Delivering Your Superyacht Experience Since 1976
local and international
toll-free north america

Tag Archives: Laws

FWC: Boating safety education requirements in FL change for 2010

Posted on

Thanks to Lee Stephens for this article. 

This article is beneficial to people who enjoy private yacht charter vacations or who operate their own private yacht or enjoy sail boat charters.

Boating safety education requirements have changed in Florida effective January 1, 2010.

Boat operators who were born on or after January 1, 1988 must pass an approved boating safety course and possess photographic identification and a boating safety education identification card issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to legally operate a boat with a motor of 10 horsepower or more.

We want to encourage everyone, regardless of when they were born, to take an approved boating safety education course, because all of us can learn something new, even if we have been boating all our lives,” said Captain Carol Keyser of FWC’s boating and waterways section. “For some, it is now required to take the course.”

There are a few exceptions. For instance, a person born on or after January 1, 1988, who operates a boat within 90 days after purchasing it, does not need a boating safety education identification card if a bill of sale, which meets the requirements of Florida law, is onboard. After the 90-day period ends, the boat operator needs to meet the educational requirements. Those who possess a current United States Coast Guard license are also exempt.

Boating safety education course - Florida Bobbercard

For inquiries, contact FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement at 1-850-488-5600.

This entry was posted in Educational and tagged , , , ,

Posted on

Malta Eases Restrictions On Private Yachts That Carry Over 12 Passengers

Posted on

Yacht marina in Malta with superyacht in foreground and Maltese flag flying above marina



One of the biggest hurdles for large families and groups seeking to enjoy a private yacht charter vacation has been partially lifted by the yachting registration authorities in Malta.


In late December, 2016, Transport Malta, the administrative authority that oversees regulations for yachts flying the flag of Malta, introduced new guidelines for private yachts that carry more than 12 guests.

Long a stumbling block to the charter industry, most private charter vessels, no matter the size, were restricted to carrying no more than 12 passengers, even if enough cabins were available to accommodate more than 12 guests.  Yacht owners who wanted to bypass this restriction were forced to build their vessels to standards established for commercial ships and cruise liners – adding enormous costs to the project.  Most yacht owners elected to avoid the extra costs and burdensome regulations – and built luxury charter vessels for 12 or fewer guests.

Maltese authorities saw an opportunity to reduce restrictions on private yachts built to high safety standards, and to allow these safe, well-built and professionally-operated vessels to carry more than 12 passengers.  Ivan Sammut, registrar general for the Maltese flag, explain how Malta saw a gap in the market. “You have to evolve to stay relevant in this marketplace,” states Sammut. “Malta hopes to be more than just a European flagging alternative; we have a holistic view of the superyacht market and want to become a turnkey destination for private and commercial superyachts alike.”

The new certification, summarized in the “Guidelines for Pleasure Yachts Carriage Capacities,” is part of an ongoing Maltese initiative to introduce contemporary standards in the area of private yachting.  To qualify, a superyacht seeking to register in Malta and fly the Maltese flag:

  • Must be over 24 meters.
  • Not navigate beyond 150nm (nautical miles) from safe haven.
  • Be in class and in possession of the necessary stability booklet.
  • Comply with the Maltese Commercial Yacht Code.
  • Comply with all applicable international conventions.
  • Carry requisite safety equipment based on the number of persons on board.
  • Maintain a crew compliment in line with the commercial yacht code.

Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters, views the new regulations as long overdue. “It’s discouraging to turn away a large, extended families of 13 or more from their dream of enjoying the superyacht experience together on one yacht.  We anticipate many superyacht owners with vessels that feature cabins and capacity for more than 12 guests to register their yachts in Malta.  This is one more contemporary component in the growth of our private luxury yacht charter industry, and we hope other flagging authorities will follow Malta’s lead.”

Interested in a luxury yachting experience for your large family?  Text “MORE THAN 12” to 305-720-7245 for more information or fill out our convenient online booking form, and our team will be in touch with you right away.

This entry was posted in News Educational and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted on

Monitoring International Laws Keeps Yacht Charter Maven On Her Toes

Posted on

Digging Deeper

You would think Delivering the Superyacht Experience to boating clients would be pretty straightforward:  A client expresses interest in a yacht for a family vacation; the charter broker presents several options; and the client makes a selection.

In reality, it’s not nearly so clean and to the point  – at least not for the handful of super-brokers who handle the world’s elite travelers.   Just ask luxury yacht charter maven Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters.

According to Sheeder, matching a yacht to the client’s budget is just the starting point.

“While our clients are most interested in a yacht’s layout, amenities, and price, we dig deeper – into the yacht’s registration, the nationalities of the crew, and any governmental regulations and laws that might impact the success of the charter and comfort and respect of our clients.”


photo of large red Maritime book on its side with a gavel lying on top


El Método Español

As an example, Sheeder mentioned the rules affecting yachts for hire in Spanish waters.  “We’ve seen a significant increase in interest in Spain, particularly Balearic Islands yacht charter vacations,” says Sheeder.  “Many yachts based in the South of France and Monaco are willing to deliver to the Balearics to accept theses charters.  However, yachts not in possession of a Spanish charter license are at a significant disadvantage, and face restrictions as to where the charter can begin and end, and what nationalities are permitted in the crew.  Something as simple as bringing on a Spanish resident to offer therapeutic massages to the charter guests could be a problem if the yacht is not licensed for charter in Spain.”

Other licensing and legality issues Sheeder and her staff monitor are:

  • Local regulations regarding the charter guests’ use of watertoys such as waverunners.
  • VAT implications of chartering in certain European Union countries.
  • Advance entry requirements prior to arrival in certain ports of call.


“Not understating these regulations and laws can result in a negative experience for the charterer and  guests, and in some cases increase the overall cost of the charter by 10% or more – a significant sum considering many charters are priced in the €500,000 to €1,000,000 per week range.”                 


La Manière Française

Currently, Sheeder is monitoring the possible impact of French social security tax responsibilities on yacht crews.  In March 2017, a decree was passed to require crewmembers and their non-French employers (the yacht owners) to make contributions to ENIM – the French mariners’ social security agency. Any yachts and crews spending more than 90 consecutive days in France or French waters are subject to the tax.  The decree was suspended Sept 13, following a disastrous summer tourist season that saw France luxury yacht charter revenues plummet by 40%.

Sheeder is waiting to see if the decree is actually overturned in 2018, or if it will come back in a modified form. “These increased costs associated with crew wages end up being are passed on to the charterer, in the form of higher rates for yacht rentals,” says Sheeder.    If the decree is reinstated, Sheeder plans to either offer her clients yachts with French crew, or to convince them to bypass French waters and charter elsewhere in the region.


Going The Extra Mile

Do affluent charter clients realize the level of detail involved in orchestrating a vacation on a superyacht?  Sheeder chuckles at the question: “Probably not, but that’s fine with us. It’s like an attorney getting your traffic ticket dismissed in court.  You don’t care how he or she does it –  as long as you don’t have to pay the ticket!  It’s a similar scenario for us – we obsess over the small details in order to deliver a memorable vacation experience to our clients.  A pat on the back is nice, but a satisfied charterer who becomes a repeat customer is even better!”


A luxury yacht charter is the ultimate vacation for today’s elite travelers.  Wired, connected, and driven by sustainability and the greater social good, they want to immerse themselves and participate in unique cultural events. 1-800 Yacht Charters understands that their chartered yacht must serve as a platform to an eco-friendly adventure – a chance to reconnect with family and friends, embrace diverse cultures, and rejuvenate mind, body, and spirit.  If this sounds like your next vacation, CONTACT our charter consultants at:  1.800.922.4824 (North America) or 305-253-7245 (local South Florida and international) today.


This entry was posted in News Educational and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted on

Thailand Opens Door for Phuket Yacht Charter for Foreign Superyachts

Posted on

The restriction that kept superyacht charter vessels away from Thailand has officially been lifted, opening the door for more foreign-flagged yachts to offer vacation rentals in Thai waters.

In September, the Thai government issued a Royal Decree to allow yachts to apply for a Superyacht Charter License for Thailand. Until now, only Thai-flagged yachts were allowed to operate charters in the countries territorial waters, with foreign megayachts restricted from beginning and ending their trips in Thai waters (although temporary entry was allowed).

White sand beach in front of aqua water and 3 large rocks. 3 colorful wooden boats pulled up onto beach.


According to Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters, the new license, in effect, has created a new destination for private yacht charter vacations. “We can now offer an exciting new cruising destination in Southeast Asia to our clients,” says Sheeder. “The decree will make it easier for charter yachts to relocate for the winter at the conclusion of the summer Mediterranean season.”

Thus far, 3 licenses were granted in Bangkok on the same day the decree was issued. The first license issued was granted to 41m OCEAN EMERALD, one of three identical charter yachts (OCEAN SAPPHIRE and OCEAN PEARL the others) well known in the Mediterranean.

In related news, Thailand’s Prime Minister has announced the new Thailand Yacht Show will take place at the Ao Po Grande Marina in Phuket in February 2016.  Located in Phang Nga Bay, the marina is undergoing major upgrades including berths for up to 200 yachts, a permanent breakwater, provisioning outlets (ideal for Thailand bareboat charter clients), and luxury condos overlooking the marina.

For information on arranging a charter vacation in Thailand, email your request to us at, call us at 1-800-YACHTCHARTERS (1-800-922-4824), or use our convenient online form.  We look forward to working with you.

This entry was posted in Destinations News and tagged , , , , , , ,

Posted on

Yacht Charter Pros Answer – Will New Rules In British Virgin Islands Impact Private Yacht Charter Guests?

Posted on

In what appears to be a case of “Security versus Tourism,” the British Virgin Islands (BVI’s) have initiated a new policy wherein everyone coming into the territory by sea is now required to present himself/herself IN PERSON to immigration authorities.  This includes guests on both bareboat yacht charter and superyacht charter vessels.

The policy takes effect immediately…

New immigration rules in BVI require yacht charter travelers to check in with security in person

According to a government spokesperson, Her Majesty Customs of the Virgin Islands has, “…taken this step to minimize the potential entry of criminals, firearms and illegal substances into the territory.”

Will the revamped policy affect charter passengers?  Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters, explains how the new procedure differs from prior requirements: “In the past, only the captains of yachts were required to disembark and take with him or her all of the passports of the onboard guests. Now everyone is required to present themselves with their passports and their belongings.”

No one disputes the sovereignty of the local authorities to safeguard their islands and residents. Still, for an island economy that depends heavily upon charter yacht tourism, the new policy seems a bit draconian, especially when there is little evidence to suggest tourists, and not local residents of the US and British island chains, are responsible for any uptick in criminal activity.

So, are local authorities barking up the wrong tree?  Sheeder thinks so.  She questions the necessity to impose upon well-heeled travelers who have already been “pre-screened” through the yacht charter reservation process. “The idea that firearms and illegal contraband will be brought ashore by luxury yacht charter guests is misplaced,” says Sheeder.  “Clients sign a charter agreement that clearly outlines firearms, narcotics, and contraband are not permitted onboard.  Furthermore, being in possession of such contraband can lead to the immediate termination of the charter – without refund.”

If any illicit materials are discovered by the crew, the yacht will proceed to the nearest port, where the guests will be escorted off the yacht. With so much at stake, there seems little need to further screen these guests and their crews upon entry into the BVI.

How will the new regulations impact yacht charter tourism in the BVI?   It’s too soon to tell, as the new rules went into effect September 1st.  It is possible charter vessels will simply bypass the British portion of the Virgin Islands and modify their itineraries to focus solely on the US and Spanish Virgin Islands, where captains can still clear the passports for all onboard guests.

British Virgin Islands government administration building where cyacht charter guests must check in


In the the short-run, Sheeder is confident the impact upon charter clients can be minimized.  “We pride ourselves in delivering the superyacht experience. We will offer our clients alternative destinations in the US and Spanish Virgin Islands, and throughout the Caribbean.  For those clients who still wish to explore the BVI, we know we can rely on the captains and crew.  If they need to carry the luggage and escort the guests into the immigration office and back to the yacht, we know that they will do so in the most efficient, professional, and friendly manner.”

Planning a yachting vacation?  Check out the hottest SPECIALS here

This entry was posted in Caribbean News Educational and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted on