So you're trying to graduate from shore dives to boat dives? Only problem is now you have to find a boat. Boat owners are a particular lot more often than not. Its best to get and stay on their good side. Here are a few rules to be a good boat guest.
1. Get to the dock early.
Nothing makes a worse impression than having everyone wait for you because you tried to get 30 min extra beauty sleep. Pack your gear the night before and triple check everything. Load up the car the night before too if you can.
2. ALWAYS "Pitch in" for gas and help clean the boat.
Boats are expensive and time consuming to take out. Wash downs, engine flushes, and fuel all take a toll on the body and the wallet. Making this as easy for the owner as possible will help reduce the friction for the next trip and make an invitation more likely. Pay an extra 20% to help cover all the hidden costs too (truck fuel, ice, bait, ect.).
3. Familiarize yourself with boats.
Know how to tie off dock lines, fend off, pull anchor, drive the boat, ect. Basic deck hand mastery makes you a valuable passenger. Knowing how to operate the boat is a big plus; Being able to shoot fish without worrying about their boat leads to happy owners and many trips.
4. Take care of yourself.
Make sure you have all the food and drinks you need. Don't expect others too share their lunch. You may want to bring extra snacks and drinks for others (the Captain) too if you can. Pack the sunscreen, jacket, hat, glasses, towel, change of clothes, ect. Make sure your gear is tidy and keep it stowed out of the way.
5. Learn all you can.
Make friends with the owner. Take genuine interest, they have been on the water longer and you can likely learn a thing or two. Listen to the rules, throwing a loaded speargun on the deck right after the owner says not to is a great way to get dropped off the guest list.
Offshore trips are exciting and highly sought after. Should you be so lucky to find yourself a ride, put in the extra effort to make it positive for everyone. As always, be respectful, safe, and have fun.