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Chartering a Yacht

A great way to enjoy sailing without the year-round costs and worries of boat ownership is to rent or charter a boat when you need it, for example for a vacation in the Caribbean. Plus, by chartering the boat there, you save the time of positioning your boat from your home port to your destination.

Because of the advantages to yacht chartering, there are many options available. Here are some considerations to help you narrow down your choices:

  • Type of charter or rental - do you want to charter a boat fully equipped and with crew, a fully provisioned boat that you will sail, or a bareboat. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
    • crewed - the most expensive approach, crewed charters are for guests that wish to enjoy the travel without the effort. A crewed yacht comes complete with a skipper, crew, and provisions. They will take you where you want to go, feed you, and handle all the onboard chores.
    • skippered - for sailors with limited experience in sailing or the destination, a skippered charter provides an experience captain to manage the boat on your behalf, often for no more than their salary and food. However, such a charter obviously requires one cabin to be dedicated for the captain's use.
    • bareboat - cost of a bareboat is the least, but then you have to put in the time for everything from shopping for provisions and stocking the boat to piloting, operating, and maintaining the boat. Bareboat trips are best for the experienced sailor and require evidence of appropriate experience before a charter agreement is signed.
  • Type of boat - charter companies over a wide selection of types and sizes of boats. Choose from sail, power, and luxury yachts.
  • Location - popular locations are the Bahamas, Caribbean, Florida, the Mediterranean, and the South Pacific.
  • Activities - depending on the type of boat, charter, and boat size, the charter may include gear for activities ranging from snorkeling to jet skiing.

Finally, before you sign, get references from previous customers. While most large charter companies use well maintained, nearly new boats, some of the smaller charter companies use older fleets and may not maintain them well.

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