So, you’ve decided to go on the adventure of a lifetime on a yacht cruise with friends. But, how do you pick the right cruising companions?
Don’t get us wrong. Yacht living is incredible. It can be one of the best experiences of your life – if you set out with a suitable group of people, that is.
THE ART OF YACHT LIVING
A liveaboard catamaran or yacht offers you the chance to explore new places, meet new people and experience some life-changing ocean-exploring adventures. You will most likely undertake this journey with a hand-picked group of people who will share (almost) every moment of the voyage with you.
For many people, living aboard a yacht equals living the dream. But the dream can quickly turn into a nightmare if you find yourself in a confined space on the open seas in, shall we say, less-than-harmonious circumstances.
Putting together a good yacht crew isn’t too hard. There are many highly experienced and skilled sailing professionals offering their services to ensure your sailing trip runs as smoothly as possible. But the one thing your dedicated yacht crew cannot guarantee is a pleasant and conflict-free voyage for you and your guests.
SAILING FRIENDS – PEOPLE YOU CAN LIVE WITH
If you are setting sail with a spouse or significant other, the chances are you know each other well enough to do so. You may also know your prospective sailing buddies well – but you will still learn lots of new things about each other once you set off on a cruise with friends.
Making sure your sailing companions are the kind of people you can spend big chunks of time with, day in and day out, possibly for weeks on end, is essential.
Putting together the perfect group of sailing friends can be a challenge. Where does one begin to make sure that only the most compatible and agreeable group of people join you on your liveaboard ocean adventure?
RESEARCH IS KEY
Doing some research on what makes a good sailor is an excellent start. Living on a yacht is lots of fun, but it has its unique requirements and challenges. Can your friends handle living in small spaces? Bad weather at sea? Deal with technical issues and unexpected malfunctions? It takes a certain kind of person to pull yacht living off well.
Going on a few shorter sailing trips to get a good feel for communal yacht living will also be an excellent idea. Doing so may just preserve your friendship – whether you end up sailing off together or not!
Presumably, you know your sailing friends well, so you should be able to tell whether or not they possess these essential “good sailing buddy” traits.
GOOD SAILING BUDDY – 7 TOP TIPS
Here are the 7 most important questions to ask when looking for a sailing buddy:
Liveaboard catamaran companions who know the basics of sailing can make an immense contribution to the running and sailing of your vessel. It will help to spread the workload and ensure that no one is left feeling like they are “doing all the work”, which can cause resentment to build.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Besides all the freedom, exhilaration and joy it can offer, yacht living can also be challenging at times. You learn to expect technical failures and various other problems. Tempers will fray, and patience might wear thin now and then.
There are many unpredictable aspects to a yacht sailing journey, including weather patterns, equipment malfunctions and a whole host of unforeseen events that may or may not occur.
Having practical, handy sailing buddies that are pro-active, can “think on the fly” and are willing to lend a hand coming up with solutions will be invaluable to you on your journey.
Very important – before you set out, discuss your yacht’s sailing rules with everyone who will be going on the journey, and ensure that everyone agrees to your basic rules of yacht living.
A yacht cruise with friends will present you with numerous daily options. Where to drop anchor, what activities to plan, deciding to stay a bit longer or to lift anchor and set sail – the list is endless.
Living on a yacht, having sailing buddies that are easygoing and willing to compromise will go a long way to help prevent petty arguments, such as what to have for supper every evening.
Money matters can also quickly spark ugly disagreements. Be sure to discuss all money-related issues before departing on your cruise and set any such rules out clearly – preferably in writing.
CAN THEY LAUGH IT OFF?
A sense of tolerance, willingness to compromise and a good sense of humour will help to diffuse difficult situations on your voyage. Laziness on a liveaboard catamaran or yacht can be a real source of conflict, so sailing buddies who will happily do their share of the work and contribute where required will ensure a good vibe throughout your journey.
GOOD SAILING BUDDIES = GREAT VOYAGE
If you know your prospective sailing friends well and you can tick all of the above boxes, the chances are that you will be setting off on a fun-filled cruise of a lifetime. In addition to the seven tips supplied, as a rule of thumb, a good sailing buddy should tick all the same boxes as what makes a good travel buddy.
In short, it is essential that the sailing friends who will be living on a yacht with you possess not only the right skills and sailing credentials but the necessary character traits to ensure a pleasurable, unforgettable sailing experience for all.