How to Prepare for a Yacht Charter

January 18, 2023

Whether you are traveling down the coast to Miami or across the sea, the crew has many responsibilities that must be taken care of before the trip and guests’ arrival. This article will go through the crew’s duties before the charter.

Captain/First Mate/ Deck Hand:

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  • Navigation – Make sure you understand how to utilize the Chartplotter on your boat. These are usually standard on all charter vessels. In addition, check all other instruments that will help with readings while traveling, such as the depth finder, making sure you know how to read from the bottom of the keel or the waterline.
  • Water tanks & Fuel – While navigating routes, you must know how much fuel you can carry. It is equally important to know how much fresh water you can carry. Having enough fuel is essential for making it to your destination. Having enough water is also as equally important in case of emergencies or drinking.
  • Auxiliary Power – Since charter engines are almost constantly at work and run pretty hard without stopping from point to point, you should ensure you have everything necessary to maintain them. In addition, make sure you have a tool kit and extra engine in case of emergencies. A same day delivery service can bring these directly to your dock or slip number. With this, you will also want to check the bilge, oil level, and coolant before departure.
  • Electrical – Often, the batteries on board charter boats are used past their prime. This is primarily because guests can abuse them by leaving on lights and fans even when they are not on board. In addition, these batteries can be expensive to replace and are often kept longer than they should be. Therefore, it is essential to double-check the battery monitor and see if there is an inverter on board that you can turn on.
  • Vessel Checkout – The Captain ensures the vessel is in perfect running condition before a charter. If the vessel is not prepared, the Captain must hire personnel to fix the issue or perform it himself. The vessel is often under a time constraint with the upcoming charter and must be fixed as quickly as possible. Many parts necessary for this fix could take days or weeks to reach the vessel because they are far away. With a long-distance courier, a vessel can receive the part it needs within 24 hours or as little as a few hours. This will keep the vessel on time for its departure and keep the crew and guests safe and happy.

Head (Chief) Steward(ess)/ Second Steward(ess)/ Chef:

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  • Cleaning – Before the charter, all guest areas and crew quarters must be clean and organized. Every room should be stripped of any linens and washed as well as any secondary linens. If you find preparing for charter, you do not have any necessary cleaning products or linens; a rush courier service can deliver what you need to the marina as quickly as possible. This will allow you more time to organize the cabinets and cupboards with anything on the counters that need to be placed inside them while underway.
  • Supplies – Like cleaning products, you may be short on extra linens, pillows, paper plates or cups, napkins, and other toiletries. Depending on the size of your vessel, getting all of these supplies in one trip can be challenging to fit into a golf cart or regular vehicle. Using a cargo van delivery service can save you this hassle and time. With a cargo van delivery driver, they can pick up all of your supplies in one trip and deliver your supplies directly to your marina or vessel. This will save you time and money, not having to make multiple trips to the store, and having more time to prepare for your guests’ arrival.
  • Emergency supplies – Unfortunately, there are times when emergencies do occur while on charter, which is why it is vital to check all of your emergency and medical supplies. By law, it is required that every vessel have the proper amount of each item relative to the boat size and passengers/crew on board; throwable floatation devices, life jackets, flairs/emergency boxes, first aid kit, fire extinguishers, and more. If you are missing any of these essential items, you will want to have a same day courier pick up and deliver the equipment you need from your nearest marine store.
  • Perishables – It is usually the responsibility of the chef (if one is on board) or the stews and stewardesses to create a list of all food and perishable items needed for the trip. You will often need to contact guests to make this list and account for any food allergies or preferences. Then, with a list in hand, you can call a perishable & grocery delivery driver to pick up everything for you. This will save you multiple trips to the store and will allow more time for cleaning and preparing the vessel to go underway.
  • Guest arrival – It is almost guaranteed that something will have been forgotten when guests arrive, from extra food snacks to toiletries and even medications. Unfortunately, these items are often something you cannot get at a moment’s notice as you are tending to all guests, not just the one who has forgotten their medication. Luckily today, there are same day courier services for any regular forgotten items and medical couriers. These trained medical couriers can help the guests on board who have forgotten their medication or other medical equipment and deliver it to them before your vessel leaves.