If any of your friends are yachtsmen, you will sooner or later be invited to spend a weekend aboard a boat. How you behave during those critical days of carefree cruising (see cover) may well determine the future of your friendship. On the following pages Artist Roy McKie and Author Helen Bergh, who serves in the summer as hostess aboard her husband Roland's 40-foot cruiser "Corlears Hook," chart some shoals and channels to provide smooth sailing for the weekending lubber.
Embarkation, if attempted too jauntily, can make for a poor start. Even though it may look lubberly, a cautious approach is best. It should be accompanied by firm handholds and a boat securely moored.
Arrival at dockside can in itself be fatal. Nothing depresses a skipper-host more than the sight of guests waiting to climb aboard with a load of duffel that would crowd a tramp steamer. If you have to bring a musical instrument, make it a mouth organ—a small one.
Simple wearing apparel is a must: slacks or shorts for ladies in daytime, pajamas at night. A squall can break loose any time, and an emergency deckhand in a filmy nightgown is a considerable hazard.
Former PT boat commanders are not necessarily ideal cruise mates. So if you are asked to take a turn at the wheel, remember that later on your host and not you may have to explain to the Coast Guard why his boat was roaring through a four-knot channel at 30 knots.
A share of deck duty is expected of every guest. If yours includes a sudden order to drop the anchor, make sure it is tied to something besides yourself. The skipper may be glad to see you go, but he will surely miss his brand-new Danforth.
In navigating at night an extremely good rule is: when in doubt, ask the skipper. If you happen to be at the wheel, it is nicer to appear stupid than to find out too late that what looked like the light on a red channel buoy was really another skipper's cigar.
Certain protocol is essential to cordial relations when making use of yacht club launch service. As in elevators, those forced to ride with you may prefer silence to the hearty, hail-fellow approach.
A gift for the host is a nice thought. But remember when choosing it that stowage space is limited. The best possible gift is the one that can be stowed inside the skipper—like a fifth of bourbon.
If you can do nothing else, chip ice. Ice on any craft much smaller than the "Queen Mary" comes in 25-pound chunks. The cruise guest who keeps busy turning it into tinkling cubes may be the most popular.