Chartering a yacht for the first time 

The following articles are intended as a guide to chartering a yacht for the first time.  We strongly advise that you contact your charter company for full details and read your charter agreement in full to ensure you comply with the charter requirements.

If you are thinking of chartering a yacht for the first time there are an abundance of geographical locations with exciting sailing opportunities to choose from.  Each country may have different types of charter and have different qualification requirements and this can be confusing.

The number of crew, the experience of the skipper and the type of sailing you would like to do will need to be considered when you are planning your charter.  Some items like dinghies, outboard motors, starter food packages maybe optional extras, so check with your charter company to ensure you know what is included. Gas may be included in the charter but fuel will be an additional cost.  Check to see if you need to return the boat with a full tank, or if you will be billed separately for the fuel that is used throughout the charter.
Always read the detail in your charter documentation and if you have any queries or concerns, ensure you ask your charter company before you confirm your booking.

Type of charter
The type of charter you choose will depend on your qualifications and experience and the experience of your crew.  Even if you are an experienced skipper you may choose a skippered charter to enable you to fully relax and enjoy your holiday.

Bareboat Charter
‘Bareboat’ charter involves chartering a boat without a skipper or crew.  Bareboat charter in most countries will require the proposed skipper to hold the minimum of an ICC (International Certificate of Competency) qualification and require at least one member of crew to have some ‘sailing experience’. An RYA Competent Crew or Day Skipper qualification is usually sufficient for this purpose.  A bareboat skipper will be responsible for all aspects of the charter from provisioning, passage planning to the actual sailing of the boat.

Flotilla Charter
Like bareboat charter, a flotilla charter boat is being chartered without a skipper or crew.  Flotillas can vary in size depending on the time of year, but you are likely to be sailing with other boats and will be able to socialise with the other crew in port.  Unlike a bareboat charter there will be a ‘lead skipper’ who will plan the passage each day and help the other skippers and crew bring the boat in and out or port if required.  The lead skipper is always available on VHF if any of the flotilla boats have any problems.  The majority of countries will require a flotilla skipper to hold an ICC and to be accompanied by an experienced crew member, but a detailed sailing CV maybe accepted if a skipper has some sailing experience.

Skippered Charter
A skippered charter involves chartering a boat with an experienced skipper on board. The skipper is there to make all the decisions allowing you to enjoy your holiday.  You can choose how you much or little you would like to participate in the sailing of the boat. Depending on the size of the boat will depend on the number of crew accompanying the skipper on board.

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