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Published on 28.06.2022

Proper use of resources on board

Written by Kathrin Szabo
Proper use of resources on board

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In one of our last blogs we gave you tips on how to behave properly on the pier. Now the sailing trip is finally starting. To make life on board easier, we have a few tips ready for you. The topic of life on board is not only important for newcomers to sailing, but also for long-term sailors to recall everything.

  • If children are on board, then it is absolutely necessary to pass this information on to the children. Let your children take part in life on board.

Tips before you travel

We have already provided a travel checklist for you on our blog. Nevertheless, we would like to go into more detail here about packing the travel bag so that you have enough space in the cabin.

How do I pack my clothes correctly?

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Tip in advance: Pack your travel bag – not a suitcase. Yes, you should of course take this into account before you start your holiday. Please do not take bulky suitcases on board. It is best to pack a gym bag that is not too tall so you can easily stow it away. This gives you more space for your clothes.

Some yachts also have little storage space for clothes. So make sure you don't take too much with you. Organized packing is important because they might even be living out of their pockets. I also only recently started my first charter trip and can therefore tell you that I took far too much with me. During my trip in spring, every weather condition was pre-programmed - from icy weather to bathing weather with sunshine, everything was really there. But I could have left more than half at home. If you forget something, you can moor in holiday destinations and buy everything you need.

You don't need a completely new outfit every day. On board, simply change into comfortable clothing. If it's cooler, tight sports leggings are particularly suitable for women, because they keep you warm. Hiking pants that you can zip off are also a good choice. A hoodie and a warm vest never go amiss, even when warm weather is the order of the day. There is always a cool breeze on board in the evenings. In the summer months you don't need much else on board apart from swimming trunks, bathing suits or bikinis and towels. A pair of shorts, t-shirts for the men and a couple of sundresses. A light wind jacket never hurts to pack. If you have sensitive ears, I recommend taking a thin headband with you.

Which shoes do we recommend to take with you?

On board, please wear shoes that do not rub off and are not slippery. Don't take too many shoes here either. A pair of flip-flops or bathing shoes will suffice. In summer, you usually go barefoot on board anyway. You need bathing shoes especially for the sanitary facilities in the marina.

What is important for the shore leave?

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Be sure to pack sturdy shoes for the shore leave. If you want to explore nature or reach certain viewing platforms, the ground is often uneven or rocky. Many charter guests long to photograph a sunset on land. Also pack a sun hat for shore excursions. Don't forget to take a backpack with space for a water bottle.

Was ist für Brillenträger wichtig?

Glasses wearers should secure their glasses well. A strap is best for this. This is of course also recommended for sunglasses.

Why route planning is essential

We know that there is no fixed itinerary on a sailing holiday, because wind and weather conditions have to be taken into account on a daily basis. Sailing yachts and sailing catamarans can sail under wind or engine power, which means that by knowing the wind and weather conditions, the wind energy can be better used and the engine can remain switched off. Many skippers already use routing apps on their cell phones.

The conscious use of resources on board is particularly important. Therefore, we give you some tips on what you can do on board to save resources.

How do I use the on-board power in a resource-saving manner?

Almost all of our ships have solar panels, which makes power management on board easier. You can recognize the ships with solar by the marked logo on the respective yacht page.

  • If the yacht docks in a port or marina, there is always 230V electricity on board (normal European sockets). If you leave the port or marina, there is no longer any shore power, but a 12V connection with a USB plug, which should only be used for engines. Because with no engine and shore power, the onboard power supply depends on the battery bank. This then supplies all the devices on board that crew members often do not even think about, e.g. autopilot, navigation equipment, marine radio, refrigerator, interior lighting, speakers, radio, etc. It is often difficult, especially for children and young people, to imagine that electricity is not always available and is available everywhere in any quantity. The level of power consumption is also usually overestimated.
  • As we all know, the technical devices on board are increasing. It's safe to say that almost every crew member owns at least one cell phone. Many also have a laptop and a tablet with them. Especially when children/young people are on board, there are already several devices per user on board.
  • We therefore recommend packing a large power bank in your luggage so that you can charge various devices quickly. Please only charge game consoles when the yacht is connected to shore power, so as not to jeopardize power management.
  • Please take the topic of power consumption and power management on board seriously and also make it a topic for your crew briefing. Always check the voltage of your batteries. The on-board batteries must not be deeply discharged, otherwise they will be defective and you will no longer be able to start your engine.
  • Therefore, please always ensure that all devices that are not in use are switched off. Little things start with constantly checking the light in the cabins and in the sanitary area. In the morning you often still need the light in the bathroom, and this is then quickly forgotten.

Goodbye hair dryer, straighteners

To the women and girls on board: Please do not use hair dryers or hair straighteners on board. There are sanitary facilities for this in every marina. These devices in particular need a lot of power.

What else can stay at home because it simply requires too much electricity?

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The coffee machine or popular Nespresso machine. As a coffee lover, I also know that good coffee must be part of breakfast and also in between. Rely on the good old stovetop espresso pot or squeeze-down coffee pot. This allows you to conjure up delicious coffee. There are now also very good instant coffees that are also enjoyable.

What still feeds a lot of electricity are kettles, toasters, hand blenders or egg cookers - I think you can do without them or I didn't miss these devices at all on my sailing trip. I realized it's all a matter of attitude. If you know in advance what is important in order to consciously use the resources on board, then a certain renunciation is not bad at all and can easily be done.

Proper use of the fridge

The fridge is the biggest power guzzler. We can already save energy by properly stocking the fridge. Due to defrosting at crew changes, fridges need some time to cool down properly. If they are completely cleared at the beginning, they need a lot more electricity. So don't fill up the entire week's supply of drinks at once, cool them down regularly, this saves energy. A good tip is to buy chilled drinks when you go shopping, then you don't need to use as many engines to cool the fridge properly again and that protects the environment. If you don't have solar on board, you should moor at least every 2-3 days in a port/marina with shore power to replenish the power reserves.

Fresh water on board

Fresh water should always be treated with respect and in a way that conserves resources. Drinking water is a valuable commodity. Everyone on board should therefore know that drinking water should not be wasted. It is not always possible to fill up with fresh water. If the water tanks are used up, you no longer have fresh water available. Drinking water is very scarce on many islands, so responsible use of drinking water should be a matter of course.

Tip: Use the sea water! For what?

  • If you are in a bay, pre-rinse your dirty dishes in the sea before rinsing them in fresh water. If the children are old enough, they often even have fun washing the dishes on the bathing platform (please do not use detergent!).
  • Sea water is particularly gentle on the skin. Pleasant water temperatures always invite you to swim. Afterwards, please shower off briefly with the on-board shower on the bathing platform. There is really great savings potential, especially with the on-board shower on the bathing platform! You can take a longer shower if you moor in a marina.
  • What we would like to go into, while we are already on the subject of conserving resources for the sake of the environment, is the use of environmentally friendly products: Please make sure that you use shower gel and shampoos without microplastics. Use eco-friendly sunscreens as well. The marine world thanks you.

Please also read our environmental brochure. Here we give you useful tips for avoiding on-board waste, using resources on board in an environmentally friendly manner, and tips for protecting the environment and the sea. This makes sailing even more environmentally friendly. Get involved too: Even the smallest changes can have a big impact if everyone helps.

A very big and important topic is the handling of the on-board toilet

Very important: Please note that no toilet paper may be thrown into the toilet. One of the skipper's tasks is to train the crew on how to use toilets on board and what is not allowed in the toilet. Toilet clogging is one of the most common technical problems on yachts. Emptying a clogged holding tank is a very uncomfortable task.

  • In the bathroom, prepare a plastic bag into which you throw everything that should not go down the toilet. This also includes toilet paper. We recommend emptying the wastebasket in the bathroom every time you go ashore.
  • An onboard toilet does not work like a shore toilet. It is therefore very important that the skipper always instructs the crew on how to operate them before they set sail. The sailing trip was often a long time ago, or perhaps you have never been on a yacht and are not aware of what is different here than at home. Many do not dare to address this topic out of shame and year after year children like to forget how to pump properly and that no paper is allowed in the toilet. So please let your children take part.
  • You quickly realize that there is no such thing as a standard toilet flush. Very few ships have electric flushing systems. Most onboard toilets are manual.
  • A hand pump is attached to the side of the toilet, with which the flushing water is pumped into the toilet bowl and the entire contents must be pumped out again. Please don't just pump a few times. For large vessels, we recommend pumping at least 20 times. Once the water has been pumped out, they pump again a few times so that there is always a little water in the mussel.

Small things often make a big difference. If all crew members adhere to these small rules on board, everything becomes a matter of course and life on board is made immensely easier.

Take the tips to heart. We wish you lots of fun sailing.

Kathrin Szabo
Kathrin Szabo
author of the article

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