What skipper qualifications do I need to charter a yacht?
The minimum standard is either an RYA Day Skipper, an International Certificate of Competency or another nationally recognised competency qualification (NZ Boat Master). Croatian authorities also require a member of the crew to hold a VHF (Radio) Operators certificate. In each location the port authorities need to see the original document before issuing the cruising permit.
If you do not have these qualifications you can take a skippered charter and have one of our professional qualified skippers on board.
What time can we board the yacht?
The official time for your yacht being ready and available to board is 17:00.
Using your arrival information on the crew list we’ll ask the charter company to have the yacht ready earlier but please understand that this cannot be guaranteed as time is required to prepare the entire fleet, and there are a limited number of cleaners available.
Some charter companies now offer early boarding at 13:00 for an extra charge. Please ask us about this, as it's not available for all yachts.
You need to checkout from your yacht at 09:00 on the day of departure which means being in the port the night before. Please liaise with your charter company about that.
When do I have to have the yacht back?
At the end of the charter you are required to be back in the marina the night before you disembark, where you will be officially checked-out. You will then be able to explore the local area, relax on the boat overnight, and leave without further admin anytime up to 09:00 the next day. Please liaise directly with the base manager and your skipper (if applicable) about this.
This is why it's a good idea to try and leave the marina on the first day, if possible and practical.
What support do I get whilst on charter?
A bareboat charter does not mean you are sent off without any support, it just means you are free to do what you like, when you like. While on charter you have phone access to support whenever you need it. Your documentation will have the phone number of the base manager, and also our own emergency number for you to call.
The most common structure of support across our various areas is an AA-type structure, with different engineers available across different ports in the sailing area. In the unlikely event of a problem that cannot be fixed by phone, an engineer will be sent out to you to help out.
What is my liability for the yacht while on charter? What is the refundable security deposit?
As with the hiring of a car, we will require you to leave a credit card rubbing at the base as security. The amount of the security represents the yacht insurance excess and will depend on the size and value of your yacht. It is 100% refundable as long as no damage is done to your yacht or other parties.
Examples of situations where you will be liable for costs would be:
- Specific damage to your yacht (breakages, blockages)
- Hitting the bottom, necessitating the need for a diver to check for damage to the keel etc
- Damage caused to sails or rigging as a result of negligence
- Any damage caused while consuming alcohol!
- Not returning the yacht to the prescribed base at the end of your holiday
If your yacht is damaged by another vessel it is up to you to get information from those involved in the incident, including a declaration from a third party. You should not be liable for damage caused by another yacht as long as you are able to provide credible and thorough evidence. Breakages caused by normal wear and tear are not the responsibility of the client.
Transfers, Outboards and End Cleaning
Remember that these are all extras to chartering the yacht only. Seamaster Yachting can arrange packages that include flights, transfers and the yacht for you, but other extras are always quoted separately as we pull these in from third parties.
Will someone show me the details of how the yacht’s systems work?
Yes. Once you have settled on board a trained member of staff will take you through the boat explaining how to use all of the yacht’s systems and machinery.
Please take this time to ask any questions about the function of the vessel - the more you know, the easier your holiday will be. Also, this is the best time to find any inventory that has been overlooked or lost by the previous client. This is a really important process so please be involved.
What electrical supply will my yacht have?
Only a very small number of our larger yachts (<50’) have permanent 220 volt AC power from a generator or inverter. At sea, the standard yacht has a 12 volt DC “cigarette lighter” outlet you can use; you can buy adapters for camera, phone and laptops from a store like Curry’s that will plug into this socket. Sorry ladies but no hair driers! Most marinas and tavernas will have no problem in letting you use an outlet ashore to charge your phone. Remember your European 2-pin adapter!
How long is the transfer from the airport to the marina?
For most of our holidays the longest you will spend in a taxi or bus should be no more than sixty minutes, but often much less. If you have arranged a transfer with us but have organised your own flights/travel please remember to give us these details via our crew list so we can ensure our driver will be at the proper location on time to meet you.
In Italy the times are a bit further, but please ask about these specifically. On most occasions it is easier and less expensive to get a normal taxi from the airport rather than getting us to organise it. This is especially the case when your total crew number is four or less.
Is fuel included? How much will the yacht use?
As for a hire car, you pay only for the fuel you use. You will have a full tank of diesel on departure and you are to return it full. All of our yachts have diesel main engines; it is unlikely that in one week on a 37' yacht you will burn more than 60 litres (about £100), but this depends on how much motoring you do, the size of the yacht and the sea state you encounter. Our biggest yacht with air conditioning could burn many times that figure. Fuel is a variable extra that you must pay. When filling the fuel tank, please ensure that you are using the correct filling point – diesel in the water tank is a nightmare!
Are bedding and towels provided?
Some, but not all, of our yachts come with sheets, duvets and pillows for all berths. Typically yachts chartered in Spain and Italy will have linen & towels as extra. Please check with us if you are in any doubt. Evcen on yachts with towels provided they are typically small, so we recommend you bring beach towels as boat towels are not usable outside the yacht. Changes of linen are provided for trips longer than one week.
How much are marina, town quay and anchoring fees?
These range from area to area and facility to facility. Commonly at a town pier in Croatia or Italy, expect to pay around £35 per night. At a good marina it will be around £60 per night. There are generally no charges for dropping anchor and coming ashore in your dinghy. In Turkey and Greece the mooring fees are minimal to none.
Is an outboard included? Do I need an outboard motor?
Outboards are extra and are usually paid for at the port. Whether you need one or not depends on the type of cruising you want to do. If you are interested in staying around ports and sea side villages then you probably do not need one. You will spend most evenings tied to a village pier or marina pontoon negating the need for a powered tender. If you are trying to get off the beaten track and are going to search out your own bays to anchor off the beach, then an outboard can be of use in making trips ashore that little bit less strenuous.
Can I have the boat provisioned before I arrive?
In most cases we can send out a provision list for you to select items to be purchased and stowed on your yacht before you arrive – but this is not recommended. It is certainly more expensive than shopping for provisions yourself, and you don’t get to experience the ‘feel’ of local markets, cafes and delis.