A United States Coast Guard captain tells us 6 things you should know before you rent a yacht!

Here are the 6 most common questions that people ask Captains when they want to rent a yacht in San Diego. 

How do most yacht charters work?

Most private yacht rentals in San Diego 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. (hint)…Just ask! 

Tip: NEVER rent a boat from a private owner. Make sure that the company that you rent from has a business license, insurance, and that the Captain has his USCG Captains license. Renting from a private party can result in you getting fined and the vessel impounded. These laws can be found at: https://dbw.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=28891

How much does it cost to rent a yacht in San Diego?

We’ve reviewed 8 of the largest yacht charters in San Diego and have found the average prices found below:

The average cost for a sailboat yacht for up to 12 guests is $550 per hour*

The average cost for a motor yacht for up to 48 guests is about $1,000 per hour*

The average cost for a catamaran yacht for up to 100 guests is $825 per hour*

**These prices are an average and can vary based on the yacht charter rental in San Diego

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 the best experience on the water. Here are the requirements that every Captain MUST have when chartering a yacht in San Diego. 

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 luxury yacht rentals in San Diego 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. Check out the differences between Mission Bay, San Diego and San Diego Bay. 

Sailboats vs. Motor Yachts vs. Catamaran

If you’re looking to rent a boat in San Diego, there are three main types of yachts and boats 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 2-12 people. Looking for a cheap yacht rental in San Diego? 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. Pricing for these range per day from $400/hr all the way up to $1,000 per hour. 

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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. If you’re looking for luxury motor yacht prices, you’ll be spending no less than $1,000/hr. 

Catamaran Yachts:

If you’re searching for an amazing private yacht rental in San Diego, you’ve found the combination of the best features of the above boats. Combine a Motor Yacht and two sailboats, and you have yourself a catamaran. Catamarans are notorious for their versatility in all situations and make a great . 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 Triton catamaran yacht rental San Diego is the way to go!

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To learn even more about renting a yacht in San Diego, please visit our articles page!