The Yacht Charter Experience
A yacht charter is a thrilling vacation choice where you explore by yacht many islands and ports in one vacation. Choose to sail yourself on a bareboat, hire a skipper or join a flotilla, there are many different ways to enjoy a yacht charter.
You can also choose to book a luxury fully crewed yacht. Not sure of the difference?
Read more here.
A bareboat charter means you rent your own monohull or catamaran yacht and sail without any professional crew onboard. The yacht is ‘bare’ of supplies and you are responsible for everything on the yacht including sailing, cooking, cleaning and the safety of the passengers onboard. Bareboat charter is ideal for groups of friends or family who want to go it alone and explore on their own itinerary.
As a bareboat charter but with a professional skipper onboard. Professional skippers offer much more than sailing the yacht, they are the host to the country you are sailing in and can provide the local knowledge enabling you to really experience the local culture and highlights of each destination. Chartering a yacht with a skipper is a great idea if you are a new or uncertified sailor planning your first yacht charter holiday or an experienced sailor who would like a more relaxing charter experience.
A flotilla is where you bareboat charter your own yacht, but follow a lead yacht on a pre-determined itinerary. A flotilla is a sailing holiday aboard your own yacht, with the safety and local knowledge of a lead yacht crew – as well as a fun race each day! A flotilla is ideal if you seek an informative guided and safe vacation following a lead yacht on a planned itinerary.
Booking a yacht with Poseidon Charters
We offer a huge selection of yachts from many fleets to ensure you have a great choice, advise on the best yacht as well as ensure you receive the latest up to date information about each yacht. Our knowledge of Greek, Croatian, French Polynesian and Caribbean waters means we can discuss the islands with you in detail prior to boarding so you arrive with knowledge and itinerary ideas. All charter funds are 100% protected by our licensed and bonded charter agency.
Monohull or catamaran charter
A monohull has one wide hull with cabins accessed from a main salon area below deck, the cabins tend to fill the front and the back of the space. Monohulls are made for great sailing and have a deep heavy keel under the water so are very stable even when healing over.
A catamaran has two hulls with cabins in the side hulls or pontoons. The hulls are joined together by a central large area in the middle, an exterior seated area at the back and in some cases netted trampoline areas at the front. Catamarans are great for the fun social space but they don’t sail as well and can be a little bouncy.
The minimum charter period is typically 7-nights in high season. In mid and low season less than 7-nights may be possible.
Standard inventory of a charter yacht
A full inventory for an individual yacht will be provided upon quoting. What is included will vary per yacht but as a guide a charter yacht will include: a dinghy; full cruising area charts and cruising guide or pilot book; navigational equipment (binoculars, hand compass and course plotting equipment); initial full tank of water, fuel and cooking gas; VHF radio; autopilot; electric anchor windlass; wind instruments; furling or battened mainsail furling genoa sail; bimini for cockpit shade (racing yachts have a boom awning); transom; galley equipment (cooking and eating utensils); standard safety equipment (navigational and first aid); bed linen and towels; FM radio; CD player; dodger; berthing fees at home port.
Some yachts may also include: GPS (plotter); cabin fans; cabin reading lights; BBQ; outboard engine; snorkeling equipment; cockpit cushions; spray hood; snorkel equipment and beach towels.
Not included in the cost of a yacht charter
There are quite a few extras to pay in addition to the cost of a yacht such as: port fees, anchor and mooring fees; water, fuel and electricity costs; provisions for the boat and all meals onshore. There could also be skipper or crew fees; flotilla fees; gratuities for professional crew or flotilla crew. All costs outside of the charter need to considered too such as flights and transfers; all land excursions, hotels, transport, car hire; meals; cancellation and medical insurance.
Charter terms explained
Contract: Whenever you charter a yacht, you will sign a charter contract. The contract will outline your terms and conditions of charter with the owner of the yacht. The contract is to be signed upon booking.
Insurance, security deposit or waiver: All yachts require a security deposit, damage waiver payment or a combination of both to insure them while on charter. A refundable security deposit is authorized by credit card or left in cash upon arrival at the base. The amount is a deductible and any damage to the yacht will be deducted up to the total amount authorized. A damage waiver is a non-refundable charge based on a smaller per day amount. It is charged even if no damages occur to the yacht, however it offers piece of mind that even if the yacht is a right off after damages, you will only incur that cost. Damage waiver payments can greatly reduce or eliminate the security deposit amount. Full insurance details will be provided with a quotation for any yacht.
End-cleaning or charter pack: This is a one off fee. In some instances it can be paid in advance and will have a mandatory starter pack added on which will include some basic supplies.
Fuel: Is not included in yacht charter pricing. A yacht is provided full of fuel at the start of a charter and you will be expected to refuel upon arrival back at the base at the end of the charter. You can pay by credit card.
Water: Fresh water is not included in a yacht charter pricing. Yacht water tanks will be full upon arrival and you will need to fill as you go along. The yacht can be returned with empty water tanks.
Transit Log: This an administration fee charged in Croatia and is normally paid with end cleaning either in advance or upon arrival at the base.
Tourist tax or cruising tax: This is a tax per person normally added in Croatia and Caribbean destinations. It is paid upon arrival at the base or in some instances paid in advance with the yacht price.
Outboard: Some yachts include an outboard engine free of charge and for others there is an additional charge. You can expect to pay approximately Euro 95 per week in Europe. For Caribbean and other tropical destinations outboards tend to be included in the yacht prices.
One-way fees: In some destinations it is possible to pick up and drop off a yacht at different bases. There will be a one-way fee added to the yacht price. Yachts joining a flotilla may not be able to do a one way drop off.
Skipper fees: Professional skipper fees are charged by the day and you will be expected to cover all meal costs for the skipper in addition to the daily fee. You can expect to pay around Euro 180 per day in Europe, USD 200 in the Caribbean and USD 250 in the Pacific. The skipper will require his own cabin but can share a washroom. Gratuity is at your discretion but a suggested amount would be around Euro 200 per week in the Med and USD 250 per per week in the Caribbean and Pacific.
Crew list: You will be asked to complete a document detailing names, passport details and date of births of everyone on the boat with you. This information is provided to the Port Authority as a legal document for souls onboard a boat.
To charter and sail a yacht yourself it is necessary to have experience and/or sailing certificates.
Mediterranean: To charter a yacht in the Mediterranean there must be at least one certified skipper and one experienced first mate on a charter yacht. As a yacht skipper, you are required to have a sailing license or a certificate from a recognized sailing school such as:
RYA: Royal Yachting Association / ASA: American Sailing Association / Intermediate Cruising Standard – Sail Canada / YA – Yachting Australia /ISPA – International Sail and Power Academy
The level of qualification required is a keelboat bareboat certification such as RYA Coastal Skipper, CYA Intermediate, ASA104 and you need to bring your original certificates with you. In addition to the above requirements you are required to have a VHF operator’s license to charter a yacht in Croatia. Sailing resumes and powerboat operators card are not sufficient to rent a sailing yacht in the Med.
The newly recognized and now preferred certificate is the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) or IPC in the United States. The certificate is becoming the worldwide recognized standard with European governments and charter companies. You will need to have one of the above certificates or pass a practical exam and make an application to be issued an ICC certificate. The sailing schools listed above are able to provide the practical exam and the application for ICC. You can find out more about the ICC on the RYA’s section of the ICC – International Certificate of Competence
Caribbean and the Pacific: Currently you are not required to present any formal sailing certification to charter a yacht in the Caribbean or the Pacific. It is normal that you are required to complete a sailing resume only. Should it be felt that your experience is not sufficient then you may be asked to have a skipper onboard with you for the first day of your charter.
IALA Buoyage system
For the sake of maintaining uniformity in buoyage system worldwide, IALA divided the world into two regions – Region A and Region B.
Region A: includes Europe, the Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, the Gulf and some Asian countries. Red right leaving.
Region B: includes North, South, Central America, Japan, Korea and the Philippines. Red right return.
Mediterranean: To allow for more yachts in the tiny ports, sailors do Mediterranean Mooring by dropping anchor and backing stern-to the wharf in the harbours. Some harbours offer lazy lines – fixed underwater moorings with access lines on the wharf. There are no mooring balls and dropping anchor off shore is limited, as it is often too deep to anchor safely.
Caribbean: Along the Bahamas and Caribbean archipelagoes there are many well-organized marinas offering berths and services ashore for yachtsman. There are also thousands of anchorages. In order to protect the marine environment from anchors, some areas provide mooring balls designed for different sized yachts. Sailors can tie off to these mooring balls and make payment to a local representative. Lines ashore are also used sometimes so boats do not swing overnight. In other cases private charter companies have installed mooring balls for their charter guests.
Pacific: French Polynesia provides well-organized marinas offering berths and services ashore. There are many anchorages – in order to protect the marine environment from anchors, in some areas there are mooring balls provided by the local authorities designed for different sized yachts. Sailors can tie off to the mooring ball and make payment to a local representative. In other cases, private charter companies have installed mooring balls for their charter guests.
Port fees are paid locally so not included in the charter rate.