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With Crew or Without – Which Private Yacht Charter Option is Right for You?


“My husband and I are thinking about taking the family on a boating vacation in the Florida Keys late Spring/early Summer. I’m assuming it’s more affordable to rent a boat and run it ourselves.  Do you agree?”

Pam K, Coral Gables, FL


What a great idea, Pam – since you live in South Florida, a Florida yacht charter vacation in early summer is a great way to explore your “backyard,” at a time when most tourists have left the area.  Fewer crowds equates to quiet anchorages!

As a general rule, it IS more affordable to “DIY” (Do It Yourself) and drive your own bareboat (a boat that you rent without a hired crew). Affordability, however, is not the only important concern.

Deciding if a Florida Keys #bareboat yacht charter or a crewed Florida yacht charter is your best bet depends upon three primary factors:

  1. Capability
  2. Responsibility
  3. Budget

solid white power catamaran underway


CAPABILITY – When you rent a car, you are required to have a driver’s license.  While no license is required to rent a bareboat, you ARE required to demonstrate experience and competency.  If you are not capable of operating a bareboat, based on the submittal of a cruising qualifications resume, you will be required to retain a professional crew to operate your rental boat.

RESPONSIBILITY – Even if you are qualified to rent a boat without crew, you must decide if you want the responsibility of  operating your own yacht.  When you rent a bareboat, you do it all – from safe navigation, to cooking and cleaning.  Some people love the hands-on experience.  Of course, this is not for everybody, as some people prefer to sit back, relax, and leave all chores and responsibilities to someone else.  If this better describes you and your family, then a yacht with a crew is the way to go.  On a crewed yacht charter, your crew is fully-responsible for the operation of the yacht, as well as cleaning/maintaining the yacht and preparing the meals for the guests.

BUDGET – Like most vacations, your desired budget will often dictate which option is best for you.  IF you are capable and enjoy the responsibility of operating a boat on your own, a bareboat #yachtcharter will give you the best bang for your dollar. If you want and can afford more than a “bare bones” vacation – one where you are served and #pampered the entire time – then a private luxury crewed yacht charter is the way to go.

A 47 foot bareboat power catamaran in #Miami, suitable for 8 passengers, can be rented in the late spring, early summer for under $10,000 per week.  In addition, you need to factor in the local tax (about 7%) and mandatory damage insurance (estimated at $50 per day).  Of course, don’t forget to consider the cost of food and beverages for your family for the week (or for however long you charter your bareboat).

A similar-sized crewed yacht, such as a 51 foot power catamaran, will cost approximately $21,000 per week, but this rate includes your meals, beverages, and a professional crew of 2.  The only “unknown” expenditure is an optional gratuity for your crew.

Here’s the good news!  Whichever type of chartering is right for you – with or without crew — there is surely a boat out there within your budget and in line with your qualifications, capabilities, and desires.  Let’s go #boating!!!


For price quotes and availability, contact 1-800 BAREBOAT  for self-drive, DIY boating options, and 1-800 YACHT CHARTERS for fully-crewed luxury yachts. #1800yachtcharters #1800bareboat

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About Jana Sheeder

1-800 Yacht Charters. Providing The Superyacht Experience since 1976. Luxury yacht charter vacations in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Bahamas, South Pacific, South Florida, Miami and the Keys, Italian Rivera, Belize. Megayacht charter company focused on generosity, Pay it Forward, Random Acts of Kindness, giftivism, giving back to the ocean, to the needy, and the environment with every superyachting charter. Providing eco-friendly alternatives while on yacht charters and known for 6 star customer service, experience, and generosity.

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