Luxury Yacht Charters | Guide to Making Smart Decisions

Written by brian

December 6, 2019

Yacht Charter Rental – How to make smart decisions


Booking a luxury yacht charter can be confusing, frustrating, and just plain time consuming. In this article we will share the most important topics that you need to know, and turn a daunting task to a simple and informed one. We will take you through what style yacht will suit your needs, what to expect, and how to plan ahead to make the most out of your money spent.

Who drives the boat?

If you don’t have a USCG Captains license, you need a captained charter. Even if you have a friend, or you yourself are a captain, we still suggest that you search for Yacht Charters that come with a captain, and just as importantly, a crew. The captains and crew aboard these yachts are well versed in the specifics of how the yacht operates, which makes for the safest and best experience on the water.

Why does the maximum passengers on Yachts differ so much?  

Yacht charters typically range from a maximum occupancy of 6-100 passengers. The Coast Guard sets limits on the maximum number of passengers that Yacht Charters are legally allowed on board. The Coast Guard bases this decision on everything from hull inspections, engineering data, all the way to the number of bathrooms on-board. Most often, you will want to choose a yacht that has plenty of space and a larger capacity to fit larger groups. As they say, the more the merrier!

Bay Cruises vs Ocean Adventures 

Many of the Yacht Charters around the world offer bay tours. Bay tours can be an amazing trip, as you don’t have to worry about swells, or rough seas. Many bays around the world, including San Diego Bay offer scenic views of the surrounding landscape, cityscapes, local wildlife, and other boats around the harbor/bay.  On the flip side, sailing or motoring towards the open ocean is an amazing feeling. Once in the ocean, the coastline is a sight to behold. You have the opportunity to look at life happening from afar. Finding a yacht charter that has the ability to go for a bay tour, head out to the ocean for a bit, then back into the bay is your best bet to a memory filled adventure.

Sights to see

Being on the water offers a unique perspective to some of the wild animals that  land lubbers don’t often see. Often seen are whales, dolphins, seals, mixed species of birds, fish, and likely one of your wild guests that had a little too much champagne. Much of the time, your captain and crew will be well versed on the unique aspects of the geographical highlights of the area.

How most Yacht Charters work

Most Yacht Charters offer a variety of packages that are specific to your needs. That being said, it’s often not necessary to choose a certain package. If your goal is to get on the water and enjoy your time with your friends and family, we suggest finding a yacht charter that has a captain and crew that is open to being more of a chauffeur and able to take you where you want to go, and do what you want to do. There’s nothing better than having a captain and a crew that are willing to go on a special adventure with you – most charters will be happy to take you on a customized adventure.

Sailboats vs. Motor Yachts vs. Catamaran

There are three main types of yachts that you will encounter. Sailboats, Motor Yachts, and Catamarans. Deciding on which one to choose can be difficult, but we are here to help!

Sailboats have a monohulled design, built to tilt as the wind hits the sail. Interior space is typically limited, as well as exterior seating. Passenger maximums on a sailboat charter will be between 6-12 people. Sailboats are one of the cheaper options to get on the water, and still get that fresh ocean air feeling. If you get seasick easily, or get motion sickness, move on down the list.

Motor Yachts: When you think of Wolf of Wall St. you can’t help but to envision helicopter pads and private chefs on a huge ship. Well, the typical yacht charter isn’t quite that expansive. Motor yachts typically focus on the interior of the vessel. The average amount of people allowed on a motor yacht range from 12-48. You will find a large amount of bedrooms, large living area, and plenty of interior seating. Motor Yachts can be great for night cruises or cruises in weather that gets chilly. If you have a large budget and are in an area that isn’t great weather, we recommend grabbing a motor yacht.

Catamaran Yachts: Combine a Motor Yacht and two sailboats, and you have yourself a catamaran. Catamarans are notorious for their versatility in all situations. In rough seas they can be a lifesaver because of their dual hull design and their ability to cut through swells. Spilling your drink won’t be an issue on today’s highly engineered catamarans. Exterior seating and space are dominated by the catamaran yacht with typically double the amount of exterior space than sailboats and motor yachts. Interiors on catamarans are also quite large, touting up to 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, and large living and dining areas. For those wanting to experience the fresh ocean air on a stable and modern yacht, the Catamaran is the way to go!

Article Checklist

  1. Choose between a Sailboat, Motor Yacht or Catamaran
  2. Be sure that your charter is licensed to carry the amount of guests that you have
  3. Choose a charter that does bay cruises, ocean cruises, or both.
  4. Research BYOB and food policies
  5. View packages and see if you need a customized charter

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