Confused About Chartering? Here Are The Basic Do’s & Don’t’s
Here are the best tips you’ll ever find to charter a yacht easily, safely and keep your sanity.
- DO find a knowledgeable, trustworthy charter broker. Using a Charter Brokerage company like luxuryachtvacation.com is the safest way to book a yacht anywhere in the world. Brokers know the yachts and crews personally. If they don’t know them, or have not been on board a particular yacht, they have the ways and means to check up by consulting with associates and colleagues in the industry. Brokers are unbiased, they have no axes to grind and no mission other than to make their clients happy with their vacation and keep them coming back year after year. There is no cost for their service.
- DO find a charter broker who is a member of one or more of the recognized broker associations such as CYBA, MYBA or AYCA. The membership requirements are stringent and a broker’s affiliation with one of these organizations means ethical commercial practices and intimate knowledge of the product. Charter contracts are complex documents that protect both the charterer and the owner of the vessel. They come is different shapes and sizes, depending on the owners preferences, the vessels flag, where the yacht was built, where it will be chartered and other factors. Charter brokers should know when to use each contract type and be conversant on how each affects both the charterer’s and owner’s liability for non-performance.
- DON’T try to call yacht owners directly. First, they are hard to find because most owners do not get involved in the day to day, are not in the charter industry, do not manage the boat’s calendar, and cannot answer the nitty gritty commercial contract questions. Are you REALLY comfortable sending large amounts of money to an unknown party located in a foreign country?
- DO be aware that the best, most restful and stress-free vacation, is to book a cruise on a fully crewed yacht, where the boat is exclusively yours for the duration. The vessel can be sail or power, and the crew will navigate, sail and prepare the beverages and meals. The crew is a CRITICAL element in making your charter vacation a success.
- DO look for and discuss an itinerary that is not too ambitious as far as distance traveled. You DON’T want to spend too much time on the ocean every day. 45 or 50 miles between locations is about right. (depending on whether you are on a sailboat or a motor yacht) You DO want to leave time to explore the little ports and villages along the way and enjoy your vacation to the fullest. DO consult with your broker regarding sample itineraries, what’s possible and what’s not. Definitive itineraries can be finalized with the captain after boarding. Weather is ALWAYS a factor in designing the best itinerary and it’s usually advisable to have a PLAN B.
- DO plan to have breakfast and lunch aboard but take some or most of your evening meals ashore. That’s the beauty of it. You can dine in a delightful little place with different and unique cuisine every evening.
Chartering a fully crewed yacht for a week or more (or less) is definitely the lap of luxury or as the Irish say: “Living the life of Riley”… the whole boat is yours to go wherever you like, your crew will be responsible for serving you three meals a day plus serving the finest wines and preparing the many exotic or traditional beverages and magnificent gourmet dishes for your evening meals. The chefs on board luxury yachts pride themselves in the quality and variety of their meals.
This truly remarkable vacation has no equal on earth: sailing on your own private yacht with an attentive and knowledgeable crew to attend to your every need has to be the ultimate experience. You can view a short list of our finest crewed yachts, both power and sail, or go to our state-of-the-art crewed yacht search engine.
- For the more budget conscious, it is possible to charter a captain-only or skippered yacht arrangement under which the charter company provides a qualified captain, usually a person expressly chosen not only for their nautical experience but more importantly for their “people-skills” and ability to interact socially with a wide variety of guests.
- You and your party will be expected to do the meal preparation or to eat ashore at the many available local restaurants, tavernas, trattorias and the many watering holes at the different little ports and location on your trip. You will be responsible for the captain’s meals as well.
- Some fully crewed yachts, especially the smaller sailing yachts and catamarans can be chartered as “captain-only” or “skipper-only” vessels. Check with your broker.