I’ve been involved with many chartered yacht experiences over the years. It is an excellent and unforgettable experience that requires a lot of careful research to get right. Too many people don’t spend the time looking into this process and may struggle to have a good time. Thankfully, I have a few tips that can streamline this process and make it far more enjoyable.
Top Tips for Booking Your First Charter
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, charter yachts took on a considerable business increase. People simply wanted a way to get out of the bustling world with rampant disease and infection. Since then, I and others have seen more first-time yacht fans getting into the mix, with only minor success. Chartering a yacht isn’t as simple as just hiring a team to help you.
There’s a careful balance to follow here, including choosing your budget carefully, researching the yachting team, and working with a broker. Jumping head-first into any of these steps is more likely to cause problems than success. As a result, you need to sit down and read through these suggestions to ensure that you get the best results. Let’s tackle each subject one at a time.
Know Your Yachting Budget
What kind of money do you have for your yacht chartering experience? You’re going to need a good amount to have an enjoyable trip. For example, some people were spending $1 million per week on superyachts. If you don’t have that kind of money, there are options available to you that may still cost thousands of dollars to book for a week.
The thing about chartering a yacht is that multiple people can contribute to its costs. For example, if you book a 50-person yachting experience that costs $200,000 for a week, that’s just $4,000 per person. That should be more than affordable for the kind of person interested in chartering a yacht. Just as importantly, this investment can be a tax write-off if you’re going on a business trip. So keep that in mind.
What do you get with your costs? You not only gain access to the boat but pay for the crew, all the food, meal preparation, entertainment, and much more. Just think of what you’d get if you booked a yacht trip without paying for the whole experience. However, you also get control of where the yacht goes and other aspects. That often makes it more than worth it for those with good money.
Note that you can often adjust your budget and your experience in subtle ways to make it more or less enjoyable. For instance, you can skip steps like budgeting food if you plan on cooking on the yacht yourself. There are endless options here if you’re creative. Just know that you’re spending thousands of dollars or more and plan for everyone else who attends to pay a similar amount.
Choosing a Yachting Team Carefully
Before booking your yacht, I strongly suggest researching your options and what you can expect from your crew. There are many available charter yachts, and their crew should have a top-notch reputation. Avoid booking from any team that doesn’t seem on the level or which has confusing booking experiences. Just as importantly, talk with each crew to learn more about their overall experience.
For example, has your crew gone out on multiple trips with extended voyages? How well do they know the area that you’ll be exploring? Is everyone fully licensed and free from any criminal charge? Check with various sources, such as the Better Business Bureau, to learn more about any potential charges against your team. That step may seem excessive, but it can save you a lot of trouble.
Sit down and talk with your yachting team before you ever get out on the water. Get a feel for their personalities and their abilities. Do they seem like the kind of people you’d want to spend a lot of time with and with whom you can quickly work? It is vital to find a crew that is willing to listen to you but who is also more than willing to give suggestions for your experience.
For instance, if you want to go to visit an island, a good yachting crew should let you know if there are any dangers, such as diseases or even aggressive natives. Furthermore, they should let you know about bad weather and other potential concerns. In this way, your crew should be competent enough to listen to your suggestions but adaptable sufficient to let you know when they’re not wise to pursue.
Choosing a Yacht Broker
While it’s possible to handle booking your yacht yourself, some experts suggest a broker. A good broker will research things like the yacht, its crew, and their experience. They’ll also help you figure out what kind of adventures you may experience on the vessel. These can include things like visiting unique countries, traveling to various celebrations, and having fun in other ways.
In this way, a broker can ensure that you get the best experience by doing all the research for you. Are they indispensable, though? They’re an excellent choice for a first-time yachting experience. They can handle things that you might not even think about, such as booking specific entertainment options or finding skilled meal preparation teams for the crew.
That said, he also suggests moving away from a broker once you have more experience in booking yachts. It’s not that a broker doesn’t provide a helpful service. However, they do add to your budgets, sometimes as much as 10% or more, depending on their service. If you’re already looking at a pretty heavy yachting feel, that extra price can be challenging for many people to stomach. I suggest only using them if you’re uncomfortable booking or aren’t sure how to check in with crews or yachts before your big trip.
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