Wednesday, April 12, 2017

5 Tips to Getting Invited BACK Out on Someone's Boat

Summer is almost here! If you're lucky, you have a friend with a boat. They might invite you to join them out on the water.  If you’re a good guest, you might find yourself invited back again and again.  Here are 5 secrets to making that happen.

  1. Show up early. Nothing will get you blacklisted faster than keeping the boat waiting.  The hours on the water are precious, and your hosts won’t like missing out on any of them.  There are many factors you might not understand that go into this.  Parking can be difficult at many marinas.  You may find yourself searching for a spot or walking farther than you expected.  Plan for that.     

  1. Provision well.  It is poor form to show up empty handed.  Boats tend to make people hungry and thirsty, so come prepared.  Bring enough for you, your hosts, and other guests.  Many boats don’t want glass bottles around, so cans or Solo cups are helpful.  Red Wine is almost always a bad idea because waves tend to lead to spills.  There are also good and bad snacks.  Leave the Cheetos at home, your hosts won’t want to be cleaning crushed orange crumbs from the deck.  Stick with things that are easy to clean up. Also, NO BANANAS!!      
  1. Be careful with the head.  You may already know that the head is a toilet.  That’s a start.  Only two things ever go in the head, something you ate or drank, or a small amount of marine toilet paper.  There are many different types of head, and the owner can tell you the details.  If you find yourself having used the head and now don't know how to flush it, stop and ask.  Do not push buttons, flip switches, turn knobs, or turn keys.  Any of those things could potentially cause very expensive problems.      
  1. Bring the right gear.  You might get wet, and sometimes it feels colder than you expect.  Also, your fancy shoes are probably not welcome.  Leave the high heels and wingtips at home, along with hiking boots or anything with marking soles.  If that’s what you’re wearing, expect to take them off.  Any kind of tennis shoes should be fine. Wearing lots of sunscreen is very important, but if you're using an aerosol spray, apply it on the dock before you board the boat. The spray can damage the deck, cushions, and wood on the boat. It might also melt any rubber on your watch. You might need to bring a bag.  Something soft sided that zips is the best way to go.  Your open bag could spill all over when you hit a wave.  If you show up with a hard sided suitcase you’ll probably earn a nickname long before you earn an invite back.    

  1. Clean Up.  Getting to the dock does not mean that the day is over.  Cleaning up and taking garbage off the boat is the bare minimum.  To become a permanent crew member you’ll want to not leave until the owner does.  This will probably include putting on covers, washing the deck, making sure lines are put away, hooking up the shore power cord, and many other things. Even if you don't know what to do, you can help. 

The bottom line is that you want to make your owner’s life as easy as possible.  You want them to think that taking their boat out with you is easier than going alone.  Following these tips can help make sure that’s the case.    

If you or anyone you know is in the market for a new or used boat, I use my expertise to help match people with the perfect boat.    

Thank you for reading,

Rob Harring

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