So, you’re a new captain who just bought a new boat, did you? Or you’ve been boating for years and five guys at the local pub talked you into taking them fishing. Well, first let us fully understand the quandary here. It’s as simple as this “MOST GUESTS KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT ANY ASPECT OF BOATING, AT ALL, FOREVER AND EVER!!! It’s a 99.9% average that they don’t. So, what made you even think this was a good idea????? It just isn’t!
Okay! Now you realize you have a problem; how do we address it? That’s what I’m here for!
First – If guests appear at your dock with either black soled, shoes that will scuff your gel coat, or dangerous flip flops, which will end up being a lawsuit, well, you need to weed these folks out immediately. Did they even have the courtesy to pick up a free Boating World to see how boaters dress? NO! It takes little guts to say “Off my boat now, Land Lubber! But it’s worth cutting to the chase.
Second – If their cooler or maybe several take more than one person to carry them from the car, well sorry, they can’t come either! “Take your beers, wine and vodka seltzer and all the potato chips, salads, heroes and salsa, get back in your car and find a nice park to picnic in. I only need a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat and a bottle of water. Did you invite them to have a family buffet on your boat? I doubt it. Besides, you don’t need all that slippery mayo and ketchup on your decks.
Third – If they come aboard and say, “How did you afford this?’’ OFF!
They’re way too nosey and it’s none of their freakin’ business. Besides, do they really want to hear you’ve been dipping big time into petty cash at work for years? Oh, yes, they do! And they will spread it around to everyone you know. So, off the boat they go!
Fourth – That “Love your electronics.” guy. The tech who starts messing with your GPS and radar. The one who steps aboard and says “Where can I charge my phone AND iPad. “Step ashore right now buddy. Get into your car, put your air conditioner on, plug the phone in and drive home!”
Fifth – If you see invited guests taking one of those propane boat barbeques out of the trunk as a gift for you, don’t let them move a foot from their car. Just run up, tell them “Thanks but no thanks! Now go!” Even if they say they also brought along prime rib steaks! Those guests are just a flammable recipe for disaster.
Sixth – If you said you were taking them fishing and they said, ‘I always wanted to try that’’ and you didn’t say “never mind” then – well, now you got a problem. You’ll be baiting hooks, fixing terminal tackle, and showing them how to reel all day. There is a way to deal with this pronto. As you’re stashing the 23 old rods they brought, tell them to place seawater in the chum and stir it up a bit. This must be done while you’re still at the dock. If their stomachs can take it, there is only one thing to do. Take a bite out of a fresh bunker, offer them a bite and tell them it’s the tradition of the sea. Your problem will be immediately solved. I’ve done it often and quite frankly, I am beginning to find them quite tasty. It’s a developed taste.
Well – you get the idea. Before you invite guests on your boat you really have to know them and they have to know YOU are the captain, and what you say goes. Prep them before they show up with all the gadgets and food you may find unnecessary and cumbersome. Don’t over passenger the boat. Have them sit where you need them to sit. But most of all, control the drinking and have them watch their children. You don’t have to follow my six major suggestions. It works for me but I‘m a mean old “Crusty Captain”. Just use common sense and there will be fun for all! Bah! I can’t believe I just said that.