5 Tips for Being a Great Hosting CaptainIt’s time. You have found a renter for your boat and you are preparing to send them on a great adventure — or a lazy day of relaxation — on your watercraft. Like a good host, a great captain will want to make sure their renter’s time on the water is as comfortable and fun as can be. Among other things, this includes ensuring that all of the “extras” in your listing are accessible and in working order. Additionally, there are a few amenities that will boost your credibility as a captain, make your renters feel at home, and have your listing over-booked with reservation requests in no time.  

Offer Advanced Training as Part of the Rental

Advanced Training As part of your rental package and depending on if your watercraft will be a bareboat charter or a captained charter, you may want to offer advanced training for skippers and new sailors alike. This is ideal for captained charters when you will have a bit of downtime with the renters.  

Advanced training may include teaching your renters a few tips and tricks to sailing or even for your boat in particular. If your renters know that this is a possibility, you will gain an opportunity to connect with them and perhaps forge a friendship. If anything, you renters will be happy that you are willing to take the time out of you day to show them the ropes.  

Provide the Most Important Toiletries

As you know, hitting the water in any vessel means that you are not in for a dry ride. Whether you intended to or not, making contact with the water could happen. While most renters will come prepared with their own towels, stowing backup towels for emergency use will make your renters’ journey more comfortable.  

If your boat has a head, make sure it is stocked with biodegradable soap, toilet paper, and hand towels. These amenities are small, but essential and available at most marinas. Busy renters, rushing to begin their journey, may forget these items.  

Leave a Welcome Gift

Make your renters feel appreciated on your vessel and leave a welcome gift. Perhaps your renters are sailing for a special occasion. Maybe they want to escape the chaos of life ashore. Are you hosting a family with children, a retired couple, or maybe a pair of honeymooners? No matter who is renting your boat, you can make their experience aboard your vessel personal and memorable.  

Great ideas for a welcome gift include a note of thanks, a special trinket from the local marina, samples of local products, or memorabilia. If you know children will be aboard, how about an inflatable beach ball or water gun?  

Offer Navigation Advice

If your renters are new to the area, setting aside time to assist them and help them navigate the waters they will be boating in will help everyone maintain a peace of mind. Suggest interesting locations or landmarks your renters should visit and ensure they know where the closest marinas and docks are located. Are there exceptionally delicious waterside restaurants they should visit? Maybe there is a secret cove that has great fishing. Whatever it is, let your renters in on the secret!  

If your vessel has autopilot, be sure they know how to use it and set a proper course. If your radio has coordinates, make your renters aware of how they can become visible. Be sure to point out hidden obstacles or submerged objects that may be dangerous when the tide is out. Always have paper charts aboard your vessel and make sure your renter knows where the charts are stored.  

Provide Snacks and Bottled Water

Providing a few snacks and bottled water for the voyage will make your renter’s experience more enjoyable. Your renters should come prepared with the basics; however, a special treat is a thoughtful touch. Snacks from local vendors add a regional touch as well as personalize the rental experience. Be mindful of who will be utilizing the vessel and plan accordingly.  

Being a good captain means that you provide a fully functional watercraft, free of strange smells, that is shipshape for your renters. However being a good host includes all of the little “extras” that can make an excursion aboard a good vessel a great journey. When preparing for your renters, think about what types of amenities you have experienced that have made a trip extra special and enjoyable. Ask yourself about what types of amenities would have made an average experience that much better.  

If you choose to make your renter’s experience more memorable, they may leave you a stellar review and return for another visit. They may recommend your listing to their friends or share it on their social network. All of these things will mean more renters and, down the road, more money for you.