Boating is one of the most popular ways to unwind and enjoy vacation time. In fact, over 100 million Americans go boating annually, spending over $49.3 billion each year on boats, products, and services.
With this popularity, you’ll find yacht charter companies everywhere you look. This makes it challenging to choose a yacht charter company to meet your needs when planning a vacation. The good news is all you have to do is learn the steps to take, and you’ll be sailing on the yacht of your dreams in no time.
Keep reading this guide to learn how to pick the perfect yacht charter company for your needs!
Check Reputation and Reviews
When looking at your options for charter companies, you’ll first need to look closely at reviews and overall reputation.
You should begin by reading online reviews. Google reviews will give you an excellent idea of how former customers felt about their experience. While reading reviews, check to be sure the yacht charter company is responsive to both positive and negative reviews.
Don’t forget to visit the Better Business Bureau for complaints and ratings.
Next, check the company website for customer testimonials and ensure they offer various yachts and services.
Ask friends and coworkers for recommendations. Many people overlook this, and often you’ll wind up with a reputable company that you can use repeatedly.
Check for Safety and Insurance
While researching, be sure the company you choose has the proper insurance and safety regulations in place. Yacht companies need insurance coverage to protect people and their belongings in case of any accidents.
Yacht insurance is a specific policy that provides liability coverage for the vessel. This insurance covers bodily injury and property damage. It may also cover towing assistance if the yacht gets stranded.
Check that the company you use has a crew fully trained to follow all standard safety measures. They should also have safety equipment like life jackets, life rafts, and an emergency first aid kit.
Don’t be afraid to ensure the crew is trained in all first aid procedures.
Of course, cost is always a consideration, so you’ll need to take the time to get detailed price quotes.
While ideally, you want a reasonable price, be careful about low prices that seem too good to be true. This is because costs typically include major factors like:
- Fuel costs
- Food and drinks
- Docking fees
- Marina fees
- Crew wages
- Room maintenance and cleaning
If you’re quoted a low price, you’ll need to ask what additional expenses you may have.
Also, if you have a smaller budget, you’ll be limited in the types of yachts you can charter and what amenities you can get.
Remember, when comparing yacht costs, get price quotes from at least three companies. This will give you the best idea of what to expect and allow you to budget accordingly.
Ask About Amenities and Services
Don’t forget to consider the essential yacht amenities you’ll need during your trip. Your first step in this process is deciding what amenities are most important.
Each yacht has different amenities, which will dictate the type of yacht you charter.
Common amenities include ample deck space, a jacuzzi, and an area for sun lounging. They can also include the captain and crew. Many yacht charters also have a chef, so you’ll need to decide if you want a chef on board to take care of all the meals.
Otherwise, you’ll need to plan to stop at restaurants and ensure you have enough food on board.
Some yacht companies offer various services along with these amenities, like watersports. If you’re interested in scuba diving, snorkeling, or other watersports, you’ll want to ensure this is organized before the trip.
Many companies can even arrange for you to meet with a local dive company during your trip, so you don’t have to take your own equipment.
Evaluate Customer Service
Excellent customer service is necessary when it comes to yacht companies. Remember, you’re spending a substantial amount of money planning a vacation.
Reputable yacht companies will provide you with a charter consultant to help you plan your trip. They’ll also address any questions or concerns you may have.
In addition, these consultants should be available to offer support if you need anything during your trip.
All in all, if it seems a charter company is lacking in the customer service area, take this as a sign to go elsewhere.
Check for Various Types and Sizes of Yachts
Another huge consideration is the type and size of yacht you’ll need. Choosing a smaller yacht to save money may be tempting, but doing this can impact your vacation overall.
While this may seem obvious, you don’t know what to expect if you’ve never chartered a yacht.
A larger yacht will give you enough space for activities and sleeping areas if you’re planning a family vacation. Motor yachts are larger, with numerous cabins. They’re ideal for large groups of people or family vacations.
On the other hand, if you’re chartering a yacht to have a romantic date, a small yacht will be best. Sailboats are smaller and don’t have much space for activities, making them perfect for romantic getaways.
Catamarans have two hulls, which makes them larger and more stable. They also tend to have more features and amenities, making them great yachts for parties.
If you’re looking for a luxurious yacht that can accommodate many people while having space for amenities, you should consider a superyacht.
Finally, you can consider chartering an older yacht to save money. Older boats can still offer a fantastic experience if well cared for.
Be sure to get extensive information about yacht types from the charter company to make the best decision.
Learning to Choose a Yacht Charter Company
Learning to choose a yacht charter company is essential for you to have a safe and enjoyable adventure.
Remember, don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to. The quality of the yacht charter company can make or break your yachting experience. Reputable companies will go out of their way to ensure you cruise the seas in style.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog articles for more helpful lifestyle tips!