Your First Sailboat Charter: 10 Tips for Your Dream Holiday
1. Crew selection
No matter where you go, choosing the right people for your trip is crucial. Yacht charter holidays are something special and should go as smoothly as possible. Because people behave differently in different situations, it makes sense to pay close attention to this at the beginning of holiday planning and to check the compatibility of the future crew as much as possible to make the holiday as pleasant as possible.
2. Travel planning
When planning to charter a sailboat, it is important to discuss all the individual wishes and requirements of the crew members and to agree on the holiday budget, type and size of the yacht and, at least in outline, the starting point, route and destination.
3. Set goals and expectations
If the crew members discuss constructively before the holidays what exactly each of them expects, this will ensure everyone’s interests are taken into account. For example, when one part of the group might want to spend more time visiting ancient sights and the other part would like to spend the whole day sailing or when some prefer to anchor at the end of the day and cook dinner themselves, while others would rather go to the port and find a good restaurant, it is important to raise such issues before leaving for the voyage, when there is enough time to find harmonious solutions and it is much easier to make compromises.
4. Choosing the right yacht
When it comes to deciding on a yacht, it is important to be realistic about the requirements and options, both experiential and financial, of all participants.
If your priority is to have plenty of space on deck and inside, a catamaran may be the right choice for you. Because it has a shallow draft, it is also suitable for anchoring near selected beaches and deep in sheltered bays. On the other hand, it should be taken into account that a multihull carries higher mooring fees.
For experienced sailors, classic monohull sailboats are the most common choice. However, if you want to move quickly and get from port to port easily, the best choice is one of the motor boats (motor yachts, power catamarans, speedboats, etc.).
5. Boat rental insurance
The two most important optional yacht charter insurances are deposit insurance and skipper's liability insurance. To avoid later misunderstandings, it is advisable to conclude both even when traveling with family members or friends.
In order to avoid possible inconveniences due to the sudden cancellation of your charter rental, you should also consider insuring the risk of cancellation.
6. Maneuvering of the yacht
Be realistic about your sailing skills so you can start your charter vacation as relaxed as possible. It is usually sufficient if at least one member of the charter group has a skipper's license and proof of sufficient sailing experience.
If you are not completely sure of your ability to operate a vessel, it is better to hire a professional skipper and leave it to him to take care of sailing, anchoring and docking. Just sit comfortably and indulge in nautical pleasures.
7. Skipper, chef and hostess
That being said, if you have enough experience, you can operate a chartered yacht yourself. Alternatively, you can hire a professional skipper who, with a good knowledge of local conditions, will take over the planning of the sailing route and also carry out the agreed safely.
While the skipper takes care of your safety, the hostess can take care of your comfort. According to the agreement, she can relieve you of the supply and delivery of food, ensure the cleanliness and orderliness of the vessel (both outside and inside), serve snacks and drinks, and offer assistance to the skipper during the manoeuvres of the vessel.
If you are burdened by cooking and countless tasks related to the holidays, if you prefer to take more time for yourself instead or want culinary pampering, a private chef is available. He will be happy to take care of your special eating habits and, with carefully selected ingredients, make sure you enjoy the local cuisine.
These staff members can be hired individually or together, but you must take into account that they need to be provided with a suitable rest cabin on the chartered vessel.
8. Clothing, adapted to the season and weather
Depending on the chosen sailing destination and the time of year, try to adapt as much as possible to the prevailing weather conditions. You should always be prepared for sudden changes in weather, so it always makes sense to take care of appropriate clothing. Even in the warmest months of the year, sometimes rain jackets, fleece or long pants are a necessary piece of equipment.
9. What to take with you?
When packing, remember that there is not much storage space on the yacht, so folding travel bags are an ideal solution. Depending on where you are going, choose the right clothes for the prevailing weather at the destination. For sailing, you may want to have deck boots, a windbreaker, a sun hat, sun protection, and perhaps sailing gloves. In addition, you will almost certainly need sunglasses, as well as some medications and medical or nursing aids.
10. What else to consider?
When planning a trip, it is helpful to take enough time to avoid stress. Even if you get there a little early, take the opportunity to acclimatize, drink coffee, get to know the marina and gather some basic information.
Visa or Covid certificate requirements vary for each charter destination, depending on the nationality of the guest. The most reliable information on the regulations of each country can be obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.