Yachting Etiquette

The Do’s and Don’ts onboard a yacht

Tips on how to behave if you are invited as a guest onboard a yacht

Go barefoot

Deck shoes may be worn, but most guest prefer to go bare feet. Ladies please NO HIGH HEELS, not even if you are invited to a party onboard! Remember this rule before you choose your outfit accordingly! (and get a pedicure)

Boys, make sure your socks don’t have holes in them, else you will be getting all the looks (and not the right ones)

Teak is a precious material and it is very hard to find and very expensive to maintain, having shoes, heels (or red wine stains) are every yacht owners nightmare.

If you have a cut or injury in your feet make sure you inform the crew. I’ve seen some blood stains on white carpet that cause more pain to the owner and crew than for the injured guest onboard.

You can take non slip non marking shoes with you if you are staying on board and do not want to go barefoot, just tmake sure to check with the first mate or captain upon arrival if your shoes are approved.

One at a time

When you are going on the Passarelle, make sure it is only one person going at a time. If there is someone stepping out of the boat, they have the priority so let them get down first before you board. it is very dangerous to have 2,3 people walking on the passarelle at the same time.

Greet the crew

You will be more respected if you have the courtesy to greet the crew, ask for their names, shake their hands and show some respect for the captain on board.

No Touching

There are some valuable art pieces on board, interior design materials, etc can be very delicate! If you are visiting a boat, please keep your hands to yourself! Do not start touching everything that sparks!

Also there are some precious metals or simply stainless steel which once you touch it your finger prints get impressed there and it is a nightmare for the crew to keep it shiny every minute.

Not your bed

If it is not your bed, please refrain from sitting on it, lying on it, or taking pictures. Wait until your guest cabin has been assigned to you.

Keep your glass to yourself

If you are holding a beverage, be mindful of out, don’t leave it on top of the interior furniture for example.

Also it is very dangerous if you place a wine glass for example on the hand rail, it can fall into the deck below or even worst in the neighbor boat and could hurt somebody.

No Red wine available

Most yacht do not offer red wine on board, specially during parties in the port. Red wine stains do not come off the floor teak, and it is simply not worth the risk.

Toilet use

If its the first time you are on the boat and you don’t know how to use the toilets (marine toilets are different from house toilets) it is better that you ask a stewardess on board how to use it. Dont be shy, she will be happy to explain it, as this is preferable than having to unplug a toilet while having guests onboard.

Smoking on board

Most cases smoking is not permitted inside the yacht for safety reasons. Many yachts operate a policy of smoking permitted on deck only, however please checkt he policiy as each yacht varies on their approach regarding smoking.

Fake tan = disaster

Some girls like to spray some self tanning bronzer on their legs or put some tanning cream before going on a boat. The residues of these are left on all sofas, lounging beds, chairs and sun beds on board. Avoid the embarrassment of leaving your leg mark behind.

Soft lugagge

It is advised to pack your personal items in a soft luggage bag, as this makes it easier to store it onboard. Hard case luggage are sometimes quite a challenge to store and takes a lot of space.


Usually no pets are allowed on board unless previously agreed and permitted by the Owner. Although I must say dogs are an enjoyment on board! However you need to arrange shore stops for dogs them to go do their thing.


Cruising distances will vary according to the itinerary, the best is to do 6 hours or less per day and be flexible about it.


You can cruise ONLY if weather permits. The captains main job is your safety, therefore please respect his decision. I’ve seen some instances where the guests get upset if they can’t cruise, but there is a crucial reason for it, therefore the captains decisions over rules the guests decision on this every time.

Respect the captain’s authority at all times, his job is to keep you safe.

Guest Cabins

If you are a guest on a yacht, wait to be assigned a room before you go and settle down in a guest cabin.


Most yachts can do small quantities of personal laundry, done by the yachts crew as a service. Please note that these terms also allow the crew to refuse politely to do excessive quantities of laundry on board or to handle delicate items. It may be possible to have certain laundry done ashore professionals if time allows it. These costs will be clearly deducted from the APA.

Volumen Maestro!

If you are on anchor, please, by my guest and jam it up!

However if you are inside a port, please be mindful of your neighbors and keep the music civil after midnight.


Gratuity is expected if your charter has been everything you hoped for, it is a mean of appreciation to the crew. Most gratuities are customary, and left at the clients discretion. However to give you an idea, normally they are between 10-20% of the charter cost. The tips will be split equally between the crew depending on the level of service.

Wave runners

in some areas they are restricted, forbidden or require a license based on local operating regulations.


Don’t be that guy! the one that will never get invited on board again! Click to the article here.