A short guide for beginners
Yacht charters are at an all-time high this summer as luxury travellers seek to find adventure whilst maintaining social distance norms. Among the influx of bookings, many are reportedly coming from first-time charterers that have swapped their customary 5 star hotel accommodation for a safer experience at sea.
However, being a new entrant to the yacht chartering world can be very confusing and frustrating as little information about what to expect and prepare is readily available.
Never fear, DDW has prepared a handy list to prep you for your upcoming trip at sea (as ever, if you are a DDW member we will help you through this process directly, just ask);
Size of Yacht
The first thing you want to settle on is the size of your boat based on your needs. You may value deck space over indoor space (or vice versa) or you may want more comfortable bedrooms. Regardless of what you choose, try to keep in mind that space is typically at a premium and less luggage tends to make for more comfort. If you’re sharing the yacht with friends or family, make sure you discuss these (and other) points in advance… there’s nothing worse than getting into an argument over the size of the plunge pool when at sea.
Type Of Trip
When chartering a yacht it is essential to decide on what type of trip you wish to have; whether you will be cruising every day from port to port, doing water sports throughout the day or mooring up and relaxing on board. Deciding this in advance, and any potential day-trips, will greatly help you in maintaining your budget (NB: fuel and mooring fees can cost more than the charter itself) and give the crew time to prepare for any eventuality.
Every yacht takes on the personality of its crew and they can make or break the quality of your trip. Because of this it is imperative that one only charters through a reputable chartering company as these will have well trained and experienced crew members that will elevate your holiday. Further, should you need any specialist crew members (masseuse, doctor, etc) one must let the charter company know with at least 6 weeks notice where possible. Remember, you need cash to tip them at the end of the trip – the standard amount is between 5%-15% of charter cost depending on how you liked the service. All cash is given directly to the captain and they will distribute it evenly on to the crew.
Your On Board F&B
Yacht charters typically come with crew, captain and boat. Food and drink is not always included and you need to liaise with your captain to stock up with anything you want on board (some charters come with an APA cost of 30% which covers fuel, food and beverages as well as any additional fees and taxes which the itinerary may necessitate. Any remainder is always refundable at the end of the charter). If your charter has a chef, they can provide a total cost based on the foods you like. Remember to let your captain know what drinks you would like on board as well – running out of rose whilst out at sea can be a real tragedy.
The Boring Stuff
Unfortunately, yacht chartering has an unglamorous (yet crucial) side also. Before the fun can start one must sort any necessary visas, insurance, cash for tips, etc. These can be tedious to arrange but a good charter company will help facilitate the process as much as possible.