What is a bareboat yacht charter?
A bareboat charter is a boat rental. Bareboat means: "the pure boat". If you hire a bareboat, you get the boat without additional services, like renting a car. Bareboat yacht charter is mostly done on boats up to 17 meter length. This size of yachts is usually still manageable for a leisure skipper. Boats larger than 55 feet usually have a skipper included in the charter price. Those are called "skippered charters" or "crewed yachts" or "crewed charters
Worldwide there are around 20,000 professionally managed bareboat charter yachts. The Mediterranean Sea is the world´s largest region for bareboat charters. The country with the largest proportion is Croatia with nearly 4,000 vessels operating in bareboat sailing holidays. In Europe, 90 % of all bareboat fleets are sailing yachts. Around 25 % are catamarans
. In America, the percentage of motor yachts among bareboats is much higher. Bareboat charter is by far the most preferred type of sailboat vacation of German-speaking customers. The British and other nationalities for instance try out also flotilla holidays and enjoy the social component of this kind of vacation.
What is a bareboat charter agreement?
The bareboat charter
agreement is a rental contract between the charterer and the owner of the boat. The object of the rental is to allow the charter guest to use the boat for a specific period for leisure purpose. The contract has to be undersigned before the charterer goes onboard. Local authorities often require that the charter contract is onboard during the tour and can be shown on request. Through clauses in the agreement, the owners' obligations of how and when to deliver the vessel are clearly defined. Also it describes the procedures, which need to be followed like check-in, check-out or what happens if there will be a failure of the boats aggregates etc. The bareboat charter contract also includes paragraphs pointing out the liabilities of the renting party. E.g. the charterer is usually liable for all damages happening to the yacht or loss of its equipment. An important aspect of the charter agreement is that the charterer who signs the contract is legally responsible even if he is not the skipper. This risk of the charterer can be compensated by closing a skipper liability insurance
A possible option for sailors who don't have too much experience would be a combination of skippered and bareboat charter. They could hire a skipper to sail the yacht for the first few days and gradually take over until they feel confident to navigate the boat alone. Another possibility would be a flotilla charter with a lead boat and a guide that gives assistance.
The majority of bareboat charter yachts are sailboat monohulls but catamarans and motor boats can also be chartered as bareboat yachts. One of the most wanted bareboat charter destinations is Croatia. Pula
, Krk (Punat)
, Primosten (Marina Kremik)
, Seget Donji (Trogir)
, Solta / Rogac (Split)
, Marina Kastela (Split)
Bareboat Rental in Greece is most popular from the following harbors: Corfu
, Kalamaki (Athens)
Why do sailors enjoy chartering a bareboat yacht?
The costs of owning a yacht are considerable and many sailors do not spend a lot of time on their boat. So for them it is much cheaper to hire a charter yacht just for the duration of the holidays. The second advantage is that in this way they can choose the location freely and don't have to worry about how to bring their own boat.
The bareboat charter contract guarantees that everything will be in order and running perfectly when you come aboard. All you have to do is decide which type of boat you like and where you want to go.
Another added bonus on a bareboat yacht charter is that you have complete privacy. You and your family and friends will be entirely undisturbed as there is no additional crew. The boat is all yours!
What are the prices for hiring a boat without skipper?
The average weekly price for bareboat charter in the Mediterranean is about 2,600 €. In the Western Mediterranean prices are highest with average rates of around 3,100 € per week. The Balearics with Majorca and Ibiza are the most expensive boating destinations with 3,200 € a week on average. The further East in the Mediterranean, the lower are the costs for boat rentals. Greece and Croatia are the most competitive nations with average prices between 2,700 and 2,900 € a week. If you choose to hire a skipper instead of doing a bareboat charter, you can add a further 150 - 200 € per day on top of the price depending on the location.
The best place to hire a boat at the Costa Brava is Barcelona
. However, Mallorca
and the Canaries
are very requested bareboat regions in Spain
. The biggest selection on Majorca you will find in Palma de Mallorca
, El Arenal
, Ca'n Pastilla
or Porto Colom
. On Ibiza the best ports to start a boat rental are Ibiza Town
and San Antonio
on Menorca is a great port to explore the coast on your own by booking a day-charter
with a smaller powerboat (locally also called "Lancha"). On the Canary Islands, you can rent sailboats without skipper from Las Galletas
(Tenerife) and Arrecife
(Lanzarote) to make your offshore experiences.
When it is the best moment to book a bareboat?
For early bookings done already in autumn and winter prices are about 10 % cheaper than in springtime. So it pays back to plan your bareboat sailing vacation at least 8 months in advance. The overall price difference between high and low season is nearly 40 %. If you can decide spontaneously, there are usually very good last-minute offers
available. Just be aware that the best yachts will already be booked at that time.
What types of bareboat charter yachts are there?
Sailing yachts are the most typical boats for a bareboat charter. However, motor yachts and catamarans are also very popular on a charter holiday without a skipper. While sailing yachts provide for the classic yachting sensation, catamarans are a good option if you need more space. Bareboat charter yachts usually range up to 17 m length and larger boats are rented with a skipper and possibly more crew.
What licence do I need to steer a boat myself?
In order to hire a sailing boat or motor yacht you need to have a licence or other documents like a Skipper CV, which provide proof that you have enough experience to steer the boat. If you intend to hire a boat yourself in the Mediterranean it depends on your nationality what type of licence you will need. Generally, the RYA Day Skipper Practical certificate, the ICC (International Certificate of Competency) or any national license that counts as equal is accepted. However, there can be still restrictions to it, like how far offshore you can sail. If there is a radio (VHF) installed on board, Croatia, Spain and Germany ask for a VHF license on top of the skipper´s licence. Greece requires the skipper, a so-called "co-skipper", to backup the skipper's duties.
What to pack on a bareboat yacht charter?
Generally it can be said that it is best on a bareboat charter to stick to the necessary items as space on board a yacht is limited. Saying that, you should off course be taking enough clothes for all types of possible weather at the respective location. Just don't put it in a hard case but in a duffel or collapsible bag that can easily be put into a locker or wardrobe. Deck shoes with a bright sole keep the teak clean and your feet safe during manoeuvers. Bear in mind that usually there are no washing machines on a boating holiday, so maybe take some hand washing liquid just in case or buy some at the charter destination.
- November 2019 - :
"Great Sailing conditions. Best kept charter yacht I have seen. Great attention to detail (ex seized shackles on mainsheet system)"
- November 2019 - :
"We surfed nearly all the way down from La Graciosa to Arrecife. Windy anchorage this week in La Graciosa"
- October 2019 - :
"Really gppd attitude of shore crew. Well organised. Welcome pack was informative. Nice basket of fruit on arrival."
- October 2019 - :
"Especially great thanks to Nadia for her supervision during our ride. She was always online via what..."
- September 2019 - :
"Good to sail. Electric pump in heads. Gangplank attached.Equipment, including life jackets etc, in excellent condition."
- August 2019 - :
"The check-in and introduction as well as the check-out were excellent, communication with the staff was very good!"
- August 2019 - :
"Nice, clean cabin. Complete equipment. Good space for a family with kids. Good kitchen equipement an..."
- July 2019 - :
"The sailboat “Kon Tiki” is excellent equipped and comfortable monohul. During our trip, we had a gre..."
- July 2019 - :
"Very spacious & convenient boat, sails in perfect condition, boat runs very fast on engine (on sails too); overall I was very satisfied with the boat"
- May 2019 - :
"Excellent yacht in good condition, good to sail. Kekeris as family company offers the dedicated service and yacht as we expected from a family company. "