If you have not yet experienced a sailing vacation, the this article is for you as it aims to give you the answer of what our yacht holidays are all about. Sailing from one port to another, swimming in the beautiful bays, party and disco on board, meandering around the islands – all this is obvious. But what, exactly, is a yacht? And lots of questions appear right away: where to sleep, what to eat, is there any hot water and electricity, where to put all your stuff, where to sunbathe, and... well, many other questions, as it seems “not that easy”!
We can say in short that a modern cruising yacht is a cozy house with many small but important things considered in its design. There are bedrooms (cabins), a living room (salon/mess-room), two or more bathrooms (with hot water, shower, sink and toilet in each), a kitchen with a full set of tableware, a gas-stove and a fridge, there is a place with enough space to get together at cockpit and to sunbathe on decks.
And now, let's go into more details.
Welcome on board!
Once you get on board from land... we'll ask you to take off your shoes! Or to put on your “yachting shoes”. Yes, according to yacht etiquette, we always use a different pair of shoes to wear whilst on board to keep the decks clean. Usually we are often barefoot while on the boat siting at the cockpit in summer. But it's important to wear your “deck shoes” to walk on decks safely, specially when they are wet from dew and waves. So, that's not only to make you look stylish and keep yacht clean but also to protect your feet from harm of different blocks, ropes, hatches on deck.
So, we are on board and we are in cockpit. The cockpit is the center of activity. This is the place where we spend most of our time. Here are steering wheels for those who want to steer, winches to raise or to reef sails, folding table to have some food or drinks, loudspeakers to play the beautiful music?. Right here, there is a ladder to go for swimming in the sea and besides there is a small shower with tap water one can take after swimming to rinse off the salt quickly.
Tension tent (bimini) provides the shadow to hide from burning sun, and spray-hood protects from headwinds like windshields in cars. Such enclosures can be assembled and disassembled easily and quickly when needed.
And there is no doubt that the second most popular place on any yacht is its deck...
As we go into the boat, the skipper shows us the cabins inside. Usually, each cabin is a double bed from wall to wall with some space in front of it near the door. Beside the bed, there are different shelves and cabinets to store all your stuff there. We strongly recommend to PACK ALL YOUR THINGS INTO A SOFT BAG OR A BACKPACK instead of suitcases. Remember about limited space on yacht and avoid large suitcases, bags with wheels or rigid sides and bottom - there will be no room for them.
While a soft-side bag can be easily folded and stowed easily on a shelf or in a drawer under the bed. As well, in each cabin there are small windows-portholes and few spotlights and integrated lights...
What else about cabins? Probably just the only thing to add is that you will spend a minimum of time there. Maybe just to sleep at night. Really, what to do inside the cabin when outside around you have the sea, islands and pleasant company?!
The main space inside the boat is the salon (mess-room).
Its design may vary on different yachts but the key principle is always the same: it should be convenient to accommodate the entire crew.
Usually, electricity on yacht is available in one or more 12V power sockets in salon (the connector is the same as in cars) being provided by one or more 12V batteries and 220V electricity is available in all electric sockets in cabins and in salon when the electrical system is connected to the normal 220V power in marina. Skipper may use an additional car inverter that converts 12V to 220V but the power is still small in this case
because electricity comes from batteries. But that's enough to charge your mobile phone, tablet, camera, laptop, but not to use iron or hair drier.
Toilet, bathroom and shower
The toilet on a boat is called the head. Bathroom is combined with toilet, sink and shower. There are always few WC on yacht. Sometimes – one per each cabin. The skipper will demonstrate you how to use the shower and toilet flushing for the particular head type correctly. But the rule you should always remember – don't throw away paper and other extraneous things down the toilet. Because according to the terrible Law of the Sea, who clogged the toilet then will clear it on its own.
But there is one more rule to remember: avoid any waste of water. Water on board is stores usually in 300-500 liter tank. That's enough for could of days (until we'll re-fill it again on the next port) for dish-washing and taking showers. But a 15-min shower for someone keeping hot water running unwisely, might result in washing in salt water for the others. So water to be used wisely as it is limited and can run out pretty quickly.
...or in other words – the galley. As I've already said, kitchen on yacht is fully equipped: there are gas- stove, fridge, various cabinets for storage of tableware and food, and a full set of dishes, cups, pots and pans. Gimbals, used for gas-stove, keep it upright with respect to the horizon despite the yacht's pitching and rolling. Rolling is a normal thing for a yacht when sailing, but the same time you can cook as the stove is kept horizontally. And tea ? la rolling is very tasty!
At the beginning of the journey, the crew meets to discuss eating habits and preferences, recipes to try out on boat, specific diet filters (e.g. kosher, vegan), food allergies, and simply to share their “like” and “don't like”. And afterward – to visit supermarket and buy the products. Usually, on boarding, the crew members choose “the paymaster” and all contribute about 50 euro each to a kitty to be used for supplies (food, drinks, etc.).
Average list of products for the first purchase you can see separately. But in reality everything depends on the crew. Some people don’t like to cook at all, and then they buy mainly products for sandwiches and snacks. Others want to show their culinary skills, and then they buy more natural products. And there are some people who prefer liquid calories!
There have been cases, they cooked even cakes on a yacht!
At first it seems there is no space to place everything that was bought. But the interior of the yacht is designed very smartly, and every time the whole pile if packs and bags with products is easily spread in all availables boxes, shelves, cabinets.
Breakfast usually occurs spontaneously. One took yogurt, another one made coffee, the other one took a jam and did sandwiches. And someone else has just woke up later, so cooked eggs for himself and may be for somebody who is still sleeping yet.
Lunch is often happen to be cooked on a yacht. Usually there is a volunteer to make the lunch – there are a lot of local products interesting to cook and try! And in the evenings we usually have a dinner in one of the restaurants on the beach.
And if you took part in making something to eat, then the food will be particularly tasty for you! In some cases, “take part” may mean literally take from the sea – sometimes we do fishing; and sometimes we just buy seafood from local fishermen. Or for example, go to the oyster farms.
Footwear. I've already said about deck shoes. The requirement to be: should not slip or stumble, to be quickly to dry up, easy to take off and to put on, to protect your toes.
Perfect example is classic shoes for yachting, aka “topsiders”, or the Crocs. Additionally, take one pair of comfortable shoes (sport sandals or sneakers) for taking a walk on land to be ready to explore a new place we will visit. There are many interesting things in every place, so make sure you can reach them and climb around.
Pants and shirt. We are children of the urban jungles, not got used to the sun. Therefore, for the first days it's recommended to wear thin pants and shirt with thin but long sleeves. So the skin will get used to the sun much faster and develop immunity rather than being exposed to the sun at once even if you put sun cream on. Later, on the second – third day you can take less clothes if you want.
Cap and hats. Yes, you need protection from the sun and heat. Or you should swim more often to avoid heat stroke. Cap should be with a rope or to be fixed to the collar - otherwise you can expect to lose one cap at the very first day!
Sunglasses. For protection from the sun and from wind. I'd say, even mainly from the wind.
Windbreaker jacket. A light one. You can put it on thin sweater or “polar-fleece” jacket. It might be cool and windy evenings even at hot summer, that would be even a bigger contrast if you got overheating during the day.
Scarf. Especially for those who often catches cold easily - to put it on in the evening. Summer, heat... but one can take few sips of ice-cold lemonade right from the fridge and his throat “will not like this”.
Sailing gloves. And now we are getting closer to real sailing outfit. All guests on boat are a team, a crew. Many operations require teamwork. For example, when unmooring, the captain steers, someone works with ropes, someone raises anchor. Or when raising sails, somebody should hold the sheet (type of rope). So if you plan to participate in operating the boat you need sailing gloves to prevent ropes to hurt your skin and hands when running out fast between your hands.
In fact, there are always some people who want to feel more like a sailor, while the others are fine with just enjoying yachting atmosphere. And that's always your choice – either to be involved in sailing the yacht or to sunbathe on the deck.
So gloves need for those who prefer sailing activity. If you don’t have special sailing gloves, then ones you use for fitness or for cycling will fit as well.
Mask and snorkel. Although I'm not sure either that's a clothing ? But when the water is clear and there are many fishes, it's interesting to explore underwater world. And even if you don't want to take a mask and snorkel, take at least swimming glasses.
Sailing outfit. If we talk about sailing in Nordic countries (Scotland, Norway), or long sailing routs
(sometimes in Caribbean or Canary Islands), then more serious protection from wind and water will be very useful.
Sailing boots. They are made of a lightweight rubber and will not add a lot of weight to your baggage.
Sailing jacket and coverall. They are made of wind- and water-proof fabric. Jacket has a high collar and a hood. In case of a one-time need of such outfit and if you don't plan to use it frequently but consider that's too expensive to buy professional sailing outfit – as an option you can buy a water-proof jacket and waterproof trousers let's say in building supermarkets. It will protect you from water.
Take less clothes!Yes, you just need to bring a minimum of clothes. That's summer time and it's better to buy some local T-shirts or a dress and then keep them as a souvenir rather then travel with a big bag full of things you will not need.
Yachting is a safe form of activity. But to be sure it will be so, you must follow a few simple rules:
Obey the captain. That's why he is the captain. You feel the time in a different way when you are in the sea. Sometimes the yacht will be sailing for hours the same direction, but sometimes every second may be important when maneuvering: boom throwing from one side to another just in a second, fast spinning winches to raise or to reef sails. So if the skipper said to keep sitting, or to pass him a specific rope quickly, then you must follow the instructions first, and then ask for explanations.
Do not put your hands and feet between boats. When mooring in the marina, the yacht can approach another yacht very close to each other. But special equipment (fenders) should be used to prevent collision – not your hands and feet.
Inform the captain if you can not swim.
Don't try to catch a moving rope and don't reel it on your hand. Sailing lines can cause blisters or peel away the skin.
Watch your step to avoid a harm from different blocks, ropes, hatches on deck. And – watch your when jumping!
You will see a "refundable security deposit “ in the list of "additionally charged" items.
What is it? - Any charter yacht is insured. But as with any insurance, yacht charter franchise operates at amount of €2.000-€5.000, which is equally divided between all crew members.
Captain is personally responsible for compliance with maritime rules and laws. But if someone would break a kettle, break the lock on the window, drop overboard a pan with forks - we will share these expenses as a team. This amount will be deducted from the refundable security deposit and the rest of the deposit will be returned back to you. Most often, everything is returned back!
If you still have any questions please contact us (write or call) and we will be happy to answer you!