Reception of a charter yacht: secrets and subtleties
Theory and practice

Reception of a charter yacht: secrets and subtleties

What to pay attention to when accepting a boat from a charter company
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For most of us, the coveted sailing holiday starts with the boat hire procedure. How do I pass this test with more efficiency and less loss? In fact, the success of even an seemingly impossible enterprise is entirely up to you!

First of all, it is necessary to understand that charter companies in most civilized parts of the world (from old«Europe to» Turkey, Croatia and exotic countries on other continents) have not long tried to deceive their customers by slipping them a deliberately wrong boat. It only remains to pay close attention to the procedure of its reception. Try to follow these simple rules.

Take your time.

A typical mistake for all newcomers, who are often constrained by the frame of a short vacation, is to complete all formalities as soon as possible and literally jump out into the sea on something that even slightly resembles a modern yacht.

At the same time, the general condition of the boat and the quality of its supply are usually overboard: faster «towards the waves and fresh wind!» - here is the motto under which the maximum of errors at reception of a boat is made. Meanwhile, it is there that you will have to spend from a few tens of hours to a few days, and this seems to be more than a good reason to get acquainted with all the features of your temporary floating home.

Practice shows that it's worth at least an hour and a half to receive a medium-sized boat (36 to 50 feet) - so you don't have to worry about hurrying too fast, which provokes the risk of accidents in the very near future.

The last thing to worry about is how your attention to one or another of the boat's features looks. Believe me, from a professional's point of view (which charter companies sometimes deservedly consider themselves), a so-called inveterate«client» always deserves more respect than a super skipper w«h»o never has any questions. Think less about how you look in the eyes of the surrendering party. The main thing is that you get to know all the qualities of your boat properly before you go out to sea.

Play some role-playing games

If you are lucky enough to have a team so that it is not the first time you have spent a holiday together in the same boat, the acceptance procedure can be simplified and accelerated without compromising the quality of the check. For this purpose, it is enough to divide the functions: so that everyone accepts that part of the equipment and equipment of a boat with which he mainly has to work later.

For example, it is advisable for the captain and his assistant (second skipper) to concentrate on inspecting and trying out the ranking, gear, sails, engines, steering and anchor gear. The navigator at the same time could check the navigator, other shipboard tools, a set of maps and manuals, as well as the operation of navigation lights and communication facilities.

And here voluntary coca, besides check of a refrigerator, a gas stove and a necessary set of ware, it is necessary to be convinced of presence of a put stock of water, full charge of accumulators and in practice to be convinced of serviceability of pumps, drains, drains and system of switching of water tanks.

After that, it remains only a joint effort to deal with ship's documentation, to draw up an acceptance report for the boat (with a detailed indication of all identified shortcomings), to replace the defective elements (if any) and only then go on a happy voyage.

If necessary duties on reception of the yacht in a harmonious crew can be flexibly redistributed depending on preferable interests of its members, then everyone will receive excellent chance to shine the erudition and to secure the comrade.

So, we considered almost ideal, but what if the whole team has only one or two people who used to sail?

Optimize your capabilities.

Every individual is superior in some ways to others, and your team is no exception. There must be at least a couple of boat captain's degree holders: in most cases a boat will not be rented out without them. This is already enough to start a quality reception by the most experienced experts, especially if the other owners will help them to the best of their abilities and abilities.

So, if representatives of a charter company do not speak Russian, it is necessary to allocate from the company the translator who knows English better than others. He should ask all questions, which will appear in the process of acquaintance with the boat, and also answer the surrendering party.

Try to create the most comfortable conditions for your friend: do not try to interrupt him if you think that you understand the question asked, and do not require priority attention to your needs. Simultaneously to translate several references of various subjects (from a condition of sails and the absent card to a leaky refrigerator and missing plates) at times it is simply impossible.

Moving around the boat after the experts and accompanied by an interpreter, the rest of the crew will not only be able to get acquainted with all the features of their floating house, but also notice something important for the subsequent trouble-free operation of all systems and equipment of the boat. Include collective intelligence and collective observation - in the future this will only help to avoid annoying travel complications, but also save a lot of money to compensate for their unpleasant consequences!

In the zone of special attention

Hopefully, beginners sailing enthusiasts will find a few friendly tips: what to focus on while receiving the boat. I will notice that all of them are based on practical experience - personal or my friends'.

Ropes and sails.

Standing rigging is not only inspected, but also touched, making sure that it is really covered with quality. The running rigging is fully checked in action. Unless the weather gets in the way (strong wind or rain in the parking lot), we take apart all the gear and unfold all the sails without any hurry.
In addition to the excellent training of the team, this is a great opportunity for a quality check of all blocks, drums and twists. Let the knots and mechanisms jam or fail at anchorage better than at sea.

Engine and steering

We try the engine not only at idle speed, but also when we actually start the forward and reverse. It's not difficult to organize if the moorings are slightly adjusted.

Be sure to pay due attention to the examination of the tiller bay and the steering machine. Oil leaks and traces of fresh welding should be taken as a persistent hint of fate to quickly change the boat and then do not regret anything with a tiller.

Boat Dinghy

An ace-boat must be handed over to you in a fully inflated (and therefore functional) condition. Half-inflated dinghies with numerous patching and other signs of damage inspire legal distrust and must be replaced unconditionally.

Checking a dinghy motor is a separate matter. At least twice in my memory it happened that separately from the dinghy engine behaved quite well, but at the subsequent connection with it refused to work flat out. So if possible, try to check the boat and the engine in a creative tandem - so that at the most important moment did not have to desperately work with oars.

Running lights and communication

Despite the fact that the necessary running lights are, in theory, accompanied by the corresponding light bulbs on the control panel, do not be lazy to quickly run around the boat and see if they are all actually on. At the same time, this will be a great opportunity to refresh your knowledge of the International Regulations for Collision Prevention at Sea (IPCC-72).

Both VHF radio stations (fixed and portable) should be checked both individually and during the two-way communication process. In the latter case, do not hesitate to take the mobile terminal ashore and talk to your friends on board.

Navigation Corner

In addition to the electronic navigator, it is also worth checking paper maps (necessarily for the entire area of the upcoming voyage), as well as the availability of appropriate navigation aids - loci and other descriptions of the coast.

Do not neglect the manual direction finders and make sure you have a parallel ruler on board (for course layout) and regular pencils to map the area.

Note the work of the ship's wind gauge: roughly - dividing the wind force in knots by two, you will know its speed in the usual meters per second.

Note that it is sometimes difficult to check the accuracy of the lag and the echo sounder in the parking lot. Therefore, after making sure of technical serviceability, don't forget to test them in practice right after leaving a yacht marina.


If you do not expect to hire a hostess and professional coca for your boat charter immediately, do not neglect a thorough inspection of the kitchen unit. In addition to checking that the refrigerator and gas cooker are in good condition, it is advisable to include a check for a spare gas cylinder and a full set of dishes (according to the habits of your team).

The latter seems to be important: if, in case of need, morning coffee can still be brewed in an ordinary pot (instead of a handy Turkish coffee pot), it is extremely inconvenient to pour soup or spread out the second course with a cup (in the absence of a ladle-cup).

Water, electricity and other amenities

The boat's limited comfort depends on how quickly you can recharge the batteries and recharge your drinking water whenever you need it. For this purpose, each crew member must know where the cable for connecting the on-board power supply as well as the water hose/ fresh water tankers' necks are and be able to quickly connect to the source of these coastal benefits if necessary.

As I recall now, I was in a hurry, as a result of which my friends somehow just forgot the power adapter in the database. Thank God that the crew happened to be an amateur electrician, who managed to create the necessary device from handy materials. However, until this happened, the boat resembled a kind «of flying Dutchman of the XXI» century, unable to connect to quite civilized electrical networks.

Do not forget about everyday amenities - especially if ladies are supposed to be on board. In addition to the obligatory meticulous checking of the toilet (fan) system, be sure to make sure that you can take a fresh shower without experiencing negative associations.

On most middle-class boats, the shower cubicle is located directly in the dressing room (latrine). When taking a shower, switch the boat on for a while, checking how fast the water flows and how effectively the auxiliary suction pump works. If necessary, pay attention to clogged effluents (with subsequent cleaning).

By the way, make sure that you always have the opportunity to put the boat in the proper sea order. For this, in addition to a bucket on a short cable to scoop up water and a traditional mop-mop«, it»is necessary to stock up an elementary rag for wiping the deck.

Necessary postscript

And in conclusion - a delicate question: how to pay for your mistakes, made both during the reception of the yacht and in the future sailing? It is no secret that many charter companies place in a prominent place a peculiar price list, which lists the amount of monetary penalties for various equipment failures, as well as prices for lost/damaged supplies.

Imminent payment for other people's s sins can be avoided if you take the boat and the property on it carefully and without rushing. As for all the contingencies which are unavoidable in the sea and which have occurred through the fault of the crew - from a broken cup to a broken sail and a sunken anchor - it is advisable to agree immediately: the amount to be recovered is divided equally among all.

Nothing is sadder than the picture when a friendly (visible) team, when handing over the boat, starts to find out which of its members is more guilty of this or that breakage/loss. Remember that even when you return «from the seas,»you will still be in the same boat - just like on all your subsequent trips together!

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