Do you dream of packing it all in, buying a yacht and sailing around the world? Well the yacht buying may be out of your reach but a chartering a yacht is definitely not and it is much more accessible than you think. Before you know it you could be enjoying the warm sun on your face and the sting of sea winds on your skin in no time at all.
Bareboat, cabin or crewed charter?
Believe it or not in some countries you can rent a yacht and sail it yourself without any qualifications at all! You only need to persuade the operator that you can handle his boat and satisfy his insurance requirements. The burden varies, but common sense prevails most of the time.
As a general rule though it’s wise to at least have an International Certificate of Competency (ICC). In certain European Countries this is mandatory if you want to bareboat charter a yacht. So the answer to what qualifications do I need to charter a yacht, actually lies with each individual operator – they always have the final decision. Also, don’t forget when bareboat chartering, you need to provision the boat, meaning you need to buy the food and drink plus do all the cooking and cleaning!
Cabin charter is the type of charter where you are part of the crew. You hire a competent captain (skipper) who not only sails the boat but provisions it for meals, and does all the necessary operations on the boat. You pay for your berth, meet new people and gain invaluable sailing experience whilst relaxing in the knowledge that the boat is under professional supervision.
This type of charter means you decide who will be in your crew and it is obviously the most expensive way of doing things. This gives you the freedom though to choose your skipper and other boat staff like a cook and a hostess. The number of staff is dependent on the size of the yacht and your wallet!
How much does it cost?
The cost of chartering a yacht depends on various factors such as the sailing hours, the destination, the size of the crew and the age and size of the yacht. The season in which you are planning to sail also affects the pricing as sailing during high season on popular sea routes will cost more than sailing off the beaten track during low season. The cost can be anything starting from $500 (which is accessible for most people) up to more than $50,000 per person per week. See prices here
Apart from the basic cost of chartering the yacht, you could incur additional charges depending upon your fine dining and drinking choices while sailing and any other personal requirements such as day excursions, laundry or pick up and drop off from land if the yacht is at sea. Your charter broker may suggest extra expenditure which may come up in the form of insurance. However, this investment is recommended as it will prove beneficial in the long run, if an unforeseen event such as a cancellation comes up at a later stage.
Where to sail?
Boat owners and charter companies will help you create an itinerary that suits your travel needs and desires. They know where you can safely anchor, get supplies, find privacy or the best places to party. If you don’t like the idea of anchoring through the night, you can plan an itinerary where you will always be docked in marinas during the night. In most places where charter boats are common, marinas have dock hands who will help you dock, connect your boat to local electricity and water supplies, and advise you for activities in the area.
Discover different Sailing Destinations and Holiday Route Suggestions here
The Last Word
Common courtesy and good behaviour will go a long way in making your trip a memorable one. Treat the yacht as your own home and do not damage any property due to rough use or negligence as it will be your pocket that is hurt in the end. Be courteous to the crew and co passengers if you are sharing the yacht with others and ensure that you adhere to safety measures at all times. There is no excuse not to be informed about maritime laws before setting sail!