As you enter the world of yachting, you will be exposed to yacht etiquette and the nautical way of life. Yacht etiquette presents set of “rules” for happy life aboard You vessel. Your yacht crew are delighted to welcome you onboard. They are responsible for your care and safety, as well as that of the yacht you are chartering. Therefore ground rules are set to ensure your charter runs both smoothly and safely.

While no two luxury charters are identical, there’s one thing they all have in common: a basket for shoes by the gangway (passerelle).

Shoes for ashore should not be worn onboard. Instinctively, you will kick them off and feel more relaxed barefoot or in soft deck shoes, but it also protects the decks, which are no simple thing to replace. This rule puts most guests in the carefree “barefoot” vacation spirit.

If your feet feel naked without shoes, however, ask your Charter Agent in advance if it’s okay to bring a pair of clean slippers to wear onboard.


Listen carefully to the pre-departure safety briefing. Captain and crew will give you a complete briefing on ship’s safety procedures before you leave port.  These rules are in place for your comfort and ultimate safety, explaining the basic of ship’s systems; how to use for eg.toilets, electrical systems & lights.

Crewed yachts with cooks usually have designated areas where “help yourself” snacks and drinks are kept. Cook will point these out to you. Please do not help yourself to anything in the main galley fridge or lockers without first asking the cook. He or she likely has plans for it.

Although the whole crew of your charter is there to serve you, it’s proper yacht etiquette to direct any requests you may have while onboard (apart from drink orders, that is) to the Captain.


Chartering with kids, keep in mind that professional crews are not babysitters, they have many other daily jobs to do. However, most crews are kid-friendly and may offer to entertain your children for a certain amount of time during the charter. If they offer you can graciously accept, but don’t abuse the privilege or expect them to do it full-time.

Travelling with your pet, please ensure you have informed your charter broker so that they can find you a suitably pet-friendly yacht. Many owners’ yacht etiquette does not permit pets onboard.


The yacht is designed to be sleek and seaworthy, so they don’t always offer an abundance of storage space for large, hard cases. Pack in soft luggage bags or check in advance how many cases can be stored.

Many guests look forward to trying high-speed watersports but in some areas this is only permitted if you have an appropriate license and meet with local operating regulations. For yachts that don’t have scuba diving facilities, it is possible to arrange onshore rendezvous with a local company.

While it’s tempting to pack in as many locations and activities as possible on your charter, to enjoy the yachting lifestyle and all your yacht has to offer, we suggest a maximum of 4 to 6 hours cruising per day.

When in harbours, be courteous of crews on neighbouring boats when socializing in the cockpit early in the morning or late at night. Yacht etiquette suggests to keep noise to a minimum before 8 a.m. and after 11 p.m. Music and lively conversation carry easily over the water.


To close this blog entry about yacht etiquette here is a rule that is applied at the end of the charter. It’s customary to give your Captain and crew a gratuity/tip at the end of your vacation to reward them for a “job well done.”  The charter industry standard for the crew gratuity is 10%  of the charter fee. Of course, the amount is at your discretion and can be scaled up or down depending on your satisfaction with the service. Gratuity is given to the Captain, if not advised otherwise by your agent.

Finally, remember that you‘re on vacation. Try to relax, don’t rush & leave stringent deadlines behind. Yacht etiquette guidelines are there to help You enjoy most of Your sailing holidays!

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