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  • Writer's pictureYPI CREW

Just like in any other industry, yachting too has its own unique set of phrases and expressions used exclusively by its members. From basic nautical terms to colloquial yachting jargon, there are many words and phrases that you will encounter regularly in the yachting industry.

In this article, we'll explore some of the most common words and phrases used in yachting and challenge you to test your knowledge. How many of these expressions do you already know? Let's find out.

Watch Duty

A 'watch duty' is an important aspect of yacht operations that requires constant monitoring of the vessel. The crew takes turns to act as the designated watchkeeper, responsible for ensuring the yacht's safety and security for a 24-hour period. This involves keeping a close eye on the yacht and ensuring that no alarms are going off, checking that all access points are secure, performing regular security rounds and making sure that all doors are locked at the end of the day. The watch duty also includes keeping the crew mess tidy and taking out the rubbish.

Pick-up Day

Pick-up day marks the start of the yacht trip, as it's the day the guests are coming on board. The yacht is now in pristine condition and the crew is ready to welcome the guests and provide an unforgettable experience.

Drop-off Day

The drop-off day marks the last day when the guests are leaving. In yacht crew terms this means you will finally get to relax and have that cold drink you've been dreaming of. That is, unless you are mid charter season. In that case you probably have 24 hours to prepare the yacht for the next round of guests.


In the simplest terms, this means washing the yacht. Wash-downs are done regularly by the deck crew and they involve washing the entire exterior of the yacht from the top down. Rinse, soap, rinse, squeegee and repeat.


Pure magic. A well-known product used to clean grease spots on teak and fabric. It's so popular among yacht crew that it's also used as a verb – so you might be told to 'K2R the stain', in which case you use this product to remove the stain.

HORS | Hours of Rest

Time spent not working. Off-time is strictly regulated in the yachting industry and each crew member needs to have a certain number of hours to rest between work. Crew members are asked to keep track of their Hours of Rest to ensure everything is up to code.

Making a Chain

When the provisions are delivered to the yacht and need to be taken inside, you might be asked to make a chain. It's proven to be one of the most efficient ways of getting things inside quickly and it involves the crew forming a line from the dock to the interior and handing things to each other instead of having each crewmember carrying a single thing each way.

Dry Boat

A "dry boat" is a yacht that has a strict policy against the consumption of alcohol on board. This means that crew members are not permitted to drink alcohol while they are on the yacht.


"Daywork" in yachting refers to short-term or temporary work assignments aboard a yacht done to assist permanent crewmembers in the areas required. The work could range from detailing, polishing, cleaning, to other various maintenance duties. Dayworking provides an opportunity for junior crew to gain experience in the yachting industry, which can potentially lead to full-time employment opportunities.


As the name suggests, dockwalking involves walking along a dock where superyachts are moored, in search of work opportunities on board. The overall aim is to be able to secure temporary or permanent employment or simply to introduce yourself and leave a copy of your resume with the hope of being considered for any future job opportunities.


Galley is just another name for the kitchen on board a yacht. It's the heart of the ship, whipping up delicious meals for both the crew and the guests.

Passarelle | Gangway

A telescoping platform extending out from the yacht, allowing passengers to embark and disembark the vessel safely. It usually comes with a railing on each side to prevent guests from taking accidental dips in the water.


Another name for the garage on board a yacht. This is where the crew stores yacht's toys and other things.


A smaller boat used to take guests to shore, run errands or for water-based activities.

Boss On

If someone says they have the boss on, it means the owner of the yacht is on board so all crew is fully working. Every aspect of the yacht's operations is now running smoothly and seamlessly, from the maintenance of the yacht to the comfort and satisfaction of the guests.

Head Down | Go Down

This phrase is commonly used on yachts to indicate that a crew member is stepping away from their duties to recharge and rest. When a crew member says they are 'going to go down for a few hours' it means they are going to their cabin to finally get some long-awaited time to themselves.


Another name for yacht crew.

Garbage Run

When the yacht is on anchor and needs to dispose of all the accumulated waste, the only way to do it is to have crew do garbage runs a. k. a. take garbage to the shore via one of the tenders.

Turn Around Day

The day between guest drop off and guest pick up where you wash the yacht, make the beds, clean everything, take provisions and get everything ready for the next guests.

Beds and Heads

The term is typically used by Chief Stews as part of daily cleaning tasks or when preparing for guests. If a Chief Stew says to do 'beds and heads' it essentially means to make the beds and clean the bathrooms.

Morning Set Up

Before the guests get up in the morning the crew prepares the yacht for the day. This includes uncovering all the cushions, cleaning the stainless, cleaning tables, cleaning windows, vacuuming the decks etc.

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