Chartering a boat offers an unbeatable chance to explore a new kind of boating experience and trying out a particular boat charter service can help when you are on the way to owning your own boat.
Different Types of Boat Charters You Can Rent
Whether you charter with a professional crew or a bareboat under your command, chartering lets you hone your boating skills like nothing else. There are many types of charters, which vary by specific activity, needed experience and cost, including:
- Bareboat Charters
- Crewed Charters
- Cabin Charters
- Yacht Charters
- Fishing Charters
The most common is the bareboat sailing charter. You work with a charter company to reserve a boat that you’ll provision, navigate, berth and command on your own. It is called bareboat because you will be the captain creating the itinerary, sailing, anchoring and caring for the boat yourself. Therefore, a level of sailing experience is needed.
Most bareboat charters are done on sailing monohulls or catamarans, although more companies now offer motor yachts in the bareboat service. You can hire a bareboat charter in popular areas worldwide and your local waters via sailing or boat clubs that offer everything from daysailers to 25-foot bowriders and pontoon boats.
Bareboat doesn’t mean basic service. Most charter companies will:
- Help you select a vessel for specific dates
- Offer partial or complete provisioning
- Provide charts and a briefing to share highlights of local attractions, information on hazards
- Walkthrough a tutorial on the boat’s equipment
If you leave the driving and the details to someone else or would like instruction during your vacation, you may wish to find companies that offer crewed charters. On smaller yachts (say below 60 feet), a crew can consist of a captain only or a captain and a chef. But, again, provisioning may be done for you and will be part of the price.
The captain manages the boat and usually takes you to the most popular parts of the cruising grounds. They will know the details of what to see, where to eat, and how to sail. They’re the responsible party in case anything breaks or goes wrong, so your vacation is more about relaxing rather than working.
A professional captain also adds to the charter fee and is usually tipped at the end of the charter for good service.
The cabin crew boats, but instead of renting a whole boat, you pay for a cabin on a shared boat. The pros include having a knowledgeable captain who provides expertise and safety and may also teach the basics. Cabin charters are also cheaper when you don’t have a group of like-minded friends who want to split the cost of a boat.
The downside of a cabin boat charter includes being on a boat with strangers. On the other hand, it can be a great way to meet people or a long week of putting up with personalities you don’t care about.
Although arguably a 50-foot catamaran may be called a yacht, authentic yacht charters typically involve luxurious crewed superyachts over 80 feet. These vessels are generally all-inclusive (food, fuel, alcohol, dockage, etc.) and provide a captain, mate, chef and perhaps other crew dedicated to running the vessel and serving your specific needs.
Superyachts generally stay in one region for a season and then move to new cruising grounds.
Alison Lurie is a farmer of words in the field of creativity. She is an experienced independent content writer with a demonstrated history of working in the writing and editing industry. She is a multi-niche content chef who loves cooking new things.