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Boating Etiquette

You may already have experience on many different types, shapes, and sizes of boats, or maybe this is your first time boating at sea.

Polite boat etiquette and considerate behavior on board is imperative for the safety and enjoyment for you and others while venturing out to sea.

Small inflatable boats can be unstable and difficult to get on and off, whereas large luxury cruise liners tend to be easier to embark but often have strict rules and regulations to protect and promote good boat worthy behavior.

Unless you recently completed your seaworthy marine training, we are confident that our polite and proper boating etiquette guide and advisory information will add to the overall snorkeling experience from a sailing craft.

Prepare Before You Jump On-board

Preparations for boat travel start on land. The weather and sea conditions will influence your clothing for the snorkeling trip, but be prepared for abrupt changes in the air temperature and precipitation. Assuming that you have checked the local conditions for the day, most of your carry-on stuff is likely to be small and light.

UV Protection and Clothing on Boats

Extra UV sunscreen protective clothing items to consider might be a hat or cap to shield your forehead, nose, ears, and neck. Other useful lightweight extras might include a windbreaker, a fleece, and clothing with a hood to offer protection from the wind and spray. The weather is unpredictable and it is always better to be prepared than sorry.

Tip iconBoat Etiquette Tip: Take your seasickness prevention medication at least 30 minutes before boarding the boat.

Shade your eyes from high-energy visible light and UVA and UVB sunlight rays. A good pair of sunglasses will help protect your eyes from the strong glare of the sun and the harshness of the wind. Polarized protective eye-wear may prevent eye damage and discomfort from intense sunlight.

A final thought about your darkened glasses if they are expensive Ray Bans. Take care not to lose them on the boat or leave them in a place where they could get smashed or lost overboard.

Take at least one towel on the boat. Towels are useful for drying your snorkeling equipment and underwater cameras. A larger towel or chamois works great for wiping down yourself among your swim sessions.

Boat Dry Area and Gear Station

One of the most useful snorkeling accessories to have on a boat trip is a waterproof dry bag. We do not mean an ultra-thin supermarket plastic carrier bag, or a conventional zip bag. We refer to a purpose specific dry bag that is meant to be waterproof and will not leak. It will protect your personal valuables and water-sensitive belongings from the rain and boat splashing.

Boat trippers and snorkelers should not be without a general purpose sturdy dry bag. They are available in different sizes and colors to match your snorkel gear and your keys, wallet, clothes, and food will all be kept dry inside.

Finally, before you make your way on board, consider whether the boat is equipped with enough water and snacks. Dehydration and hunger are common when you are swimming, snorkeling, or diving. If you take extra water bottles, try to have the reusable types which are better for the environment and more hygienic for sharing with friends and the boat crew.

Boating Etiquette On Board

Be sure of the time to show up and the boat's scheduled time to leave the dock. Being late is bad manners, and frustrating for the other passengers. If you are alert and courteous and arrive early, it is customary to ask for permission to climb on to the boat if the crew is not immediately ready for departure.

The skipper of the vessel will have his favorite customs and protocols, so listen carefully to any boat briefings and set up your gear accordingly.

Boat Briefings.

If no-one gives a briefing of the safety rules and guidelines of the vessel, it would be a good idea to ask a crew member to do so. You need to know where to locate the safety equipment in the unlikely event of a serious emergency. Life Jackets, flares, first aid kits, and make a mental note of where the VHF radio is situated.

Another safety issue is learning what system the crew use to inform snorkelers of a recall. There are different methods to recall swimmers from the water if the boat needs to make an urgent departure.

Mooring and Anchoring.

When you have finished the in-water snorkel activities, you should already be familiar with the location of the mooring anchor, and have an idea of the recommended way to exit the water and get back on board. Most boats will have a swim ladder to use.

Boat ladders are often fixed at the stern of the boat (rear) close to the propeller. Always be extra cautious near engines rotors and observe boat propeller safety rules for preventing snorkeling and diving accidents

You should remove your snorkeling fins before you attempt boarding via the boat ladder. When you are back on deck, find the fresh water rinse buckets and thoroughly clean your snorkeling mask, fins, cameras, and try to dry them as quickly as possible to avoid mold development.

Tip iconBoat Etiquette Tip: It is considered good manners to stay organized, keep your gear tidy, and consider the safety issues of smoking cigarettes on boats.

Disembarkation at the Dock

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