If you are renting a private charter boat tour for your family or friends, you are likely making preparations, such as packing sunblock and the right clothes. During the planning stage, you should review the rules of the charter company you are booking with and keep the following tips in mind to practice proper etiquette.
Be Sure To Set Aside Tipping Money
According to Boat International, people should consider tipping between 5 to 20 percent of the base of a charter fee. While every charter company is different, tips are often given to the captain in the form of cash. Some people may be surprised to learn that tipping is standard in the industry, but remember that in many cases, you'll be renting more than a boat. For example, if there are children aboard, the crew may fit the charter with DVDs, games, snacks, and water toys. If you are taking the charter boat out for a fishing experience, you'll be outfitted with rods and tackle, and you'll likely have a guide helping you with the catch. Ultimately, if you and your family members or friends are having a great experience, be sure to tip the crew.
Listen to the Safety Briefing
Even if you've been on a boat before, a charter rental may have different rules than you're accustomed to; for instance, only the crew members may be allowed in certain areas of the boat. Listening to the safety briefing is important because the captain will go over emergency situations, such as a fire, accident, or man overboard. These briefings are important because you'll know the exact locations of life vests, extinguishers, etc. Although you don't want to get in an emergency situation on your vacation, knowing the safety procedures will make the experience run more smoothly.
Wear the Right Shoes
Before you book your trip, you should ask the charter company which types of shoes they recommend for the boat. Some regular street shoes can actually damage a boat's carpeting and floorboards. Dark-soled shoes and wedged sandals can actually dent and mark some boats' floors. Your charter company can let you know which type of shoes to wear and in which areas of the boat you'll need to take them off.
Be Mindful of Your Fresh Water Usage
Some charter boats have purification and filtration systems for water consumption and waste disposal. If your boat has water access, you may be required to only use these elements in small amounts. For example, if you need to wash your hands, you may need to soap up your hands first and then turn the water on and off instead of letting it just run. Smaller charter boats may not have any cups on board—especially for short day-trip charters—so it's a good idea to bring water bottles along with you.
Reach out to a private boat charter company, such as Ola Charters, for more information.