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How do you handle guests onboard and their sometimes total lack of knowledge about boating or severe lack of consideration of others?? 


The following are the rules we go by for our boat. They are a culmination of 45 years of boating including my past life at my job setting up boat charters and taking care of boat owners in the repair yard. We find this gives our non-boating guests a starting point and lets people know what they can and can't do onboard. Saves a lot of headaches and helps insure that everyone has a good time including us. We only use this or parts of it when we feel it is necessary depending on who will be with us.   



Welcome Aboard!!


For those who have never been aboard a boat or who are unfamiliar with boating we wish to advise you of the following rules of the boat so both you, your fellow passengers, and your hosts will all have a fun time!


General Rules

1. STREET SHOES ARE NOT ALLOWED ONBOARD: Soft soul shoes only i.e. white soul or tan soul athletic or tennis shoes. Barefoot is allowed but be aware that wet feet on forward decks are NOT ALLOWED as this is extremely slippery and can result in an unexpected nasty fall. We prefer not to have to take time out from our fun for medical emergencies.

2. BRING ONLY ONE SMALL DUFFLE/BEACH BAG OF CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES PER PERSON. For space reasons it is appreciated if couples share one duffle/beach bag. Children can share a duffle/beach bag. LADIES, THIS LIMITATION INCLUDES COSMETICS AND BEAUTY PRODUCTS.

Please include a warm jacket and pants for each person in your party. It gets cold on the water as soon as the sun goes behind the hill.

Space on board is limited and we must make room for everyone. You will be given a place to stow your gear. Please confine your gear to that location.

3. CONFINE YOUR BELONGINGS TO YOUR DUFFLE/BEACH BAG. There is no room to spread out on a boat. If you get ANYTHING out put it back away immediately.

4. Each guest will be issued one towel for the duration. You do not need to bring your own. Beach towels will also be provided. It is your responsibility to check with the Captain or First Mate regarding where to place your towel to dry it after use so you may then fold it up and (gasp!) use it again.

5. BATHROOM - On a boat this room is known as the HEAD! The toilet is also called “the head”. Please use your head when using our head. Unlike your toilet at home a boat has a “closed system“ toilet.


Parents - Please monitor your children’s use of the toilet. Be advised that your Captain gets really testy if he has to spend even a small part of his day getting the toilet unplugged.

Parents - If your little darling has been eating cherries within the past 48 hours do not bring your child to the boat. You won’t believe how many cherry seeds your little darling swallows or what those cherry seeds can do to our head and our Captain’s usually wonderful sense of humor!!

6. Alcoholic beverages are allowed but drinking is limited to “drinking not drunking”. If you wish to over-imbibe buy your own boat. The First Mate DOES NOT put up with or clean up after drunks. If you are under age don’t even think about drinking!

7. Smoking is allowed in the aft cockpit only. Your First Mate will be happy to provide you with an ashtray. Do not throw refuse overboard.

8. Swearing, coarse language, and/or off color jokes or stories are not allowed. This includes slang and/or common gutter language references to body parts or functions.. Our boat IS NOT a junior high school boy’s (or girl’s) locker room. We are well aware of human biology and do not find such language appropriate in mixed company.

We welcome all ages and backgrounds onboard and expect that your language will be appropriate for all ages and/or the more gentle souls on board. That way we all have fun.

In addition, you will discover that such language is not used in the marina by our dock neighbors. Since our moorage is at the discretion of the club association and they will (hopefully) still be our dock neighbors after you leave this rule is not to be violated anywhere in the marina. If you slip up you will receive one reminder from the First Mate. Bear in mind the First Mate is not in the habit of repeating herself.

9. MEALS AND SNACKS are preplanned by the First Mate. Please call ahead of time if you or a member of your group have any special dietary needs or prohibitions so allowances can be made to accommodate.

10. Be aware that the Captain and/or the First Mate’s vocabulary does not include the phrase “I don’t like that” when food is served and advise your children accordingly.

11. NO BOOMBOXES! Boating should be a pleasure for all including those on the boat clear at the other end of the marina. You do not need to bring your own CD player unless you wish to bring a personal system with earphones. Our boat has a fully integrated audio system. You are welcome to listen to tunes on the boat’s audio system at a reasonable volume level. These tunes should be selected for the enjoyment of all onboard. If you can’t keep the volume WAY DOWN it is the Captain and the First Mate’s sincere hope that you are a good enough swimmer to swim home because you will be thrown overboard immediately!

12. No drugs of any kind. We don’t care what your opinion is of how safe they are. It is our boat and only our opinion counts!!

Meals will be at specific times. Be on time and ready to eat or wait for the next planned meal. The First Mate does not custom cook from dawn to dark.

The galley (kitchen) is cleaned up promptly after each meal. Volunteers are welcomed. Those who do not wish to volunteer will be cheerily assigned to KP by the First Mate. It is the Captain and the First Mate’s firm opinion that if a human is old enough to walk and talk they are old enough to help!

A variety of snacks will be available on the boat. Do not bring your own as we have limited storage capability. However, if there is something specific you wish to suggest please let the First Mate know ahead of time.

The Captain or the First Mate will be happy to show you where the snack locker is. You will have free access to the snack locker but remember that snacks do not replace a meal. After you arrive at the marina there will be no “quick trips“ to the local mini market to replenish the snack locker. Snacks are for all who are onboard and for the duration of the event. Please share. You don’t even want to know what happens to the person who eats the last cookie!!

A boat has a limited amount of water onboard. Do not turn the faucet on and let it run like you do at home. Limit your use of water to only the precise amount of water you need.

We have water skis - both single and doubles onboard. Also float toys such as air mattresses, etc. If you wish to bring anything else please check with the Captain first.

The Captain and First Mate will not be insulted if you offer to contribute toward the cost of food, snacks, beverages, and fuel. Playing on a boat is fun but not cheap. A boat runs on water but unfortunately the engines don’t. Marina fuel is very expensive and the engines just love to gobble it up so they can go get more!


Boating Definitions

BOAT: A hole in the water surrounded by fiberglass into which one pours money.

CAPTAIN: The one who owns the boat. Also known as “Dictator”.

FIRST MATE: The other owner who isn’t the captain. The other dictator! There is no “second mate”.

BOW: The pointy end.

STERN: The other end.

FORWARD: Toward the pointy end.

AFT: Toward the other end.

LINES: This is what ropes are called.

FENDERS: Those floaty things we put between the boat and the dock or another boat.

STARBOARD: Facing forward this is the right hand side of the boat.

PORT: Facing forward this is the left hand side of the boat.

HEAD: Bathroom

GALLEY: Kitchen

BERTH: Bed. Our current boat parties 25, feeds 10, sleeps 2. Any exceptions to this must be cleared with the Captain and First Mate. Naps, however, are allowed and frequently indulged in by the Captain and/or the First Mate.

OVERBOARD: The wet part the boat floats in.

EVENT TIME: A reasonable time will be set for leaving the dock. If you are late it is our sincere hope that you have a good day. We’ll miss you.

Safety Rules

No running on the docks or the boat.

No riding on the bow. Forget the boat ads you’ve seen showing young people riding on the bow. Not only is this dangerous but it is highly frowned upon by the local coast guard and the boat will be stopped and ticketed. This makes the Captain very angry.

When the boat is underway - SIT DOWN AND STAY SAT DOWN until you have your sea legs. Young children will stay seated at all times while the boat is underway unless given permission to move by the Captain or the First Mate.

When we are coming up to a dock DO NOT jump from the boat to the dock to try to help with docking. Stay seated and the Captain will bring the boat alongside the dock. If any assistance in docking is needed the First Mate will assist the Captain. Stay out of the way and only help if directed to do so by the First Mate.

Do not attempt to exit the boat until the boat is secured to the dock and the engines turned off.

Do not attempt to jump from the dock to the boat. Wait until the boat is secured before STEPPING into the boat.

While the boat is underway life jackets WILL BE WORN by all adults and teenagers who cannot swim.

Life jackets WILL BE WORN by ALL young children AT ALL TIMES WHILE UNDERWAY except inside the cabin WHEN AT THE DOCK or in a designated swimming area while being carefully monitored by THEIR parents. NO EXCEPTIONS!! This means the child puts on a life jacket in the parking lot before going out on the dock to go to the boat and wears the life jacket back to the parking lot at the end of the event. If you cannot follow this rule do not come.

The law requires that we have a life jacket or personal safety floatation device onboard sized appropriately for each person on the boat. Please do not add a person(s) to your party without consulting the Captain or the First Mate ahead of time.

Karen Thoroughman
MI TOI TOO 27' hard top express

Rules and Terminology for Non-boater Guests Printable version


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