Guide to Yacht Charters
Please read this impartial step-by-step guide for planning and enjoying a yacht charter.
1) When dealing with the broker, they will likely offer you a wide selection of boats, from multiple operators. Always read the whole offer - different operators include different things in the charter price (they don't vary much, but for example, some operators offer outboard / bed linen as part of the standard equipment, others charge an extra for it).
2) If you are unsure what anything means, please ask your broker and they will explain.
3) Once you decide which boat you would like to book, ask your broker to make sure that your sailing qualifications are acceptable to the operator, before committing to the booking.
4) Your broker / agent can charge you ONLY for the bareboat charter. Cleaning, security deposit, extras (kayaks, paddle boards, etc.), crew (skipper or full crew) are all PAYABLE AT BASE. Costs of these however, should be given to you in the offer.
5) Always ask about the deposit and what it covers. If you are experienced and sailing with family, a standard security deposit is ok for you. If you are new to chartering, trying out the the type of boat you never sailed before or in unknown area, insurance contribution may be a better option for you. Same applies if you are chartering with a group of friends so everyone contributes equally and no one person is out of pocket should some damage occur and deposit be either partially or fully withheld.
6) Crew List is a legal requirement by the port authorities worldwide, and in some cases by immigration.
7) When taking over the boat, always be present for the hand-over inspection. Any scuffs, marks or deficiencies, no matter how small or insignificant should be documented by you and the base crew. Use your phone camera and take photos or videos. This is the best tool for protecting your deposit.
8) During the hand-over, always ask how things work - water tanks, power supply, holding tanks, where the (cooking) gas cut off valve is, etc. It's better to ask than to be stuck with something you thought you knew how to work, but not on your chosen boat.
9) Before you return the boat back to base at the end of your charter, re-fuel it. You received it with a full tank and you are expected to return it with a full tank. It is often cheaper to re-fuel it yourself at the fuel dock than to pay the base crew to re-fuel the boat as you will also be paying for their time to do the job.
10) Try to leave the boat clean and tidy as a courtesy to the next charterer. It has never been more important to keep everything properly clean and the more time cleaning crew have to clean rather than re-assemble the boat, the better.
11) Be present at the final hand-over to make sure that pre-existing damage or wear and tear (which you took a photo of before you started) is not being attributed to you and jeopardizing your security deposit. If you have had any issues, no matter how big or small, inform the base crew of them. It will enable then to solve the problem for the next charterer and it will also give you an opportunity to make sure that you are not being charged for it.