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Have you ever bought something big, something really big, (like a yacht) and then wondered what exactly you had gotten yourself into? Well, becoming a yacht owner is a lot like having a baby. It’s wonderful; but, at the same time, you may be left wondering “are there some important things I should know about here?”

If this is your case, go ahead and sail through our list of 8 important pointers before voyaging out to sea.

#1: Steer Slowly

Do you want to look like a pro even on your first run out to sea? Well then, slow and steady wins the race. Pilot your craft with grace: steer with slow, sure movements and you will be off to a great start in the world of classy yachting.

Motor Yacht

#2: Create a Yacht Launch Checklist

Create a yacht launch checklist with everything you will need on your yacht for smooth sailing! You might want to remind yourself about simple things, like keeping a VHF handheld on board (these are radios you can use to contact surrounding crafts or someone onshore for help in case of a storm: channel 16 is the international distress channel).

Be sure to check through your list as part of your final checks before launching. This can be very helpful in case anything slips your mind and has “missed the boat.” Nobody wants to be without on the waves!

#3: Prep Your Yacht for Launch Away from the Launch Ramp

Nobody wants to be that guy at the launch ramp who looks like he doesn’t know exactly what he’s doing.

Take our advice, and before backing your yacht into the launch area, make sure you have done all of the pre-launch prep that you can beforehand (such as attaching your dock line), so you don’t hold up any boaters who might be behind you.

Showing consideration for others is a wonderful part of the yachting world, and boaters and yachters alike will appreciate your understanding of this!

Motor Yacht

#4: Dress in Layers!

Pile on the layers when you go out to sea. It may be tempting to just jump out of bed in shorts and sandals and head on down to the water, and we don’t blame! Many experienced yachters know, however, that it’s a good idea to layer up when heading out to sea. The weather on the water can be vastly different from the shore.

With just a pair of shorts on, you may find yourself wishing for that snazzy-looking windbreaker you left behind! If it happens to be warm out on the ocean, it’s definitely easy to de-layer. But preparation can make you a comfortable boatman on this point.

#5: Pay Attention to the Weather

Be attentive to weather forecasts, and make sure you are flexible with your plans if the weather takes a turn for the worse. Rough seas can be hard to handle for even the most seasoned sailor, and you don’t want to be lost somewhere calling mayday on the deep blue sea! Check your local channel forecasts before setting sail!

Also, while you’re out, if the weather starts to get a little ominous, it might be a good idea to head back to the slip. Choppy waters are hard to navigate and may turn your adventure into a headache! Weather the storm in the marina for a much better and more relaxing experience.

Weather at Sea Royalty Free

#7: Check Your Anchor

Before sailing, check on your anchor and chain. Untangle if necessary and do a quick check of the links. You don’t want a tangled chain if you need to do a quick anchor drop sometime during your voyage!

Sometimes emergencies may require that you anchor quickly, but a tangled anchor chain can kind of slow that whole process down. Be smart, be prepared, and check on that anchor.

#8: Be a Good Navigator

While you are out at sea, you may get distracted by the guests on your yacht, the beautiful scenery, the lovely weather, and all kinds of other things.  But make sure you have a destination plan and know your landmarks.

Also, keep in mind that modern technical equipment can be very useful for finding your way around, so having a working knowledge of equipment on your craft is definitely advised. Use landmarks and navigational tools to keep on track so you don’t lose your way!

Malta Yacht Royalty Free

#8: Follow Capacity Guidelines for Your Craft

It really is pretty helpful to follow the full capacity suggestions for your craft before putting your yacht to sea. “The more the merrier” is a true enough, but you might find a greater truth to be “the more the soggier…” in the case of an overloaded sea craft!


Sailing Dry Bag

Dry Bag – 20L Floating Waterproof Bag

The Complete Sailing Manual, Third Edition

Hat Leash Hat Clip – Don’t Lose Your Hat!


Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.


  1. Fantastic blog! Thanks for letting me know about these things. Keep sharing such informative blogs.

    • Thanks James! So glad you enjoyed the post :)

  2. Thanks for sharing, it’s useful!

    • Most welcome – hopefully we can inspire you to jump from the road to the water! … Re the name driving directions :)

  3. First of all, I didn’t know anything much about a Yacht, apart from the fact that it’s too cool and looks gorgeous. Lol, so your post educated me about Yacht and I’m glad to know that there are so many things to keep in mind. Thanks for sharing Megan :)

    • So glad we could help you out with learning something new! But you’re definitely right that they’re cool and gorgeous too :D

  4. Owning my own yacht is like a dream.If that dream ever comes true, then your pointers are going to come to my rescue as I gloat over my new acquisition. On a serious note, the post is really very informative and interesting as well.

    • So glad you enjoyed the information Sandy & Vyjay! Will keep our fingers crossed for you that a yacht is in your not too distant future :)

  5. Wait, you guys bought a yacht? Or is this just an exceptionally well-researched article from a non-yacht-owner? Years ago I went sailing a bunch of times (with someone else in charge of the vital task of navigation), but I can’t imagine dealing with the responsibilities and hassles of actually owning a vessel. And I would always get nervous when the weather started to look ominous, like would we make it to port in time? Your photo of the lightning is beautiful, though, but that’s definitely something best appreciated when you’re not actually out on the water. One time, the thunderstorm came just after we had tied up in the marina, and we were still on the boat, and a bolt of lightning hit either our mast or one of a boat nearby, and it felt like our boat JUMPED.

    • We have friends who recently purchased one – very jealous! You’re right though there are a huge amount of responsibilities which come with owning one – obviously totally worthwhile though if you enjoy the lifestyle and the mode of travel which comes with it :)

      Happy you liked the photos! I actually really love watching storms, and they make for amazingly dramatic photos, but yes, I don’t think it’s ever something you get used to when you’re actually right there in the thick of it with nothing around you but sea!

      Happy travels Harvey!

  6. A lot of good tips and insights for driving a yacht! For me, I am mostly the passenger of a yacht so, it’s great to know that actually there are a lot of things to pay attention to! @ knycx.journeying

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Kenny! Yes, being a passenger is just as much fun too!

  7. What a dream it would be to be a yacht owner! But, we know nothing about driving a boat. Seems hard, so for now we’d stick to being the passenger. What a nice and fun thing to own though!

    • Being a passenger is a great compromise :)

  8. Awesome post! Definitely some very helpful info and advice. Dressing in layers is certainly important to keep in mind. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Selene – glad you enjoyed the post!

  9. These are amazing tips. I like that you remind new owners on thinking about the weather changes because many would not think that. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks McKenzie, glad the post was helpful for you :) Yes, being prepared for weather changes is one which most tend to learn the hard way!

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