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How to Charter a Boat – Your Questions Answered

Could there be anything more relaxing than bobbing on the open ocean (or lake, canal or river) on a beautiful boat, the sun shining on your face and a glass of something bubbly in your hand? The squeal of the kids’ voices accompanies joyous splashing in the sea, adventures to remote beaches await and an escape from the daily grind is guaranteed. It is a pretty picture, especially in these times when socially distanced holidays are hard to find. 


The idea of yacht charter isn’t a new one, and for decades people have been renting boats, whether crewed or bareboat charters, to enjoy time at sea. For newcomers to the idea of boat charter however, it can sometimes seem a daunting first step, and there are understandably many questions you might have before heading down that twinkling watery path. All of the brokers listing their yachts for charter on Rightboat.com are specialists in their field and happy to answer your questions, seek out the perfect boat for you and your guests, and put your mind at ease when it comes to COVID-19 yacht charter cancellation policies.

But here we take a look at the some of our most frequently asked questions about yacht charter. 


Do I Need to be a Millionaire to Charter a Yacht?


No. While we have all seen the images of celebrities in designer sunglasses lounging on the decks of 75 metre-long superyachts, that is just part of the charter market. You can find boats of all sizes, types and budgets, and in all corners of the world. The term boat charter encompasses any vessel that you rent for a specified period of time. You could tootle down the inland waterways of Europe in a budget-friendly canal boat, cruise around the Caribbean islands in a 12-metre sailing boat accompanied only by a captain, or splash out and charter a large crewed motor yacht for a group of friends and family. Whether you want a day’s charter on a fishing boat near to home or a two week, once-in-a-lifetime charter to Thailand’s tropical islands, there are boats to suit your tastes and budget.


How do I know Which Type of Boat is Right for my Yacht Charter?


Yacht charter brokers are good at what they do, and they have a not-so-little black book of yachts they can recommend to their clients which will fulfil all their requirements. So the first thing you need to do is work out exactly what you’re expecting from a charter. You will need to;


  • 1. Work out how many people will be joining you, and how many beds (berths) you will need.

  • 2. Think about what you would like to see and do, whether it’s UNESCO Heritage Sites, swanky cities, laid back beach bars or isolated beaches.

  • 3. Decide which activities you would like to do. Yachts all have a different selection of facilities, so if you have your heart set on snorkelling, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding or jet skiing then be sure to tell your broker, so they can find a boat to fulfil your wish list. 

  • 4. Consider style and décor too. If you’re someone who loves the timeless beauty of a classic sailing yacht with a traditional nautical décor, then it’s important to express that. 

  • 5. Plan where you want to travel and how far you want to go. While a broker will be able to help you plan the perfect yacht charter itinerary, you may have a good idea of what you want to see and do, and the boat will need to be up to the job. Cruising the Bahamas for example requires a shallow draft boat, while average speeds of boats will determine how far you can actually travel during your charter. 


Which Destinations can I Charter in?


Where there is water, there are boats to be chartered. Rightboat.com can connect you with charter brokers all over the world who know their destinations and the yachts they represent like the backs of their hands. Some larger yachts will move around, chasing the sun from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean or South East Asia and beyond (we’re talking Central and South America, Antarctica, Australia, New Zealand or Northern Europe) while smaller boats tend to cruise their local waters. Like any other holiday, the climate, weather and your available dates will play a key role in what kind of charters you can do. If sun-drenched beaches and a buzzing atmosphere are non-negotiable then you might consider July or August in the Greek Islands or December to May in the Florida Keys. Likewise, wildlife watching on a sailboat in the chilly waters of Norway, Canada or Greenland have their own weather windows. If you can be flexible and open to suggestions you may not have considered then you will have a greater choice of yachts. 


What Kinds of Boats can I Charter?


The most popular boats to rent are monohull sailing yachts, catamarans and motor yachts. Within these categories there are hundreds of models and sizes to choose from, and where you want to cruise and what you want to do will dictate which one is the best choice for you. Sailing yachts are best for couples and small groups, and those looking for a more dynamic sailing experience, while a catamaran offers a larger living space, and are perfect for families and larger groups. Their stability also means they are better for those who are prone to sea sickness. A motorboat on the other hand can be hugely spacious and offer longer cruising distances at greater speeds. 


Is the Price I see the Total Price I Pay?


Sometimes. Nothing about boat charters are designed to confuse or hustle their clients, but because of the hugely varied nature of boats and boat charters there is no definitive answer. When it comes to bareboat charters the answer is usually yes, the price you see is the price you pay to hire the boat. Any additional provisions or fuel are your responsibility. When it comes to crewed boat charters however, there can be additional costs which will need to be paid on top of the charter price, and these are dependent on the level of service you choose. Fuel costs depend on how far you travel, food and drinks on the number of people on board and particular tastes, and additional activities and gratuities will all be additional. However, your broker will make these very clear from the beginning. 



You May Also Like ...


1. All about Chartering an Introduction

2. How to use Rightboat.com during Covid-19 lockdown?

3. Do I need a license to sail or drive a boat?

4. What Qualifications Need for a First Time Boater?

5. Do I need to join a Boat or Yacht club?



Written By: Samantha Wilson

Samantha Wilson has spent her entire life on and around boats, from tiny sailing dinghies all the way up to superyachts. She writes for many boating and yachting publications, top charter agencies, and some of the largest travel businesses in the industry, combining her knowledge and passion of boating, travel and writing to create topical, useful and engaging content.

Get in touch:Linkedin

More from: Samantha Wilson

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