We’re approaching the end of the yachting season and next month we’re awaiting the yearly Monaco Yacht Show. If you’ve never been on a yacht and curious how it all works, then this article is something for you. But first, I want to introduce yachting in relation to jet-setters:
A yacht is never a piece of investment. It’s a money-eating machine that is extremely costly for the owner (fuel, crew, maintenance, harbor spot, no future investment value) and so on. Let’s not forget that yachts in Europe are only useful for a few months each year. If the yacht is docked in a country where the sun is shining 365 days a year – still, the owners won’t be using it regularly!
Many owners rent out their yacht when they’re not using it, which is why there are loads of yachts and super yachts to rent. I would say a majority of the time if someone is on a yacht, it’s most probably rented. You also can rent through yacht renting companies, so it’s not always a private person renting out a yacht.
Yachts are expensive money-consuming machines that most owners buy for pleasure and for its status. If you’re rich and say you own a yacht, then that adds credibility to your wealth.
The mega-rich (we’re talking jet-set whales in the upper multi-million and billion range) might buy a yacht, keep it as it is without ever renting it out. Look at Roman Abramovic as an example who owns one of the biggest yachts and keeps always upgrading it to keep his title of being the top player of yachts. The boat costs him a fortune each year, but it’s a status symbol he enjoys to showcase, and it represents him and his wealth.
Owning a private jet and owning a yacht is the upper league of the rich. That’s when you’re playing with the big boys, as higher than that you can’t really go, and this type of wealth is not accessible to all wealthy. Only to the very wealthy.
Chartering a boat is there for the most common thing to do with the rich. They will get it for their summer holidays in the Mediterranean during July & August, and travel between South of France, Amalfi coast, Ibiza, Corsica, Marbella, Mykonos, Montenegro and other spots along the way.
Regardless if the yacht is the owners or if they’re just renting it, there are some do’s & don’t you should think of when being a guest. Either if it’s an invite for you to stay on the boat, or you’re stopping by for a party – there are things to think about!
Bring motion sickness pills
Rule number one for anyone who can feel a bit sick on the sea at times. Always bring motion sickness pills, but make sure you take one on land before getting on the boat. Some people only feel sick if they have a hangover or the sea is rough, so keep this in mind when planning your yachting experience.
Check the weather and your plans beforehand! I’ve been sick on yachts numerous times, and it’s not fun once it hits you! The only thing you can do is to sleep it off as the sickness tends to reset itself after some sleep.
This is a universal rule at sea: No shoes on deck. I strongly dislike this rule. I’ve been to so many fabulous yacht parties where you are dressed up to your teeth, and then they ask you to remove your shoes, making your outfit suffer as a result.
This rule is because of the wooden deck not being damaged by shoes, which is understandable – just very annoying! My advice is to plan your outfits so that they look good even without shoes! And don’t forget to have perfectly pedicured feet! (I’ve seen some nasty feet onboard due to people not being properly prepared…)
Treat the crew with respect
I’ve been so many times on yachts where other guests (read women from certain parts of the world where you’re stingy with the word “thanks”). From experience, I’ve learned how important it is to have the crew members liking you and on your side in case anything happens!
I’ve heard stories of girls who have gone to stay on yachts, having crew members defend them after drunken dramas. Not only that, but the crew is cooking, cleaning and doing everything possible to make your stay as smooth and safe as possible. You want to show them appreciation and kindness, don’t forget – they have all the access to spit in your food or clean the toilet with your toothbrush. Plus in case of emergency, they are there to help you, so be wise how you treat people because you never know when you will be needing them!
Don’t treat it as a freebie factory
On yachts, you have stock, as you will need it when you’re on the sea without any stores nearby. Sometimes when I’ve been a guest on a yacht, I’ve noticed some cringe-worthy behavior from greedy women who get dollar signs in their eyes when they see an abundance of “free stuff”….
An example I remember so clearly, the host had bought several 10 packs of cigarettes (the ones you get in the duty-free). There were a few of them around on the boat as there was a party going on, and for the guests to help themselves to a smoke.
What I witnessed instead was how girls started to rob these cigarette packs, stash several in their own bags and take away for after the boat trip. I felt so ashamed. I understand people’s backgrounds might be different, but it just felt so wrong and unmannered on so many levels.
Don’t be a diva
When you’re new to the affluent world, it’s very easy to get the “little people complex”. Meaning, as soon as you experience something “big” it gets you over your head and you feel like a king in the castle. This is such a common “don’t” that I want to remind you of:
Don’t turn into a diva just because you’re living the good life. Just be normal and be yourself. If you have to pinch yourself when you’re on a mega-yacht, then do it discreetly without making too much fuss about it. Some may find it cute that a girl is jumping around of happiness on a yacht in front of people because she’s feeling blessed. Others find it a bit much, so make sure you know what approach to take.
Most importantly, don’t make a fuss about things just because you’re on a yacht and in your head, your status rose with 500%. Be kind to people, thank the host and his crew, be friendly to the other guests on the boat. Be that person people want to invite back, not gossip behind your back.
Ask for permission
A yacht is just like someone’s house, you’ve got to treat it with the highest level of respect. If you’re there for a party, you can’t just text your friends to join without asking the host first, same goes for wandering around the boat “exploring rooms” that might be off the limit for guests. Stay in the guest area, and if you’re unsure about directions, it’s better always to ask first!
Being a house guest
Let’s say somebody has invited you to actually stay (sleep) on the yacht during your stay. Great. Which is your allocated room? How long can you stay? Does the host have a set agenda for those days?
Usually how it works is if you’re staying with someone on the yacht, you’re being their guest and have to adapt to their plans and itinerary (unless they state differently).
You can’t just make your own plans and schedule. It’s not a guest house or a hotel, and you can’t really have things your way. Yachts are different because they are not on land, so the rules are a bit different.
You need to respect that it costs a lot of money driving that thing on the sea, with crew members and tenders helping you on and off on land. Harbor space costs a fortune, and because a yacht is not a cheap little facility, what the host decides, the host has to pay big bucks for. So you better agree with it not to cause problems. (Unless you have rights for it or it’s an emergency).
Remaining in harbor cost money, going somewhere costs even more money (the fuel), organizing staff to be there for every second you need them can be a headache on its own, so don’t over complicate things more for the host than it’s already. Unless your host is flexible and asking you for your input. If nobody is asking, then just stay quiet and be a guest they want to have again.
(Meaning, if the host has decided to go to X for dinner that night, and you hate that place and rather go to Y where all your friends will be. Don’t make a big deal out of it. Just let it fly this time and catch up with your friends another time. Unless you want to check out from the yacht and say bye bye to your friendly host?)
These were a few do’s & dont’s. Feel free to share any of your personal yachts experiences and if there’s anything you want to add to the list!