Being offered an invitation to go on a boat for the day is a privilege. It is imperative to treat the owner and operator with respect while providing any needed assistance. Boat etiquette as a guest is not complex. Here are the 10 best ways to be a good guest when you’re invited on a boat. 

Bring Food And Drinks

Never assume that the person who offered the invitation is responsible for providing food and drinks. 

As the guest, it is your responsibility to bring beverages and food for not only yourself but the host.

Without a doubt, you’ll want to bring finger foods, hydrating drinks, alcohol, and snacks. If you’re looking for an invite back, don’t go cheap. 

Don’t Arrive Late

Making the owner of the vessel wait on you as a guest is not acceptable. The operator often is running on a schedule as a result of a multitude of factors. 

The factors include tides in coastal waters, boat ramp slow hours versus busy hours, or waiting at a marina. 

Causing an inconvenience for the operator is not fair. Make sure to arrive on time based on the agreed meet up time. 

Never Distract The Driver

Unquestionably, the driver is faced with a significant burden to keep you safe. Distractions are not welcomed by the operators. 

Importantly, to better understand distractions, it includes standing in front of the driver, talking to the operator’s ear off, or moving about the vessel recklessly. 

It is essential to respect the driver of the boat by remaining mindful of the fact that they have your safety at the top of their mind. 

Avoid Overpacking

I can’t stand a crowded boat as a result of unnecessary gear. For this reason, it is important to pack only what is needed. 

Take into consideration the weather. Pack the correct clothing based on temperature and activities. This doesn’t mean you need to bring the contents of your closet for one day on the water. 

Beyond clothing are water toys. Limit the amount of water toys to only one or two items. Water toys are often large and, therefore, take up a significant amount of space. Unquestionably, the operator can become overwhelmed when the boat is packed and space becomes limited. 

Help Out

Unquestionably, the operator of the boat can use a lending hand while the boat is underway or preparing to anchor. Here is how you can help the operator as a guest aboard the boat. 

Assist With Departing And Returning To The Dock

One of the most challenging points of operation is departing and returning to the dock. For this reason, you don’t want to let the driver handle this on their own. 

As a guest, provide a helping hand by freeing dock lines when departing and securing dock lines when returning. 

Secondly, coil the dock lines neatly when they are not in use. Never allow them to dangle over the side of the boat. 

Toss The Anchor

Often, operators enjoy visiting beaches while boating. Fortunately, a significant number of beaches are only accessible by boat, thus limiting the crowds. 

However, anchoring at a beach requires managing a bow anchor, a stern anchor, and driving the vessel. Without a doubt, that’s a lot for one person to handle. 

Remember to provide assistance when it comes to anchoring at the beach. 

Offer The Operator Food And Drinks

The driver is faced with the challenging task of navigating safely. Rather than being distracted by gathering food and drinks, it is imperative to ask if they are hungry or thirsty. 

The next time you’re invited on a boat, make sure to keep the operator in mind regularly in the event they need food or drinks. 

Understand The Sunscreen Basics

Without a doubt, sunscreen is highly important when it comes to protecting your skin while you’re out on a boat. 

First, always apply sunscreen before you get on the boat. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t think of putting sunscreen on after I am out on the water. 

However, applying sunscreen, and especially spraying sunscreen, should never be used on the boat. Spray sunscreen causes damage to the boat, including slippery decks and a shein on fiberglass and gelcoat. 

Avoid using spray sunscreen on boats at all costs. The owner of the boat will be very appreciative of this. 

Wear The Correct Footwear

The last thing that you want to do is cause the owner of the vessel more work by creating scuff marks on the boat. 

Improper footwear is one of the leading causes of damage on boat decks. It should be noted that going barefoot is often the best option. 

However, slips and falls are another factor to consider when boating. One of the best options to prevent slips and falls is wearing a high quality boat shoe such as those made by Sperry. 

Offer Money

Often, the person who offered the invite is not looking to be reimbursed for fuel costs. However, it is a good idea as a guest to chip in on expenses. 

Without a doubt, running a boat is expensive, especially when operating at high speeds. In addition to fuel, consider the cost to maintain, store, and insure the vessel yearly. 

I’ll admit if you’re not an avid boater, it’s hard to estimate the cost of fuel for the day. I’ve had friends throw me a 100 dollar bill despite only burning 20 dollars in fuel. For half a day on the water, I suggest handing over 50 dollars.

Don’t Over Do It With The Alcohol

The operator of the vessel does not need to be burdened with the stress of intoxicated guests. Keeping everyone on board safe is at the top of the list. 

Consuming too much alcohol not only distracts the driver because they watch the person vigilantly. Additionally, it causes a mental burden. An intoxicated guest is at risk of falling, going overboard, or throwing up.

Don’t hesitate to have some drinks, but don’t drink to the point that you must be closely watched. 

Be Thankful

Not only should you thank the invitee when you arrive at the boat but after the trip as well. A Thank you goes a long way for getting invited back on board. 

Remember, the owner is taking on a substantial amount of responsibility when having guests aboard. Although it is fun for everyone, remember what goes into buying and maintaining the vessel. Say, thank you. 

Remember These Top 10 Tips To Be A Good Guest

As a guest on a boat, you most certainly want to leave a good impression in order to be invited back. Remembering these top ten tips will more than likely get you a second invitation. Not much compares to a day spent out on the water, especially if you’re not responsible for driving, maintenance, and dockage. Lastly, remember to always be courteous to the guest.