Contact a yacht charter broker to begin your seafaring adventure.
Chartering a superyacht for the first time is a thrilling experience and often sparks the beginning of a seafaring obsession. An endless itinerary of destinations is sure come with each destination promising a limitless selection of memorable sights and experiences. But with such a vast proliferation of choices to be made with regards to the vessel, the itinerary and the finer details, it can be somewhat overwhelming for a first-time charterer or sailor looking for a catamaran for sale.
By tailoring your yachting experience for your personal requirements, an experienced charter broker will certainly be able to recommend the finest charter yachts on the market and can explain in-depth how to charter a superyacht. However, in order to maximize the enjoyment of your charter, you should make a few preliminary considerations. We’ve compiled this concise guide to chartering a superyacht to give transparency to the process and to ensure you enjoy the perfect yachting experience. Bon voyage!
1. Consider The Kind Of Yacht You Would Like To Charter
Would you like to travel quickly between destinations? Will your party value stability and comfort over experience? Do you value the traditions of seafaring over modern luxuries? These questions will help you decide whether a sailing yacht or a motor yacht is the right way to go. There are, of course, worthy merits for both but first-time charterers are usually more inclined to opt for motor yachts due to their comfort and convenience. The type of hull you choose will make a tremendous difference to the speed your charter yacht travels, the stability of the yacht in the water, and the cost of fuel.
On motor yachts, the three main hull types are:
- Full displacement (slower but more stable)
- Semi-displacement (medium-pace and somewhat stable)
- Planing (fastest but least stable)
Remember, you can always increase the stability if you choose a yacht with stabilizers. Also, you’ll need to remember that the higher the speed, the higher the fuel costs – generally speaking. If you are already out at sea, worry not – your charter broker can help inform your decision.
2. Plan Where You’d Like To Go. Where Can I Charter A Yacht?
Deciding where you want to charter is possibly the most fun part of your preparations. Browse through a yacht charter broker’s website, reading the descriptions of each of the cruising grounds. The best charter broker websites will suggest yachts that are available for charter in each area, meaning you will be able to narrow down your yacht selection according to the region.
When deciding on a yachting destination that you are yet to visit, it is worth speaking with your broker to better understand the yachting infrastructure in that particular region. Some cruising grounds may be better than others for your group’s requirements. For instance, if you’ve got young children, destinations with lots of islands within a small cruising area, such as the British Virgin Islands, are a good choice. Likewise, if you’re heading to the Bahamas, you’ll want a yacht with a shallow draft. The Mediterranean and Caribbean yachting regions are particularly popular, as destinations in these areas best cater for yachts and their guests.
3. Give Some Thought To Your Group’s Tastes And Interests. What Can I Do While On A Yacht Charter?
When selecting a yacht to charter, it’s important to think about a few practicalities: factors such as guest numbers, desired cabin layout, preferred amenities and the importance of water toys should all play a role in informing your decision.
You should also think about the areas in which you will spend most of your time. For some, the sun deck is the most important feature, while others value the salon. Your destination may also impact on the choice of yacht. For example, an expedition yacht is essential if visiting remote locations. Would you like a Jacuzzi on the sun deck or aft beach club? Or perhaps a full-beam master suite, spa, waterslide or amphibious car is more to your liking? All of these options are possible on luxury superyachts, thus the hardest part is deciding what you would like.
4. Tell The Yacht Charter Broker Your Seafaring Dreams
Now that you’ve got an idea of where you want to charter, what kind of yacht you’d like, which luxury features are non-negotiable, and you’ve given some thought to what you would like to do while on charter – it’s time to convey all this information to your broker. At this point, he or she can then tell you how much it might cost to charter your dream superyacht.
Good brokers know a broad selection of yachts and their crews very well, so they can take this information and provide you with a shortlist of new charter yachts that are perfectly tailored to your preferences. They can tell you about the award-winning chef on a particular yacht, for example, the charter crew that has a reputation for going above and beyond for families and the yachts with a spectacular range of water toys.
5. Breeze Through The Contract Process
With a charter broker at your side, navigating the contract process is straightforward. Once you’ve decided on your charter yacht, the broker will draw up a standard MYBA contract, which looks after the rights of both you and yacht owner.
You’ll also be told about any tax requirements for the areas that are applicable to your charter, and you’ll also be asked to deposit an APA (Advanced Provisioning Agreement) of around 25-30% of the charter fee. The APA is additional to the charter fee and covers the costs of provisioning the yacht with food and drink, fuel costs, berthing fees and any other additional costs you might accrue during the trip. Anything that’s left over from this sum at the end of the charter gets refunded to you.
6. Fill Out Your Preference Sheet (Don’t Skip This Step!)
You don’t have to fill out the preference sheet but it is in your interest to do so. This sheet gives you the chance to tell the crew what your favourite foods are, what drinks you’d like to have stocked on board, any allergies or religious considerations that should be accounted for, what your favourite activities are, if there are any birthdays or celebrations during your charter, and even what flowers, newspapers, and music you like!
Also, give some thought to what kind of cuisine you would like to eat, your preferred service style (silver service or family style, formal or relaxed) and any activities that you would like to experience during your yachting experience. The more information you provide, the more personalized your yacht charter will be.
7. Sit Back While The Broker And Crew Prepare Your Vessel
While you’re counting down the days until you set sail with your luxury superyacht charter, the broker and captain will be in close contact with you to create your bespoke itinerary. Top brokers have visited the major yachting destinations and are extremely familiar with what they have to offer, while yachts’ captains have a wealth of cruising knowledge and can offer advice on the best dive spots and secluded anchorages.
While the broker and captain are drawing up the itinerary (itineraries are largely adaptable and are preapproved by the guest), the chef will be stocking the fridges with your favourite foods, the chief stew will be ordering your wine and champagne and the yacht will be cleaned, buffed and prepared to perfection for your arrival.
Other Key Points Worth Knowing About Superyacht Charter
When Is The Best Time To Book A Yacht Charter?
It’s a good idea to book your charter significantly ahead of time, particularly if you are planning to charter in peak periods, such as July and August or over the New Year period. Six months ahead is generally the recommended timeframe, but some yachts are booked up to a year in advance. If you’re happy to charter outside the busy times or months, your charter rate will often be discounted and you could be pleasantly surprised by how much it costs to charter a superyacht.
How Long Is A Yacht Charter?
Charter yachts are normally booked for the week – often Saturday from 12pm to 12pm on the following Saturday. However, there are plenty of other options available on many yachts, whether you want to charter for 10 days, 10 weeks or even just a day or weekend charter.
What Can We Do While On Board?
Yachts carry modern entertainment and communications systems on board. Nowadays, most charter yachts have Wi-Fi capabilities, so unless you’re engaging in remote cruising, you’ll still be able to enjoy the Internet while on vacation. There are also plenty of games and movies on most vessels to keep everyone happy – for those rare moments you’re not playing on the water toys, dining on deck or lounging on the beach, of course!
Finding the perfect yacht charter is easy with a professional charter broker at your side, but it always helps to do a bit of research beforehand to narrow down the sea of choices. And let’s face it, there are worse ways to spend your time than pouring over yachting websites, deciding between cruising the Maldives or Seychelles, or between a superyacht with a beach club or a spa!