Guests Aboard--a survivor's manual

Great guests fit in small spaces, and stay endlessly cheerful

There is no greater bonding experience among cruisers than sharing a survival story. Dock talk revolves around these tales; like the time you dragged in 50 knots and nearly landed on a reef, or when that fishing boat missed crushing your hull by inches, or the week you had three landlubbers aboard.

Boat guests seem to come in two forms: the ones who adapt seamlessly to the rigors of life aboard (and who you invite back again and again), and the ones who don’t.

Over the years we've tried many techniques for training boat guests. We’ve drafted letters explaining the boat in detail, sent it out ahead of the visit, and followed-up to clarify major points. We have held pre-departure orientations – naming the parts of the boat, “This is a boom, it will kill you if it hits your head.” and describing in detail how things work. We have left notes on the head, faucets and lights, and explained which food is available to eat on which days. And we have learned that some people just make bad guests.

A group of bloggers share their expertise: How have you trained up your guests? Who has visited you? Have you had younger guests visit (aka kids)? What have you learned along the way?  Or maybe you've discovered having guests isn't your thing? 

Topic Coordinators: Diane, Evan, and Maia (Ceilydh Set Sail

Personally, says Diane (Ceilydh Set Sail), we love guests, (even though [we]had to sail in less-than-perfect weather to meet those guests.)  We love sharing our cruising experiences and we love that they can bring stuff from home although we now know they need to be very careful about how they pack it.

Kyra (s.v. Nyon) explains why they love having guests aboard Nyon:

Great advice on preparing for guests comes from David and Stephanie (Cruising With Cambria):

Eben and Genevieve (It's Our Necessity) on S/V Necessite offer up a great template for helping your guests figure out what to expect when they visit and then provide detailed directions on how everything works on a boat. 

Brittany (Windtraveler) encourages guests to be flexible and throw themselves into life aboard.

Ross and Diana (One White Treegive both packing tips and don't you dare pack it tips.

Kristen takes another approach and offers advice directed at cruisers which is intended to make the trip better for both guest and host.

For Tasha and Ryan (Turf to Surf) it's all about making sure the guests know what they're getting into:

Jaye (The "Life Afloat" Archives) recently had visitors and learned

If you're still not sure whether guests are for you check out this cruisers forum thread for a longer list of rules and etiquette for visitors.

Hi blogger! Do you have a blog post about guests on board that you want to share?  Even if you’re not out cruising now and/or in the process of getting ready to get out there on the water, tell us about those people you dream of/dread hosting and why! Please post your link with a brief description in the comments section below and we'll add it to this list.

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