Steven R. Van Hook
your passengers safe, entertained, and happy is a foremost concern of any
sailboat skipper. It all starts with early notice of what your passengers
should wear, bring, and do.
Here's a copy of the tips I
send to all my sailing passengers at least a day or two prior to casting
- Wear white-soled shoes to keep from
scuffing; tennis shoes are good
- Dress in layers and bring a good
waterproof jacket -- it can go from blistering to frigid in a
- Slather on the sunscreen and bring a hat
- If you get seasick, check a pharmacy for some
preventers (but they need to be taken a few hours before sailing)
- Powerbars and a water bottle in your
pocket are handy in case we catch good winds and stay out longer
- If you bring other snacks, make sure
they are foods that don't spill, drip, stain, roll, crumble, etc.
- Be prepared to maybe get a little wet
and maybe take a turn at the wheel
- If you already have a favorite life
preserver, please bring it; otherwise there are plenty on board
- If asked to help, please do as
requested. Otherwise, usually the best help you can give is to stay
seated and out of the skipper's and harm's way
- We'll review five H's before we
sail (hands, head, heeling, help -- plus, of course, hurling)
Those five H's, by the way, stand for:
Keep one hand on yourself and one on the boat at all times;
2) Make sure
everyone is thoroughly informed on how to use the head;
Sailboats heel (and people who aren't prepared for that squeal);
4) Everyone should know how to holler 'help' on Channel 16 with a Mayday
call, and give GPS coordinates;
5) Seasick hurls should go
downwind, and never in the general direction of the skipper.
I encourage guests to bring cameras,
musical instruments, and other toys to share -- as long as it's nothing
that would be inconsolably mourned if soaked by a rogue wave or 'accidentally'
If you have other essential pre-sail passenger tips
to share, drop me a line and I'll add them to the list.
R. Van Hook
has cruised California waters since 1976,
starting with a 19-foot Glen-L powerboat in Santa
and currently sails a Hunter 326 out of
Channel Islands Harbor.
Articles | Submit