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Standing orders; not just a commercial boat thing


BYS (Big Yacht Squasher)
You should have called the skipper earlier than this

Little understood and rarely used in coastal or offshore yacht passages are Master's standing orders. In short, they are a set of written instructions on how to navigate the vessel and the circumstances in which the crew are to call or wake the Master.


Below are the standing orders I use when delivering yachts on the Australian coast. They vary from the orders of a large power driven vessel to take into consideration the differences of sailing vessels.


Standing orders for Australian Yacht Deliveries

  • The vessel is to be navigated with all due care and within the IRPCS.

  • A look out must be kept at all times.

  • The vessel's position must be plotted on the chart at a minimum of every 2 hours, more often in close quarters.


Call the Master if:

  • You change course by more than 15 degrees.

  • See a vessel and are unsure if a risk of collision exists.

  • See a navigation light you did not expect to see or don't see one you should have.

  • See a depth sounding that varies more than 10% from the charted depth.

  • If the wind or wave height increases by more than 25% (ie the need to reef sails)

  • If you feel unsure of any situation


Call the Master early to allow time to wake up and take appraisal of the situation.




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