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Darling on deck: Kristin Ducote on preventing on board mishaps

It’s all too easy for guests to inadvertently damage your yacht’s interiors. Our Darling on Deck Kristin Ducote has some advice on preventing those unfortunate mishaps...

No one wants to be the yacht owner who chases guests around with a stack of coasters. However, yachts are a big investment and even the most well meaning guest can do some serious damage to your interiors. So I’ve come up with some unobtrusive ways to help protect your boat.

Cover your coverlets

Luggage blankets are customary on arrival day to protect your coverlets from dirty suitcases. Why not make an additional cover to guard your exorbitantly expensive coverlets from salty bathing suits, sunscreen, and (heaven forbid!) tanning oil during your guests’ afternoon naps – an inalienable right during a cruise. Hint: Try Perennials outdoor fabrics, which are surprisingly soft and easy to clean.

Throttle back on over-served guests

Guests often underestimate the dehydrating effect of saltwater, hot tubs and hours in the sun, which, combined with overeager crew and endless refills, can lead to some boozy behaviour. Hint: Have your chef plan a special cocktail each night and adjust the alcohol in every batch based on group inebriation. No one will notice, but everyone will appreciate waking up fresh.

Take a stand against sunscreen and sand

Sunscreen is the silent assassin of fine fabric, and a wet, sandy bottom can do a surprising amount of damage. Here’s a hint: Designate a crew member to hose off guests’ feet after excursions, keep a basket of dry towels at each door, and relegate spray sunscreen, which is easily misaimed, to the tender.

Seasickness should not be suffered alone

Although you might have sea legs, presume your guests do not. Sick guests should not be left unattended for safety reasons, let alone in a confined space with expensive furnishings. Hint: Make sure the boat is stocked with Dramamine and ginger tea, and keep seasick guests on deck with an eye on the horizon as much as possible.

Beware of Helpful Hal

Unqualified guests will do more harm than good when trying to assist crew with tasks like tying lines or docking the tender. Hint: Encourage Hal to sit back and relax to prevent mishaps and injuries.

While yachting promises an escape from mainland stress, it’s not always easy to park your OCD at the passerelle. After all, yachts are delicate assets. Pirates instituted the punishment of walking the plank for a reason – sunscreen stains on silk!

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