Yacht Charter Guide
Do you dream of sunny carefree days aboard a luxury yacht? Nothing makes a vacation or event more special than a day or more out on the water with your every need being catered to. Whether it’s in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean, or almost anywhere else you wish to travel, yacht charters can spell bliss
Contacting a yacht charter broker is the first step in making that dream a reality. You can choose from incredible charter destinations all over the world and have a VIP trip organized for you. While it sounds pricey, yacht charter costs can be surprisingly affordable.
In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about chartering a yacht for that perfect trip.
What Is a Yacht Charter?
A yacht charter is a type of yacht rental. You charter a boat from a specific location for a certain period of time. Yacht charters can be for day, evening, or overnight trips or may be extended to weeks or even months.
The term yacht charter is most commonly associated with a crewed charter. In this case, your boat is skippered (by a captain) and a crew takes care of duties such as the sailing process and preparing meals.
Charters can involve boats of various sizes, suitable for many occasions, including vacations and special events. You can tailor various aspects of your yacht charter, including the boat, dining, and activities, based on your desires and budget.
Steps Involved in Chartering a Yacht
A charter yacht may sound like an unattainable dream, but there are options to suit all budgets, and getting started is actually very simple.
Here are the basic steps involved in chartering a yacht:
- Select a trusted yacht charter broker. A broker will help you find the ideal charter yacht in your desired location. Look for a reputable broker who can give you plenty of options and who seeks your input regarding every aspect of your yacht charter.
- Decide on a charter yacht and which destinations to visit. You may already have a specific charter yacht and destination in mind, but a broker can help you with any questions you have.
- Complete a contract. Once you’ve decided on the main aspects of your yacht charter, you can sign the contract and pay a deposit.
- Fill out a preference form and discuss you itinerary with your captain. Before you embark on your charter, you can get down to specifics by telling the crew exactly what you want from the trip. The more input you give, the better equipped the captain and crew are to ensure your yacht charter is everything you desire and more.
Now all that’s left is to enjoy your trip!
Types of Yacht Charters
There are three main types of yacht charters: bareboat, cabin, and skippered. While the latter is the one that is typically referred to when we discuss charters, the others are still options with some companies.
With bareboat charters, you captain the boat yourself, although you do have the option of having a skipper come with you.
Cabin charters enable you to buy yourself a place on the crew of the boat. You pay for a cabin and meals, but you’ll be an active crew member and part of the sailing process.
Skippered charters come with a crew, including a captain and usually one or more additional staff, for example, a chef and a deckhand.
Types of Yachts that You Can Charter
There are two main types of charter yachts available: motor and sail.
Motor yachts are the most popular and abundant types of yacht available for charters. These tend to be larger and faster than sail yachts and often come equipped with lots of water toys and advanced sound systems. However, they can get pricey due to the fuel surcharge.
Sail yachts may offer a more relaxing experience for some and you don’t have to worry about noise or fuel costs. That said, you won’t be able to travel as fast and boats tend to be smaller.
Depending on your destination, there may be specific types of charter yacht on offer. For example, catamarans are popular at some destinations.
Dreaming of sailing around the coast of Naples and dropping in at a vineyard or two along the way? Perhaps you’re looking for big city adventure and want to take in the sights and sounds of New York City. Or maybe all you want is to relax on the pristine sands of the Bahamas.
Wherever your fantasy takes you, a charter yacht can make it a reality. Popular areas to visit are the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and even Asia.
For example, in one trip, you can add stops in Spain, Italy, and Greece. Or you can combine bright lights and relaxation with stops in Miami and the Florida Keys. Fancy seeing Dubai from the water? You can do that too!
The cost of charters can vary greatly depending on many factors, including boat size and condition, number of guests, number of crew members, activities, season, and more.
The way you pay for a charter yacht can also differ in terms of what’s included in the basic price. For example, under contracts through the Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association (MYBA), the cost of things like food, fuel, and dockage are added on to the basic price.
Conversely, Caribbean Terms Inclusive (CTI) contracts include fuel for a set number of hours of cruising, three meals per day, and sometimes basic beverages.
Additional costs may include additional food and premium drinks, communications (such as satellite and internet), laundry, insurance, and VAT.
Booking Your Charter
Although chartering a yacht is your dream come true, there is, of course, some paperwork involved. Once your broker has helped you choose the ideal boat and itinerary, there are a few steps between you and bliss.
Here are the three main items to be aware of:
- Preference form: The preference form contains details to help the crew cater to you and your guests, including food and beverage preferences, travel reservations, guest list, and medical issues.
- The charter agreement: This contract details your yacht charter, including the charter yacht itself, dates, destinations, and cost.
- Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA): The APA is usually around 30% of the basic charter fee and is used to cover additional costs incurred during the trip.
Yacht Charter Events
A yacht charter can be anything you make it. Whether it’s an extended family trip, a romantic getaway, or a celebration of a special event, a charter yacht can be the quintessential backdrop.
The thing with yacht charters is that no matter where you start from and end up, you know you’ll have an unforgettable experience. It’s the ideal setting for giving you, your family, and your guests the chance to make some incredible memories.
Here are just some ideas for your next excuse for a yacht charter:
- Family vacation
- Romantic weekend
- Adventure with friends
- Birthday celebration
- Engagement party
- Family reunion
- Corporate event
- Gala dinner
The possibilities really are endless.
When you think of a yacht charter, you may envision a day sunning yourself on the deck and participating in watersports. Or perhaps you see an evening setting with live music and dancing. The truth is, a charter yacht can have all of that and more.
If you want to engage in fun watersports such as scuba diving, paddle boarding, and jet skiing, you can request that your charter yacht is equipped with the necessary equipment.
As for entertainment onboard, charters give you many of the same options you would have on land. Bands, DJs, and magicians can all be welcome additions, or if you’re looking for something more low-key, having a masseuse or aesthetician onboard are options too.
Catering / Food
While aboard a charter yacht, there’s no doubt you’ll want to indulge in some delicious food. Many skippered charters offer the services of a private chef who can concoct an array of culinary delights.
Chefs will prepare meals that are specifically catered to you and your guests. You’ll be asked to fill out a preference form before your charter commences, enabling you to specify allergies and aversions as well as things like preferred meal times and what types of beverages you want to be served.
The type of meals you will eat will depend on the length of you trip, your budget, and where you are traveling and the types of foods available there.
Basic Yacht Charter Rules
While yacht charters are mostly fun and games, there are some basic rules and guidelines. Here are some of the most common:
- Number of passengers: There are strict rules for the number of passengers allowed on each charter yacht which you must abide by.
- Safety briefing: Most charters require that you go through a safety briefing at the start of the yacht charter.
- Restrictions onboard: Individual vessels may have their own rules, such as whether smoking is permitted and off-limits areas for day charters.
- Bareboat charters: If chartering a bareboat, you may need to have some type of qualification or be able to show your boating experience. This is dependant on location and the type of boat you are chartering.
Don’t worry if you still have questions. At Y Charter, we can help with every aspect of your yacht charter. We’ll find out exactly what you’re looking for, and find the perfect charter yacht in your ideal destination. Get in touch today!