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Boat rules

31BVeteran

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So as I sit here waiting for the boat show to take advantage of the “savings”, I had a conversation with my significant other about the rules of the boat and it’s guest. Here’s what I’ve discussed and would like your opinions as well as any of your rules that has been effective for you.

1: $20 donation towards fuel expense
2: adults must provide their own life jackets before boarding.
3: any spills will result in you deep cleaning the mess and the rest of the boat.
4: fighting and extreme drunkenness will prevent you from being invited for a timeline yet to be determined.
 

J-RAD

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It's a good start. The money is a hard one and can be divisive if not requested tactfully. In my opinion, I never ask. If I invite you, it's because I want and enjoy your company. I'm going to the lake and going to burn gas anyway, if your friends and family are considerate then they'll offer to pitch in. I just don't expect it of them and therefore not disappointed if they neglect to offer. Some aren't in a financial situation where they have the ability to contribute either.
 

31BVeteran

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It's a good start. The money is a hard one and can be divisive if not requested tactfully. In my opinion, I never ask. If I invite you, it's because I want and enjoy your company. I'm going to the lake and going to burn gas anyway, if your friends and family are considerate then they'll offer to pitch in. I just don't expect it of them and therefore not disappointed if they neglect to offer. Some aren't in a financial situation where they have the ability to contribute either.
That’s fair and a good point to consider. Finances for others might not be a good conversation to have, so I might have to reconsider that
 

Noko

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No shoes.

I'd recommend guest bring towels if they are going to get wet. If they plan on drinking, they should bring sodas or booze out of courtesy. But I would mention that with the invite. I would say if you are inviting them, then the perception would be they wouldn't be paying for gas. As the boat owner, you are required to have a life jacket on board for as many people you are going to have. I think the life jacket issue would fall on you. I carry 4-5 adult and 2-3 youth nice foam jackets. I also have at least 8 cheaper jackets stored under the seats in addition to the throwable life preserver.
People spill stuff and make messes but I wouldn't expect anyone to deep clean my boat if they spilled stuff. If you don't want red wine or something that can stain bad, say so. Most of us really try to take care of our boats. You have to realize no guest is going to care as much about your boat as we, the owners do.
 

bronze_10

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Heres mine...

If I invite u I dont expext u to pay. The offer is nice but I dont expext it.

I have plenty of life jackets for adults. But if u bring your kid you bring their life jacket with u. I dont want something bad happen and u blame my jacket. And alot of parents will try to make a best that is too large fit their kid.... no!

We dont drink on my boat. I know it's not that popular. Boating culture seems to require alcohol but we always have kids on boat. Alcohol isnt the problem.. it's the person who cant control how much they drink. So we just eliminate that drama.

And lastly..... most importantly.... no cheetos on the boat... give cheetos to a kid and u will find bright orange hand prints all over your white boat for weeks and weeks!
 

haknslash

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Rather than tell someone to bring a life jacket, just get the basic coast guard pack of 4 to 6 life jackets that your dealer should throw in the deal anyways. You leave those stuffed under the seats somewhere in case you get pulled over you will be legal to have a life jacket for each occupant. Nobody is going to buy their own life jacket if they don't own a boat.
 
Last edited:

tabbibus

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While waiting for warmer weather we've come up with these rules

1. No shoes
2. Kids need to have their own pfd
3. I'll provide adults with pfds
4. Have fun
 

seanmclean

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I don't accept money for gas. I'm going out anyway, and you're my guest. People are usually pretty cognizant of that, and will pick up the tab for lunch or kick in some extra or whatever. I'm taking friends/families, not strangers. Not many rules - no red wine, shoes off before you get on (most of the time), and don't be a slob. I've never had an issue with someone not heeding an instruction - if I ever did, it'd be there last ride. Also, you can get a variety of life jackets for real cheap at Walmart, I have a dozen or so from youth to XXL. I also have nice ones for my wife and I. If you want a nicer jacket, BYO.
 

2kwik4u

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Rules are pretty easy. In no particular order

  • BYOB. You can drink my soda's/water/juice/etc, I have plenty of cooler space as well, but if you want alcohol, bring your own
  • No shoes on the vinyl. Period.
  • Captain is in charge. Whoever is driving the boat is the captain. You do what they say, when they say it. We'll explain why later. This is set out up front as a safety measure. If things go south, I don't want to debate the finer points of PFD design, I want you to flipping put it on, and NOW.
  • No crying on the boat. We're here to have fun. If you can't have fun, then go sit quietly in the bow until you've calmed down and decide you can have fun. This goes for the adults as well, we've had a few drama queens on the boat.
  • Respect for others space, belongings, and equipment is expected at all times. Don't tear up someone elses something for any reason.
Honestly, just like most things in life where you will be in close proximity to others for an extended period of time, setting the expectations early and often is the best advice. If you're taking the family out for tubing, then don't expect an adult oriented soundtrack, or shenanigans. Likewise, don't bring your kids to the adult weekend full of all kinds of things kids shouldn't be exposed to. Know your audience, plan accordingly, and make sure everyone is on the same page.

ALSO.......and this is a big one.......and it doesn't matter how much or how little you spent on the boat. It's just a boat. If someone breaks a rule, gently remind them and don't get pissed. Reference the no crying rule above. IT'S JUST A BOAT, you bought it to enjoy, not stress over resale value. That little bit of perspective will go a LONG way into having lots of enjoyable days on the water.

As to the money thing.......I never ask, and rarely accept. Friends and good times are too rare an occasion for me to even begin to worry about the cost. I'm not flying you to Italy, and putting you up in the Ritz Carlton, I'm buzzing around the lake for a few hours on the weekend. Is that $20 really gonna make a dent in the overall cost of the day? Is it worth it to worry about? For me, the money is quite possibly the last thing on my mind.
 

MidnightRider

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No shoes
No orange cheesy snacks (Cheetos, Doritos, etc)
Everyone has a part in tracking the tow rope.

We keep a range of enough quality life jackets from toddler to adult. Wearing is encouraged for all and required (no exceptions) for 10 and under.

I don’t ask for gas money but I never turn it down. I find it evens out, some don’t offer any, some offer $20, some offer half, some offer to pay for the whole day of gas. But I go into it with the intention of just paying for the gas myself, that way I don’t feel upset and if some money comes my way it’s a plus.
 

rrmidden

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Heres mine...

If I invite u I dont expext u to pay. The offer is nice but I dont expext it.

I have plenty of life jackets for adults. But if u bring your kid you bring their life jacket with u. I dont want something bad happen and u blame my jacket. And alot of parents will try to make a best that is too large fit their kid.... no!

We dont drink on my boat. I know it's not that popular. Boating culture seems to require alcohol but we always have kids on boat. Alcohol isnt the problem.. it's the person who cant control how much they drink. So we just eliminate that drama.

And lastly..... most importantly.... no cheetos on the boat... give cheetos to a kid and u will find bright orange hand prints all over your white boat for weeks and weeks!
YES NO CHEETOS!

Learned this the hard way! We had just gotten done with lunch (no they didn't offer to pay), and their 4 year old was still hungry (probably because he didn't eat his lunch), so I'm not even pulled out of the dock yet, and the kid's mom pulls out a bag of Cheetos. After they left, my wife and I spent a few hours trying to clean up the mess. Got most of it, but we still found Cheetos dust the rest of the year, another good deep cleaning at the end of the year and we finally eradicated the Cheetos dust.

In general, rules are tough, you don't want to be a jerk, but you also don't want someone destroying your boat. We have friends that have never boated, never have any intention of ever buying a boat, and friends that may not own a boat, but have been on them growing up, etc. The friends that never boat, etc. are difficult because they just don't understand what goes in to the boat, cost, fuel, cleaning, etc. The other friends understand better so try a bit harder to be considerate of your investment. To be honest, we've all but stopped asking the former groups of friends to join us, because it just isn't worth the headache.

I never ask for money, have enough adult life jackets, but tell friends with small kids to bring the kids life jackets, as I don't want to have to buy 6 different sized life jackets for my friends' growing kids. The only thing that I am somewhat forceful on is when docking, had one kid try to put their hand out and almost got it crushed between the boat and the dock. So I tell everyone to not move and keep their hands in the boat until I say so. But even that, I've tended to just drop off people at the end of the dock, then park the boat with just my wife and I, again fewer headaches that way.

Hell, I've got some friends that don't even like the no shoes rule. One friend that doesn't like flip flops, so he's walking around with regular tennis shoes.
 

tabbibus

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YES NO CHEETOS!

Learned this the hard way! We had just gotten done with lunch (no they didn't offer to pay), and their 4 year old was still hungry (probably because he didn't eat his lunch), so I'm not even pulled out of the dock yet, and the kid's mom pulls out a bag of Cheetos. After they left, my wife and I spent a few hours trying to clean up the mess. Got most of it, but we still found Cheetos dust the rest of the year, another good deep cleaning at the end of the year and we finally eradicated the Cheetos dust.

In general, rules are tough, you don't want to be a jerk, but you also don't want someone destroying your boat. We have friends that have never boated, never have any intention of ever buying a boat, and friends that may not own a boat, but have been on them growing up, etc. The friends that never boat, etc. are difficult because they just don't understand what goes in to the boat, cost, fuel, cleaning, etc. The other friends understand better so try a bit harder to be considerate of your investment. To be honest, we've all but stopped asking the former groups of friends to join us, because it just isn't worth the headache.

I never ask for money, have enough adult life jackets, but tell friends with small kids to bring the kids life jackets, as I don't want to have to buy 6 different sized life jackets for my friends' growing kids. The only thing that I am somewhat forceful on is when docking, had one kid try to put their hand out and almost got it crushed between the boat and the dock. So I tell everyone to not move and keep their hands in the boat until I say so. But even that, I've tended to just drop off people at the end of the dock, then park the boat with just my wife and I, again fewer headaches that way.

Hell, I've got some friends that don't even like the no shoes rule. One friend that doesn't like flip flops, so he's walking around with regular tennis shoes.
that last one.... not sure he's a real friend! HAHA
 

31BVeteran

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So many great input and I appreciate them all. Never thought about cheestos, but all I envisioned was yellow prints all over 😂. I still relatively new to Northern California, so friends are maybe 3 here as I don’t have a big circle. Majority of the guest will be my girlfriends circle and our families. I don’t expect the gas fee, but I was throwing out that idea. Life jackets, I saw the package Yamaha offered and will probably see if they’ll throw that one in for free at the boat show. Shoes is definitely not permitted so I agree on that. I may have over exaggerated the deep clean, but if it stains, I expect they’ll do the right thing and restore what it to what it was before they made the mess.

Keep the ideas coming, I’m new to the idea of being a boat owner and have always been the guest, I’m just extra careful now that it’s my investment.
 

2kwik4u

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OH......I forgot a big one.....

NO SPRAY SUNSCREEN

Once that shit gets on something and someone touches it, it immediately turns to unwashable grease. The new ones are better than the old ones, but we still prefer they just leave that stuff at home.

As to life jackets.....I have everything from newborn to adult XXL on board. Had a boat while my boys have been growing, so I just keep them around. I only keep the "good neoprene ones" on board for my wife, the boys, and myself. The rest are "el cheapo" USCG approved vests (not those orange around the neck things) from Bass Pro. They aren't comfy, but they'll keep you floating until help arrives. If you bring your own board, your expected to have your own vest, but again, I share all that stuff, so if I'm not boarding, my vest is available to others. If there are special needs coming aboard, then we work out what vests are available during the planing stages of the trip. Typically parents understand when I say "I've only got one youth vest available" and they have two kids coming along. Of course I've had some pretty nice folks on the boat, and now have a plethora of them as it's usually a "Well I bought him a vest, but I don't know anyone else with a boat, so just hold onto it for next time".
 

Richardb

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Good topic.
  1. Shoes off at the dock
  2. Topless optional but encouraged
  3. Drinking optional but encouraged
  4. Guests aren't charged anything except hugs and good company
  5. Guests aren't expected to contribute to anything but fun
 

haknslash

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Just remember that boating is all about fun. It’s ok to be overly protective of your investment but you also don’t want to come across as being too overbearing for your guests otherwise they won’t come out the next time and you won’t have to worry about rules lol.

I don’t really enforce or set out rules to my guests other than common sense or safety stuff. It’s all about having fun and relaxing. If I stressed over things I won’t be having fun or relaxing. One thing I do not allow is shoes on the boat. I politely tell them this before they enter the boat and tell them to get comfortable. I even put their shoes away for them lol. Oh and no doritos or cheese puffs while inside the cockpit. I’m fine with someone eating them on the swim deck and rinsing their hands off before entering the cockpit. Same with spray tan stuff. If I see someone applies a lot of oils I use towels on the seats. If I get a stain I clean it because I want it done right or it will just be worse and I’ll get agitated so makes more sense for me to do it. It’s best to avoid these foods or drinks inside the boat at all costs thus why I tell people to eat messy foods outside the boat and rinse before entering. Same with muddy areas. The good things about seadek or gator step is it’s easy to clean compared to carpet or upholstery.

Gas tips are always welcome but I never ask for them. I do however ask they help when around the docks as we come in which I’ve never had anyone not want to help there.
 
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