Advice that should keep everyone on board happy and safe

You're on holiday and we hope you really enjoy exploring all that the Greek seas, islands and mainland have to offer.

We want you to be at home on our vessel but we do ask a few things so that the boat is as comfortable and seaworthy for the next clients as it has been for you.

Please read through the notes below and bear in mind that as you would on your own boat, you will have to pay for damage caused by mishandling our charter boats.

Yachts are a combination of different systems and we look below at the different systems that you will use here. Please just follow the rules and the boat will serve you well for the journey ahead, that we hope will be a holiday to remember as you cruise your chosen waters.


Anchoring Laying and weighing anchor is a process you need to think about in advance on selecting your anchorage.

Here are some essential rules:

  • Do not drop the anchor in depth over 20m
  • The amount of chain should be at least four times the depth of the water.
  • When taking the anchor aboard, the boat should be directly above it before you use the anchor winch.
    This means you must switch on and use the engine to get into position.
  • Make sure that the anchor chain on deck is away from any moving parts of the anchor winch etc as tangles can blow up the winch.
    Do not use the anchor winch to pull the boat to the anchor as you may overheat the winch.

We cover the whole process in our Sailor's Guide:

mooring and anchoring tips

Close all hatches while under way

Before you set out to sea, ensure all hatches are shut - no matter how hot it is. A wave over the bow could flood the boat and cause all sorts of problems.

In addition the hatches could be damaged from the movement of the boat if not properly secured. Your security deposit will be used to effect repairs if damage occurs due to this.

Going astern

While the engine is set on reverse ('going astern') you should always hold the wheel.

Failing to do so could result in the wheel spinning in the wrong direction and cause the boat to hit something you did not wish to hit.

Another issue with this is that the autopilot could be damaged should the wheel spin out of control.

Gangway up

Setting the gangway

Only put the gangway down when regularly using it. If not in use, haul it up off the dock.

Failure to do so could cause injury to you or the crew as well as damage the yacht, dock or other vessels.

Weather forecasts

Plan your trip according to the weather. Always monitor the weather forecast for the next 12 hours and 24 hours ahead. If the weather should turn and you aren’t aware of the situation, this could cause injury or damage to the vessel. You could also be late to the yacht’s base and this would cause a financial penalty.

Read more in our Sailor's Guide:

The weather – basic principles

Reefing your sails

You are on a cruise in the seas of Greece. You are not on the Volvo Ocean Race! Please observe the rules on reefing. These are:

  • 1 reef as the wind builds to 15 knots
  • 2 reefs as the wind builds to 20 knots
  • 3 reefs as the wind builds to 25 knots
  • Bare poles over 35 knots

Gybe safely

A crash gybe or one where things are done too quickly can cause rigging failure or serious injury to the crew. Follow the following steps to gybe:

  • Haul the mainsheet so the boom is fore and aft over the cockpit.
  • Have the crew ready on the jib sheets
  • Have the jib sheet ready to let go
  • Turn the wheel gently
  • When through the wind, have the crew let go the windward sheet and haul the leeward sheet in very quickly.
  • Ease the mainsheet.

If Kavas see our boats being sailed too hard or you cause rigging failure, you will lose your security deposit.

Looking after the equipment

The generator, water maker and air-conditioning systems must never - under any circumstances, whatsoever - be used during a sailing trip, as this might result in serious damage of their components, e.g. due to inadequate cooling etc.

Never use them in dirty water such as a busy marina as trash might block the pump and damage the impeller.

Undocking / unmooring

When leaving the dock or buoy, ensure that all ropes used are on deck as quickly as possible. Failure to do this may mean you foul your propeller.

This could cause the prop to stop and make for a very dangerous situation where collisions are likely. You could also damage the propeller, prop shaft or throw an engine rod. You will pay for the damage.

Toilet use

Never put paper or non bodily objects down the toilet.

This could block the system, making it unusable.


Don't leave your cushions on the cockpit unattended when the vessel is unattended or during the night, even if it seems less windy.

A sudden gust or rogue wave can send them overboard.

They can also be stolen.

Never tow dinghy

You should never tow a dinghy that is fitted with an outboard motor. It should always be stowed on the davits or on deck as appropriate.

Loss of the dinghy outboard will cost €1050.

Accidents / collisions

If an accident occurs that is not your fault, attempt to secure payment for the damage from the other vessel as soon as is practicable. If this does not occur and the marine police / Coastguard get involved, Kavas Yachting will withhold the cost of repair of the vessel from your security deposit until the blame is established.

Police / Coastguard investigations can take years and you may be kept in port for a protracted period. Avoid all collisions if at all possible.

Read more in our Blog:

What to do in unexpected incidents

Holding tank

Upon return of the vessel to the Kavas base, the holding tank must be empty and the pipes unblocked. If it is blocked, a penalty fee will be applied.

See also ↠ The joys and hazards of cruising Greek islands with Kavas Yachting

Richard Shrubb