Jumping into the world of yachting can seem intimidating, but there are several ways to do it. Whether it be owning your own yacht, taking a holiday charter, or working on one, here are some tips on what to expect. Continue reading to learn how to experience yacht life and what to look forward to.
Are you considering taking holiday on a yacht? Well, it turns out you’re not alone! The pandemic has resulted in not only a huge surge of interest from travelers looking to charter yachts and even purchase their own, but it’s also lead to an increase in people looking for employment onboard yachts.
If you’re new to the world of yachting, here’s a bit of an introduction to living the high life on the seas.
Introduction to Yachting
You may be thinking that yachting is just for the ultra-wealthy, and in most cases you wouldn’t be wrong. Purchasing and maintaining a yacht definitely doesn’t come cheap, with many yachts costing the same as a really nice house. Of course there is the ability to charter a yacht for a luxurious vacation that will give you a taste of life on the seas without being among the masses of people found on mega cruise ships.
You can also seek out various employment opportunities that are offered both by charter companies and private owners looking for staff to run their yachts. Crewed yacht charters are definitely one of the most relaxing and stress-free holidays out there, or if you want a bit of adventure and have the appropriate boat operating licenses you may be able to captain your own boat without a crew if it’s under roughly 75 feet in length.
Whether you’re interested in booking an all-inclusive crewed charter, wish to captain your own yacht, were contemplating working on a yacht, or simply curious about yachting, here are some things you should know.
Cost of Yachting
Let’s first look at what you can expect to pay for either purchasing your own private yacht or simply a holiday charter. As far as purchasing a yacht outright, prices can range considerably. A 20-30-ft, 50-year-old yacht that is in need of much maintenance might set you back around $20,000, whereas a newer entry-level 50-foot yacht might force you to go well over $100,000.
You then of course have fancier modern yachts that can cost as much as a nice home or may even reach into the millions. However, more importantly than the original upfront cost of purchasing a yacht is the ongoing expenses it will take to maintain it and add upgrades. For instance, you may need new sails, a dinghy and motor, safety and communication equipment, a life raft, new batteries to run onboard appliances, features like autopilot, and the list goes on. You will likely need to factor in an additional 30-50% above the purchase price to get the boat in the shape you want or need it to be.
As for chartering a boat, you can expect to pay anywhere from 1,000 per night all the way up to well over $50,000 per week for larger ultra-luxury yachts. There are two options when chartering a yacht, all-inclusive or “plus expenses.” The all-inclusive options means you’ll be getting nearly everything you’ll need including a crew to run the ship, food and drinks, fuel costs, and use of water sports equipment. Going with a “plus expenses” charter will see you paying an upfront advance provisioning allowance to cover any additional expenses you incur which can add up to be over 30% above the base price.
Both charter options will often also add extra charges to your final bill for docking/mooring fees. Other factors which can dictate pricing for yacht charters include whether you book a trip in or out of peak travel season and where you book. Prices will be more competitive or cheap where there are more vessels on offer such as in the Bahamas or Mediterranean.
Chartering Vs Owning: The Experience
Having covered the cost aspect, you can now see that it’s likely much less expensive to charter a yacht rather than buy one if you don’t plan on hitting the seas very often due to the ongoing maintenance costs of owning a ship. There really are so many running costs associated with yachts that although it may seem expensive for a simple 2-week holiday, it’s actually much less per trip than if you were to own your own yacht that you seldom take out.
Chartering is also the much easier and stress-free option since all the difficult work is removed such as cleaning the inside and outside of the yacht before and after trips out. A crew takes care of all the planning, navigating, cooking, cleaning, and other grunt work. There is also no need to then worry about where you’ll store your yacht when not in use.
Chartering is also much more flexible and allows you the opportunity to experience new boats each trip. You can plan a yachting trip to the French Riviera this year, and then to the Great Barrier Reef next year without having to sail your vessel between two destinations as you would need to do if you would otherwise own your own yacht. It is important to note that chartering does require you to plan ahead since you cannot simply set sail on a whim as you could with your own yacht. Be aware of how much notice you need and how peak season will affect both availability and rates.