing together, they become a crew. A crew has rules and roles. The skipper must brief first-time sailors thoroughly and define everyone's role according to desires (some charterers just want to read and sunbathe - nothing wrong with that! ) and physical capabilities. First-timers: everything is doable, even steering, if you get the proper explanation. Also, a first timer must avoid taking initiatives without asking the skipper his/her opinion. A good charter skipper must encourage questions. A great skipper teaches his seamanship to those who want to learn. I personally enjoy doing this a lot, especially with kids. Besides, it keeps them busy!

Autonomy And Systems

Safety Issues

While a charter is a week of fun, everybody on board must understand basic safety issues. Here is what to show.

A last word: you do not need to make all this sound like boot camp, dreadful or like a drag. The whole idea is still to have a blast sailing in a great area with good friends.