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The 3 Biggest Mistakes on a Yacht Charter

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Photograph of a blond woman in a white tank top holding her head. She is screaming.


Sail boat charters have been called the ultimate in personal vacations.  They offer a chance to spend time for multiple things. For instance, spend time with the family, explore new places, and relax in comfort and privacy.



Renting a yacht with crew gives you a platform for all of your vacation goals.  You do not have to compromise.  But knowing what (and what not) to expect during a yachting vacation is important. It can mean the difference between a memorable family getaway and a trip never to be repeated.



There are the 3 biggest mistakes made during a yachting holiday. Additionally, here are easy steps to take to avoid problems.



Photograph of a crowded cruiseship deck

1.  Having a Cruise Ship Mentality – for many, the first vacation experience at sea takes place on a cruiseship.  A luxury yacht charter vacation is not similar to a cruise.  Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters explains:

“To accommodate hundreds of passengers, cruise ships must offer a structured vacation with scheduled stops and prearranged activities, etc.  On a private yacht, there is minimal structure, and it is important for the client to have some general ideas as to where to go and what to do.  Communication with the crew is paramount, as they need direction in order to properly customize the total vacation experience, as they can change at a moment’s notice, per a guest’s desires.”


2.  Attempting Overly-Ambitious Itineraries   –  Sometimes, charterers will try to visit as many ports of call as possible. They work everything into their charter itinerary.  Yachts are unlike large cruise ships with crews working round-the-clock shifts.  Sailboats and motoryachts with crew rarely travel after dark. 

“If you ask your crew to zip from one place to another, they will do their best to oblige,”  says Sheeder“Rushing from port to port leaves little time to relax and explore each unique destination.  We encourage our clients to chat with their crew prior to the charter, to discuss itineraries, and the cruising time required to get from one port to the next.  By keeping time underway to a minimum, the passengers can spend more time at anchor, and engage in watersports, sightseeing, and relaxing without the pressure of rushing to the next destination.”


Photograph of girl in blue jeans and a pink shirt. The view is from her torso to her knees. She is pulling out the insides of her pockets.

3.  Spending Over Budget – The typical yacht charter vacation is tailor-made and customized to a client’s preferences.  Many expenses are a-la-carte.  Before a charter, the customer first places a deposit.  It is often referred to as an “Advance Provisioning Allowance” or “APA.”  The skipper then collects it.  It is to be used for the yacht’s running expenses, for instance, food, fuel, and dockage.  An APA is typically equal to 20% of the charter fee.  The funds are then held for use during the charter.  Sheeder cautions:

“Clients need to remember, the crew will spend these funds as needed to meet the customer’s requests.  It is easy to deplete these funds by requesting vintage and premium alcohol brands, or by cruising under power for long hours each day, and burning large quantities of fuel.”   Sheeder encourages her customers to prepay larger APA deposits – around 30%.  “We want to avoid any embarrassing scenarios where the skipper is forced to come to the client multiple times during the charter, to ask for more money.”  Unused APA money is returned to the client after the charter, so it is better to be safe and budget extra money for expenses.



Looking for an easy-to-plan, hassle free vacation?  At least contact the yachting professionals at 1-800 Yacht Charters HERE.   Of course let us take you from your door to your dream.

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