How to Stay Safe when Chartering a Boat this Summer

In a recent COVID-19 survey we conducted, 76% of respondents said that they were worried about contracting coronavirus during their sailing holiday – but not just from aboard their boat. Transit to the port, refuelling stops and stopovers were also sources of concern. This information guide will enable you to follow the correct safety protocols during your yacht charter to minimise the risk of infection.

⚓ Transportation to the base

The car remains the safest means to reach your boat charter at port. Of course, follow the recommended barrier gestures as much as possible (wash your hands regularly, cough or sneeze into your elbow and use disposable tissues, maintain a safe distance and avoid prolonged face-to-face interaction with those outside your household or family unit). These gestures are universal and should be applied whether you’re at the petrol station, in living spaces or any public places. Don’t forget to air out your car regularly and take a break every two hours… 😊 On board flights and/or trains, be extra vigilant and keep the necessary social distance (1 metre minimum). Follow your air/rail operator’s safety guidelines.

⚓ Groceries

Before your charter, check about the possibility of getting groceries delivered on board your boat. Some charter companies offer this service on request. As in all public places, maintain barrier gestures when shopping. Wear a mask and gloves if possible and allow a maximum of 2 persons to go into the supermarket. Don’t forget to purchase the recommended hygiene products: wipes with alcohol-based solution, hand soap, hand sanitiser, bleach, disinfectants, tissues, etc.

⚓ Arrival at base and handover

Ensure that only the skipper goes to the charter company’s office to finalise the necessary administrative formalities. The skipper will have to wait outside until the previous person has finished. Remember to bring your own pen. Hand sanitiser will usually be made available to clients. The majority of clients will be contacted before departure to return the contract signed in advance and to pay the deposit by credit card in order to limit any in-person administrative formalities. It will be difficult to sleep the night before departure on most boats and specific check-in/check-out times can be arranged to suit you. The handover of the boat will be carried out only by a technician and your skipper, both wearing masks. The handover will be conducted mostly outside the boat and videos can be used to explain certain apparatus or aspects of the vessel’s interior. The inventory will be checked by you and if you have any questions, you can ask a technician on the pontoon. There will be no supply of fins, masks, or snorkels.

⚓ Life on board

We advise you to bring your own bedding. Otherwise, the base chief will be able to provide you with bed-linen in protective wrapping but the beds will not be made. Please check with your charter company beforehand. Between each rental, the boat will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected (and finished with a disinfectant spray) and will then be ventilated. The winches, electronic equipment and other handles on the boat will also be disinfected with bleach using single-use washing cloths. Dishes will be supplied either in plastic wrap to be stored away by you, or will be cleaned and disinfected by a technician.

⚓ Check out and returning the boat

Increased vigilance will be required during check-out. Bed sheets are to be placed in dedicated bags. Dishes will be soaked in a disinfectant solution. Only one representative of the crew, wearing a mask, will be able to carry out the check-out inventory. Please respect the minimum distance guideline of one meter. All garbage cans, refrigerators, cabins, etc. must be cleared and emptied by you before the technician comes on board.

⚓ Ports of call

Specific displays in the captain’s office will keep you informed during your stopovers, especially regarding the sanitary facilities and protocols in place (only one visitor permitted in the office at any one time). Avoid gatherings or queues, of course adopt the necessary barrier gestures during your movements and respect, as much as possible, the distancing rules.

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