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Yacht Charter Terminology

Yacht Charter Basics

Yacht Charter Destinations: New England and most of the Caribbean and the Mediterranean are considered “classic” charter grounds. They have the infrastructure to support a robust yacht charter industry. If new to bareboating, chartering in one of these destinations is a good idea because there are plenty of other charterers to help if trouble abounds. Just about every other yacht destination in the world is considered an emerging yacht charter destination. This includes destinations like the Chesapeake Bay, East Asia, and the South Pacific. Don’t let this be a discouragement; there are amazing places to charter outside of the “classic” destinations. There are just some extra steps that need to be taken to ensure a great yacht charter vacation. If bareboating, a charterer needs to make sure they understand the cruising grounds, rules, and regulations. If chartering a crewed yacht (and also bareboating), having a broker that is familiar with the destination, rules and regulations, and yachts is a significant benefit.

Bareboat Yacht Charter: There are companies that have fleets of power and sailing yachts that can be chartered without a captain, with a captain, and with a captain and first mate/cook. Bareboats are the choice for people that want to captain their own boat. They are also the most economical option for a yacht charter. Bareboats can be booked directly through bareboat companies or indirectly through brokers.

Crewed Yacht Charter: Power and sailing yachts available for charter with a crew of at least 2. Crewed yacht charters can be booked by any yacht charter broker.

Yacht Charter Companies and Booking Agents

Yacht Charter Brokers: Any yacht charter broker can book any bareboat or crewed yacht charter. Brokers spend their time visiting yachts and interviewing yacht charter crews. So naturally, each broker will have its portfolio of yachts and destinations they are familiar with. Even if they are not familiar with a particular yacht or destination, they probably know somebody who is. Besides being familiar with the yachts and crew, brokers know yacht charter contracts, the rules and regulations of destinations, and have purchasing power – all of which will help ensure a charterer has a great yacht charter vacation. As for compensation, the yacht that is booked pays the broker a commission. The charterer does not have to pay the broker anything and the yacht charter rate is unchanged.

Yacht Charter Management Companies: Yacht owners who want to charter their yacht hire a yacht charter management company to manage the yacht’s charter calendar, escrow charter payments, and market the yacht charter through brochures, the Web, and yacht charter shows. Some of the other services the management company may offer include crew placement and maintenance. Brokers work with yacht charter management companies to book yacht charters.

Yacht Charter Clearing Houses: Similar to a management company, clearing houses manage charter calendars, provide escrow services, and market yacht charters. However, they do not offer as many services as yacht charter management companies. Brokers work with clearing houses to book yacht charters.

Types of Charter Cost Considerations

Yacht Charter Gratuity: Appropriate gratuity for reasonable service is 10%-15% of the base yacht charter rate to be given to the captain who will divide it up among the crew.

Yacht Charter Provisions: This is food, alcohol, and anything else the charterer will need on their yacht charter. On a crewed yacht charter or bareboat, the crew will stock the boat. Charterers can request favorite foods, beverages, cigars, and other amenities and the crew will try to have it on the boat upon arrival. If chartering a bareboat without a cook, the charterer will go to a grocery store before they leave and purchase supplies (although most bareboat companies will provision for a fee).

Yacht Charter Incidentals: On a crewed yacht charter, provisions, fuel, and taxes are usually in addition to the base charter rate.

More yacht charter basics.