Prepping Your Yacht for A Day on the Water with Friends
What could be better than a day on your yacht on the water with your friends? Now that you have the day planned, whether you are an experienced yacht owner or a novice, planning for your day on the water will ensure you and your friends have a great time making memories together. Let’s explore preparation points for your day on the water.
No matter the size of your vessel or where you are headed, safety should be the first priority for you and your friends. Your yacht is equipped with navigational equipment – radios, radar, GPS, chart plotters, depth finders – and an emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB), man overboard recovery system, searchlight, and life raft. You are also required by law to have life jackets available for everyone on board your yacht, as well as a working fire extinguisher, functional flares, a fully stocked First Aid Kit, visual distress signals, and a functional sound signal. Additional recommended safety items include a tool kit, boat hook or pole, watersports flags, binoculars, a bailing device, extra lines and fenders, an anchor with the necessary chain, and vessel documentation as well as fishing licenses, park passes, and a boating or operator’s license for your region.
Whether you are headed down the Intercoastal or out to sea, you’ll want to plan your trip, starting with a destination in mind. Will you be tying up at a dockside restaurant for lunch or spending the day in the ocean fishing for tarpon, sailfish, or snapper? Would your friends simply enjoy a day of play with sunning, swimming, and socializing? Or will you be venturing further, maybe down to the Keys?
Whatever your destination, you’ll want the weather forecasts on your marine weather app and chart your course. Knowing your destination, reviewing your charts, and plotting your course is crucial for calculating time, distance, mileage, and fuel for your trip. Always be aware of chart depths along your coarse, as running aground would end your fun day with friends. If you’ll be staying overnight, you’ll also want to check anchorages/marinas and make the necessary reservations beforehand.
Provision your vessel with food, drinks, and sundries for the trip ahead. You’ll want ice for fishing as well as drinks. Add in water and other non-alcoholic drinks to keep everyone hydrated. Plan food and snacks depending on the length of your trip – in most cases simple is better when you are having fun! You’ll also want sundry items like sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, towels, and coverups. Don’t forget the gear you’ll need whether for fishing, diving, inflatables, etc. You’ll also want music, and maybe even books and games.
Always leave a “float plan” with a family member, friend, or colleague including how long you’ll be gone and when you’ll return, and don’t forget to check in with them on your return.
All Aboard For Water Fun
Call ahead and let the marina office known when you’ll be leaving, and schedule any assistance needed for your launch. Stow your provisions properly, putting beverages on ice and foods in the refrigerator. Stow gear and clothing out of the way (away from walkways and boat-handling spaces). Tie down any loose items which remain on deck.
Next, do your pre-cruise check of fuel and oil levels, tankage levels, props and running gear, electronics, lines, fenders, lights, horns, pumps, anchor, and ground tackle. Offer a safety briefing for your guest to ensure everyone knows how to put on a life vest or jacket, where fire extinguishers and first aid is located, as well as procedures for safety, emergencies, docking, anchoring, garbage and sanitation procedures.
Now launch your vessel and enjoy your day on the water with friends!
Call Lighthouse Point Yacht Club Home
Here in South Florida, you can conveniently anchor your yacht and call Lighthouse Point Yacht Club home.