I often try to remind myself not to take anything for granted. The fact that sailing and yachting, in general, is my everyday life should never lead me to assume that other people should know what I got to learn step by step all these years.
So, here is a brief chartering guide which I am sure will need to be updated in the future again, answering the most common questions asked in discussions I have with people who trust me with their sailing experience and their families and friends.
1. What does it mean to charter a yacht?
Chartering a yacht is the act of renting any category of a vessel for a certain period.
2. Why charter a yacht?
Why not? In the times we live, experiencing the world becomes easier. With very affordable air tickets we get to be pretty much anywhere in the world we want fast and easy. Once there we can explore the area surely in the most standard forms but why not do it differently? The first time you will charter a boat can be a scary thing and the feelings overwhelming. Not sure if you are making the right choice if there is value for the money you pay or even if you will like it. You read articles, hear others talking about it using weird words and cannot relate to all that, right?
Well, here you go, all the above are the exact reasons you should. Your chartering a boat experience will be loaded with self-questioning, fear overcoming, an immense adventurous feeling and rewarding once you will get to be out there, in the open.
3. How much does it cost to charter a yacht?
Chartering a yacht is nowadays more affordable than ever. Depending on the kind of sailing vacation you will choose (from cabin charter to a fully crewed luxury yacht) it can be anything between 350.00 euro per person per week to over 400.000 euros for a yacht for six to eight guests.
Practically, there are no limitations except for your desires. You decide your budget and destination and the rest follows.
4. Which kind of yacht should I charter?
To answer that in specific, I need to know your personality, likes, and needs. However here I have prepared something for you to show you and explain to you the differences per yacht type. How about you check it out and then contact me directly to analyze further your needs?
5. Can you rent a yacht for a week?
Absolutely! The standard is one or two weeks charters and usually, the check-in and out days are on Saturday. There are some companies and owners though who offer also the chance for fewer days or more like we do with “my way project”, designed to help people who cannot find regular flights or need to combine long-distance flights with preset limited vacation time. With “my way” for example, we also offer check-in and out any day of the week, as well as one-way trips off charter bases, supported areas, free of any extra charges.
6. What can you do on a boat?
It usually takes people a day or two to slow down their life rhythms and decide that. What you do on a boat is learning to enjoy life again. Gradually you stop thinking that you need to organize everything or that you have to control everything and you let nature take over. Your heartbeat slows, you breathe deeper and once you are open to absorb the positive energy that flows around you, you engage with people and activities you love.
May it be snorkeling, hiking, visiting local attractions or simply chilling and sunbathing, or practicing yoga and meditation, you name it, you get to do it. Soon enough you realize that time is irrelevant and you get carried away from your surroundings. You bond with people in a way you wouldn’t expect and usually, you sleep much better.
7. Can I sail at any time of the year?
Sure thing you can! Depending on your country of origin and time available you can more or less sail any time of the year in any kind of weather conditions you want. For example many of our Swedish or Finish clients sail the Canary Islands just to get some sun and warmth during winter, many of our German clients prefer either the Baltic or the Mediterranean and our Australians, Americans and Indians prefer respectively South Asia, Pacific or the Caribbean. All you need to decide is how much time and money you want to invest and the world awaits.
8. Do I need a yacht crew and If yes, how much do you tip them?
Depending on the rules of the country and your desires you may rent a boat with or without crew. How to choose that depends on several factors so here you can see a blog article I have prepared for that purpose some time ago https://ionianbreeze.gr/bareboat-vs-skippered-vs-crewed/
Crews are working under hard conditions on demanding posts and usually for a long period non-stop without even a few hours break. If you believe they are offering you a good service and to acknowledge the effort they put in it, usually a 10-15% of the charter fee you paid is a good tip to them but bear in mind, some times the best tip is a friendly hug and a “thank you” note.
9. What should I wear onboard? Is there a dressing code?
No, hell no! Enough stress you have with this in your everyday life, there is no reason to bring it on your vacation too. Nobody will judge your clothes, you do not have to change your outfit every day and if you want to go with the same t-shirt for dinner for the 4th night on the raw, do it!
Keep it practical and hassle-free. More details about this matter you may find in this blog article of ours https://ionianbreeze.gr/first-time-sailing/
10. What is a yacht owner?
A yacht owner can be anyone who can afford to buy a yacht. What often happens is that people who have the money to buy the boat do not have the time to enjoy it and vice versa. So, although the vast majority of the yachts offered for charter around the world belong to one or two shareholders, you hardly ever will meet them in person as often they need to rely on the services of a fleet operator to get their boat taken care of and make some money for the maintenance costs.
11. Is buying a boat a good investment?
Please don’t buy one unless you don’t know what to do with your money. From the financial point of view I would say no it’s not a good investment but if you have the money and you have time to sail and enjoy the living aboard life, then, by all means, this is the best life investment by far.
12. What is a fleet operator?
A fleet operator is usually a small company who is managing and maintaining a fleet of yachts who are offered for charter. Some fleet operators are also owning all/part of the boats offered but most commonly they don’t. A good fleet operator is 80% of the success for your sailing experience and this is why I choose to work with fleet operators and owners I know and trust. A “cheap yacht” might often end up costing much more if it’s not well maintained and if the fleet operators are not offering high-end services.
13. Can I insure my sailing vacation? What if the boat doesn’t exist or the company closes?
Today you can more or less ensure everything. Esteemed insurance brokers like Pantaenius and EIS have insurance packages specialized to protect you from anything that can go wrong. If you do not want to pay extra for such insurance the best way is to book your vacation with a charter broker who is well reputed and you can trust. Like me!
14. What is a yacht charter broker?
A yacht charter broker is a friend you can count on. He/she is the person who will make sure that you make the best out of your sailing experience. If you ask me to be your charter broker, I will walk you through the whole procedure with clear steps and all the answers you need. I will ask all the right questions to understand who you are and what you need and due to my in-depth knowledge of the yacht charter market, I can offer guidance and expertise in all the key areas.
I will help you choose therefore not only the right yacht for you but also the destination, the itinerary and all this without you paying a single euro!
That’s right, no extra fees for you. Instead, I invoice yacht owners for my job.
So to sum it up, using my knowledge adds nothing to the cost of your charter which results in added value to your charter experience and most importantly, your trip is planned stress-free!
What are you waiting for?
Ask me anything you want and no, this doesn’t mean you have to book a boat today.
Yacht charter and sailing expert