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How do I know the Charter Yacht I booked is in seaworthy condition?

Booking a Charter Yacht is a pretty exciting moment. You have big plans for your trip out on the water, and you can’t wait to get going. But first, you have to make sure that your vessel is seaworthy. Knowing that your yacht is seaworthy and capable of withstanding all types of water and weather is an essential part of being safe on the open ocean. So, if you’re looking for peace of mind when you book your charter yacht, always consider undertaking a quick inspection beforehand.

For anyone who is looking to book a boat, there are a few common-sense checks to make to ascertain the seaworthiness of your chartered yacht. Here are a few things to look out for when you book your charter yacht.

1) Take a look at the physical condition of the boat structure

Having a good look at the physical condition of the yacht will give you a good indicator of the state that your prospective charter yacht is in. Take note of any visible scratches or marks on the boat. You will also want to have a walk through the interior of the boat to ensure that it is not taking on any water. A few other sections of the structure that you can inspect for any visible signs of damage are:

  • Cockpit and centre console
  • The hull
  • The outer edges of the bow
  • Gunwales
  • Transom
  • Thru-hole connections

2) Confirm it has the correct safety and emergency gear installed

When you’re out on the water, you always want to ensure that your vessel has the correct safety gear. It’s essential to check this before you head out to ensure that everything is present and in good working order. Being vigilant here could save your life if something were to happen. Take a look at the following gear:

  • Flashlights
  • Life jackets – Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) for every individual on board the yacht
  • Hand-held and aerial flares that are in-date
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Navigation lights
  • First Aid Kit
  • Overboard throwable devices in the event of an overboard situation

3) Double check the necessary documentation

When you head out on a chartered yacht, you want to verify that the yacht has the correct documentation to help ensure its seaworthiness. This documentation is vital as not only does it contain valuable information to help in emergencies, but it can also verify to you that the yacht is regularly serviced and registered. Consider checking to see if your chartered yacht has the following documentation:

  • Vehicle registration
  • Registration decal
  • Owner contact information
  • Certificate of number
  • Accident report form
  • Marine towing service membership card
  • Operating manual detailing any essential equipment such as engine and radio

And remember. If you have booked a crewed charter, your crew should be able to produce documentation such as Coastguard issued Merchant Mariner Documents to ascertain whether the crew themselves are qualified to sail the ship and are also seaworthy.

4) Is the included equipment in good working order?

If you are satisfied that the ship’s structural integrity is sound, you should turn your attention to the installed equipment next. This equipment can include any of the following:

  • Propeller – lookout for irregularities such as blade pitting, bending or uneven surfaces
  • Compass
  • Anchor – should be securely attached to the side of the boat and have enough ground tackle
  • Mooring lines
  • Any extra lines – should also include fenders and a boat hook
  • Steering cables – keep an eye put for visible fraying and ensure cables are secure
  • Engine and all connections – should be secured tightly to the transom
  • VHF Radio and GPS unit
  • Electrical systems and isolators – keep an eye out for frayed cables
  • Ensure that any included equipment is in good working order and doesn’t display signs of damage or wear.

While these checks aren’t exhaustive, they are a great way to get a feel for the yacht and ascertain its seaworthiness, even if you aren’t an expert. If anything looks damaged, faulty or degraded, you are well within your rights to request a properly seaworthy charter boat. If, on the other hand, everything appears to be in good nick and you are confident that the yacht looks good to go, then sit back and relax and get excited for your upcoming trip on the open ocean!

Undertaking these quick checks and observations before you head out for your chartered trip can save you a lot of stress later on. Ensuring that your boat is seaworthy before you head out is essential. If everything adds up, your crew and boat all have the proper documentation, training and equipment, and you can see any visible signs of damage to the vessel or equipment. You can probably breathe easy about the seaworthiness of the chartered yacht. Once you’re confident that your chartered yacht is seaworthy, jump aboard and enjoy your trip out on the open ocean.

For reliable chartered yacht hire that you can trust, contact Sydney Boat Hire today.