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Terms & Conditions, Privacy, Refund, & Cancellation Policies

Terms and Conditions

Purpose and Agreement: 
The purpose of these terms and conditions is to help make trips aboard HOT BuOYS SV (vessel) safe for all. These conditions have been posted as a dedicated web page on the web sites maintained by HOT BuOYS Sailing. Further, all pages have directed individuals to "Please read our Terms and Conditions" and made sure this statement was a hyperlink to said terms. Therefore, it shall be assumed that you read these terms and conditions prior to making any booking, and that you have agreed to abide by them.

Applicable law
In the event of a dispute, the laws which would govern said dispute are in accordance with US Maritime Law. 

One Captain rule: 
There is but one captain aboard the vessel, and the captain of the vessel shall be the sole arbitrator of any disputes which occur during a trip. By agreeing to these terms and conditions you are acknowledging you shall comply with his commands and decisions. 

Rule of maximum safety: 
Frequently, there are occasions aboard that present two alternatives. One alternative may be significantly safer than another. 
  • When at anchor, the wind may shift and there could be a chance the vessel would be blown into the shore instead of away from the shore if the anchor should fail. The question becomes should the vessel remain on anchor, or should it seek new anchorage or set to sea. 
  • When in port the weather may change and the sailing conditions could become questionable.  This situation offers the alternative of staying in port or setting to sea in questionable weather. 
When situations like these present themselves, if anyone considers one alternative significantly safer, then the group as a whole shall cheerfully abide by that request and take the safer course of action.

Joint excursion trips and possible double booking issue:
When the vessel arrives at a port, the crew on board as well as the crew just joining the typically want to both go on the same excursion trips. Rather than conduct separate excursion trips Captain Philip prefers to conduct one joint trip. This makes the trips more fun owing to the larger group. However, it does open the possibility that while in port there may be a double bunk booking. What this means is that a new crew member's bunk may still be occupied by a crew member who sailed in and is staying aboard to enjoy an excursion trip. 

If this occurs, then the Captain will first look to see if anyone will volunteer to sleep in one of the temporary bunks in the pilot house and salon. If no one volunteers, then the ship will pay for a hotel room for the night. So far, this double booking has yet to occur.

The operator does not advertise trips as being a “nude” sailing trip. It is important not to provoke local residents or authorities. This is a sailing trip and not an opportunity to make a political stance. This said, guests and crew aboard Hot Buoys may enjoy areas of the vessel outside that are obscured from view of the shore or passing boats, as well as interior areas. Nudity, is not a requirement and no guests or staff are to be pressured to be nude if they are uncomfortable. For your information Captain Philip is a naturist and entirely comfortable with nudity. His husband, Noli, is more challenged by nudity.Caution is advised on remote beaches when others are in view.

Clothing on shore:

Be careful regarding your selection of clothing on shore. What may own clothing that is acceptable in your hometown that could cause a problem in SE Asia. Again, you are simply reminded that this is a sailing trip and not a chance for you to push an agenda.

Visitor approval:

Please present to the captain any individual which you would like to have aboard for a tour etc. Please exercise caution. Locals in tourist areas have a notorious reputation and are not acceptable guests on board. If you want to spend quality time with someone like that, please do so off the vessel. 

The type of individual who is likely to be approved to come aboard is a Western tourist over the age of 25. Present the person to the Captain for approval, and be certain you keep an eye on this person at all time. Please have your new friend back to shore by 10 pm. If you want to spend the night ashore with your new friend, please be back on board early if we are sailing the next day.

Prohibited areas on the vessel: 

On your first day aboard, you will be shown areas of the vessel that are off limits, or only accessed under supervision. These areas include the roof of the pilot house, sloped surfaces on the outer edges of the vessel, and the very front bow pulpit.

Operating the vessel:

You will be encouraged to learn how to operate the vessel. When you have mastered a particular task, you will be allowed to perform it on your own. Operating the vessel on your own before this type of training can damage the vessel, or cause personal injury. The anchor winch is particularly hazardous. If you already have experience on other vessels, that is great. However, please do not assume things work the same way and please demonstrate you know what you are doing to the Captain before attempting to do something. For example, the sequence to startup and shut down the engine is likely different than what you have experienced on smaller sailboats. Starting the engine in the wrong sequence could cause the engine harm.

Inviting a hired crew member ashore:

Hired crew members, as well as the Captain's husband, have many tasks to do to make your trip comfortable. Therefore, check with the Captain before inviting a crew member to go to shore with you. If you take a crew member to shore, please remember you have to cover his meals, and transportation. Crew members are not permitted to stay out past 10 pm if we are sailing the next day. 

Alcohol and tobacco:

Many of our trips are international. This means we must take the vessel through customs at each port. For this reason the vessel is not stocked with alcohol or tobacco products. We also do not offer it for sale to our guests. If you decide to bring these items aboard, you are expected to consume in moderation. Further, you should have finished consuming these items before we arrive at our next port. Specifically, do not be tempted to buy cartons of cheap cigarettes in the Philippines. It is illegal to bring them into Malaysia. Further, be aware gum is illegal in Singapore.

Smoking policy:
Smoking is only permitted when sitting on the back steps. Absolutely no smoking inside the cabin area and anywhere near the trampolines. It is your responsibility that any guests you bring aboard also follow this same policy.

Drugs and medication:

Absolutely no illegal drugs are allowed aboard this includes marijuana. Anyone found with drugs aboard will be taken to shore immediately and no refund given. Present any prescription drugs you bring aboard to the Captain for inspection. They need to be in their original bottles from the pharmacy and you must have with you a doctor's prescription is they are a controlled drug. This is especially true for any pain killers.

Pool party rules: If we host a pool party when you are aboard, your assistance to maintain a safe party is appreciated. Discourage guests from running on the deck, and help keep them away from prohibited areas like the roof of the pilot house. Guests during a pool party are not permitted inside the main cabin. 


In the event of any fighting between guests the guests shall be sent to shore at the next available port.

Galley rules:

The refrigeration space on Hot Buoys is limited and should not be open and closed 100 times a day. Therefore, we provide separate ice chests for your personal beverages. We buy ice from shore at each port. If you get hungry in the middle of the night. Please consume the snacks we put out each night. Please do not prepare any late night meals. You may prepare coffee or tea if we run out of hot kept in the thermos.

If you want to coordinate cooking a meal, that would be fine. We have had many guests aboard that proudly showed off their cooking skills. Please keep in mind that Captain Philip appreciates a vessel that is clean and odor free. Therefore, certain items like deep fried fish, are not allowed.


HOT BuOYS SV is not a fishing vessel and has a limited supply of fishing equipment. If you are an avid fisherman, please check our supplies while in port and supplement them with your favorite lures and line. Small red plastic squid seem to work best. You are welcome to set a fishing line and most likely to catch something early morning or around sunset. Please clean your catch on the back of the vessel. Fishing is not allowed when we are in a marine park and all fishing gear must be stowed out of sight. No spear fishing or spear guns aboard please.

Watch keeping:

Your assistance to watch the vessel while traveling is greatly appreciated. Everyone is expected to share the burden of keeping watch. Please be assured you will be trained to perform this duty and the Captain sleeps right next to the wheel. You can wake him anytime with a question. When your watch is about to begin, please do not be pleasant if you were asleep, and of course please be sober.

Proof of onward travel:

Please present evidence that you have a ticket that will leave the country that the vessel will be taking you to. If you do not have a ticket, you may be required to show proof of funds to buy a ticket before being allowed to board.

Delay & alternate route:

Please be aware that locations and times are the best effort of the operator. Every effort has been made to ensure that the schedule you have been provided is within the capabilities of the vessel and anticipated weather. This said, there is always a chance that a trip can be delayed or there may be some mechanical issue with the vessel. In this event Hot Buoys crew will make every attempt to get back onto schedule and meet your anticipated departure time. Hot Buoys is not responsible for any delay outside of its reasonable control, nor will the crew risk traveling if a weather system, such as a tropical depression, is anticipated. You are encouraged to get travel insurance.

No refund shall be given if the course is altered from the one shown in any brochure.   Photographs of remote beaches are representative of beaches in the area and not necessarily the actual beach which will be visited. 

Yacht clubs:
The marketing material prepared by the operator may indicate the vessel will be going to a yacht club during the time you will be on board. Please be aware that yacht clubs are notorious for losing reservations and for changing their rules for large guest vessels. Therefore, no absolute guarantee can be made regarding which yacht club we stay visit, and some places only have one yacht club, or none at all. If you have paid extra for Singapore and request One 15 Marina, and if for some reason we are unable to stay at One 15 Marina, please be advised your extra monies will be refunded to you.

Tipping and gift policy:

Neither the Captain nor his husband expect to receive tips from paying passengers. If we have a hired crew member aboard, then tipping is optional and at your discretion.  Hired crew members are paid each Saturday. Some arriving crew have brought small gifts in the past. Please be advised neither the Captain nor his husband drink or smoke. Chocolate, the darker the better, is always appreciated. 

Medical travel insurance:

Likely you already have a medical insurance policy that will cover you when traveling. If you do not have such insurance, you will be required to purchase this insurance and provide a copy of the policy to the Captain before being permitted to board.


The operator is permitted from time to time to contact you regarding new trips, however, shall promptly remove you from any mailing list upon request. Further, Hot Buoys shall never provide your email to any third party.

Quarantine rules: 

Please be aware in advance you are required to abide by the quarantine rules of each nation before being allowed to go to shore. This specifically means that when we arrive in a new country, you will not be permitted to go to shore until we have cleared immigration and customs.

Saltwater: Please be aware this is the tropics and any saltwater pulls moisture from the air. Therefore, any saltwater tracked into the vessel or on your bunk continues to remain damp indefinitely. Rinse any saltwater off before going inside and remove and rinse any wet clothing. Rinse your ears after swimming with fresh water an alcohol.

Ship’s first aid kit:

First aid supplies aboard the vessel are for emergency use only and not there for your day to day needs. Band aids, sun screen, mosquito repellant, motion sickness pills if needed, and silver based antibiotic cream are recommended.

Skin conditions:

Inform the Captain if you observe any rash or feel a blister.

Musical Instruments: 

You are welcome to play the piano aboard. You also also welcome to bring your guitar or ukulele. Leave your saxophone, bagpipes, and didgeridoo at home. And yes, someone really did bring a didgeridoo. No bagpipes yet.

Respecting other individual(s) privacy:

There may be individuals aboard the vessel that made a request to HOT BuOYS Sailing that no images of them be taken and used for any purpose. By making your reservation, you agree to honor this request to the best of your ability possible. Further, should the individuals who requested no images be taken request to see your camera, or any other devices you may have, then you will comply with the request to check for objectionable images. Should there be any objection, you agree to delete any and all copies of said image you made.

Further, there may be individuals aboard who do not wish the general public to be alerted to their presence. If a request is made to you to not discuss the name of the individuals who sailed with you, then you have agreed by making your reservation to not divulge said names.

Privacy Policy


At HOT BuOYS Sailing, we strongly believe in protecting consumer privacy. That's why we only ask you for information related to the services we provide. We never sell, rent, share, trade or give away any of your personal information to anyone. This privacy policy describes what information we collect from you, how it is used and what security measures we take to protect it.


If you subscribe to our newsletter we will ask for your name, email address, and country of residence. This information is used to send you information about our company, products or other items that may be of interest to you. We will not contact you more than once monthly. Our newsletters may occasionally contain links to other websites which we think may interest you. HOT BuOYS Sailing is not responsible for any content or privacy policy on other such websites.

If you no longer wish to receive our newsletters, you may opt-out at any time by clicking on the "unsubscribe" link found at the bottom of each newsletter. You may also request to be removed from our mailing list by emailing us at or writing to us at 771 Grandview Street, Northville MI, USA 48167

Credit card and banking information:

HOT BuOYS Sailing does not do directly process your credit cards nor know your banking information. Your information is used by PayPal and (a division of PayPal) and it is their service which is responsible for securing your credit card or banking information. If we need to process a refund to you, we will need your full name, address, phone number, and e-mail.

Images of you:

Nearly all guests as well as Captain Philip, his husband Noli, and any hired crew like to take pictures and video. Pictures and video might be taken when aboard the vessel and when on excursion trips. These pictures and images tend to be shared and uploaded to websites like Facebook, and Instagram. They also might be incorporated into marketing materials by HOT BuOYS Sailing to promote future trips. 

If you believe there is a chance any images taken of you may be harmful to you in some way, then the burden is upon you to do the following:

  • At the beginning of each trip you are to inform the Captain. He will then inform everyone aboard to refrain from taking any images of you. 
  • If a new member joins the trip, you need to remind the Captain to inform the individual. 
  • If you suspect an image was taken of you, you may request the Captain to intervene on your behalf and request that the image be deleted. 
  • If you find any image of yourself in any marketing materials of HOT BuOYS Sailing that are objectionable to you, you may request that the images be removed, and we will comply to the best extent possible. Some websites do not allow images to be deleted once they have been uploaded.
Unless you have hired the entire vessel and all available bunk spaces, then HOT BuOYS Sailing trips are not considered to be "private". HOT BuOYS Sailing cannot be held responsible if another individual who is not an employee takes an image of you and uses it or shares it on Facebook etc. It can also not be held responsible if another individual divulges your name to the general public.  

Refund policy:
  • If you cancel more than 90 days before the first departure date, then 75% will be refunded. 
  • If you cancel 89 and 30 days before your departure date, then 50% will be refunded.
  • If you cancel with 29 days or less notice, then there is no refund.
Refunds are made in the same manner as the deposit was made. 
Cancellation By Operator Policy:
This section covers the possibility of a cancellation on the part of the operator of HOT BuOYS Sailing.
  • 100% of any deposit received will be refunded in the event the Captain suffers some form of ailment which prevent him from safely operating his vessel. Currently, the Captain is in excellent health, therefore, this possibility is remote.
  • 100% of any deposit received will be refunded  in the unlikely event the vessel suffers some sort of mechanical failure which makes the voyage unsafe. On July 5th, 2018 the vessel completed a rough weather crossing of the Sulu Sea and encountered both heavy winds and waves. These conditions were more severe than are expected and the engine, sails, and rigging all performed well. Therefore, the chances of a vessel related problem are also remote.
  • 100% of any deposit received will be refunded in the extremely unlikely event there is severe weather preventing a safe passage. Normally, most operators will not offer this type of refund, however, the chances of a weather event being so large that it will prevent a safe passage are so remote for the time and area being sailed that the operator in this case will make this pledge. Note: The operator does not guarantee the vessel will be under sail the entire time. If the winds are low or contrary, the vessel is simply motored, or waits for a short term weather event to pass before raising sails. 

These Terms & Conditions as well as the Privacy, Refund, and Cancellation Policies are subject to revision and updating from time to time.