Planning Sailboat Charter
How to Plan Your Next Sailboat Charter
Do not let the price tag scare you away from booking a chartered sailboat vacation. Contrary to popular belief, there are several companies that are willing to match practically any budget. The price of a chartered vacation is comparable to that of a skiing or resort based getaway. Vacation brokers are well versed in utilizing their skills to meet your specified price point.
There are two separate charter payment options, you either pay per-week or you pay per-person. Let's do some math, if you would like to board a forty two foot charter boat for one week then your price tag will be around $4,300. When you break this number down between six people you end up paying about $720 dollars a person - considering you will be sailing for a week on the ship of your dreams - that is a small price to pay. Make sure to ask your broker if there are expenses excluded from the base ship price, such as fuel, water, and/or taxes.
Planning a sailboat voyage make sure you book your charted boat in advance. These days renting a charted sailboat is becoming more and more popular among outdoor enthusiasts. When searching for a suitable charter option consider checking out Groupon. At Groupon you will find a huge selection of sailboats available for rent. In addition you can save using Groupon promo code.
The type of sailboat you choose to rent is entirely up to you! Dates of availability may play a small role in which ship you chose to book but otherwise you hold the rights to decide between a cruiser, racer, catamaran etc. Catamaran's are great for people who are new to sailing because they are ideal for shallow water cruising, tucking into coves for a swim and lunch, contain a lengthy amount of space and remain level for most of the cruise. If you have never been on a catamaran before, several companies offer to take you out for a day to get your sea legs. This way you can test out which boat will work for you up close and personal.
It is also highly beneficial to study literature concerning the different fleet's available. There are numerous websites that contain photos of each ships layout and when they are available to charter. When choosing your charter make sure to consider everyone in your party - does anyone require special accommodations for handicapped abilities etc. You are about to sail with six or more people and it is best to keep everyone happy!
Online you will also find a list of each ships amenities and extra equipment provided by the charter. This list should include all electronics, extra dinghies, safety/galley equipment, the entertainment system, towels, and linens. If you are looking to charter in an area with a tropical reef, a good charter will also provide snorkeling gear, kayaks or paddleboards. These water toys can really enhance the enjoyment of your stay. In the case where you are unsure if a charter has extra amenities or equipment, just call and ask! The crew will be more than happy to answer any and all questions you may have.
Keep in mind that airfare is not included in the price of your charter. Several companies partner with travel agencies that will be able to help you complete your travel requirements. In many cases the provided agencies will be able to book your flight or hotel for much cheaper than what is offered by the basic discount websites, just make sure to book your stay plenty of time in advance (at least six months).
It is extremely important to check if provisions are included in your charter price or if you need to provide them out of your own pocket. Keep in mind that you may save money buying your own provisions but your first day sailing could be spent shopping for food instead. There is also the option to purchase partially stocked provisions. A partially stocked charter will provide you with a starter package of food that will last you the first couple of days out at sea so that you may begin sailing right away.
Now that you have narrowed down where you want to stay, and which ship you would like to book, it is time to shop around for prices. Charter sailing companies are able to offer very competitive pricing! This is when it is time for you to bargain. You should begin by calling several different charter companies for pricing quotes. Take note of how well the company's representatives answered your questions and how fast you received your requested information. How well a company handles their customer service is a good indication of how experienced they are.
Boat shows are a great way to check out charter companies as well. At a boat show you are able to talk to a charter company's representatives face to face and receive real time answers. If you are lucky the company will have your charter of choice on property! If so, you will be able to do a walk through of the ship and really get a feel if it will work for you. Boat shows are also known for offering amazing discounts if you book onsite. Keep this in mind when heading to the show and be prepared to save some serious money.
Once you have made your choice of sailboat charters it is time to make your deposit and sign the charter contract. The charter contract is in place to protect both you the client and the charter company itself. This way all misunderstanding are avoided prior to port departure, such as the cancellation policy, sailing restrictions, insurance and liability. Upon signing your charter's contract, it is a good idea to specify a few key points. For example, make sure to clarify how the company compensates for time spent fixing the boat if a problem arises. Sometimes an entire day could be lost at sea due to a boat complication. If the problem was not caused by you, then you should be compensated for the days lost. It is common for a charter company to either credit you towards a future charter or refund the specific days lost.
Another point to go over is what happens in the case of a late charter. Let's face it, boats are boats and can have complications when you least expect it. However, if you are standing at port for more than sixty minutes and your charter has yet to arrive, your company needs to offer you an alternative ship. This alternative ship should be comparable to what you have already payed for or better. It is only fair for you to be compensated for the inconvenience.
Your charter contract should also specify the company's policy for ship support. If something should go wrong with the boat while out at sea, the company's contract should contain a detailed guide for how to repair the issue or who you are to call to request a technician. Technicians are available twenty four seven, every day of the week.
The charter contract will also layout your payment schedule following the initial deposit. Your payments will be made in prearranged increments during the months leading up to your charter sail date. It is normal for a company to also request a refundable security deposit which protects them in the rare case that you cause damage to the charter ship. If all goes well, your deposit is typically returned to you within ten business days.
It is in your best interest to look into traveler's medical insurance, especially if your current medical insurance does not cover you when you travel outside of the united states. You should also make sure to read all literature the company provides for you regarding your charter stay. Legal literature will be your guide for what is and is not allowed aboard your charter. Don't forget your charter company is happy to help you will any questions or concerns you may have regarding your stay, so do not hesitate to pick up the phone or shoot them an email for clarification. Enjoy your the time spend on your chartered sailboat, it is sure to be an adventure of a lifetime!