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What are the rules for chartering a yacht in the USA?

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What are the rules for chartering a yacht in the USA?

sailboat charter requirements

By Editorial Team |   10 March 2022 2022-03-10

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The USA boasts some of the most diverse cruising grounds in the world, attracting superyachts from far and wide to its glittering shores. If you are keen to discover more about what this amazing country can offer for a yacht charter , there are some important factors to bear in mind first.

In this article:

Types of charters in the US

Crewed charters, bareboat charters, bareboat charter agreements, tax implications for the charterer, need more advice.

There are certain legal fundamentals of chartering a yacht in US waters which you may not be aware of. So, before you go ahead and book your superyacht rental in the United States, here’s what you need to know.

Without getting too bogged down in the legal minutae, simply put, yacht brokers operate two main types of charter agreements in the US; time/voyage (aka crewed or commercial) charter agreements and bareboat/demise charter agreements.

Deckhands keeping watch on a charter yacht

This type of charter agreement is operated for a specific  time or voyage . In general, the following applies;

  • The yacht is deemed as being operated commercially
  • The owner is considered to be carrying passengers for hire 
  • The owner maintains primary possession of the yacht
  • One contract agreement 

To legally operate crewed charters in US waters, the yacht must be; 

  • US flagged, and
  • Hold a coastwise endorsement 

To be eligible for a Coastwise endorsement, the yacht must either have been: 

  • Built in the US, or if foreign built;
  • Must be granted with a MURAD Waiver.

To be eligible for this waiver, a yacht must be more than 3 years old and owned by a US citizen or US entity (dependant on how it is structured)

A US Flag flying on the back of a yacht

Rules for crewed charters

  • Can only carry a maximum of 12 passengers
  • May not conduct commercial fishing, towing, salvage, or carry cargo for hire

The obvious benefit to crewed charters is that the owner is wholly responsible for the yacht throughout the duration of the charter.

These types of charters are similar to those you would undertake, say in the Mediterranean or Caribbean , in that you are renting a yacht with crew for a specific voyage or length of time.

Charter guests jump off the aft deck of a foreign-flagged sailing yacht in the USA

All yachts that do not qualify under the commercial charter rules and wish to cruise in US waters are considered bareboat (aka demise) charters. 

This type of charter operates as follows;

  • Applies to all foreign-flagged or foreign-built yachts not entitled to a MURAD Waiver
  • Permitted to conduct charters in US waters, and between US ports
  • The yacht is not legally considered as being used for commercial purposes

Rules for bareboat charters

  • The charterer takes over the entire yacht without crew, therefore deemed to be operating as the owner for the duration of the charter
  • The charterer is also responsible for the hiring of crew, in which the yacht's owner must have no involvement
  • Two separate contracts are drawn up: one for hiring the yacht and one for the crew

Yachts moored in Florida

In essence, a bareboat charter agreement’s main characteristic is that it places possession of the vessel in the hands of the charter party at the time the charter starts. In legal terms, this means the owner relinquishes “possession, command and navigation of the vessel” as to be “tantamount to, although just short of, an outright transfer of ownership.” 

The owner must also have no involvement in the crew selection, nor any ties to any company selecting the crew, which could be construed as enacting a measure of control over the yacht and thus contravene the rules of this type of charter.

The charterer in effect assumes all responsibility for the vessel and its activities – including an obligation to maintain or repair the yacht and return it in the same condition as it was at the beginning of their charter period. 

They are also responsible for crew selection and their remuneration for the duration of the charter.

Tax may also be due depending on the type of charter. For example, a yacht undertaking a crewed charter originating in Palm Beach, Florida will have no additional tax to pay. However, for a bareboat charter, tax will be liable at 7% of the value of the charter.

There may be other potential duties payable, which can vary from state to state. 

Overall, there are distinct benefits for chartering a US-flagged, or eligible, vessel. However, charterers with their heart set on a foreign-flagged yacht can still enjoy cruising the various destinations in the US, they simply need to understand the laws and what's at stake beforehand.

Planning ahead is key. This is where a good charter broker comes in, especially one with in-depth knowledge of the legal aspects of chartering foreign-flagged yachts in US waters.

Miami skyline at dusk

If you need any further advice regarding booking a superyacht rental in US waters, then please reach out to a recommended yacht charter broker  who will be more than happy to help.

To compare the complete market, take a look at all luxury yachts available for charter in the USA . 

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What Qualifications Do You Need to Charter a Yacht In 2024

What experience or qualifications do you need to charter a yacht.

The simplest answer, is that in some locations you don’t, in other jurisdictions you do.  In some cases there are flat regulations, in others they are dependant on the gross tonnage of the boat. Even if you meet the sailing qualifications you require to charter a yacht in that country, the operator may have further restrictions to protect their fleet and to comply with insurance criteria.

It’s clear what qualification you I need to charter a boat is one of our most frequently asked questions. We have written a detailed article here to guid you, but please don’r hesitate to reach out to us with any query.

What Experience Do I Need to Charter a Yacht?

This is one of our most frequently asked questions. and for good reason..

Whilst skippers and crew offer some great advantages when on a yacht charter, going solo is great too. So let’s start by breaking it down:

  • Comfort . What you are comfortable with. In most cases, you will be responsible for other people, and let’s not forget someone else’s boat.
  • Charter Area . We rate our charter areas into 5 categories, from easiest, to the tricky. For those interested, the Ionian in Greece would be one of the easiest, sailing the English Channel would be the hardest.
  • Charter Fleet Operator (CFO). These are the guys who are responsible and the insurance companies. Whatever your agent says, it is the CFO that makes the final decision.
  • No restrictions . Areas like the Caribbean spawned the expression “ Credit Card Captain “. Which means you just need to convince the operator, and off you go.
  • State Restrictions. Most countries have some kind of legislation. But as you want boats to come to your shores, regulations vary a lot.
  • EU Restrictions. Some countries in the EU have signed up the EU’s laws.

What’s Normally Required?

To skipper a bareboat charter yacht or participate in a flotilla, outside the Caribbean, you are likely to need a practical sailing certificate equivalent to RYA Day Skipper Practical , International Certificate of Competence (ICC), ASA 103, 104 or above.

For charters in Greece now, you required to hold an ICC certificate . You must also be assisted by a member of the crew who is over 18. They don’t need to have a formal sailing qualification but will be named in the books.

For charters in  Croatia, Malta and the Canaries , at least one member of the crew or the skipper will also need a  VHF licence .

If you wish to take part in a flotilla but do not have an RYA qualification then you may like to choose our ‘ Learn on flotilla ‘ option in the Ionian.

Alternatively, RYA qualifications can be obtained through RYA sailing schools in the UK or from one of our overseas centres in  Gibraltar ,  Greece ,  Turkey,  or  Croatia .

What qualification do I need to charter a yacht a table of general comparison of the global awarding bodies

What Experience or Qualifications do I Need to Charter a Yacht Quick Links

  • 1. What Can I Do With My Sailing Qualifications?
  • 2. Our Charter Qualification Service
  • 3. What Qualifications Do I Need to Charter a Yacht?

4. ICC Accepted Countries

5. countries requiring additional proof, 6. not adopted but accepted.

  • 7. What Qualifications Do I Need to Charter a Yacht – Inland Waterways

8. What Qualifications Do I Need to Charter a Yacht in Croatia

1. what can i do with my sailing qualification.

I have a sailing qualification, now where do I start?

So, if you have the experience and a qualification, then it’s likely you are going to be able to charter a yacht. The best option if you are looking for a yacht charter or flotilla , is to just ask.

Because the final answer and up to date requirements are always well-known by one of our agents and each  operator  – they always have the final decision.

2. Our charter qualification service

If we don’t know about a qualification – we know who does know and we can always ask.

We have never had a client refused at check-in, and we can ensure that it does not happen to you.

So, whether you are just curious, planning for the future, or looking to charter soon, figuring out qualifications is important.

So, we have created this simple article to help you understand what you are likely to need.

You check to see if you have the experience and qualifications required to charter a yacht

As we have pointed out, policies vary across countries and operators, so it makes sense to check. Whether you are a SailChecker customer or not, we will happily review your qualifications and experience.

3. What qualifications do I need to charter a yacht?

Recognised qualifications.

National Governing Bodies. The RYA is still the most globally recognised qualifications franchise. Other national frameworks such as the American Sailing Association ( ASA ) are all generally accepted worldwide.

International Certificate of Competency (ICC). In certain European countries, it is, in theory at least, mandatory to hold an International Certificate of Competency (ICC) if you want to bareboat charter a yacht. We discuss the relevance of that qualification here. It is a requirement for ALL Greek yacht charters.

Exceptions to ICC. There are notable exceptions, in Northern Europe and Scandinavia the ICC is generally not required; that said it is still best to check with the individual charter company before you book. For any SailChecker reliant on a resume of sailing, we will always check this out for you and advise you accordingly.

The ICC is Resolution 40 passed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). In essence, the ICC is designed to provide the documentary assurance, from one country to another, that the holder meets the levels of competence laid down in the Resolution.

The following countries have adopted Resolution 40 and officially accept the ICC as proof of boating competence within their territory:

  • Czech Republic
  • Netherlands
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

What Qualifications Do I Need to Charter a Yacht?

The following have again not officially adopted Resolution 40 but usually require some other proof of boating competence before allowing a bareboat charter:

  • Russian Federation
  • United States

The following have not officially adopted Resolution 40 but do accept ICC’s for use in their territorial waters:

7. What Qualifications Do I Need to Charter a Yacht - Inland Waterways

Inland waterways generally require an ICC with CEVNI (Code European Des Voies De Navigation Interieure (Revision 2)) inland endorsement. You will normally need to pass an examination to get an INLAND endorsement on an IYT International Certificate of Competence to operate a boat on European waterways. We always recommend researching the regulations contained in the European Code for Inland Waterways yourself and take the CEVNI examination and/or attend a suitable course.

One of the most tricky places to charter is Croatia. You can download an exhaustive list of all accepted qualifications in Croatia below. They have just updated in 2020 for new accepted qualifications.

Check it out click here to download the authorised list of qualifications require in Croatia.


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sailboat charter requirements

A Beginner’s Guide to Chartering a Yacht

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With the pandemic driving a boom in superyacht charters , more and more people are taking to the water for their first yachting experience. But while some superyachts can cost more than a million a week to charter, you don’t need to outlay seven figures for your own yachting vacation.

Wondering what else you need to know before stepping on board for the very first time? We’ve turned to experts in the yachting industry for their insider intel on how to charter a yacht like a pro—from how much it will run you, to where to go, and well beyond. Read on.

Do I need a charter broker, and how do I find one?

It’s a charter broker’s job to match you with the right yacht and crew—and then take the lead in planning the entire experience. Professional bodies such as MYBA The Worldwide Yachting Association act as a database of industry-recognized professionals. But the best source for finding a charter broker is often your own network. “Building up a relationship with a charter broker is very important,” says Jacqui Lockhart, a Monaco-based broker at Camper & Nicholsons International . “If possible, look for a recommendation from a friend.”

Once you’ve found the right broker, communication with them will be key. “Take the time to be as detailed with your preferences, such as dietary requirements, likes and dislikes, and preferred activities, as possible,” says London-based broker Charles Crane of Edmiston . “This will give us and the crew the best information to make the charter a success and tailored to perfection.”

How much should I be prepared to spend?

“The entry point is around $40,000 for a week on a yacht 82-feet upwards that can sleep six people," says Lockhart. What can take first time charterers by surprise is that this isn’t an all-inclusive figure. “The charter fee covers the hire, the crew, the insurance—everything that’s linked to the yacht,” Lockhart continues. Anything specifically for the client is extra—including food and beverages, fuel, and dockage. As a rule of thumb, budget for an extra 30 percent on top of the baseline charter figure for these extras, which goes into a fund known as the Advanced Provisioning Allowance (APA). At the end of the charter, it is also customary to tip the crew; between 10 and 20 percent of the charter fee is a guideline figure. There may also be Value Added Tax (VAT) to pay on the charter rate, depending on the country of embarkation.

At the smaller end of the charter fleet, more opportunity exists for single-cabin bookings rather than whole yacht charters. This year in the Caribbean , Sheila Ruffin of Soca Yacht Charters has launched a “Stranger on the Seas” package. Prices start at around $6,000 per person—all-inclusive—on catamarans between 48 and 60 feet. “This allows couples the opportunity to mix and mingle with other couples for an adventurous and social yacht charter on the Caribbean Sea,” says Ruffin.

What destinations are best suited to first-time charterers?

“For first-timers, I wouldn’t recommend a remote destination,” says Captain Kelly Gordon of Freddy , a 106-foot charter yacht based out of the Bahamas . “When it’s hard to get to, that eats up some of your valuable time and can also take some of the fun out of it.”

While yachts are heading towards unchartered waters such as Antarctica with increasing frequency, cruising grounds in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean are classic destinations for a reason. “For the first-time charterer in these locations, there will be more yacht options to choose from, proven cruising grounds with known and safe anchorages, well-connected and easy access hubs to ensure smooth passage to embark and disembark the vessel as well as the ability to source most provisions that guests may want,” says Crane.

The key ingredient? The crew.

Although much of the focus is on securing the right yacht, the secret to the success of a charter is its crew. “Put simply, the crew make the difference between a good charter yacht and a bad one,” says Crane. Today’s crew are increasingly versatile. “They may also be a diving or yoga instructor, personal trainer, fisherman, or sommelier,” he continues.

The crew also knows your cruising area better than anyone else. “Be sure to pick their brain on fun things to do. They often love the opportunity to come up with fun activities and games, whether for kids or adults,” says Lotte Barker-Hahlo, a London-based charter broker at Burgess .

The level of hospitality from crew on most yachts often convert first-time charters into repeat customers. “The attention to detail from the crew is unsurpassed by any other luxury holiday,” says Barker-Hahlo. “From the unpacking of your suitcase to being offered a drink before you’ve even realized you’re thirsty, it’s 24-hour care and service.”

Gordon says that much of the feedback she receives at the end of a first-time charter is why didn’t we do this earlier? “People are always surprised at how we take the time to get to know their needs before they have even arrived. We really do study those preference sheets!”

Think carefully about who else you want on board

Another important factor to a successful yacht vacation? Your fellow travelers. This is a specific type of vacation, which should narrow your list of invitees. “Strongly consider who you vacation with when chartering a yacht,” urges Ruffin. “Unlike other vacation options, yachts are very intimate and exclusive. Choose to share your water adventure with those you like and will enjoy on the water for a week or more.” Maybe, even for veteran yachties, that's the sagest advice of all.

sailboat charter requirements

  • Minimum Qualifications For Bareboat Chartering

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Minimum qualifications for bareboat chartering

Yachts and Catamarans are expensive pieces of kit, so it’s no surprise that the people who own them expect you to have some sort of sailing qualification before they hand over the keys...

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 Sailing qualifications 

As each country has their own official yacht or maritime institution, training qualifications vary depending upon where you are from, but the table below gives a list of minimum qualifications required to charter either a sailing yacht or catamaran.

In addition to the local qualifications, there are two key international training schemes, which are available in most countries – regulated by the RYA and the IYT. If you have an RYA Day Skipper (or above) or IYT Bareboat Skipper (or above), then you are also qualified to charter a yacht or catamaran. Many local qualification board also issue 'ICC' (International Certificate of Competence') qualifications, which are also accepted internationally.

Qualifying through experience

In the Caribbean, some yacht charter operators allow you to charter a yacht if you can demonstrate you have sufficient experience at sea. In Greece, Croatia and the Med, this is not ordinarily possible.

What Qualifications Do I Need to Charter a Yacht?

In this post we look at what qualifications you need to skipper a bareboat yacht charter. There are several certificates available, such as the ICC, from the Royal Yachting Association. Requirements vary from country to country so please check the list in the article below. You can also find some information about how to get a yacht license, and how long it takes to learn to sail.

The thrill of embarking on a great ocean adventure is second to none. If you’re planning a first-time charter trip and new on the sailing scene, you’re probably realizing there’s a heap of information to filter through. For starters, novice sailors in the early stages of planning often ask themselves “what qualifications do I need to charter a yacht?” To ensure the safety, comfort, and enjoyment of everyone aboard, it’s important that this question be answered accurately and specifically before you set sail. That’s where we come in!

What Qualifications Do You Need to Sail a Yacht?

Thinking about pushing off on your own into the big blue? Awesome! Chartering a yacht is a relatively straight forward process, however qualifications vary based on which country you want to sail in. Above all, proven experience is the highest qualification you can possess when it comes to bareboat charter.

A charter company is likely to feel more comfortable renting to someone who demonstrates competence and a license, as opposed to someone with a license but very little experience. There are some charter companies that will rent to anyone regardless of qualifications or experience, however keep in mind that you’ll likely face the consequences if something goes wrong, so please be careful.

Additionally, some countries and regions do require an official license and you won’t be able to travel their seas without it. The best bet is to check the specific country requirements or ask Boataffair to review your qualifications and weigh in.

Do I Need a License to Sail a Yacht?

It depends. There’s no cut-and-dry answer to this question; whether or not you need a license to sail a yacht is contingent upon your location. Some local authorities and charter companies require you to have official certifications to sail their waters. In other countries, you may just need to prove that you know what you’re doing, i.e. provide a sailing resume to showcase your sailing experience. Sometimes you’ll need to provide both a formal certificate and proof of experience.

In some scenarios you may find that first-hand knowledge trumps an official certification. As previously mentioned, experience goes a long way in getting a charter company to trust you as a competent skipper. But remember, it’s never good practice to exaggerate the depth of your practical knowledge.

The best way to approach this question is to focus on the region you plan to explore and research the local regulations adhered to by marine authorities. Below, we’ll look at which popular destinations require you to have a license to sail a yacht, and how to get a license if you need it:

United States/Caribbean

In the United States, there are several states that don’t have any legal requirements for boat operators, however this is not the norm for the rest of the country. Most states do at least mandate a boat safety course, oftentimes depending on the operator’s age. It’s a good idea to look into individual state requirements before planning a trip. If you plan to navigate down to the Caribbean, a sailing resume should be prepared although no official certifications are required. Be ready to answer some competency questions related to handling tidal ranges and currents, safely navigating reefs, and what to do if a squall suddenly pops up.


Sailing the inland waterways of Europe and around the Mediterranean require an International Certificate of Competence (ICC) or the RYA Day Skipper certification . Failure to produce proper documentation to authorities upon request could result in a fine or your vessel being impounded. Charter companies will ask for this certificate as well as your boating experience. You can apply for your ICC here .

United Kingdom

Although part of Europe, the U.K. differs to the mainland continent when it comes to yacht charter qualifications. In fact, no formal licensing is needed to sail the U.K.’s offshore waters. However, if you’re planning any inland waterway discoveries (e.g. The Broads), you’ll need a Boat Safety Scheme Certificate (BSSC) and boat insurance. If you’re tempted to hop over to France once you charter a boat in the U.K., remember that you’ll need the ICC first.

Similar to the U.S., Australia’s yacht qualifications change depending on the territory. In Queensland, no boat license is needed. Some basic boat knowledge is expected. Victoria is another story. This territory does ask skippers to have a  marine license . Make sure to check the regulations in whichever territory you plan to visit.

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia remains one of the more elusive charter destinations due to the region’s often- perceived complicated requirements. But don’t worry, there’s almost always a work around. For  example, while Indonesian and Thai regulations sound confusing, Boataffair can help you clear the obstacles and get you on your way – as long as you’re a competent boat operator. Typically, an ICC (not always necessary) coupled with adequate experience is enough to get you a charter in Southeast Asia. It’s wise to consult the charter company via Boataffair to find out if your documents and boating knowledge is up to par.

In short, it’s a good idea to obtain a certificate and formal training before chartering your own yacht. The safety of you, your passengers, and the boat is your responsibility when you get behind the wheel.

How to Get a Yacht License

If you’ve got some experience, but no credentials to back it up, you’re probably wondering how to get a yacht license. Below you’ll find some information on starting that process. 

The ICC is one of the most recognised competency certificates out there and is a good starting point for novice sailors. The ICC—a set of standards created by the United Nations under Resolution 40 and signed by mostly European countries—is basically an assurance from one government to another that the person captaining the boat is competent to do so. If you’re eligible for an ICC , earning this certificate requires passing a one day assessment administered by a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) instructor. Upon successful completion, the ICC qualifies the certificate holder to captain a sailboat up to 24 meters and/or a powerboat up to 10 meters. 

Procedures differ slightly for U.S. and Canadian citizens because these countries did not sign the Resolution 40. Americans and Canadians can still obtain an ICC, but it must be done in one of the three RYA’s North American locations; Florida, Toronto, or Halifax. If this isn’t possible, NauticEd offers an equivalent certificate accepted by every charter company and port authority in the Mediterranean; the Sailing License and Credentials (SLC).

How Long Does It Take to Learn to Sail?

If it’s your first time chartering a yacht in a destination that doesn’t require a license and you don’t have the experience or the certificates, is it possible to learn to sail in a couple hours before you shove off?

This is a question many beginners ask, and the answer is yes. Basic lessons can be completed before setting sail. Check in with Boataffair to ask if they can connect you with some local on-site lessons.

If you’re playing the long game (i.e. determined to perfect the art of sailing), RYA and the American Sailing Association (ASA) provide ample courses and certificates necessary to reach your A game.  


So in summary, there’s no clear-cut answer when it comes to charter qualifications or license requirements; it depends on location, type of boat, local authorities and the decision of the individual charter company.

We recommend independently researching the requirements and qualifications you need to charter a yacht in the specific destination before you go. If you’re unsure, reach out to us here at Boataffair, and we will happily dig deeper and provide clarity on the technicalities that cause confusion!

You can email us at  [email protected]  if you have any questions about charter yacht skipper qualifications.

What Qualifications Do I Need to Charter a Yacht?

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sailboat charter requirements

Bareboat Charter Requirements

bareboat chartering certification

Do you need help? Feel free to contact us! We are here to help you.

sailboat charter requirements

Sean Taylor

+30 2111980073

Bareboat charters are an exciting way to discover the open seas alone without anyone else having a say in your sail. However, there are some requirements when it comes to hiring a bareboat charter that you should be aware of before you book anything.

At, we’re well-versed in the rules for leasing a bareboat charter throughout the Mediterranean. To fill you in on all the need-to-know information about this type of charter, we’ve designed this in-depth guide with all the important requirements.

Who Can Hire a Bareboat Charter?

It’s important to know that not just anyone can hire a bareboat charter. After all, you are going to be out in the sea alone, so the countries you’re sailing around want to know you’re not a hazard and can trust that you won’t send a help signal.

In most country’s waters, you’ll need at least valid bareboat charter certification to prove you can operate a boat. Some countries may ask you for proof of experience as well, but it depends on the place.

Countries usually base their requirements on the sailing conditions in certain waters and will apply a level to it that a sailor needs to meet. Most places like Croatia and Greece have this level, but it depends on the ocean.

If you want to sail in level 1 waters, these are the requirements:

  • valid International Certificate of Competence (ICC) ,RYA Day Skipper or ISSA
  • Proof of at least 100 completed miles or 5 days on a vessel the size you’re hoping to hire.
  • An understanding of the up-to-date information regarding sailing charts.

There are some level 2 waters around parts of the Mediterranean in countries like Spain and Greece. If you’re considering sailing through them, this is what you’ll need:

  • Proof of at least 200 completed miles or 10 days on a vessel the size you’re hoping to hire.
  • A valid International Certificate of Competence (ICC) ,RYA Day Skipper or ISSA
  • An understanding of the up-to-date information regarding sailing charts and tidal flow.

While these are the rules for level 1 and level 2 sea conditions, there are some additional regulations that you must know, including:

  • There must be one person over 18 years old who can operate the vessel.
  • An original copy of your skipper’s license must always be on hand when sailing.
  • When sailing in Greece, you should have someone at a ‘competent crew’ level on board.
  • When sailing in Croatia , you’ll need to have a VHF Radio Operators License.
  • The skipper who’s in charge of operating the vessel needs to be able to handle the boat in all types of situations, like mooring and anchoring.

Essential Documents

If you’re considering chartering a boat with, you’ll need the following documents:

  • A valid International Certificate of Competence (ICC),RYA Day Skipper or ISSA
  • A VHF Radio Operators License (for Croatia).
  • Proof of past experience such as past rental documents outlining the amount of time you spent sailing.

Choosing the Right Bareboat Charter

Once you fill in the requirements to hire a bareboat charter with, your next job will be to choose the right vessel for your cruise.

We offer a variety of options, which you can choose from based on your personal preferences. Some of these include:

If you like the sound of something speedy, easy to operate, and cheap on the wallet, a monohull will be an excellent option for you.

While the location from which you want to rent the boat does impact the total price, you can expect to pay around €3,000 a week during the off-season for a monohull boat. If there’s a high demand for monohulls at the time of rent, the prices can far exceed those in the low season to more than €5500.

For something a little fancier, look at our catamaran boats, which exude luxury with their trendy designs and stylish furnishings that will make you feel like you’re in a floating hotel.

Remember, catamarans are bigger than any of our other boats, so you’ll need a valid bareboat license to operate something this size.

A week’s rental in a catamaran will set you back at least €2500 a week, but this figure can go up much more, sometimes to over €7500; that’s why booking far in advance is key. Everyone wants to sail on a catamaran: they’re the big thing at the moment. So, if your bareboat charter license doesn’t cover you for one, you can always opt for a crewed charter costing more than €10,000 per week.

Our motorboats may be small, but they’re mightier than ever with their rapid pace that’s superb for tackling the shallow seas and secluded inlets of the dreamy Mediterranean. If you’re sailing with a smaller group, there are no better options. Based on your style of trip, we can tailor it to your needs, with multiple and single-room options available.

Take on the waves of the Mediterranean in one of our hand-built wooden gulets famed for their unique design with multiple masts. Featuring huge open-air deck spaces and plenty of relaxation areas to soak up the high temperatures, a vessel like this will set you up perfectly for exploring the high seas.

Final Words – Bareboat Charter at

There you have it; we’ve broken down all the yacht charter requirements for anyone hoping to rent a bareboat charter. As you can see, there are some boxes you’ll need to tick as a sailor to get permission to sail on your own, but once you do, you’re free to go wherever you like without disturbance.

Now that you know what bareboat charter qualifications you need for chartering a yacht, you can move on to the next step and choose the type of boat you want from . All you have to do is get in touch with our team, let us know the dates you’re interested in hiring, and pick a boat that suits you.

In no time, you’ll be behind the rudder, and your only problem will be deciding where you want to sail next.

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Frequently Asked Questions

" class="elementor-tab-title" data-tab="1" role="button" aria-controls="elementor-tab-content-0" aria-expanded="false" tabindex="-1" aria-selected="false"> what do you need to charter a bareboat in the mediterranean.

If you want to charter a bareboat in the Mediterranean, you'll need at least an International Certificate of Competence (ICC) , RYA Day Skipper or ISSA and proof of experience. Depending on the seas you'll be sailing in, you may be subject to more requirements.

" class="elementor-tab-title" data-tab="2" role="button" aria-controls="elementor-tab-content-1" aria-expanded="false" tabindex="-1" aria-selected="false"> How Do I Know If My Sailing Skills Are Adequate for a Bareboat Charter?

While every sailor's skills will be different, there are certain experience requirements you need to fill based on the level of difficulty of the location. For example, those sailing in level 1 waters will need an understanding of the up-to-date information regarding sailing charts. If you're unsure of the requirements of where you want to sail, you can contact for more details.

" class="elementor-tab-title" data-tab="3" role="button" aria-controls="elementor-tab-content-2" aria-expanded="false" tabindex="-1" aria-selected="false"> Can I Charter a Bareboat Anywhere in the World?

Yes, it's possible to charter a bareboat anywhere in the world. However, the costs will vary depending on where you want to hire it; rental companies in each country set their own prices.

" class="elementor-tab-title" data-tab="4" role="button" aria-controls="elementor-tab-content-3" aria-expanded="false" tabindex="-1" aria-selected="false"> What Is Required to Qualify for a Bareboat Charter?

All you need to hire a bareboat charter is an official International Certificate of Competence (ICC), RYA Day Skipper or ISSA license and some documentation to prove you can operate a boat alone without any help from another skipper. As long as you have all these things, you'll qualify for a bareboat charter.

" class="elementor-tab-title" data-tab="5" role="button" aria-controls="elementor-tab-content-4" aria-expanded="false" tabindex="-1" aria-selected="false"> Do I Need a Sailing License for a Bareboat Charter?

Yes, you need a sailing license for a bareboat charter in most countries. However, there are some places around the world where you might not need one. You'll need a bareboat captain license to hire a charter anywhere in the Mediterranean.

" class="elementor-tab-title" data-tab="6" role="button" aria-controls="elementor-tab-content-5" aria-expanded="false" tabindex="-1" aria-selected="false"> What Documents Do I Need for a Bareboat Charter?

The only documents you need to hire a bareboat charter with include a valid International Certificate of Competence (ICC) or an RYA Day Skipper license and a copy of proof that you can operate the vessel we're leasing to you.

" class="elementor-tab-title" data-tab="7" role="button" aria-controls="elementor-tab-content-6" aria-expanded="false" tabindex="-1" aria-selected="false"> What Size Boat Should I Choose?

You should choose a boat the size you're comfortable sailing. If you've never operated a big boat before, it's best you stick to the size that you've sailed in the past. Across the countries in the Mediterranean, there are some rules about the boat size you can operate. For example, for sailing in level 1 waters, you need proof of at least 100 completed miles or 5 days on a vessel the size you're hoping to hire.

" class="elementor-tab-title" data-tab="8" role="button" aria-controls="elementor-tab-content-7" aria-expanded="false" tabindex="-1" aria-selected="false"> Are There Any Specific Destinations That Have Stricter Requirements for Bareboat Charters?

While every country has its own rules for bareboat charters, for the most part, the countries in the Mediterranean have fair rules. However, certain countries' rules may be considered more strict than others, such as the requirement to hold a VHF Radio Operator's License when sailing in Croatian waters.

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Start Your Bareboat Charter Dream by Earning Sailing Certifications

  • By Theresa Nicholson
  • August 1, 2023

Charter education

What do I need to charter a sailboat? 

That’s one of the most common questions that ­prospective sailing-school students ask, says Jonathan Payne, executive director of the American Sailing Association .

“If someone wants to charter, they need to feel confident,” he says. “They should have confidence in their sailing skills, docking skills, and know how to troubleshoot an engine. They should have navigational skills to manage unfamiliar waters. And they should have minimal anxiety.”

Although some sailors may already have the chops needed to bareboat charter, many look to the ASA and US Sailing to gain the skills—and the paperwork—that charter companies around the world often require.

Basic Keelboat Sailing (ASA 101), Basic Coastal Cruising (ASA 103), and Bareboat Cruising (ASA 104) are the foundational courses for learning to sail and charter a sailboat. The ASA has over 400 schools around the world. Local and weekend classes are spread across six-week courses, while destination schools in Caribbean hotspots offer seven-day liveaboard training.

US Sailing , the national governing body for the sport of sailing, offers similar building-block tracks: Basic Keelboat, Basic Cruising and Bareboat Cruising. 

“Our students are often people who want to explore the world under sail and visit destinations you can get to only by boat,” says Beth Oliver, vice president and director of sales and marketing at Offshore Sailing School, which offers one-week training courses in Florida and the British Virgin Islands where students earn US Sailing certifications for boats up to 50 feet.

While many US-based charter companies do not require a ­specific license and will look at training along with a sailing résumé, most charter firms in European waters require an International Certificate of Competence, or ICC. US sailors can apply for the similar International Proficiency Certificate once they have completed bareboat-cruising classes. Many international charter companies accept the IPC, but sailors should check ahead of time. Understanding the process, selecting a course, and choosing where to train can be confusing. Companies that offer classes can help narrow the options. 

“When someone interested in a charter calls, we discuss options and steer them in the direction we think is right for them,” says Amanda Kurland, charter sales representative for Sunsail and The Moorings. These sister companies offer numerous choices. “The Moorings offers Royal Yachting Association courses in the Med and Offshore Sailing School courses in the BVI,” Kurland says. Sunsail has destination sailing schools in the United Kingdom, Croatia, Greece, Australia and Grenada. These are destination schools where a week of sail training is often part of a long-planned vacation.

Blue Water Sailing School , an ASA-certified company based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, offers destination charters closer to home. All levels of classes are available in Florida, Rhode Island, the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas. The (relatively) close offerings might appeal to sailors who aren’t ready to commit to a week in Dubrovnik.

“We try to get people to the point where they are confident enough to take their family out for a daysail or, more advanced, maybe take a boat and live aboard for a week,” says Blue Water owner David Pyle.

West Coast Multihulls in San Diego operates a sailing school with training exclusively on multihulls. Students who complete ASA 101,103 and 104 can take ASA 114—the Cruising Catamaran Certification—a five-day liveaboard class offered around Catalina Island and in the Sea of Cortez.

For all types of sailors, once the foundational training and courses are complete, the world really is your oyster. US Sailing and the ASA offer auxiliary certifications on navigation and safety at sea, and advanced courses such as Offshore Passage Making. Barefoot Offshore Sailing School in St. Vincent and the Grenadines offered three trans-Atlantic courses in 2022 on board a Bali 4.1 catamaran. ASA and Sail Canada certifications were available on all three passages.

See the following pages for special charter education resources offering more information on sailing schools.

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Sail Away Blog

Charter a Sailboat: Cost, Prices, and Expenses Explained

Alex Morgan

sailboat charter requirements

Chartering a sailboat provides a unique and memorable experience of exploring the open waters at your own pace. The cost of chartering a sailboat can vary significantly depending on several factors. Understanding these factors and the different types of sailboat charter options available is essential for planning and budgeting your sailing adventure.

When it comes to the cost of chartering a sailboat, various factors come into play. The length of your charter, the size and type of the boat, the location and destination, and any additional services and amenities you require all affect the overall cost. A study conducted by Sailo, a leading boat rental marketplace, states that these factors can influence the cost of chartering a sailboat significantly.

There are different types of sailboat charter options available to suit your preferences and level of experience. The three main types include bareboat charter, skippered charter, and crewed charter. Each option varies in terms of the level of responsibility and support provided, with crewed charters offering the highest level of comfort and service.

To determine the cost breakdown of chartering a sailboat, it’s important to consider the base charter fee, which covers the rental cost of the boat itself. a security deposit may be required, which is refundable upon the safe return of the boat. It’s also essential to factor in additional expenses such as fuel, provisioning, mooring fees, and insurance.

Finding the best deals and discounts for sailboat charters can help reduce costs significantly. Shopping around, comparing prices, and booking during the off-peak season can often result in better rates. Some charter companies may offer promotions or last-minute deals , so staying updated and flexible with your travel plans can be advantageous .

For those on a tight budget, there are ways to make sailboat chartering more affordable. Opting for a smaller boat, chartering during the shoulder season, and considering shared charters or flotillas can help reduce costs. It’s also wise to plan and budget for additional expenses, such as meals and activities, to avoid any surprises.

Key takeaway:

  • Chartering a sailboat offers the flexibility to explore various destinations and enjoy a unique sailing experience.
  • The cost of chartering a sailboat depends on factors such as boat size, season, location, and additional services.
  • There are different types of sailboat charter options available, including bareboat, skippered, and crewed charters.
  • The cost breakdown of chartering a sailboat includes the base charter fee, security deposit, and additional expenses.
  • To find the best deals and discounts, it’s advisable to research and compare prices from different charter companies.
  • Tips for budget-friendly sailboat charter include booking during the off-season, opting for a smaller boat, and considering shared charters.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Chartering a Sailboat

When it comes to chartering a sailboat, the cost can vary depending on a few key factors. In this section, we’ll uncover the elements that influence the price of chartering a sailboat. From the size and type of the vessel to the season and duration of your trip, we’ll explore how these aspects play a role in determining the cost. We’ll delve into the impact of the location and destination, as well as any additional services and amenities you may opt for. Get ready to set sail and discover what affects the price of your dream sailboat charter !

Boat Size and Type

When choosing a sailboat for chartering, consider your needs and preferences. Smaller boats, like catboats and daysailers ( 17-22 feet ), offer an intimate and agile experience. For more space and comfort, sloops and weekenders ( 23-27 feet ) are suitable options. Cruisers and cabin sailboats ( 28-32 feet ) provide extra amenities and room for overnight stays. Midsize cruisers ( 33-37 feet ) offer a good balance of space and maneuverability. Large cruisers ( 38-45 feet ) provide even more luxury and spaciousness. For ultimate luxury, choose a luxury yacht ( 46+ feet ). Your choice of sailboat depends on your specific desires and requirements for your chartering experience.

Season and Duration

The season and duration are key factors to keep in mind when chartering a sailboat. During popular seasons like summer or holidays, the demand for sailboats increases, resulting in higher charter costs. In addition, longer durations of sailboat charters tend to be more expensive compared to shorter periods.

The cost of chartering a sailboat can vary depending on both the season and duration . For example, chartering a sailboat during the peak summer season may cost approximately 20% more compared to the off-peak season. Likewise, a week-long charter may cost approximately 30% more than a weekend charter.

Certain charter companies provide discounts for off-peak seasons or longer durations. For instance, you might come across a 10% discount when booking a sailboat charter during the shoulder season or a 15% discount when booking a charter for two weeks or more .

To secure the best deals and save money on sailboat charters, it is advised to consider booking during shoulder seasons . It is recommended to keep an eye out for special promotions and discounts offered by charter companies. Planning your trip in advance and maintaining flexibility with your travel dates can also aid in finding better deals.

When deciding on the season and duration for chartering a sailboat, it is crucial to align your budget and personal preferences . Whether you opt for the peak or off-peak season , and whether you choose a longer or shorter duration , ensure that it aligns with your desired experience and financial goals.

Location and Destination

When choosing a sailboat charter location, consider the following factors:

  • Accessibility: Choose a location easily accessible to you and your group, considering proximity to airports or transportation hubs.
  • Weather: Research destination weather conditions during your planned trip for favorable sailing conditions and seasons.
  • Scenery: Select a location with picturesque landscapes and scenic routes to enhance your sailing experience and provide beautiful views.
  • Water conditions: Consider water conditions such as currents, tides, and waves. Opt for calm waters if you’re a beginner or seeking a relaxed sailing experience.
  • Attractions and activities: Look for a destination with a variety of attractions and activities on land and at sea to ensure a memorable and enjoyable vacation.
  • Infrastructure and services: Check if the destination has adequate marinas, facilities, and services for sailboat charters. Ensure access to necessary supplies and support during your trip.

Fun Fact: The Caribbean, with its turquoise waters and stunning islands, is a popular destination for sailboat charters.

Additional Services and Amenities

When chartering a sailboat, you have the option to choose additional services and amenities . Here are some options to consider:

  • Crewed services: Opt for a crewed charter for a relaxed and luxurious experience. Professional crew members, such as a captain, chef, and deckhands, will take care of everything from navigation to cooking .
  • Provisioning: Save time and effort by using provisioning services to pre-order groceries and supplies for your trip.
  • Water Toys: Enjoy additional amenities like paddleboards, kayaks, snorkeling gear, and jet skis for your sailing adventure.
  • WiFi and Entertainment Systems: Stay connected or enjoy entertainment onboard with sailboats that offer WiFi connectivity, TVs, and audio players.
  • Dinghy and Outboard Motor: Explore islands and anchorages away from your sailboat with convenient transportation using a dinghy and outboard motor .
  • Cooking and Barbecue Equipment: Enjoy cooking your meals onboard with a well-equipped galley and barbecue equipment .

Consider your preferences, needs, and budget when choosing additional services and amenities for your sailboat charter. These extras can enhance your sailing experience, providing convenience, comfort, and enjoyment during your trip.

Types of Sailboat Charter Options

When it comes to chartering a sailboat, the options can be as diverse as the open sea. From bareboat charters to skippered and crewed charters , each option brings a unique experience to sailing enthusiasts . Let’s discover the different types of sailboat charter options and what sets them apart. Whether you’re looking for the freedom to navigate on your own or prefer the luxury of a fully staffed vessel, there’s a charter option that will suit your seafaring desires. So, get ready to set sail and explore the possibilities!

Bareboat Charter

A bareboat charter is a type of sailboat rental where you are the captain and responsible for navigating and sailing the boat yourself. Important factors to consider when choosing a bareboat charter include:

– Experience: Prior sailing and navigation experience is important before opting for a bareboat charter. You should be comfortable with handling the boat, understanding navigation charts, and maneuvering in different weather conditions.

– Licensing and certifications: Some charter companies may require a valid sailing license or certification to rent a bareboat. Make sure you meet these requirements before booking.

– Insurance: It is advisable to have adequate insurance coverage for the boat in case of damages or accidents during your bareboat charter. Check with the charter company for specific insurance requirements.

– Provisions and supplies: As the captain, you are responsible for bringing your own food, drinks, and other necessities for the duration of the bareboat charter. Make a list and plan accordingly.

– Safety equipment: Ensure that the bareboat is equipped with necessary safety equipment such as life jackets, flares, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits. Familiarize yourself with the location and operation of these items before setting sail.

During my bareboat charter in the Mediterranean, I had the opportunity to explore stunning coastal towns and secluded beaches at my own pace. The sense of adventure and freedom was unparalleled as I navigated the crystal-clear waters and experienced the thrill of sailing firsthand. It was an unforgettable experience that allowed me to connect with nature and create cherished memories with my friends and family.

Skippered Charter

A skippered charter is a great option for a stress-free sailing vacation. The professional skipper takes care of all sailing responsibilities, allowing you to relax and explore beautiful destinations. The skipper enhances your sailing experience by providing valuable insights and recommendations. Consider boat size, type, charter duration, and location when choosing a skippered charter. Discuss your preferences with the charter company to ensure the right skipper is paired with you.

Crewed Charter

When considering a crewed charter for sailboats, it is important to keep in mind the following factors:

1. Experienced Crew: A crewed charter involves a professional crew who handles all aspects of sailing, including navigation, maintenance, and cooking. Having an experienced crew ensures a safe and enjoyable journey.

2. Personalized Service: When you opt for a crewed charter, you can expect personalized service that is tailored to your preferences. The crew will cater to your needs, from organizing activities to preparing meals, and even suggesting the best spots for snorkeling or sightseeing.

3. Luxury Amenities: Crewed charters often offer luxurious amenities such as spacious cabins, ensuite bathrooms, and well-equipped kitchens. You can indulge in the comfort and convenience of a fully crewed yacht.

4. Flexibility and Freedom: One of the advantages of a crewed charter is the flexibility it offers. The crew will work with you to create an itinerary that suits your preferences, allowing you to explore destinations at your own pace.

5. Exceptional Dining Experience: On a crewed charter, you can enjoy an exceptional dining experience. The crew prepares delicious meals using fresh and local ingredients. You can delight in exquisite cuisine onboard while taking in the beautiful surroundings.

Cost Breakdown of Chartering a Sailboat

Looking to embark on a sailing adventure? Let’s dive into the cost breakdown of chartering a sailboat! From the base charter fee to the security deposit and additional expenses, we’ll uncover the financial aspects of your dream voyage. Get ready to set sail as we explore the nitty-gritty details of each sub-section, giving you a comprehensive understanding of the expenses involved in chartering a sailboat. It’s time to plan your perfect maritime getaway!

Base Charter Fee

The base charter fee is a significant cost when chartering a sailboat. It is the initial fee to rent the boat without any extra services or amenities. The cost of the base charter fee varies based on boat size, boat type, season, charter duration, location, destination, and level of luxury or comfort provided.

To give an idea of the base charter fee , here is a sample table:

40 feet 45 feet
$2,500 $4,000

In this example, the base charter fee for a 40-foot sailing yacht is $2,500, while for a 45-foot catamaran, it is $4,000. Note that these are sample prices and actual rates may vary based on the charter company, location, and other factors.

It is important to know that the base charter fee does not include additional expenses like fuel, provisioning, marina fees, or optional extras. These costs should be considered when planning a sailboat charter.

When comparing different charter options, consider the base charter fee along with any additional costs to understand the total price for your sailboat charter experience.

Security Deposit

When chartering sailboats, it is common for the company to require a security deposit as a precautionary measure against potential damages. It is important to keep the following points in mind:

  • The amount of the deposit will vary depending on the size and type of sailboat. Larger and more luxurious boats may require a higher deposit.
  • If there are no damages to the boat during the charter period, the deposit will be fully refunded .
  • Before setting sail, thoroughly inspect the boat and make a note of any pre-existing damages to avoid being held responsible.
  • In the event that damages occur during the charter, the cost of repairs will be deducted from the security deposit. It is crucial to promptly report any damages.

To ensure a stress-free charter experience, consider the following tips:

  • Take the time to carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of the charter agreement regarding the security deposit.
  • Capture detailed photographs of the boat before and after the charter as evidence of its condition.
  • If there are any damages or issues, communicate them to the charter company immediately.
  • In order to increase the likelihood of receiving a full security deposit refund, return the boat in its original condition.
  • Make sure that you have sufficient funds available on your credit card to cover the security deposit until the end of the charter.

Additional Expenses

When chartering a sailboat, it’s crucial to take into account the additional expenses. These expenses encompass fuel costs, mooring fees, provisioning, and optional extras or activities. Let me break down the typical additional expenses for you:

– Fuel: The cost of fuel can range from $200 to $500 or even more.

– Mooring Fees: Expect to pay around $20 to $100 or more per night for mooring fees .

– Provisioning: Plan on spending anywhere from $200 to $500+ on provisioning expenses.

– Optional Extras: The cost of optional extras varies depending on the service provided.

The fuel costs will vary depending on the distance you intend to travel and the type of sailboat you choose. Mooring fees are typically charged by marinas or anchorages and vary depending on the location. Provisioning covers the expenses for food, drinks, and supplies needed for your trip. Optional extras may include activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, or hiring a skipper.

Make sure to factor in these additional expenses when budgeting for your sailboat charter. By planning ahead and considering all potential costs, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable sailing experience without any surprise expenses.

In the past, sailors had to carefully manage their expenses during long voyages. They had to allocate funds for food, repairs, and other unforeseen costs. Similarly, when you charter a sailboat today, it’s essential to take into account the additional expenses that may affect your budget. By keeping these costs in mind and planning accordingly, you can make the most of your sailboat charter and create lasting memories.

How to Find the Best Deals and Discounts

To find the best deals and discounts when chartering a sailboat, follow these tips on how to find the best deals and discounts:

1. Research multiple charter companies and compare prices and offerings to find the most competitive deal.

2. Consider booking during off-peak seasons when prices are often lower. For example, in the Caribbean, prices tend to be more affordable during hurricane season.

3. Stay flexible with your travel dates to take advantage of any last-minute deals or discounted rates.

4. Sign up for newsletters or follow charter companies on social media to stay informed about any special promotions or discounts they may offer.

5. Inquire about group discounts or special rates for larger parties if you’re traveling with a group.

6. Booking in advance can often result in securing better rates and availability, even though last-minute deals may be appealing.

7. Look for discounted rates during the shoulder seasons, which are the periods just before and after the peak season.

8. Inquire about loyalty programs or repeat customer discounts that charter companies may offer.

By following these guidelines, you can increase your chances of finding the best deals and discounts when chartering a sailboat.

Tips for Budget-Friendly Sailboat Charter

When planning a budget-friendly sailboat charter, here are some tips for saving money and enjoying a great sailing experience.

  • Choose an off-peak season for your charter. Prices for sailboat charters vary depending on the time of year. By selecting a less popular time, you can find better deals and lower prices.
  • Share the charter with a group. Splitting the cost with friends or family can significantly reduce the individual cost for each person.
  • Research and compare prices from different charter companies. Take the time to shop around and find the best deal for your budget.
  • Opt for a smaller or older sailboat . Larger and newer boats come with a higher price tag. Choosing a smaller or older boat can save you money without sacrificing the sailing experience.
  • Bring your own provisions . Consider bringing your own snacks and meals instead of relying on onboard catering services to save on food expenses.
  • Be flexible with your destination . Some sailing destinations have higher charter prices. By being open to different locations, you can find more affordable options.
  • Book in advance . Many charter companies offer early booking discounts. By planning your charter well in advance, you can secure a lower price with special offers.

Some Facts About How Much Does It Cost To Charter A Sailboat:

  • ✅ Renting a sailboat can be expensive, with costs varying depending on factors such as boat type, destination, season, and additional expenses. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ The price of a yacht charter is determined by the type of boat, charter destination, base cost, taxes, insurance, and more. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Motor yachts are the most popular and offer a range of amenities, but they use more fuel and can be more expensive. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Sailing yachts provide a more relaxing experience and are great for couples, while catamarans offer more space and stability. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ The charter destination also affects the cost, with popular locations like the Mediterranean and the British Virgin Islands having lower prices due to competition. (Source: Our Team)

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to charter a sailboat.

The cost of chartering a sailboat can vary depending on factors such as the charter destination, size of the boat, time of year, and base cost. On average, the weekly cost can range from $10,000 to $500,000, with larger motor yachts being more expensive.

What factors influence the total cost of a yacht charter?

Several factors influence the total cost of a yacht charter, including the type of boat, charter destination, base cost, taxes, insurance, and additional expenses. The charter destination and season can also impact the price, with popular locations and off-peak seasons offering lower prices due to competition.

Is it cheaper to charter a yacht compared to a land-based vacation?

Yes, yacht charters can offer great value compared to other types of vacations. The total cost of a charter is often cheaper than a land-based vacation, as it includes accommodation, food, drinks, and amenities. For example, a crewed catamaran charter in the Caribbean can be a better deal than a 5-star resort, with all-inclusive pricing.

Can I get discounts on yacht charters?

Yes, there are opportunities to get discounts on yacht charters. Charters during the off-season often come with discounts, and last-minute deals can be found if there are unchartered boats available. It’s recommended to work with an independent Charter Broker, who can source the most suitable yacht for your group and negotiate the best price on your behalf.

What additional expenses should I consider when estimating the cost of a yacht charter?

When estimating the cost of a yacht charter, it’s important to consider additional expenses such as fuel, food, drinks, taxes, insurance, crew gratuity, and the Advanced Provisioning Allowance (APA). The APA covers running expenses and is paid before the charter. Taxes and insurance fees are usually paid separately, and crew gratuity is recommended at 15-20% of the base charter rate.

What is the advantage of chartering a sailboat with friends?

Chartering a sailboat with friends can be a cost-effective option. The price per couple is reasonable compared to securing multiple hotel rooms or suites. For example, a group of 4 couples can split the cost of a charter in the British Virgin Islands, making it an attractive option. Chartering with friends provides the complete freedom to explore different gorgeous settings and enjoy activities like water sports together.

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Bareboat Charter 101 – All You Need to Know

Bareboat charter 101

Bareboating is a great way to spend your holidays on the water. You can sail whenever or wherever you decide, you have your own privacy, and it’s affordable! Like everything else in life, planning is the key to having a successful charter vacation. Here is the bareboat charter 101 to help you find all the important information you need, such as the process, forms of payment, paperwork, and many other things that surround the chartering of a bareboat:

Table of Contents

What is a Bareboat Charter?

A bareboat charter is a form of chartering arrangement where you rent a well-equipped yacht with no crew or provisions provided as part of the agreement. In this case, you must provide evidence to the charter company showing that you have qualifications or had solid sailing experience in the past. The company may also need a copy of your sailing license to confirm; whether it is accepted in a specific country or area, you plan to visit.

Bareboat charter

Bareboat Charter Requirement

Before being handed over the vessel, you must demonstrate that you have coastal experience on boats comparable to the one you just chartered. For a potential skipper, the charter company may require a sailing resume, a US Coast Guard Captains License (in some areas), and a certificate of reputable skippering or bareboat sailing course.

As a skipper, you should be familiar with all the basic boat handling procedures, including, but not limited to, docking and anchoring. You should also know the rules of sailing and have knowledge of basic seamanship, navigation (in different conditions), and piloting.

When to Book the Boat

The question of when to charter a bareboat vessel for sailing pretty much depends on the conditions you like sailing in and where you would want to visit. For instance, if you have a distinct preference for cruising in heavy or light air, you’ll need to ask about the average wind speed of the target area during the time frame you’re considering going on vacation.

The months designated as high-season in various sailing destinations usually tend to be the most desirable to sail in. That’s mostly attributed to the climate, weather, and the many opportunities for fun activities around that time.

In the Caribbean region, for instance, summer is rated the best time to go sailing because the tropical temperatures are pleasant, the turquoise waters soothing, and the trades balmy.

High and low seasons vary based on location. But generally, if you’re sailing on a tight budget, visiting in the offseason or fringe season can be a great way to save more. This is because most charter companies have substantial discounts and incentives on offer during such months.

When to Bareboat charter

Bareboat Yacht Mandatory Costs

These compulsory or mandatory costs are to be paid by the charterer on arrival just before the beginning of the charter. The costs, as listed in the contract, include the following:

  • End Cleaning (these are for cleaning the yacht after you’ve disembarked)
  • Security Deposit or Security Deposit Insurance

The security deposit (payable by credit card) covers all damages regarding the yacht and/or its equipment. The amount does not include lost or stolen items like ropes, fenders, anchors, etc.

Further, there is no insurance cover provided for personal injury, damage to any property brought onboard by the charterer or any damage or loss that’s induced willfully or simply by gross negligence.

With some yacht charter companies, you’re free to choose between a Security Deposit and Security Deposit Insurance. The Security Deposit Insurance, in this case, is a non-refundable alternative to the Security Deposit but is considerably lesser.

Optional Costs

Some of the optional costs you might incur on your bareboat charter include the following:

  • Bed linen per person
  • Towels per person
  • Outboard motor for a yacht or fuel for tender

Please take note these items may sometimes be included in the initial charter price. You should always check your contract.

Choosing Your Boat

Choosing a boat for a sailing vacation is something that’s mostly dependent on personal preference and the availability of the desired vessel on the dates you want to sail. From speedy cruisers to slower romantic sailboats through to yachts with heavier displacement, there’s a wide array of vessels to choose from.

If you’ve been yearning to sail on a catamaran, there are many designs and models you can choose from. And going the cat way has a set of its own benefits. Aside from having a shoal draft (which is perfect for shallow water cruising), it comes with an incredibly huge amount of deck space for relaxation and play.

To get more info about the amazing yacht options available for charter, you might need to study literature-brochures or articles on websites- about various charter companies’ fleets. Most of these resources detail everything, including photos and layout plans, so getting a clear picture of what best matches your holiday needs is easier.

One other important thing to consider when choosing a bareboat vessel is the list of equipment included onboard. A boat that comes with safety and electronic gear, entertainment system(s), galley equipment, dinghy, and linens is well in order.

If you’re planning to sail in tropical-reef areas, then a charter company that supplies its vessels with snorkeling gear and other water toys( even if at a small charge) for your amusement along the way can be a great choice to consider.


Once you’ve made up your mind to book a vessel, you’ll need to send a deposit to the charter company and proceed to sign a contract. The contract is basically meant to protect both you and the charter company plus prevent any misunderstandings or future disputes.

A typical charter contract covers such issues as insurance, liability, cancellation policy, and where (and when) you can and can’t sail. The contract also specifies the company’s policy regarding the delivery of the requested boat to you.

If, for unforeseen mechanical problems or other reasons, the boat you specified in your booking isn’t available, the company should be able to provide a comparable or better vessel than the one you had originally contracted.

As a charterer, it is critical that you read through the fine print to identify what is and isn’t included in the initial charter price. Some of the issues you might need to seek clarification on include whether:

  • Dinghy and outboard charges are included in the contract policy
  • There is a company support policy when a vessel breaks down or when you experience an emergency at sea
  • The security deposit (paid alongside the initial deposit) is refunded immediately upon return of the vessel or will take a few business days
  • There’s medical insurance available (for those whose medical insurance doesn’t cover them outside their country)
  • There’s background info you need to know about the area you’re about to visit
  • There are things you need to or not bring along

Arriving a Day Earlier

For added convenience in organizing yourself for the journey, you might need to arrive a day earlier. In this case, you may request to sleep aboard the designated yacht at a reduced rate. That way, you can unpack your suitcase just once, purchase all the required provisions and settle in quite seamlessly before setting off.

Get Familiar With Your Boat 

The handover process of a bareboat, which takes about an hour or so, is meant to help you and other members of your group get familiar with the vessel before setting out to the sea. As a minimum, you’ll be shown the following:

  • Location and safe operation of the safety equipment onboard, including fire extinguishers, life jackets, first kids, and more
  • Safe operation of cooking & heating systems plus refrigeration units
  • Correct operation of the heads
  • Location and use of yacht charts and pilot books
  • Location and operation of reefing lines, winches, halyards, and other sail controls
  • Use of VHF system, including mayday instructions
  • Anchoring systems and how to anchor the boat
  • Yacht engine operation and regular checks
  • Any other systems unique to the chartered vessel

Don’t Have A Bareboat License?

In case you don’t have a bareboat license or a qualified and/or experienced skipper to accompany you on the charter, you have the option of booking both a vessel and a skipper. This is commonly referred to as skippered charter’. This option is a great option if you’re planning to go out sailing as a family together with children or would want to learn a thing or two about navigation.

What Crew Can I Hire On a Bareboat?

Aside from being a skipper, you’re free to hire a hostess or chef to help you with the cooking and the cleaning around. There are charter yachts that offer all these additional options. So making inquiries on their availability can make things more convenient for you even as you plan to set out into the sea.

Who Provides Food For The Crew?

If you have a skipper and/or hostess accompanying you on the journey, it is your responsibility to provide their food and drinks. So when shopping for groceries and other foodstuffs, you must take the crew’s food choice and cost into account.

Where Will The Crew Stay?

The skipper and the hostess, as part of the people accompanying you on the journey, will need a cabin for themselves. That means if you, for instance, are a group of 8 people, you’ll need to hire or charter a yacht with 5 cabins. The 8 of you will basically occupy 4 cabins while the skipper and hostess will take up the remaining cabin.

Crewed yacht charter

Provisioning Your Boat

In addition to the cost of boat hire , travel, and accommodations, you must also take care of the provisions. You can choose to either have the charter company provision for you (if they offer that service) or do the shopping yourself upon arrival.

If the provisions are to be supplied by the company, you’ll have to send them a complete list of the things you need ahead of time. They’ll then pick good quality items, all based on your preferences, and have the boat stocked just before you arrive. The cost reasonably hovers around $25 to $35 per person per day, depending on the area you’re planning to sail.

Most charter companies also offer partial provisioning , whose packages aim at providing enough supplies to last you for the first couple of days. You can add more provisions as you go along or get out of the water as soon as you run out of supplies.

sailboat charter requirements

Gas, Water, and Ice?

Although restocking water might not be necessary on a one-week charter, you might be forced to buy more ice after two to three days on your journey. Gas bottles could also be another possible extra. So, you need to check your contract to find out whether there are any extra charges for fuel and water or if the cost is included in the per-week rate.

What about the Diesel Fuel?

The cost of fuel in a bareboat charter is not usually included in the initial charter fee. However, it is a general requirement that the yacht is returned with a full tank. You can check the terms of the contract, which you’ll be given upon reservation.

Yacht fuel station for the check in

Why Bareboat Charter?

First of all, chartering a bareboat is a cheaper way to get into the sea and enjoy the wondrous adventures that comes with it if you don’t own a yacht. Secondly, with a bareboat charter, you are free to choose your own route and the places you want to stop. Lastly, typical bareboat guarantees you complete privacy as you’re yourself with your friends and family.

Who’s The Bareboat Charter For?

A bareboat charter is for any free-spirited sailor who’s willing to take his/her dreams to faraway ports and get the better of the endless sea adventures. Whether you want to come with family and friends, sail to a single destination, or explore multiple islands, you’re free to decide. As long as you are a qualified skipper or have an experienced captain accompanying you, you should be good to go.

How to Book a Bareboat Charter?

Upon confirmation of availability, you can change the given OFFER into an OPTION in order for you to make a temporary reservation. There’s a defined time period (typically a few days) within which you need to confirm the booking, failure to which the option will be canceled. A booking, which is a fixed and binding reservation, is made as soon as the charter company receives and confirms your deposit.

What Is A Skippered Charter?

This is a form of charter where you, as a charterer, is provided with a professional skipper with full knowledge and experience of the local waters, bays, and marinas. This option can help you sail to the desired destination quite seamlessly without having to worry about the navigation and ship operation processes.

What Qualifications Do I Need?

With most charter companies, you require to have at least two crew members on board who are licensed or certified by reputable maritime authorities and whose documentation is accepted by the local coast guard. You can send your skipper and co-skipper licenses, certifications, and/or resumes to the charter company to confirm whether or not they are acceptable in the desired charter area.

Is It Possible to Do a One-Way Charter?

Yes, but you’ll be required to pay a delivery or re-delivery fee to your requested destination. The price, in this case, will be calculated based on distance and fuel consumption. You can inquire more about one-way charters from your charter company.

Do You Need Boat Insurance?

Most yachts are insured against Third Party Liability, the amount of which is equal to or greater than that which is made obligatory by local legislation. Yacht insurance is usually in excess of the security deposit that the client chooses to pay.

Having a Skippers’ Extended Liability Insurance (covering the liability of the crew and recovery of losses to the chartered vessel resulting from substantiated gross negligence) and a cover for consequential loss is highly recommended. Be sure to read through the conditions of insurance to find out what is covered and what’s not.

What Is a Security Deposit?

A security deposit is an amount payable to the base check-in, which is held against the boat’s insurance excess. The amount is refundable if there’s no damage to the boat or its equipment and/or any losses recorded. In the event there damage or loss is confirmed, an appropriate proportion of the security deposit will be returned ONLY after there has been a full assessment of the cost of damage or loss.

What is Included in the Bareboat Fee?

The base charter fee usually covers the cost of the yacht and berth in the base marina plus VAT.

What is Not Included in the Bareboat Fee?

The charter fee does not include marina fees (except for the base marina where the charterer embarks or disembarks), linen, towels, outboard motor, provisioning, skipper & Hostess, fuel, water, and refundable deposit. The yacht charter may require compulsory extras like gas, cleaning, etc. You should check your contract for clarification.

Cost to Hire a Skipper?

When booking a skippered yacht, it is important to remember that you’ll have to incur extra charges for the skipper on top of the normal charter fee. The cost, in this case, usually ranges between 150 -300€, and this varies largely depending on the boat type and size, distance as well as location.

What to Bring?

In order to make your bareboat sailing charter as convenient as possible, there are things you might need to carry alongside the normal provisioning. Some of these items include a 12-volt DC to 110/220-Volt AC inverter with USB outlets (for charging the phone, camera, etc.), European to American-style plug adapter, iPod and audio jack cable, as well as a tablet that’s loaded with Navionics chart.

Other things that might be necessary to carry are cruising and anchorage guides, local travel guide, hand towels, a book of notes, and deckhands. Also, be sure to carry a digital camera in order to document your adventures and create lasting memories.

These are just the basic facts there is to know about bareboat charters. As you can see, such a charter guarantees you total freedom on what to carry, where to, and with who. That, in essence, sets you up for a fun, adventurous, and rewarding sailing vacation with family and friends. So the next time you’re chartering a vessel, you might need to consider going for a bareboat charter.

Have you already sailed a bareboat charter? If so, you are welcome to share your experiences in the comments below.

Picture of Daniella

Daniella has been passionate about travel, the sea, and nature for many years. As a child, she frequently traveled throughout the Mediterranean and continued with her journeys throughout her adult life.

Her experiences have created the desire within her to share her love for traveling with other passionate and adventurers who want to discover beautiful horizons and new cultures.

10 thoughts on “Bareboat Charter 101 – All You Need to Know”

Bareboat charter sounds like a very interesting adventure and I’ll love to experience such. It is sad though that if I don’t have sailing experience I’ll not be able to charter a bareboat. Don’t you think it would be better if you could be given one crew member to help aboard. Just my opinion

Thanks for sharing

You really don’t need any sailing experience to sail. As mentioned in the article, you can hire a skipper to navigate the boat. He/she will take you to the finest destinations, and you will also have the opportunity to take the helm and develop some sailing skill:).

If you need help, please let me know. I’ll be more than happy to assist.

Thank you for the comment and wish you a great day!

Wow.  I had no idea this was even possible. I have no experience sailing at all so this wouldn’t be for me.  I noticed there were some other ways to charter a boat and enjoy sailing.  Do you have more detailed reviews on the other options?  Which one do you recommend? Keep up the great work!

Luckily, you don’t need to have any sailing skill to enjoy sailing. You can hire a skipper or a crew to navigate the boat. There are many articles about this subject on my website. If you want to get familiar with yacht charters, then I would suggest you read the yacht chartering 101 . You’ll find all the information you need to plan your first sailing trip.

Let me know if you need any help; I’ll be more than happy to assist.

Thank you for the comment and wish you a lovely day!

Great post and good info.

This looks nice when you want to go to sail, and you don’t have the funds to buy one yourselves. 

Now, for me this is both impossible, since I don’t have a sail certificate and neither have experience. 

But I have a friend who has it, but he doesn’t have the fund to buy a boat. 

Im going to show this to him, and perhaps he will do this. 

Thanks for sharing! 

Hi Emmanuel,

Bareboat charters are for chartering, and if your friends want to buy a boat, then it would be best to try it out before he purchases one.

Let me know if you need help, I’ll be glad to assist.

Thank you for the comment and wish you a great day.

I have never been inside a big boat but I would that video walk through has really put things into perspective on how to go about when looking for a bareboat charter .to be flank so of this thing looks like that are not necessarily but the videos  tells orthers wise and  and they really have  done agreat work on that next time I am looking for bareboat charter I know what to look for.

Hi Charles,

I am glad you found the article and video useful and I hope it will help you plan a bareboat charter in the future:)

Thanks Daniella for such a complete guide to Bareboat Charter. I don’t have a sailing license but your article sure gives me some ideas. Your review covers literally every aspect and the illustrations just make us want to hop on a boat and escape. You could consider advising us on a few suggested trips for Bareboat charters, in Europe or elsewhere, I’m sure a lot of people would be interested i’m sure. What do you think ?

You are very welcome!

Yes, sure. You can bareboat charter in Greece, Bahamas, BVI, Croatia, Seychelles to name a few. These are the most popular bareboat destinations. I’ll be publishing an article about it very soon. So stay tuned:)

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any question, I’ll be more than happy to help!

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The Bareboat Charter | Everything You Need to Know

sailboat under ravenel bridge charleston sc

When planning a maritime adventure, understanding the different options available for boat rentals is crucial. A popular choice among seasoned sailors and those seeking a more hands-on experience is the “bareboat charter.”

Unlike traditional charters that come with a crew and captain, a bareboat yacht charter offers you the helm, presenting a unique blend of challenge and privacy. While a captain and crew can always be hired seperately, it is optional.

What is a Bareboat Charter?

A bareboat charter allows you to rent a boat without the inclusion of a crew or captain. This means you are responsible for the navigation, safety, and management of the vessel throughout the duration of your trip. This type of charter is ideal for those with a sufficient level of sailing proficiency and those who prefer a self-guided maritime adventure. It’s essential to have at least one licensed sailor on board, capable of handling the vessel in various conditions.

bareboat charter charleston sc

Bareboat Charters vs. Crewed Charters

While a bareboat rental gives you autonomy, crewed charters offer a worry-free experience with a professional crew managing all aspects of the voyage. Crewed charters are perfect for those who desire a relaxing trip where meals, route planning, and boat handling are taken care of by seasoned professionals.

Things to Know as the Charterer

As the charterer there are a few things you should know about bareboat charters. Bareboat charters only allow up to 12 guests onboard within the party. However, the vessel you choose may have its own maximum allowed onboard which may inhibit you from your group size. Unlike crewed charters, you take on the full responsibility of the vessel, including the insurance policy. You also have the right to captain and crew the vessel for yourself. Most bareboat rental companies will require a minimum amount of experience or license requirements though. You have the right to hire a local captain and crew to assist you with your bareboat charter and they are to be paid separately from the boat rental. Furthermore, you have the right to relieve your hired captain and crew at any point if you deem necessary.

Things to Know as the Boat Owner

While many of the points that apply to the charterer should also be considered for the boat owner, there are a few things you should know when considering bareboat charters for your vessel. Be completely sure that your current insurance policy allows for bareboat charters. Some insurance companies do not offer coverage for bareboat charters so this is something to consider. A bareboat contract must be signed by the charterer and a copy should be on hand during the charter at all times. Also, if a local captain and crew were hired to assist the charterer, then a list with clear instructions stating the charterer has options for crew, as well as the right to dismiss them at any point in time should be present. While an electronic version will suffice, a paper version is preferred by some USCG officials and well advised to have on hand to avoid any issues. Furthermore, as the boat owner, you must hand over the vessel in well maintained condition fit for use by the charterer, you are only allowed to collect payment for the boat rental, and cannot be present/onboard for the bareboat charter.

Blue Life Charters: The Premier Choice for Bareboat Charters in Charleston, SC

Blue Life Charters stands out as a premier charter company for those looking to embark on a bareboat charter in Charleston, SC. Catering to parties up to 10 guests, they offer a unique opportunity to explore the waters with privacy and control on their sailing yachts.

For parties that might need a little extra help or guidance, Blue Life Charters provides a list of local captains and crew available for hire separately from their boat rental. This option adds flexibility to maintain the feel of a bareboat charter with the support of professional crew members as needed.

Why Choose Blue Life Charters?

sailing into sunset charleston sc

In conclusion, whether you’re a seasoned sailor eager to take the helm or a casual adventurer who prefers a guided journey, understanding the ins and outs of bareboat charters can significantly enhance your experience.

With options like Blue Life Charters, you can tailor your trip to match your sailing skills and comfort level, promising an unforgettable sailing adventure along the picturesque waters of Charleston, SC.

Explore the seas your way with the confidence and freedom that only a bareboat charter can offer.

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sailboat charter requirements

Yacht Chartering 101: What You Need to Know Before Your First Voyage

sailboat charter requirements

Embark on a nautical adventure and set sail into the realm of yacht chartering. Navigate through the vast sea of options, carefully selecting your vessel for the ultimate experience. From planning the perfect itinerary to packing essentials, this guide will equip you with the knowledge needed to navigate the world of yacht chartering. Discover the ins and outs of crewed yacht charters, ensuring a seamless voyage. Join us as we uncover the safety protocols and etiquette for a truly innovative and unforgettable journey.

Types of Yachts: Exploring Your Options

What are the different types of yachts available for charter and what factors should you consider when choosing the right one for your voyage? When it comes to yacht chartering, there is a wide range of options to consider. Yachts come in various sizes, from small to large, each offering its own advantages and disadvantages. Motor yachts, for example, provide the convenience of speed and power, allowing you to easily explore different destinations . However, they can be more expensive to operate and maintain. On the other hand, sailing yachts offer the allure of wind-powered voyages, providing a more authentic and eco-friendly experience. They may require more skill to operate, but can offer a sense of serenity and connection to nature. Luxury yachts, as the name suggests, offer extravagant amenities and unparalleled comfort. From jacuzzis and helipads to gourmet kitchens and spacious lounges, these yachts are designed to provide the ultimate in indulgence. Lastly, when choosing a yacht design, you must consider whether to opt for a catamaran or a monohull . Catamarans offer stability and spaciousness, while monohulls provide better performance and a traditional sailing experience. Ultimately, the right yacht for your voyage depends on your personal preferences, budget, and desired experience.

Planning Your Itinerary: Destinations and Routes

When planning your yacht charter itinerary, it is essential to carefully consider the destinations and routes you wish to explore. Whether you prefer a leisurely cruise or an adventurous sail, there are endless options to discover hidden gems around the world.

Time management is crucial when planning your itinerary. Research the distance between destinations and factor in travel time to ensure a well-paced journey. It is also important to allocate enough time at each stop to fully experience the local culture and attractions.

Budgeting is another key aspect to consider. Some destinations may have higher docking fees or require additional permits, so it is important to plan accordingly. Keep in mind that some areas offer more affordable options for provisioning and fueling, which can help manage costs.

One of the highlights of yacht chartering is indulging in local cuisine. Explore restaurants, markets, and street food vendors along your chosen route to savor the flavors of the region. Immerse yourself in the local culture by trying traditional dishes and experiencing the vibrant dining scene.

Please call or email Doug (our seasoned yacht travel specialist) today at (781) 679-1162 or email at [email protected] .

Respecting the Yacht and Its Facilities

Adhering to proper etiquette is essential when it comes to respecting the yacht and its facilities during your charter experience. Whether you’re a first-time charterer or a seasoned sailor, it’s important to be mindful of the maintenance expectations set by the yacht’s crew. This includes keeping the yacht clean and tidy, and reporting any damages or issues promptly.

When it comes to watersports etiquette, it’s crucial to be respectful of other guests and the marine environment. Avoid excessive noise and be mindful of speed limits and no-wake zones. Additionally, follow eco-friendly practices by not throwing any trash or waste overboard and using designated areas for fueling and waste disposal.

Proper use of onboard amenities is also important. Treat the yacht’s facilities with care and respect. Follow any guidelines provided by the crew for using the swimming pool, hot tub, or gym equipment. Take care not to damage or misuse any equipment or appliances.

Lastly, handling personal belongings is crucial to maintaining a seamless charter experience. Keep personal items organized and avoid leaving them in common areas. Use designated storage spaces and be mindful of others’ personal space.

Following Safety Protocols and Guidelines

  • Ensure compliance with safety protocols and guidelines to maintain a secure and well-organized yacht charter experience. Safety is paramount when it comes to enjoying a yacht charter. To ensure a seamless experience, it is essential to follow all safety protocols and guidelines. Here are some key areas to focus on:
  • Emergency procedures: Familiarize yourself with the emergency procedures onboard the yacht. Know the location of emergency exits, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits. In the event of an emergency, remain calm and follow the instructions of the crew.
  • Evacuation protocols: Understand the evacuation protocols and know where the life rafts are located. Familiarize yourself with the procedures for launching and boarding the life rafts, should the need arise.
  • Life jacket usage: Wear a life jacket whenever you are on the deck or participating in water activities . Ensure that the life jacket fits properly and is fastened securely.
  • Fire safety measures: Follow all fire safety measures and guidelines provided by the crew. This includes not smoking in restricted areas and being cautious when using electrical equipment.
  • Navigation rules: Observe the navigation rules and guidelines to maintain a safe environment for everyone on board. This includes respecting other vessels’ right of way, maintaining a safe distance, and adhering to speed limits.

Being Mindful of Noise Levels and Privacy

When it comes to yacht charter etiquette, it is important to be mindful of noise levels and respect the privacy of others on board. Cabin decorum plays a crucial role in creating a harmonious environment for everyone. Noise restrictions are often in place to ensure a peaceful experience for all passengers. It is essential to adhere to these guidelines and keep noise levels to a minimum, especially during quiet hours.

Respecting privacy boundaries is equally important. Remember that even though you may be sharing a yacht with others, everyone deserves their personal space. Avoid intruding on others’ cabins without permission, and be mindful of their need for solitude. If you need to discuss something important or have a gathering, consider using common areas instead of disturbing others in their private quarters.

To enhance privacy and minimize noise disruption, yacht charters often invest in soundproofing measures. These can include insulated walls and doors to minimize sound transmission between cabins. By being conscious of noise levels and respecting privacy boundaries, you contribute to a more enjoyable and seamless experience for all on board.

Proper Dining and Table Manners

To ensure a seamless yacht charter experience, it is crucial to practice proper dining and table manners, maintaining the same level of mindfulness and respect as demonstrated in previous subtopics. Dining on a yacht requires a certain level of etiquette to create an enjoyable atmosphere for all guests. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Seating arrangements: Follow the guidance of the crew when it comes to seating arrangements. Wait for the host or hostess to indicate where you should sit, and avoid switching seats without permission.
  • Utensil usage: Start with the outermost utensils and work your way in as each course is served. Use the appropriate utensils for each dish, and remember to hold them properly.
  • Napkin etiquette: Place your napkin on your lap as soon as you are seated. Use it to wipe your mouth and hands discreetly, and remember to place it neatly on the table when you leave.
  • Proper use of glassware: Familiarize yourself with the different types of glassware and their purposes. Use the appropriate glass for each beverage, and hold it by the stem to avoid smudging the glass.
  • Polite conversation topics: Engage in pleasant and light-hearted conversation. Avoid controversial or sensitive topics to maintain a harmonious atmosphere.

Tipping and Showing Appreciation to the Crew

Showing appreciation to the crew on a yacht charter is best done by generously tipping for their exceptional service. When it comes to gratuity expectations, it is customary to tip between 10-20% of the total charter cost. However, if the crew has gone above and beyond to ensure your comfort and enjoyment, it is perfectly acceptable to tip more.

In addition to monetary gratuity, there are other crew appreciation gestures that can show your gratitude. For example, taking the time to write a thank-you note or providing glowing feedback to the charter company can go a long way in recognizing their hard work.

Handling special requests is another area where the crew’s dedication and professionalism shine. Whether it’s arranging a surprise celebration, accommodating dietary restrictions, or organizing a special excursion, the crew’s ability to fulfill these requests with a smile is truly commendable.

Open and clear communication with the crew is crucial for a seamless experience. From discussing your preferences before the charter to addressing any concerns or needs during the trip, maintaining a respectful and friendly rapport with the crew ensures that they can provide you with the best possible service.

Lastly, recognizing exceptional service is important. If a crew member has gone above and beyond their duties, expressing your appreciation directly to them can make their day. It could be a simple compliment, a small gift, or even a handwritten note to show your gratitude for their outstanding efforts.

In the realm of yacht charters, adhering to proper etiquette is crucial for a seamless and enjoyable experience. By respecting the crew, following safety protocols, and understanding the importance of privacy, guests can create a harmonious environment onboard. Additionally, dressing appropriately, observing table manners, and showing appreciation through tipping are all essential aspects of yacht charter etiquette. By embracing these guidelines, guests can ensure a memorable and refined journey on the open seas.

Get a Quote

Are you ready to let us show you what we can do for you? We can’t wait! This is as exciting for us as it is for you. We began this business because we love putting the perfect yacht charter together for our clients and getting the best of the best at the right price point thanks to our contacts and experience. 

Use our quick contact form to give us the basics about what you’re looking for and we’ll send you ideas and pricing. Don’t worry if it’s not grand enough or should be scaled back; we’ll take care of that too. When you love the plan, we put it into action. All you have to do is show up and enjoy.

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Qualifications You Need To Charter A Boat

Sailing in the Caribbean is a dream vacation for most people.  There are a few ways to do it.  Booking a cabin on a cruise ship is cheap and popular.  However many of us look for a more autonomous, adventurous vacation.  Chartering a boat - moreover self-skippering (“bareboat”) is seen by many as the most fun they can have on a boat with their friends or family.  In this post we cover this adventurous end of the spectrum.  Namely, what you need in order to charter your own boat.  


One fact that most people may not realise is that with sufficient experience, in most parts of the world (outside of Europe) you do not actually require a skipper qualification to charter a boat.

What Experience Do Charter Companies Ask For?

Charter companies want confidence that you will not damage their boats.  Nor do they want you to damage yourselves for that matter.  They look for similar experience.  That is, whether you can demonstrate you have chartered similar sized boats in a similar area.  Can you deal effectively with tidal ranges and currents?  How sound are your reef navigation techniques?  Do you really know how much anchor to put out?  If a squall pops up will you be able to put a reef on quickly?  These are the type of questions they will ask.

The Fast-Track Bareboat Skipper Course

Many sailing schools offer weeklong intensive bareboat skipper courses.  These courses are examinable.  The main certifying associations include the American Sailing Association (ASA), International Yacht Training (IYT) and the Royal Yachting Association (RYA).  Another blog post compares these three organisations (spoiler alert: they’re all good, it comes down to the quality of your instructor).   A fast-track bareboat skipper course will teach you the techniques to safely navigate your boat around the area.


Skipper your own boat for maximum autonomy in your vacation

Can You Sit An Intensive Skipper Course With Zero Experience?

Technically yes.  However they are intensive courses.  That is they are really designed for people who have at least some sailing experience.  There is a lot of sailing terminology that would need to be digested in a very short period.  Most schools recommend students of fast-track courses to undertake their 101 course (ususally 2-3 days) before doing their fast-track bareboat skipper course.  This method makes for a much more enjoyable experience.

How Much Does A Skipper / Captain Course Cost?

Prices for a weeklong intensive course usually range a few hundred dollars either side of $2,500 per person, depending on the location of the school, reputation and time of year.  This price is all-inclusive.  In other words it includes all food on board, accommodation (it should be a “liveaboard” course), instruction (with a certified instructor) and exams/certification.

When Is The Best Time To Do A Course?

In the Caribbean courses run most of the year, outside of the summer hurricane season.  If you choose a period during the "shoulder season" (October-November and May/June) you may be able to find discounts.

Do You Need Any Additional Qualifications In Europe?

The Europeans require an “International Certificate of Competency” for any persons wishing to charter a vessel.  This is a short course and exam.  It can be appended to the Fast-track Bareboat Skipper course for a small fee.  Worthwhile if you’re considering sailing in the Med at some point!

What Other Qualifications Can You Do?

You can always consider your Yachtmaster certification (“106” in ASA-talk).  The Bareboat Skipper (aka Day Skipper) allows a person to sail during the day in moderate conditions, within sight of land.  The Yachtmaster ramps this up, giving the skills necessary to sail at night, in poor conditions and - for the Offshore Yachtmaster and Ocean Yachtmaster (“107” and “108” in ASA-talk) - out of sight of land.

If you're after a vacation where you are in control of your destiny, consider a bareboat sailing charter.  If you have the experience you may be able to charter one already.  If you don't have the experience, there is an easy way to become a skipper.  Sailing Virgins runs fast-track courses throughout the season.   Click here to read more about our courses and to view a course calendar.

Want to know how to choose the most appropriate boat?  We will cover this in a future post.  Click the button below to stay in touch.  

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Can Just Anybody Rent/Charter a Sailboat? What are The Requirements?

sailboat charter requirements

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So I'm doing a bunch of boat research and looking to eventually buy a sailboat. A friend of mine told me a story the other day that he and some friends went out on a weekend cruise a few years ago, and had a horrible time as he was OK in the daytime outside, but at night simply couldn't sleep on the boat. He has a good argument I have to say, maybe I'll have trouble sleeping on a boat! Problem is group charters are off due to Corona, and I've only been sailing about a dozen times. It would be wonderful to actually rent a few boats and to actually sleep on them before choosing one to buy. But I wonder what are minimum requirements of renters/charter companies to allow me to rent say a 30-36 foot sailboat? Are there licenses? Other requirements? I imagine there must be insurance one can pay but surely they must have other requirements as well? Anyone have thoughts on this, or how I can get experience actually spending a few nights on a sailboat?  

sailboat charter requirements

You probably would not qualify for a bare boat charter. But a charter with a qualified person who could tutor you for the term of the charter would be invaluable. You probably have to pay the tutor/skipper... but why not? I think this is a great idea....You get to learn hands on... sail in lovely waters... and the skipper gets to get away, run the boat and do some teaching. Nice vacation!  

That's a great idea. Perhaps just a weekend course. Then I could get a lot of training and practice, and experience sleeping on a boat. Thanks for the suggestion!  

sailboat charter requirements

Rush2112 said: Taka some ASA sailing classes and you'll be on your way. Click to expand...

sailboat charter requirements

I have no idea if things have changed since C-19, but before it, just about anyone could rent a bareboat from many companies down here, if they had a sufficiently large limit on their credit cards. They are called credit card captains, and are a grand source of entertainment each evening in the anchorages. I know many companies that will have one of their employees take the boat out of the slip and turn it over to the renter, and do the same in reverse when their rental is over. So, if someone never wants to dock the boat, they can use a boat boy to get them on a mooring and not even have to anchor over the week. So no, you shouldn't need anything but a high credit limit on your cc.  

midwesterner said: I wanted to help my wife discover the same things. We did a week-long bareboat Cruise and Learn course in Vancouver Canada, that covered the bare boat Skippers course through the Canadian Sailing Association, (it basically covers ASA101, 103, & 104). They mailed me the CSA Bareboat course book to study in advance, and I took the test at the end of the week. During the week long charter, we anchored in a secluded cove one night, picked up a mooring ball at a national park another night, and spent two nights in marinas. We slept on the boat six nights. We paid for a live-aboard skipper, a very nice young woman, who really made my wife feel comfortable. We did this through Cooper Boating of Vancouver Canada. I have also chartered twice from Bow to Stern Boating in Oriental North Carolina. They will also put together a captained charter for you with instruction. Click to expand...
tempest said: Right now, though, he's asking about renting or chartering a boat. So, he will need a credit card, and whatever else the charter company requires. If the Netherlands don't require a license, then he's one step closer. Click to expand...

PolyValk huren | Bootverhuur Het Uitgeestermeer

jephotog said: In the US you could take a series of ASA sailing classes 101, 103 and 104 for about $1000 then go rent a boat for overnight or a week rental. I believe the standards to get certified or rent a boat in Europe is higher and the classes will cost you more. If you want to make sailing your thing and buy a boat to live upon, it might be worth investing in some classes to see if you even like sailing and start to learn how to do so. Click to expand...
Steve Bateman said: Try that ! Click to expand...
jephotog said: Lets hope the rest of the world has a higher standard of handing over the keys to a sailboat. Click to expand...
Arcb said: You could probably buy a trailer sailer with accomodations for about the same price as chartering. It might not be the same as sleeping on a 40 foot boat, but it isn't all that different either. Some people prefer it because you can tuck into coves and creeks you wouldn't dare to visit on a bigger boat. Any way. I suspect most people buy a smaller boat first to see how they like it. At least in Canada you can often sell a trailer sailer for what you paid for it with little effort because they don't have the same kind of ongoing costs associated with them as marina kept boats. A season with a 20-22 footer will give you as good of an indication if boat ownership is for you as a few nights of chartering. Click to expand...
jephotog said: A couple of clarifications to Rush. When someone has trouble sleeping on a boat, I assume they are usually referring to at anchor. You could rent a boat and sleep in the slip. As long as it is not storming it would be like a gentle waterbed and should be very restful. At anchor even if calm you have some more motion and the concern of dragging or swinging into another boat. In a storm at anchor you add to the concerns of dragging and bumping to a potentially rough night making sleep even harder. I assume you get used to it, or there would be a lot of tired cruisers out there. If you are trying to move onto a boat and liveaboard on a budget you will be anchoring out a lot. If you stay at a home port, slips are not so expensive but as a transient boat, your cost of a night in a slip goes up. As an example in the westcoast of the US slips go from $400/month to $1-2/night per foot. My impression is everything is harder/more expensive in Europe in terms of certifications and boat prices. Is owning a trailerable boat even an easy option for you? It seems like having a big truck or an SUV and a spare acre in your back yard is rare in Europe. I'd suggest doing a local charter or in the Med before you buy a boat. Click to expand...

sailboat charter requirements

I'm sure it varies depending on the operation. On a business trip to Reno once, I drove some people (4) up to Lake Tahoe and rented a sailboat for 4 hours. They asked me to take a short written test which I completed while my associates got a table for lunch. I passed the test, handed them my credit card and had lunch while the company got the boat ready. Even though I have a CG license and was an ASA instructor at the time, I had none of those credentials with me, it was a spur of the moment thing. These days things have changed a little, Most states require some kind of operator's license (i.e. a boating safety certificate ) You'd have to check your state's requirements. That would be the 1st step, I would think to renting. Then, I'd start small, and work your way up. You can sleep on a Catalina 22, or a Rhodes. or smaller. Sail the hell out of small boats, and move up in size when this covid thing is behind us. You might actually find it's more fun!  

The guy's in Europe and thinking of doing a transatlantic and visiting the states. No need for him to hold any sort of license to drive his Dutch registered boat in the US. Only if he registers it in a state.  


sailboat charter requirements

I wanted to help my wife discover the same things. We did a week-long bareboat Cruise and Learn course in Vancouver Canada, that covered the bare boat Skippers course through the Canadian Sailing Association, (it basically covers ASA101, 103, & 104). They mailed me the CSA Bareboat course book to study in advance, and I took the test at the end of the week. During the week long charter, we anchored in a secluded cove one night, picked up a mooring ball at a national park another night, and spent two nights in marinas. We slept on the boat six nights. We paid for a live-aboard skipper, a very nice young woman, who really made my wife feel comfortable. We did this through Cooper Boating of Vancouver Canada. I have also chartered twice from Bow to Stern Boating in Oriental North Carolina. They will also put together a captained charter for you with instruction.  

sailboat charter requirements

Rush2112 said: Anyone have thoughts on this, or how I can get experience actually spending a few nights on a sailboat? Click to expand...

sailboat charter requirements Try that !  

Sometime when I travel, it takes me a couple of days to get a good night's sleep anywhere. An anchored sailboat moves quite a bit, makes noise, and has a pretty compact sleeping arrangement. If shared, it has noisy toilets and the ocassional bilge pump running. And there is a certain amount of "anchor anxiety" for me, anyway. So it is different. I recommend taking a Fast Track to Cruising course at a minimum.  

I'm pretty sure Canadian Yacht Charters (North Channel) will let you rent a sailboat if you have the right credit card. I had a CYC Hunter 426 hit my boat while they attempted to anchor on a calm afternoon. The entire crew was teenage boys and none of them looked like Zac Sunderland. Money talks.  

sailboat charter requirements

Northeric said: The entire crew was teenage boys and none of them looked like Zac Sunderland. Click to expand...

FWIW I chartered with BVI Yacht Charters a couple years ago. They really wanted to know if I had been the master of a sailing vessel that was within 10 feet of the length of the one I was chartering. (I also have RYA day skipper and extensive inshore sailing experience driving small keelboats and crewing on larger ones. They didn't seem to care much about either of those.) I could've just lied about my experience, obviously (but didn't have to). We saw plenty of folks out there who were not even a little qualified to be operating their vessels, and should've gotten a skipper with the boat. We also saw plenty of folks who had a hired skipper, and they seemed to be having a great time. If you're not confident, I'd highly recommend getting a hired skipper for at least part of your charter.  

jeremiahblatz3 said: I could've just lied about my experience, obviously (but didn't have to). Click to expand...

sailboat charter requirements

You could probably buy a trailer sailer with accomodations for about the same price as chartering. It might not be the same as sleeping on a 40 foot boat, but it isn't all that different either. Some people prefer it because you can tuck into coves and creeks you wouldn't dare to visit on a bigger boat. Any way. I suspect most people buy a smaller boat first to see how they like it. At least in Canada you can often sell a trailer sailer for what you paid for it with little effort because they don't have the same kind of ongoing costs associated with them as marina kept boats. A season with a 20-22 footer will give you as good of an indication if boat ownership is for you as a few nights of chartering.  

sailboat charter requirements

To answer the question: You would think so if you've ever watched the charter beater show late afternoon at Foxy's on JVD. White Bay is scoured bottom. With crap on the bottom. They drop 2:1 scope, jump in the dinghy and head for the bar OR they can't get an anchor set. In any event, it's entertaining to watch. Point is, it's that kind of thing that can be important as anything.  

A couple of clarifications to Rush. When someone has trouble sleeping on a boat, I assume they are usually referring to at anchor. You could rent a boat and sleep in the slip. As long as it is not storming it would be like a gentle waterbed and should be very restful. At anchor even if calm you have some more motion and the concern of dragging or swinging into another boat. In a storm at anchor you add to the concerns of dragging and bumping to a potentially rough night making sleep even harder. I assume you get used to it, or there would be a lot of tired cruisers out there. If you are trying to move onto a boat and liveaboard on a budget you will be anchoring out a lot. If you stay at a home port, slips are not so expensive but as a transient boat, your cost of a night in a slip goes up. As an example in the westcoast of the US slips go from $400/month to $1-2/night per foot. My impression is everything is harder/more expensive in Europe in terms of certifications and boat prices. Is owning a trailerable boat even an easy option for you? It seems like having a big truck or an SUV and a spare acre in your back yard is rare in Europe. I'd suggest doing a local charter or in the Med before you buy a boat.  

Think the requirement in Asia is a working Credit card..  

Stick with ASA. I know of one "charter school" that showed up momentarily in the Virgin Islands with bases Stateside, elsewhere, that Charlie Noble at ASA called me about. They were outright banned, no ASA, so they started their "own" 'International Bareboat Certification.' They had some good captains, but . . . never mind. Stick with ASA.  

So it's international? You know I'm in The Netherlands right?  

sailboat charter requirements

There are two schools in the US; ASA and US Sailing, with similar course tracks. ASA is more common, and I know there are good instructors out there (some who teach for both), but I get the impression that many of the schools try to fit too much material into too few days. For people who will be doing sailing outside the US it's probably better to do an RYA course (or your own country's course if required, but RYA may be better for vacation charters).  

sailboat charter requirements

As has been said elsewhere by others, any charter company I would trust the boat from will want you to have recognized credentials before they hand it over to you. In the US, I know the American Sailing Association oversees many sailing schools. Here in Canada Sail Canada (formerly Canadian Yachting Association) does the same. Over in Europe I know the royal yachting association out of the UK is highly recognized. There are different levels of chartering certification. The most common is a daysail bareboat charter. You have to secure the boat from Sunset to sunrise and you can’t be out of sight of land. You’ll need to take a course in coastal navigation as well as several levels of competent crew before you’d be certifiable as a skipper. You’ll probably also need a restricted operators certificate (Marine) for VHF. if you love sailing and being out on the water, and again as others have suggested, invest in a skipper to accompany you on your charter. Not only will that make it easier to get into different boats but it will also give you some practical exposure to the sorts of things you’ll need to know to get your own skipper certification.  

sailboat charter requirements

FWIW I wish I had chartered a boat a few times before buying one. It would have been good experience to sail/anchor/live on several different kinds of boats to learn what I wanted on my own boat. Racing will also give you more experience with boat systems, although not necessarily with sleeping/anchoring. I love cruising but I rarely sleep well at anchor, and hardly at all if it's really blowing or rolling in the anchorage.  

emcentar said: I love cruising but I rarely sleep well at anchor, and hardly at all if it's really blowing or rolling in the anchorage. Click to expand...

sailboat charter requirements

I find sleeping on a boat to be great, and I'm prone to sea sickness. It's the only time I wake up refreshed.  

That said, I love sleeping at anchor. Nothing better than napping in the cockpit under the stars on a summer night, or curled up in a sleeping bag below with my anchor alarm nearby. I just almost always sleep with one eye open.  

sailboat charter requirements

In the Caribbean they required a sailing resume even though I have a 100Ton captains license with a sail endorsement and have raced and cruised for over 30 years.  

Around 1984 or 85, I inquired about a bare boat charter somewhere near St. Thomas. I was told that I would need some certifications, perhaps they might have been ASA, I don't remember. I was not able to rent that boat. ASA 101/103 seem to be wanted by many outfits down there these days. A few years later, I was able to rent a small sailboat in Massachusetts after a 10 minute check out by a 15 year old kid. In the late 1990's, I tried to rent a 20-something foot boat from a place in MD, that swore I needed certifications. I came back the second day, when another guy was there who was able to check me out. He was going to charge me to take me out for a check ride, but after I corrected most of his terminology as he explained how to set up the boat, he didn't even bother to take the boat off the dock. He just said that I was good to go. Those guys were really nervous. When we dropped sails to go for a swim, they sent someone out on a jet ski to find out what our emergency was. According to them, if our sails were down, we were in trouble. I was not able to convince them that was not the case. They also didn't want me docking the boat. They wanted to tow us in with the jet ski. It was the first time I had ever not done a drop sail landing on a keel boat. Around 2002, I was able to rent a 20-something foot boat from a place in Chicago, after a 30 minute chat, in which I convinced them that even though my passenger was not a sailor, they should still rent to be because I single hand in the ocean all the time anyway. My crew got seasick. I did single hand coming back in. The confused swells in the great lakes were a surprise to me. The requirements at that location were for a minimum of two certified sailors to rent a keel boat. Basically, things vary a lot from place to place & sometimes rules get bent for people who have experience & can demonstrate skills. If you want to try before you buy, you might want to look into joining a local sailing club or yacht club. Many times, people are looking for crew.  

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How to Charter a Boat

If you want to sail off into the sunset, at least temporarily, you need to understand how to get aboard first.

An illustration of the bow of a boat with three women with flowing hair and cocktails looking over a man playing a guitar and then off in the water, four other vacationers are sunbathing on inner tubes.

By Lauren Sloss

This time of year, it’s an inevitable thought: Life would be that much better out on the water. Specifically, on a boat.

Even if you have neither a boat nor boating experience, it’s never been easier to make your nautical dreams come true — whether you want a day trip on your local lake or a fully staffed multiday voyage in a far-flung locale. Here are the initial questions that will help you plan an adventure on the water.

Whom are you traveling with?

Thinking about the size and dynamic of your group is an important first step, even if you are simply going on a day trip. Will children be on board? How old? What about elderly parents?

Dan Lockyer, the chief commercial officer of Dream Yacht Worldwide , strongly encourages travelers to determine group size — and, ideally, get people committed — before booking.

“The location that you want to go to, the time of year that you want to go, the type of boat that you want will entirely depend on the makeup of the group that you’re sailing with,” Mr. Lockyer said.

Do you want to captain, or do you want a captain?

Different charter companies specialize in certain locations, types of boats, itineraries and services. Some companies offer the opportunity for a “bareboat” charter, in which you rent the boat and take on the navigation and provisioning yourself, while others exclusively offer fully staffed options, including a captain and a cook.

If you want to captain the boat yourself, almost all outfits require some kind of proof of sailing or boating experience, often in line with local regulations.

Edward King, 45, an executive at a streaming company based in San Francisco, is experienced in sailing the city’s waterways. But on vacation, he said he would prefer to let a captain and crew take the lead.

Mr. King said he appreciates a captain who is familiar with both the local waters — “they’ll know how to avoid sailing into a certain sandbar,” he said, — as well as the local attractions.

In contrast, Matt Blake, 38, a software engineer based in Oakland, Calif., was eager to grow his sailing experience during a recent trip to La Paz, Mexico, with his fiancée. He hired a captain but made clear that the captain was there to help and teach.

Where do you want to go?

“Do you want something that’s more culturally oriented? Nature oriented? An adventure trip?” asked Mary Curry, the voyage product director of Adventure Life , which offers small group tours and private trips on land and on water around the world.

That answer can determine your destination. Popular cruising grounds include the Caribbean, Croatia, Alaska and French Polynesia, but the sky — or the sea — is really the limit. For help narrowing your focus, travel advisers often have relationships with charter companies or outfits around the world, and sailing publications offer recommendations.

Kyla Malkani, who has had experience with charters working as a destination wedding planner, recommends consulting the concierge of waterfront hotels, particularly for short-term or day rentals.

“A lot of times they will have either their own fleet or they will have some sort of connection at a dock,” said Ms. Malkani, 37, who is based in Washington, D.C., and is currently working as a content creator and freelance event planner.

What kind of boat?

Where you want to travel and for how long will likely determine the kinds of boats that are available to you. Crucial at this point, too, is an understanding of the boat’s layout and amenities.

“You definitely want to choose the right kind of boat,” said Ms. Malkani. “If you want more adventure, a sailboat is nice. If you’re looking for a luxury party environment, a yacht is best. And if you’re looking for something smooth, for older people or with kids, a catamaran is great.”

David Barclay is a luxury travel adviser who has also chartered boats for his own vacations.

“You want to match what the travelers want to what the boat offers,” he said.

Perhaps a group of friends might not mind a catamaran with functional but not luxurious marine bathrooms, but a multigenerational group might prefer more high-touch amenities.

When should I book?

Often, charter trips are once-in-a-lifetime experiences that require a great deal of advanced planning.

“You may have a specific place you want to go, or a specific time of year you want to travel,” said Mr. Barclay. “And some places just aren’t good at certain times of year.”

Naturally, you don’t want to be at sea in the Caribbean during hurricane season, or in the Mediterranean during winter storms. But you also might want to avoid peak cruising seasons, too.

The first three weeks of August are quite popular, said Mr. Lockyer. “If you have some flexibility and can travel in early July, you’ll get the same sort of great weather, a greater selection of boats and the anchorages won’t be as crowded.”

How much does it cost?

Charter costs are incredibly variable, dependent on all of the factors coming into play: your boat type and size, your destination, your group size, the amount of crew you’d like and the amenities on board. That said, costs could range anywhere from $2,000 for a day on a sailboat to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a multiday mega-yacht charter. Have a budget in mind when beginning your research process.

What if I didn’t plan far in advance?

While advanced planning is encouraged, and often necessary for bigger boat trips, it’s possible to book a boat last-minute.

Boatsetter , an Airbnb-like platform for boats, is a good resource for last-minute bookings, especially for day trips, and even has an Instant Book option for down-to-the-wire bookings.

“If it’s for a special event, or around major holidays, you may want to book a month or two in advance. But for general bookings, you can find options within a week or two,” said Kim Koditek, Boatsetter’s head of brand strategy and communications, of the company’s overnight offerings, which appear on their platform under the luxury yacht charters category .

Ms. Malkani has used Boatsetter for some of her charters, most of which have been booked with a specific goal in mind.

“I’m a sunset chaser,” she said. “My husband and I just really love being on the water, and we always try to squeeze in some sort of boat day activity when we’re traveling.”

For more travel advice, visit our collection of Travel 101 tips and hacks.

Come Sail Away

Love them or hate them, cruises can provide a unique perspective on travel..

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 Icon of the Seas: Our reporter joined thousands of passengers on the inaugural sailing of Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas . The most surprising thing she found? Some actual peace and quiet .

Th ree-Year Cruise, Unraveled:  The Life at Sea cruise was supposed to be the ultimate bucket-list experience : 382 port calls over 1,095 days. Here’s why  those who signed up are seeking fraud charges  instead.

TikTok’s Favorite New ‘Reality Show’:  People on social media have turned the unwitting passengers of a nine-month world cruise  into  “cast members”  overnight.

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feadship project 1012 yacht launched

92m hybrid electric Feadship Drizzle delivered to owner

The 91.8-metre Feadship superyacht Drizzle has now been delivered following successful sea trials in June. According to BOATPro , her final destination is Malta, an archipelago in the central Mediterranean. 

The superyacht was last seen departing from the shipyard's facilities in Amsterdam (13 June). Built for a repeat Feadship owner who came to the project with "informed requests based on his long experience of yachting", Drizzle 's design is by Dutch studio Sinot and the owner's related design office.

Characterised by chamfered exterior contours and a more traditional flared bow, the yacht has a modern-classic style with naval architecture by Feadship De Voogt Naval Architects . Notably, she is the first Feadship to carry full Hybrid Electric Class notation.

Drizzle 's interior is designed to reflect an "understated family home" with natural materials and finishes throughout. Accommodation is found on the main deck, along with the large pool and open-air lounge shaded by the deckhead overhang.

Meanwhile, the owner's suite, family lounge and wellness area are situated on the upper decks. Up top, the sundeck serves as an observation vantage point with a forward-facing sofa and sun loungers, while the aft deck is used for storing two rescue tenders.

One of the owner's key requirements in building the yacht was to house a more spacious beach club in the stern, which occupies one-quarter of the total length of the lower deck. The large, fixed stern platform combines with two fold-down platforms to create 165 square metres of water-level lounging space. Sweeping staircases on either side of the stern platform lead to the main deck aft. 

Between the engine room and the beach club is a side-loading garage with room for two 10-metre tenders, a ski boat and various water toys. Forward is the crew area, comprising the galley, crew mess and crew accommodation.

Drizzle carries full Hybrid Electric Class notation, the power package comprising two main engines and shaft-driven fixed pitch propellers, coupled with electric motors of 560kW each and 1MW of Li-ion batteries. The e-motors work as shaft generators to produce electricity to serve the hotel load or recharge the battery bank, as well as for low-speed navigation while the generators or batteries generate the required electrical power.

Albert Abma, Feadship project manager, commented on the launch in April: "Working with the experienced owner, designers and owner's team has been a professional pleasure. Gathering the operational experience of the owner's team with the yard’s building experience has resulted in this modern-classic, state-of-art and full-custom new Feadship".

The news comes closely after the first proper sighting of Project 713 , Feadship's first solar powered superyacht. She is now preparing for sea trials.

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sailboat charter requirements

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Wildfires Threaten Below Deck Mediterranean’s Entire Charter Season: “We Gotta F-cking Go”

"I have to figure out how to get out," Captain Sandy Yawn said as she navigated a scary issue on Below Deck Mediterranean. 

sailboat charter requirements

While a good crew can control almost every detail of a guest's experience on a mega yacht, they can't control the weather. And sometimes, that sets the course for an entire charter.

How to Watch

Watch Below Deck Mediterranean  on Mondays at 9/8c and next day on  Peacock . Catch up on the Bravo app . 

During Season 9, Episode 7 of Below Deck Mediterranean , viewers got a glimpse of the wildfires that tore through Greece in summer 2023. While docked in Athens, Captain Sandy Yawn and crew were pressured to get on the road (er, sea) because of the blazing fires nearby.

"If we don't get off the dock, we're spending the day in the bulk of the smoke," the captain explained before the next batch of guests arrived. Once they did make it onto the boat, she called bosun Iain Maclean up to the bridge to chat. While the waves were looking better (which meant they could depart without major seasickness!), another super yacht had docked right in front of them.

Here's What You May Have Missed on Bravo:

Aesha Calls Bri Out for Sleeping in Joe & Nathan's Cabin: "Are You Doing It to Prove a Point?"

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Below Deck Med Returns for Season 9 in a Historic Location — and with Returning Yachties

"Typically, I wouldn't take the risk to leave the dock, but because we have so much smoke coming in I have to get this vessel off the dock, so I'm going to take the risk," Sandy shared in a confessional. "It's crazy. You can see the fires over the hill, I have clients on the boat, and I can smell the ash that's on top of us. I have to figure out how to get out. There's six inches between the ground line, the dock, and the other boats. I'm boxed in, and if I make one wrong maneuver, the season is over."

Bravo Fans Are Loving This Best-Selling Below Deck Mediterranean Season 9 Merch

After dismissing Iain, she let deck crew know their escape window had arrived and they needed to head out. While it was pretty tight to navigate, the pressure was on.

"We've gotta f-cking go," someone exclaimed over the radio.

A split of Captain Sandy Yawn and Iain Maclean.

Captain Sandy Yawn reacts to weather challenges on charter 

Earlier in the episode, Sandy foreshadowed the issues while discussing the weather.

“We may be delayed a little bit. It’s a little rough,” she told Aesha Scott about 30 minutes before guests were supposed to arrive. All over the boat, the crew was watching the wind pick up.

“I can’t have a lot of wind when I’m trying to maneuver out of the slip,” the captain added in a confessional. “I have to wait for a weather window. We have to get off the dock before the fires get closer and the smoke starts coming into the marina. So we have to be ready when it’s time.”

See Why Aesha Scott Leaves the Boat In a Shocking Below Deck Med Preview

Captain sandy explains the anchor issue on mustique.

Before the wildfire conundrum,Sandy had trouble even getting to the marina . At the end of Episode 6 and beginning of Episode 7, the crew was dealing with a "scary" and "f-cking expensive" anchor issue that made their guests miss their flights.

"The anchor shaft isn't working, so we're going to have to leave the anchor," Sandy explained in the episode. "We put the buoy on it and get the divers, and then we get it transported back to the marina. And then we install it there, because we need our anchor."

Luckily, a team was able to retrieve the (important) piece of equipment. But while that issue is solved, we still don't know what will come of the current problem. Find out if Mustique makes it out to sea without incident by tuning into Below Deck Mediterranean  Mondays at 9/8c on Bravo. You can also stream the next day on Peacock.

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  1. Requirement to Charter a Boat

    sailboat charter requirements

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    sailboat charter requirements

  3. What Is Sailing Boat and How to Charter One

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  4. How To Prepare For Your First Sailboat Charter

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    sailboat charter requirements

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    sailboat charter requirements


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  1. What Qualifications Do I need to Charter a Yacht?

    Qualifications. 20 days or 400 miles as skipper on an equivalent size yacht. RYA Day Skipper with experience to a higher level. RYA Coastal Skipper. ICC with experience to a higher level. A Temporary certificate of competence is compulsory in Belize. Understand large tidal variations, deal with strong currents, and be able to make a passage plan.

  2. What are the rules for chartering a yacht in the USA?

    The owner maintains primary possession of the yacht. One contract agreement. To legally operate crewed charters in US waters, the yacht must be; US flagged, and. Hold a coastwise endorsement. To be eligible for a Coastwise endorsement, the yacht must either have been: Built in the US, or if foreign built; Must be granted with a MURAD Waiver.

  3. What Qualifications Do You Need to Charter a Yacht In 2024

    To skipper a bareboat charter yacht or participate in a flotilla, outside the Caribbean, you are likely to need a practical sailing certificate equivalent to RYA Day Skipper Practical, International Certificate of Competence (ICC), ASA 103, 104 or above. For charters in Greece now, you required to hold an ICC certificate.

  4. How to Charter a Yacht: A Beginner's Guide

    This year in the Caribbean, Sheila Ruffin of Soca Yacht Charters has launched a "Stranger on the Seas" package. Prices start at around $6,000 per person—all-inclusive—on catamarans between ...

  5. Resumes & Requirements to Yacht Charter

    Bahamas Sailing Requirements; Belize Charter Application; Croatia Sailing . Croatia Sailing Requirements To charter in Croatia, there must be at least one certified skipper over 18 years old. The skipper should be competent at handling a yacht in close quarters, anchoring and mooring in varying conditions and be able to use navigation and ...

  6. Are you qualified for a bareboat yacht charter?

    NauticEd, a company we work with, can issue a Sailing License and Credentials (SLC) which is accepted in Mediterranean countries as bareboat charter certification. To get your SLC you need to: Pass a one-day assessment course. Have enough days sailing on boats of a certain size and as master.

  7. Minimum qualifications for bareboat chartering a yacht or catamaran

    In addition to a sailing license, to charter bareboat in Croatia at least one of you (either the skipper or one of your crew) will need to have a VHF qualification (to operate the VHF radio) - but you don't need a formal qualification for this elsewhere in the Med, or in the Caribbean. Qualifications accepted for bareboat chartering (by country)

  8. What Qualifications Do I Need to Charter a Yacht?

    Some local authorities and charter companies require you to have official certifications to sail their waters. In other countries, you may just need to prove that you know what you're doing, i.e. provide a sailing resume to showcase your sailing experience. Sometimes you'll need to provide both a formal certificate and proof of experience.

  9. What Are The Bareboat Charter Requirements?

    To charter a bareboat yacht, you'll need a valid sailing license and proof of experience. Check the requirements for smooth sailing! ... There you have it; we've broken down all the yacht charter requirements for anyone hoping to rent a bareboat charter. As you can see, there are some boxes you'll need to tick as a sailor to get permission ...

  10. Bareboat Yacht Charter

    Bareboat charter sailing vacations deliver a private yacht adventure on the water for groups of up to 12 guests. Select a yacht from our extensive custom-built fleet of spacious catamarans and classic monohulls, and sail it yourself. Choose from over 20 amazing destinations throughout the Caribbean, Americas, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, Far ...

  11. Start Your Bareboat Charter Dream by Earning Sailing Certifications

    Basic Keelboat Sailing (ASA 101), Basic Coastal Cruising (ASA 103), and Bareboat Cruising (ASA 104) are the foundational courses for learning to sail and charter a sailboat. The ASA has over 400 schools around the world. Local and weekend classes are spread across six-week courses, while destination schools in Caribbean hotspots offer seven-day ...

  12. Charter a Sailboat: Cost, Prices, and Expenses Explained

    In this example, the base charter fee for a 40-foot sailing yacht is $2,500, while for a 45-foot catamaran, it is $4,000. Note that these are sample prices and actual rates may vary based on the charter company, location, and other factors. It is important to know that the base charter fee does not include additional expenses like fuel, provisioning, marina fees, or optional extras.

  13. Yacht Charter & Sailing Vacations

    Set sail in over 20 amazing sailing destinations around the World. Whether you are interested in a chartered yacht, a social flotilla or just relaxing while a Sunsail skipper takes the helm, we have the perfect sailing escape for you. From the Caribbean to Southeast Asia, the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, we invite you to let the world's ...

  14. Bareboat Charter 101

    In order to make your bareboat sailing charter as convenient as possible, there are things you might need to carry alongside the normal provisioning. Some of these items include a 12-volt DC to 110/220-Volt AC inverter with USB outlets (for charging the phone, camera, etc.), European to American-style plug adapter, iPod and audio jack cable, as ...

  15. The Bareboat Charter

    A bareboat charter allows you to rent a boat without the inclusion of a crew or captain. This means you are responsible for the navigation, safety, and management of the vessel throughout the duration of your trip. This type of charter is ideal for those with a sufficient level of sailing proficiency and those who prefer a self-guided maritime ...

  16. How to Plan a Yacht Charter

    Step 1: What Type of Boater are You? The most important thing to consider when booking a yacht charter vacation is exactly what type of charter you want to experience. There are 3 main terms to know: "Bareboat", "Skippered", or "Crewed". A Bareboat charter is one in which you are the captain of your own yacht.

  17. Yacht Chartering 101: What You Need to Know Before Your First Voyage

    Use it to wipe your mouth and hands discreetly, and remember to place it neatly on the table when you leave. Proper use of glassware: Familiarize yourself with the different types of glassware and their purposes. Use the appropriate glass for each beverage, and hold it by the stem to avoid smudging the glass.

  18. Ask SAIL: Credentials to Become a Bareboat Captain

    The answer varies between charter companies, but there is a basic set of qualifications—both official and intangible—that you'll need to captain a charter boat. If you follow these steps, you'll both fulfill a charter company's requirements and acquire the skills and confidence necessary to be a great skipper. 1) Get certified.

  19. Yacht charter

    Yacht chartering is the practice of renting, or chartering, a sailboat or motor yacht and traveling to various coastal or island destinations, for business or vacation.. There are three main kinds of charter: bareboat, skippered and crewed. Bareboat charters require the client to skipper the boat themselves, while skippered charters include both boat and a professional skipper.

  20. Qualifications You Need To Charter A Boat

    You can always consider your Yachtmaster certification ("106" in ASA-talk). The Bareboat Skipper (aka Day Skipper) allows a person to sail during the day in moderate conditions, within sight of land. The Yachtmaster ramps this up, giving the skills necessary to sail at night, in poor conditions and - for the Offshore Yachtmaster and Ocean ...

  21. Can Just Anybody Rent/Charter a Sailboat? What are The Requirements

    Problem is group charters are off due to Corona, and I've only been sailing about a dozen times. It would be wonderful to actually rent a few boats and to actually sleep on them before choosing one to buy. But I wonder what are minimum requirements of renters/charter companies to allow me to rent say a 30-36 foot sailboat? Are there licenses?

  22. How to Charter a Boat

    Often, charter trips are once-in-a-lifetime experiences that require a great deal of advanced planning. "You may have a specific place you want to go, or a specific time of year you want to ...

  23. Luxury Yacht Charters & Sailing Vacations

    The Moorings is proud to have one of the newest fleets in the industry, and an array of incredible destinations to explore. Whether you set sail on one of our state-of-the-art catamarans in the British Virgin Islands, a classic monohull in Greece, or an exhilarating power catamaran in the Bahamas, each charter offers a unique opportunity to be ...

  24. 92m hybrid electric Feadship Drizzle delivered to owner

    One of the owner's key requirements in building the yacht was to house a more spacious beach club in the stern, which occupies one-quarter of the total length of the lower deck. The large, fixed stern platform combines with two fold-down platforms to create 165 square metres of water-level lounging space.

  25. GLEAM Sailing to partner with Casco Bay Custom Charters to offer

    Casco Bay Custom Charters, Portland's premiere private boat charter company, is excited to announce a partnership with GLEAM Sailing from Newport, Rhode Island.

  26. Private Yacht Charters & Yacht Vacations

    The Moorings offers a range of options to help you create a one-of-a-kind group charter experience. Completely customizable with five or more yachts, a group charter can be organized to your needs with the help of our dedicated Groups & Incentives team. Select your desired destination and dates, then choose from bareboat, crewed or power yacht ...

  27. Wildfires Threaten Below Deck Mediterranean's Charter Season

    While a good crew can control almost every detail of a guest's experience on a mega yacht, they can't control the weather. And sometimes, that sets the course for an entire charter. During Season ...