6 Hot Tips for Your First Yacht Charter

6 Hot Tips for Your First Yacht Charter

Considering these aspects will make your boat rental vacation run smoothly and enjoyable

You are planning to go on a boat rental holiday? Maybe even for the first time? We compiled the crucial aspects for planning a yacht charter trip. If you do it the right way, nothing can go wrong.

1. What are the important aspects of planning a yacht charter?

No matter where you go, selecting the right people for your journey is crucial. A charter holiday is something very special and should go as smoothly as possible. So getting the right "crew" together is a little bit like the casting for a good film. Imagine you are going on an Atlantic crossing – for a trip like that everyone needs to be a good fit so that the holiday is a great experience.

Off course there are yacht charter crews that like nothing better than to live in the moment and plan their routes as spontaneously as possible. If everyone is on the same page this isn´t a problem at all. It might be an idea, though, to plan your routes before the holiday. Then everyone can agree on the details and knows what to expect during the yacht rental.

While planning the charter it is important to discuss all the individual preferences and no-goes of the crew members and to agree on a budget that fits everyone. Off course the destination and the right boat type according to the cruising area are important too.

If all members of the yacht charter discuss before the vacation what exactly they expect this ensures that everyone´s interests are taken into consideration. For instance, one part of the group may prefer to do quite a lot of sightseeing and visit antique sights while another would like to spend the whole day sailing or at anchor. There are those for whom it is no problem to anchor out every night and cook for themselves opposed to those that only feel at ease if they can moor up in port every evening and walk off to find a nice restaurant. So when everyone plans ahead a little, the right compromises can be found and harmony is guaranteed.

If you have enough experience you can steer the charter yacht yourself. The other option would be to get a skipper that can be provided locally. In some rare cases, for example when the waters are tricky to navigate in, some providers expect a professional skipper to steer the yacht for the first couple of days until the charterer has sufficient confidence and can take over. The advantage of that is that the skipper will have a lot of local knowledge and can plan all the routes. On a bigger boat, a stewardess could contribute even more to everyone´s complete relaxation by taking care of the shopping, cooking and tidying as well as assisting the skipper during manoeuvres.

The itinerary is in any case dependent on the weather. Often useful insider knowledge gained at the charter destination, for instance from other sailors or from the charter provider, lead to changes of the original route. That is why it is good to plan the itinerary but at the same time leave room for variations and don´t insist too much on only one possibility.

In the next paragraph you can read more about how to choose the right type of boat for you.

2. Which one is the right yacht for you?

When it comes to the right choice of charter yacht it is important to be realistic regarding the requirements and financial possibilities of all the participants in order to guarantee a successful charter. This concerns factors like comfort, level of sailing skills, preferred charter region, local weather as well as the budget.

If your priority is to have a lot of space on deck as well as in the interior, a catamaran may be just the right thing for you. This type of boat with its shallow draught is also perfectly suited if you like to anchor near beautiful beaches and deep in protected bays. In case you like to be in port every evening, you have to take higher mooring fees into account with a multi hull. For experienced sailors, mono hulls may be the only choice. And for the less experienced, the catamaran with its easy manoeuvrability due to the two motors is recommendable. If you like to move around quickly and get easily from port to port, motor boats may be the preferred option.

3. What do you need a yacht charter insurance for?

The two most important insurances for yacht charter are the deposit and the skipper liability insurance. This is also recommendable amongst friends or couples and serves to avoid any later arguments. Another good precaution is a travel expenses cancellation insurance for the skipper which guarantees that if the skipper and hence the whole charter party are unable to come to the destination they don´t lose the travel expenses. You can find more detailed information about the subject in the section about charter insurances.

4. How much experience do you need if you want to charter a yacht?

Be realistic in regard to your sailing abilities so you can start the charter holiday in the most relaxed manner possible. Usually it is enough if at least one member of the bareboat charter group has a skipper´s licence or proof of sufficient sailing experience. Greece is the only exception, where it is mandatory for a second member of the group to prove the ability to co-skipper.
When you do crewed or skippered charter you can sit back and relax while the skipper is navigating. Then, when you feel like it, you could learn some sailing from the expert.

Judging one´s own sailing skills adequately is key to success. Sailing in the Mediterranean Sea with constant good weather and no tides is different from cruising in colder regions during stormy conditions paired with tidal changes that need to be taken into consideration. Even if you know how to sail – when in doubt it might be a more relaxed holiday if you hire a skipper for the first few days. So be self-critical.

The choice of the charter destination is quite closely linked to the degree of your sailing skills because there are areas with many safe ports and others where you are limited to anchoring in bays. The distances between mooring and anchoring spots in your preferred charter region is something that should be taken into account during your planning process.

5. What do you have to bear in mind in relation to the charter season and the sailing weather at the destination?

Try to adapt as best as possible to the prevailing weather systems at your charter destination and bring appropriate clothes. If you are going on a sailing holiday in the Balearic Islands in July / August, it is rather unlikely to rain. Yet in the Baltic Sea at around the same time it might be warm during the day but colder at night and there may be quite a bit of rain too. So according to the destination and in order not to spoil the enjoyment of the boat rental, rain jackets, fleeces or long trousers may be required.

6. What should you consider before your journey to the yacht charter destination?

When planning your travels to the destination it is helpful to allow for plenty of time in order to avoid stress. Even if you arrive there a little bit early before check-in, this gives you the opportunity to acclimatise, have a coffee, get to know the port and gather some information.

When packing remember that there isn´t much stowage room on a yacht, so collapsible or duffle bags are the ideal solution. Depending on where you go choose the right clothing for the prevailing weather at the destination. For sailing and manoeuvres you may want to have deck shoes, wind jacket, sun hat, sun screen and maybe sailing gloves. Apart from that you will need personal medication and maybe a travel guide – a basic first-aid kit and charts as well as port information will already be on the yacht, though.

The visa requirements for each charter destination vary according to the nationality of the charter guest. The most reliable information regarding the regulations of each country can be had from the Foreign Office.

We hope that we have made planning your individual boating holiday a little easier for you and are at your disposal if you have any further questions.

To get the best charter offer for your preferred destination just enter the relevant dates into our user-friendly YachtFinder search tool.
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