The past few months have been challenging for many boat charter business owners because of the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to worldwide travel restrictions, many tourists were not able to make the journey. Thus, many captains had to deal with trip cancellations while others were forced to dock their boats indefinitely.
Now that the doors are slowly swinging back open again, boat charter owners are hoping that the customers will return and business will pick up again. But while the pandemic still exists, business owners should find ways to keep their business afloat.
A great way of doing this is by showing old and potential clients that you follow boating safety guidelines to keep them protected from the virus. Boating safety has always been a vital part of a boating charter business but with the effects of COVID-19, it has become even more crucial.
Safe boating guidelines
Here are some safe boating guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus. Make sure that every staff member understands and adheres to your safety policies and procedures.
Give your passengers a rundown of these safe boating guidelines to make sure that everyone on board is aware of them.
Disinfect your vessel
Sanitize your boat’s interior and exterior surfaces between each use including objects that may have come in contact with the passengers. Make sure that frequently touched areas like doorknobs and handles are thoroughly cleaned. Use a disinfectant solution to sanitize the said areas. Towels, linens, pillowcases, and blankets should be washed. The staff assigned to clean the vessel must wear personal protection equipment (PPE) during the cleaning process.
Sanitize rental equipment
Wipe rental equipment such as kayak and paddleboards with disinfectant wipes including accessories such as oars and paddles. Life jackets can be washed and dipped in a disinfectant solution.
Cash changes hands countless times that’s why it’s not a surprise that it plays host to germs. Encourage clients to make a full payment to avoid the handling of cash. Facilitate hassle-free online booking through CaptainPanel’s online scheduling program and online payment.
Increase booking intervals
Provide ample time for your staff to clean and sanitize the boat by increasing the time between bookings.
Footbath and sanitizers
It is recommended that you ask each passenger to step in a footbath with a disinfectant solution before stepping onboard. There are ready-made footbath solutions available in the market or you can create your own. You can either mix two tablespoons of chlorine powder with two liters of water or make a solution of bleach and water.
Prepare hand sanitizer so that passengers can use it to sanitize their hands as they board the vessel. Designate hand sanitizing areas on the boat and ensure proper handwashing facilities.
Limit the number of passengers
In this pandemic, part of boating safety procedures is reducing your passenger capacity. This way, passengers can still enjoy the freedom of movement while practicing social distancing.
For private trips, it is recommended that you limit people onboard to family members you live with in the same house. For shared trips, passengers are advised to maintain a minimum of 6 feet (government-recommended safe social distance) from people who are not in your immediate circle. When docking, remind your passengers to maintain their distance from other folks.
Use of face mask or face covering
In some cities, passengers are required to use face masks or other forms of face coverings when they are in the marina and on the boat. For everyone’s safety and peace of mind, it’s better to ask passengers and crew to wear face masks even though there is no ordinance in your city.
Post signages on the boat
Create signages to emphasize safety operation policies including embarking and disembarking procedures. Display the signages in strategic areas in your boat.
Social distancing markers
Use colored tape such as black, blue, or red to make “X” markings on seats, railings, and the deck. These markings will serve as a reminder for passengers to maintain social distancing.
Provide proper disposal receptacles
Place trash bins in strategic areas so that passengers can easily dispose of their used sanitizing wipes, PPE, and other garbage items.
These are just recommended guidelines but use your best judgment to apply what you think is best in your situation. Keep abreast of the latest news and health guidelines. Stay safe while cruising in the water.