Things you need to know before you have a yacht party

Planning a yacht party in San Diego can turn a fun event into an overwhelming one, especially if you aren’t familiar with yachts. In this article, we will give you a general checklist that you can discuss with your yacht rental company in order to be fully prepared for your yacht party!

How many guests are you going to have? 

The more the merrier? Hold on a second, this is a more complex question than you think! Reason being, that most party yacht rentals have a maximum capacity that the United States Coast Guard (USCG) has approved. Most commonly you will find the maximum passengers to be 6, 12, 48, 100, and 500+. You want to choose a capacity that provides your guests plenty of space but won’t empty your pockets.

Pro Tip: We often get asked “do babies count as passengers too?”. The answer is, yes! The Coast Guard views guest counts as “souls” aboard a boat, meaning even children count as passengers.

People toasting on a yacht party in san diego

What type of yacht will you choose?

The type of yacht can dictate what type of party you are going to have. For example, if you rent a sailing yacht during the winter you’ll be at the mercy of the wind, elements, and possible spilled drinks. Take into account the time of year, the weather, and also the customer reviews of the yacht charter. 


For the sailing enthusiasts that enjoy being out in the elements and have a passion for sailing. 

Motor Yacht:

 For guests that want to be “inside” more than “outside” as motor yachts prioritize the interior of the yacht. 


The best of both interior and exterior yachting. Enjoy the ability to have plenty of outside space as well as inside space! 

Pro Tip: Get seasick? Choose a Catamaran! Catamarans are much wider than sailboats and motor yachts making them more stable. 


How long are you going to rent the yacht?

Be aware of hourly/daily minimums when you rent a yacht. Many yacht charter companies require minimums because of staffing, and costs of setup and breakdown of the yacht. Typically you’ll find that yachts have a 2-hour minimum, 4 hour minimum and even an entire day minimum. If you’re throwing a party, you’ll want a minimum of 2-hours , but my advice is to go for  of 4-hours. Remember, this is on the water…so wherever you go, you must come back! To make things more clear, if you rent a yacht for 2 hours, 50% of the time will go to just coming back from where you came from! If you plan on having your private yacht rental during sunset hours, make sure to check the sunset times. You can do that here.

Pro Tip: Do at least 3 to 4 hours on the yacht if your budget can handle it! You won’t regret it! 

Will you need food and drinks?

Will you need food and drinks? 

Before you go all-in on a party boat, make sure you know the details of the food and beverage situation. You’ll find that some yachts have liquor licenses (the ability to sell alcohol) and some allow BYOB and food. Lugging around a bunch of coolers of drinks and food isn’t an ideal way to spend your day on a yacht!  I recommend either having the food catered, or renting a yacht that provides catering for you. Does the yacht include a bartender? If not, take a look into hiring one! Yachts and great cocktails go hand-in-hand! 

Pro Tip: Don’t bring food or drinks that stains boats. Remember, it’s your financial responsibility if you cause a more than normal cleaning and/or damage to the yacht. 

Price Ranges

Let’s get down to the moolah! I looked up 5 yacht charters in San Diego and got an average cost of $1,100/hr for up to 50 guests. Not too shabby considering that’s only $22/hr per person! When searching for the best pricing, always ask if there’s any specials going on, especially if it’s off season (October-March).  

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