Yacht chartering is the practice of renting, or chartering, a sailboat or motor yacht and travelling to various coastal or island destinations. This is usually a vacation activity, but it also can be a business event.
There are two main kinds of charter: bareboat and skippered. Bareboat charters involve a person renting a boat and skippering it themselves. The other way is gathering up a group and renting the yacht with them. Most bareboat companies also offer courses to teach basic seamanship and prepare people for bareboat chartering. These companies also sometimes provide skippered charters, meaning that boat comes with a skipper but no additional crew.
Skippered charter means the yacht comes with a crew. This can be anything from a 35-foot boat with a two-person team serving as captain and chef to a 300-foot boat with a squad of 30 or more crew members including stewardesses, engineers, mates, deckhands, scuba dive masters, and the like.
Several factors determine the cost of a charter, including the size of the yacht, its age, its pedigree, the number of crew, time of sailing (whether it is high season or not) and the destination. The worldwide range of charter prices (per person per week) is estimated to be from $1000 up to and in excess of $20,000.
The rate for mega yachts or superyachts that are over 150-foot to 300-foot is estimated respectively to be from $45,000 up to $3,000,000 (per week)
Crewed charter means that the yacht is rented with a full crew. Usually the crew is based on the specific yacht. A captain, a chef, a decks hand and a hostess are a typical crew. In many destinations the crewed charter is taxed differently from a Skippered charter.
Skippered charter means that the yacht is rented with a professional skipper/captain who is responsible for the maneuvering of the yacht. In several cases the skipper is aided by other crew members as well.
Skippered charter is normally used yachts for which a skipper/captain with documented special nautical skills and experience is required. However, skippered charters exist on all types of yachts.
Having become quite popular in the last few years, cabin charters represent the ideal solution to enjoy sailing cruises for those who don’t yet have the skills for a bareboat charter or those who want to board a crewed luxury yacht, but can’t justify the cost of acquiring one.
The charter costs regard just a berth aboard the yacht and the provisioning, both for food and fuel. The cabin can be shared with a friend or even with a travel mate met on board, but the expertise and knowledge of a local skipper is guaranteed and there is no caution to be paid for possible damages to the yacht. The costs vary a lot: from very little like €500 for a week to more luxury offers starting from €700 where each cabin has its own private bathroom and the crew on board will take on all cooking and cleaning duties. Super yacht charters can cost €125,000–€240,000 per week plus expenses.