Yacht charter check-in tips
It is important during the check-in procedure to make sure your yacht has all the required inventory of equipment that you will need on the charter/flotilla and that it is all in good working order. Below are numerous items that often get overlooked but are essential on your charter so please make sure of them during your check-in procedure.
- yacht cleaning: must be adequate.
- sail and rigging: pull out sails and check them for damage, tares, undone seems -especially if it is a roller main. Make sure sail systems run smoothly by hand to go in and out –not by winch.
- engine start stop: check oil and dip stick location, visually inspect and make ½ turn only on belts, check coolant, overflow and where fuel purge for bleeding air out of main carb and injectors are located.
- outboard engine: Must start easily and run at base. Also while ‘off’, put the outboard ‘in gear ‘and try to turn prop to see if the plastic prop washer / impeller is stripped – if it turns ask for a repaired outboard. Note where fuel valve is and verify that there is spare gas/oil aboard.
- dinghy should be inflated and if it is low ask for it to be filled hard and see if it deflates during your 45min ‘check-in’. If it leaks ask for another dinghy or to have it repaired immediately.
- life raft location: do a run through operation of device/s.
- life jackets: locate them all and make sure they are in good condition, that there are enough and they are the right size if you have kids aboard.
- first aid kit: check to see what is inside and if things need to be replenished.
- emergency flares: know where they are and locate sea cocks, black balls, reflctive mirror, safety harnesses, bosun’s chair and other safety equip.
- fire extiguishers: locate and count (separate extinguishers in different locations of yacht, if they are together).
- emergecy tiller: locate tiller, cable cutters and auxiliary anchor. Ask to be briefed on use if unsure.
- EPIRB: locate and be clear of how to operate.
- battery main switch: locate and note the position of 'on' levers.
- shore power cables: locate and ensure adaptors are available.
- nav station: understand and test the board, 12 volt and 220 volt shore power/generator (if applicable) as well as interior lighting, stereo, nav lights and other electronics.
- VHF radio: understand and test
- anchor fuse/breaker: locate breaker and hand set operation. Ask base staff if chain must be laid in chain locker to avoid anchoring problems.
- tool box: check for basics like pliers, screw drivers, spare screws/bolts, wire cutters, electrical tape, wrench
- spare parts: locate any engine belts, spare oil, coolant, impellers, dinghy repair kit etc
- water hose: locate and check for correct garden ring adaptor
- toilets: must pump smoothy, not smell and have no significant water leaking around pump lever /valves. If boat has septic holding tanks, make sure they are empty by banging on them. They should have a hollow sound
- stove: test stove/oven on/off procedure and where the fuel safety valve is as well as where the spare gas bottle is located –normally the spare bottle is outside in the cockpit seating area or in a stern compartment.
- fridges and ice boxes: check they cold before leaving.
- galley equip: kettle, coffee pot and mechanism for making coffee –very important how does it work and will it make enough coffee for everyone aboad?
- galley utensils: plates, glasses /cups, bowls, big trays and salad bowls, pots and frying pans for 6-8 people to cook and eat comfortably
- sheets and towels: ensure there are sufficient for the number of couples and singles aboard. Normally a double occupancy cabin will have 2 sheets, 2 pillow cases, 2 large and 2 smalll towels and a blanket. You may need more with singles.
- hull and deck: check for damages take pics –especially at the bow where the anchor can chip the gelcoat
- fenders: count them and ask them to be marked with the boat name or initials on them to deter theft in ports
Before leaving the base
- Top off water tanks, make sure to bring your yacht hose with fitting attachments
- if your yacht has shore power retrieve cable/adapters (not on all yachts)
- if you have a bow mooring/lazy line, when leaving port, do not run over the mooring/lazy line which is under the yacht and tied to the dock – When you untie the bow mooring line make sure it sinks before leaving the berth. The line is tied to the pier for your retrieval upon return
Use the first day as a shakedown of the yacht and equipment. Yacht turnover days can be very busy and previous charterers may not have informed the base of missing items or problems. Maintenance and missing items can be corrected easily at islands nearby, but after that it becomes more difficult to access service, missing items and parts.
At check-out do not forget to
- top off yacht fuel
- tell the owner/operator of any issues with the yacht that could be repaired or replaced prior to the next charter.
- ensure base staff destroys your yacht charter security deposit credit card authorization stub.
- ensure all belongings are removed from the yacht before leaving the yacht.