Yacht charter: What should I pay attention to not to lose the deposit?
Chartering a yacht you are obliged to pay a returnable deposit for potential damages that might occur on the yacht during the cruise. In 99%, the deposit is returned to the clients, but we must understand the eventuality of losing the entire deposit or its part – and believe me: even the best experience this!
Most frequently, the damages result from the activity of your crew, the lack of experience or normal neglect. When giving commands, try to inform them on what they should pay attention to.
The ropes always in the straight fairlead
After every manoeuvre inspect all mooring-ropes and spings – if they properly go through the straight fairlead to the clest. The straight fairleads keep the ropes in correct position so that they don’t damage the deck elements under heavy wind or the movement of the yacht, and if the rope does not go through the straight fairlead, it is very easy to damage the rail or the pulpit (stern or bow).
If you sail on the engine the yacht is relatively stable, but when you raise the sails – you know J. Loose objects in the galley, mess or the cabins can make significant damages. Wooden finishings of the yacht and the above-mentioned objects are damaged. Imagine a camera falling down from 1.50 m to a wooden floor at the left tack. Before each raising of the sails I tell everyone to check their cabins. I also assign a person to inspect the rest of the crew. This person is also responsible for closing of all windows, doors, checking the galley, etc.
The foresail at gybing can hook
On most of the yachts, we keep the dinghy on the deck, before the mast – where the foresail jumps at gybing, and a reckless crew may damage something at the tack change. Assign always one person to lean out of the sprayhood and inform the people at the capstan if something is wrong (e.g. if the foresail or its sheet raises the dinghy). Pay attention to the instruments installed to the mast, e.g. radar, engine light. A hooked foresail can tear them out or be shredded himself – just: it does not go, stop, think – don’t abuse your force!
More efficient fenders
If your crew is sufficiently big involve them to operate the fender when approaching the quayside. In most cases, a fender suspended on railings is okay, but operated by a person, it is even a better protection.
Bow thruster damage
Some think it’s good, others (more experienced sailors) as an unnecessary addition – nevertheless we like to use it if equipped. You must be careful when activating it, so that nothing gets inside. Avoid activation of the bow thruster when you pull out or give back the moorings or approach to a buoy. Pay attention when approaching the quay, not to lose the mooring rope or a piece of an “unowned” rope – I know! It’s difficult, but it can protect you from losing a significant deposit. If the operator claims a damage to the bow thruster you can be 100% sure this is not your fault only when you didn’t use it.
The above-mentioned pieces of advice seem trivial but they can protect you from the loss of deposit or its part. You can also secure yourself buying an additional deposit insurance. You will bear additional costs, but you don’t have to worry about a painful loss of deposit – you sail peacefully.