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The Beginner’s Guide to Chartering a Yacht With a Crew

For those who have never sailed on a yacht, a weeklong sailing cruise sounds both exciting and unexplored. Today, one of the most popular, favourite and demanded types of active and healthy recreation on the water, without any doubt, is yacht charter. Such popularity of yacht charter is due to the relatively inexpensive price in comparison with the rest in hotels, and, secondly, such a vacation allows you to discover new impressive places.

If you are interested in chartering a yacht visit to find out more about unforgettable travelling experiences and find cruise trips to satisfy a deep desire for adventure. Unlike resting in one hotel, you have the opportunity to visit inaccessible places and islands, swim in the clear waters of remote secluded beaches, and be closer to nature. Besides, according to Statista, chartering a yacht is the most popular recreating activity among campers.

And since we know that stereotypes interfere with the realization of dreams, we created a beginner’s guide on a yacht charter.

What is the cost of renting a yacht?

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As a rule, a yacht is chartered for a week or two, and in most countries, the charter week starts on Saturday and ends on Friday evening. The cost of a yacht charter is determined based on many factors, such as the country (the cheapest are Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Turkey, and Croatia), yacht parameters, and travel time.

So, you have decided to rent a yacht and are studying the price lists of charter companies. The cost of renting a yacht is not the only indicator that you should pay attention to. Each charter company that offers yachts for rent also forms a list of mandatory and additional payments that can significantly increase the total cost of a yacht charter.

To begin with, let’s analyse what is included in the base price: a fueled yacht and equipment for a charter yacht, with all the necessary equipment (sails, navigational devices, radio equipment, electrical equipment, chargers, etc.). The price also includes full technical support during the yacht charter and life-saving equipment (individual life jackets and a rubber boat). The list of additional services and equipment is determined by each charter company independently.

Besides, you need to take into account the costs that will arise during the rental of the yacht. These include additional tourist taxes, permits to visit reserves, mooring in marinas, port taxes, fuel, and food costs. All this must also be included in the budget.

Security Deposit

Like any vehicle, the yacht is insured against possible damage during the trip for the rental period. When renting a yacht with a captain, the insurance deposit is less, and you are only responsible for internal breakdowns (broken hatches, door handles, clogged latrines, etc.)

The full amount of the security deposit is blocked on the client’s card for the period of the yacht charter. For example, for a yacht of about 40-50ft, the insurance deposit can be 2000-4000 euros. If the insured event does not occur after returning to the base within a certain time (depending on the bank), the amount on the account will be blocked.

Conduct a technical inspection of the yacht before charter thoroughly the risk of losing the deposit, some yachtsmen prefer to use the deposit insurance service. In this case, you pay a certain amount of non-refundable amount (for example, 25 euros for each day of the charter), but do not pay the full amount or nothing at all. But not all charter companies support deposit insurance when renting a yacht.

To maintain the charter deposit, be sure to thoroughly conduct a technical inspection of the yacht before charter. After returning to the base, the yacht is re-examined for damage by the charter company, and the underwater part is additionally examined by a diver.

Seasonality and early booking

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The Mediterranean Sea is an excellent option for summer yachting. The high season here is in July / August, the cost of yacht rentals and other services can reach their peak. It is possible to rent a yacht on a budget in the Mediterranean during April-May, and the cost is up to 50% lower than at the height of summer. The velvet season begins in September, prices for yacht rental are pleasantly reduced, and the air and water temperatures are still warm in summer. The number of tourists is decreasing markedly, as most families return due to the start of the school season.

There are also many options for where to go yachting in winter. Many tourists prefer the Canary Islands for its affordable yacht charter deals and a good selection of boats. The yachting industry in the Canary Islands is very developed, the rest on a yacht will be comfortable and interesting. The ocean temperature does not drop below 20 ° C, and the air temperature is around 20 ° C – 25 ° C.

Arrival and Check of the Yacht

Finally, you are at the pier and ready to step onboard the yacht and start your journey, but first, you need to make the so-called “check-in” – to take the yacht. Together with the marina employee, you fill out a checklist – a list of equipment items. The Marina employee will prepare this list in advance, and together you can check the boxes next to each item (to confirm availability) or make notes about the status of certain devices. You have the right to supplement this list at your discretion. Usually, the checklist is divided into two columns: the state of the yacht before and after the charter.

Start your boat tour by inspecting the galley and, with the marina staff, document any scratches on the furniture, if any. Then carefully check the ship’s safety equipment. Check that the yacht has all the necessary instruments and items for navigation. When you have completed the check, it remains to find out if there are any changes in the weather, and you can hit the road.

What to Focus on

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In terms of minor flaws, yacht rental can be compared to renting a hotel room. There is nothing you need to try to fix yourself, contact the charter company, and you will be assisted by phone or sent to the place of a specialist.

Where you can use your strength is in the primary cleaning. In this regard, a yacht is different from a hotel – it is not customary to leave any creative or any other mess here. Clean up the dishes, stack used bedding, and collect trash. This will make it easier for the marina staff to perform the final cleaning, which includes vacuuming, mopping, dusting the surfaces and cleaning the yacht’s exterior.

Returning the Yacht

Together with an authorized employee, you will check out using the list of equipment you already know. You will check if all appliances are in the same condition as before the start of the charter. If so, then the check will pass quickly and you can quickly leave the marina. The deposit will be returned to you either on the spot or transferred later (usually it takes several weeks). If it is your fault that the yacht breaks down, the charter company has the right to take the deposit for itself. They will estimate the cost of the repair and withhold the corresponding amount, and in the event of a major breakdown, they will take the entire deposit.

So, the guide is designed to give you an understanding of main steps when chartering a yacht and prepare you for an independent yacht charter.

About Suzan Vega