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Useful Tips

General Questions

All rented yachts are managed by the professional yacht management companies (charter operator). These yacht management companies carry out cleaning of the yachts, their maintenance, insurance and deal with the bureaucratic issues.

When the need arises, you can contact your charter operator round the clock, using VHF or a cell phone, and get expert advice / help. In the event of technical faults, the charter operator will send the technical staff to you (or the technical staff will be waiting for you at the next port of call)

The rental prices are specified in euros and in the case of Mediterranean refer to weekly boat rental with departures every Saturday. The price depends on the vessel type, year of manufacture and season. During the high season (from June to September) vessels are rented exclusively for a period of at least 7 days with departures on Saturdays. Out of high season, a shorter rental period is possible, and departure on days other than Saturday.
The agreed rental price includes:

  • Tender
  • Autopilot
  • GPS
  • bedding
  • VAT

Additional costs: (these are not included in the rental price, but must be paid at the harbour before departure)

  • Transit log in Turkey and Croatia – from 70€ to 120€ depending on the number of cabins.
  • Cruising taxes in BVI, Grenadines, Cuba & Seychelles
  • Security deposit – can be settled in cash or by credit card and covers possible damage on the boat, either by losing or damaging the equipment. When the boat is returned undamaged, the amount is returned in full. The sum varies from boat to boat and is usually between 1500 and 5000 euro
  • Fuel – vessels are supplied with full tank, so they must be returned accordingly. Most marinas have a petrol station, so the tank can be refilled immediately before the takeover. The amount of fuel you use during your stay will depend on the size of boat and the amount of motoring you do. Based on experience a 38ft sailing yacht doing an average amount of motoring would consume less than 50 litres a week. Obviously powerboats will use considerably more fuel than this
  • End cleaning (70-150 €)
  • Tourist tax (1 euro per day)
  • Airport transfers
  • Marina & harbor fees - The marina costs are usually around 50-100 euros per night, it depends on the length of the sailing yacht. Some harbors and most anchorages are free of charge.

Additional equipment/services which are to be agreed:

  • Spinnaker, gennaker, blister – weekly rental from 100€ to 150€.
  • outboard engine – weekly price is 50 to 80€.
  • Safety net (useful if you have children, it should be booked in advance in order to be set on time) – price is 50-80€.
  • Towels (two in a set) – price is approximately 5€.
  • Skipper price 100 to 150€/day + food for sailing yachts and 150€/day + food for motor boats.
  • Car parking at the marina is 30 to 40 euro per week
  • hosting services - hostess price is 100€ day + food. The person takes care of cabin and toilet cleanliness, makes beds and tables, and possibly takes care of supplies.

Other

  • Pets – in most cases pets are allowed, the service includes additional charges (double transit log).
  • Regatta – if you want to participate in a regatta, it will cost you approximately 20% more.
  • food and drinks (half board is usually 250 EUR per week per person)
  • Footwear. Soft pump shoes. You should not wear black–soled footwear on-board the yacht. These leave marks that are difficult to clean. Wear light-soled shoes instead. If possible, wear specialised yachting shoes. The best thing about them is that their soles do not slip on wet surfaces, especially when the yacht is staggering. Most other types of shoes leave marks on the deck and slip, which puts you at unnecessary risk.
  • Bring comfortable shoes for walking ashore.
  • A waterproof coat/jumper, trousers, or a jumpsuit. A waterproof yachting suit for colder weather is recommended. For warner countries, a light water-proof jumper will be enough. A good water- and wind-proof coat will save an amateur from rain and splash. Specialised yachting clothes are called oil skins. Such clothes are manufactured by Gill, Musto, etc.
  • Take warm clothes and some spare shoes. After sunset the air temperature at sea can go down significantly, and in the daytime it can get quite windy – we suggest that you take a sweater and a hat with you, even in summer. If you are going to visit a cold country, take several sweaters and warm trousers.
  • HANDS are the most important part of your body when on-board a yacht. Take care of them.
  • Yachting gloves. Those of you who are going to handle sails should wear them. The best option is gloves with open index finger and thumb. However, you can wear any other type of durable gloves.
  • Panama hat/baseball cap. We recommend that you wear a hat/cap with a strap which will prevent your headwear from being blown away be the wind.
  • Sunglasses. They should also have a strap.
  • A long-sleeved T-shirt that will save you from being sunburnt.
  • Socks. Experience has shown that the sock pair/days at the sea ratio should be 2/1. They are not something to save allowed weight on – your fellow yachtsmen will appreciate that! Take several pairs of socks per each day of your voyage!
  • Other necessary clothing on-board a yacht: T-shirts, undershirts, shorts, swimming trunks, swimming suits, etc. Keep clothes for yachting and walking ashore separately.
  • MEDICINES. Please, don’t forget to bring medication that you may need. Your personal first-aid kit should include: bandages, burn/cut ointments, iodine, seasickness tablets – Dramina or Stugeron.

MISCELLANEOUS.

  • A water-proof document wallet/bag.
  • Personal hygiene items (do not bother buying soap, toilet paper etc. beforehand. You can buy them in situ). Take along a towel, a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.
  • You will be provided with bed linen. However, as practice has shown, there can never be too many towels.
  • Sunscreen (20-30 SPF).
  • Sport sunglasses (dark).
  • Your favourite CDs or music files on your iPod.
  • Flippers, a diving mask. As a rule, a yacht has 1-2 extra sets, but it is better to be on the safe side.
  • A guitar or any other musical instrument you can play – be it a saxophone, a flute, a bugle, or even a drum!
  • A mobile phone and charger.
  • A photo camera (laptop) and charger.
  • A 12-V charger for a mobile phone (vehicle-type).
  • A flashlight (it can be very useful on-board a yacht in the night).
  • Electric adapters.
  • Cash. ATMs are usually located far from the haven. It is not the wisest thing to waste time trying to find one.
  • Earmuffs. It can get noisy at sea. Moreover, some people snore!
  • A corkscrew.
  • A bag that you can fold and put on a shelf.

You should NOT take along:

  • life vests (each yacht has them, one per each member of the crew);
  • dishes and other kitchen utensils;
  • plastic bags or hard cases – there is simply not enough room for these.
  • high-heeled shoes – you won’t be able to wear them.
  • evening dresses – yachtsmen (and women) wear loose clothes.

Children really enjoy a vacation on a yacht, because they can swim and be in the sun, as well as fish, hold the steering wheel, play with the ropes, plus the scenery change all the time!

Children are perfectly safe on board as long there is constant adult supervision and mandatory observation of all safety regulations. We recommend you inform the charter operator in advance if there are young children on board so he can provide appropriate life jackets. We also recommend installing a safety net on a handrail all around the deck perimeter. A safety net could be provided for a surcharge and must be requested in advance. Life-vest should be used for children, especially in bad weather conditions.

Do not forget: hat, sun-cream, mosquito repellent cream, sailing shoes, sunglasses. Cover your child with a light white T-shirt between 11:00-15:00 hours (sun protection). The boat can be very slippery, so children should wear rubber shoes most of the time (can be bought in supermarkets).

Children on board do not need much. The boat itself is fun for them. They especially like to play with the dinghy and jump into the sea from the stern. When renting a boat pay attention to the cockpit, stern and always take a boat with a Bimini. Teach your child to take part in the ship's duties and enjoy the time together. Even without TV you can have a very pleasant time playing card games, chess or fishing etc. Avoid eating sweets while sitting in the cockpit as this can attract bees. Choose a shorter daily route and bays where they can buy an ice cream and have a "good run". Pencils, paper, books and a favourite teddy bear should not be forgotten.

How Young?

We personally wouldn't recommend taking babies on a sailing holiday, however, if you feel comfortable taking toddlers and young children, provided one uses common sense and with some planning, there is no reason why you couldn’t.

However, please only take your young children if you are sure you're not going to spend the whole time fretting and worrying - this will not be an enjoyable experience for you! To make things less stressful it's a good idea if there is always someone in your party free to mind the little ones.

If you are taking children under 7 then we would suggest you bring their own life vests with you - ones that fit perfectly, thereby not having to rely on the standard sizes provided by the charter bases.

If you're flying to your sailing destination and taking lifejackets then you can find some useful advice on this on the RYA site and also advice on how to choose and fit a child's lifevest from the RNLI.

Practical Safety

Common sense should prevail and in the Summer everyone should be wearing waterproof sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses if old enough. For younger children a hat with an elastic strap or tie helps to stop it blowing away. Taking a loose cotton 'cover up' is a good idea for the hottest part of the day - nothing too heavy or tight. If your children will be swimming in the sea for any length of time then encourage them to wear a t-shirt or come equipped with UV-proof clothing to prevent sun-burnt backs! You can purchase this at most sports shops and specialist online stores.

Be aware that when out at sea, the sun doesn't always seem as hot as it really is, because of the wind. So always sail with the bimini up and keep out of the direct sunlight at the hottest times of the day.

Drink plenty of water - keep children hydrated - small bottles of water are a good idea as this way you can easily monitor your child's fluid intake. Although water ashore in Croatia is drinkable, remember not to drink the water from the holding tank - bottled water always afloat.

Planning a vacation on a yacht

The season in the Mediterranean lasts from April to mid-November, with the peak season being June to August. Prices vary depending on the date you choose and are more expensive if closer to peak season. May and September are great months for those who want some peace and quiet in the ports, as air and water temperatures are favourable and there aren’t many crowds. 

You can rent a boat for as long as you want, a week, two weeks or more, and sailing charters usually begin and end on Saturdays.

The peak season for sailing in Sweden is from June untill the end of August. The best thing about sailing in Sweden in June and July, are the long days with only a few hours of darkness. 

The most popular time to go sailing in Thailand is from mid-November to March. The weather is the most favourable then, but it is also the most crowded time. You can expect fewer crowds and much lower prices in the monsoon season from May until the end of October. 

The British Virgin Islands are a great sailing destination all year around except in the hurricane season which officially lasts from June to September, with August being the most likely month for hurricanes. November and May/June are popular months to avoid the crowds. If you want to go in the summer holidays, go as early in July as you can or choose St Lucia or the Grenadines which are too far south to be affected by tropical storms. 

During the whole season in Croatia and Turkey, a number of boats are available for departure any day of the week. (minimum 3 days)

The choice of the vessel depends entirely on your wishes and preferences. Our offer includes the following vessel types:

  • Sailing boats – excellent for both a family and an active vacation
  • Catamarans – very stable and comfortable, ensure fast sailing. Catamarans don’t lean more than 5° and offer greater comfort, a spacious saloon area and cabins and somewhat faster sailing, since they have two engines. Modern catamarans have shallow draft in order to make the access to land and bays easier
  • Gulets – use the power of engine and sails to move; rented exclusively with a crew (captain, sailor, cook, hostess)
  • Motor boats – for speed sailing enthusiasts

Before choosing a vessel, please bear in mind the following details:

  • How many people will be on board?
  • Does your group consist of pairs who can share the same cabin or do some crew members require a separate cabin?
  • Do you prefer comfort?
  • Do you require a skipper or not? If you need a skipper’s services, please bear in mind that the skipper sleeps on board as well, so one of the berths (either in the saloon area or in a cabin) should be reserved for him.

Bareboat charter comes without a crew; you skipper and crew the yacht yourself.  Skippered charter comes with the yacht and skipper who will decide the route (although you will of course have some input) and steer the yacht, you will become the 'crew'.  With a crewed charter you have a luxury, fully crewed yacht who will navigate, sail and provide meals.

Weekly charters in the Mediterranean usually begin and end on Saturdays in multiples of seven days, especially in high season (from Saturday to Saturday schedule). It is possible to charter sailing boats for a shorter term (3-4 days) but that`s usually off-season or at the very last minute.

In the Caribbean you can start any day and charter for any duration, although there is usually a 5-night minimum. Embarkation is usually 12 noon on the first day and disembarkation is 12 noon on the last.

Changes to a booking are possible with regard to the number and names of passengers. If the change involves a change of date or change of vessel then this is subject to the valid terms and conditions of the contract between the Client and the Charter Company

Changes to the crew is possible – however, this should be indicated in advance, before embarkation, to make a new crew list, on which the dates of changes as well as information on people joining or leaving the crew will be specified. 

Before taking over the vessel, the charter agency will provide the guests with a verified crew list with data both before and after the change, which the guests need to have during the sailing trip.

If the crew suddenly changes during the cruise, without previous notice, the guests are obliged to contact the charter agency and inform them about the change in order for them to send the new verified crew list. The new list can then be sent via fax to the guests (to any place where they are at that moment).

In case of a control, the guests need to present the new crew list, although they are obliged to keep the old one as well.

Unfortunately at this time it is not possible to book online in 'real time' however, some marina websites have email forms where you can make a booking enquiry.  In peak season we suggest you arrive no later than early afternoon to secure a berth in a specific marina

Arrival at the Port

Some of the yacht bases offer transfers as an optional extra, you will be able to arrange this when you book your yacht. Alternatively there are many reliable online transfer agencies that can be booked in advance.  Taxi services at the airports can also be used on arrival if travelling shorts distances for example.

Almost all marinas have a sufficient number of the parking spaces. In some of them, during high season, the parking spaces may be limited, and in this case, the service is provided on the principle, first come first served. Parking cost on average amounts to EUR 30-50 for 7 days. It is possible to find out the cost of parking on the marina website. In some offers on our website the charter operator provides  free parking.

Yacht Acceptance

If you are a shipmaster and rent a yacht without a yacht crew, the charter company will inspect the vessel together with your employees before and after the voyage.

That is a mandatory procedure for each voyage carried out without a yacht crew. As a rule, we inspect yachts either shortly before the day of departure, or on the day of departure. Each inspection lasts for 1.5 – 2 hours. If you plan to arrive on-board in the evening and set off on the following morning, consider this period and agree on the time of departure with the charter company.

In order to avoid unexpected emergencies, we strongly recommend that you pay special attention to the preparedness of the yacht. It’s better to spend more time inspecting the yacht, rather than solving problems on the open sea. Moreover, by inspecting a yacht you can familiarise yourself with the yacht, learn where the water tank selection valves and life vests are located, etc. The primary function of these inspections is to check whether all necessary equipment and means are available. It is important, because in case you fail to notice a problem you will not only face certain problems on the open sea, but you will also be required to cover any damage at the end of the voyage, even if it was not your fault. Do not forget that all discrepancies (including insignificant ones) must by recorded in writing and signed by a manager of the charter base.

As a rule, a charter base manager is present throughout the inspection of a yacht – he can show you everything on-board and point out important details. It facilitates the process of inspection and lets you receive answers to your questions immediately. In some cases, inspection can be carried out without a representative of the base manager – in such cases you should fill in the checklist and hand it to the charter base manager. Yacht owners usually provide their own yacht checklists. Those checklists are to be handled in the same manner as those of charter companies. Here you can download a recommended list of yacht items to be inspected. It can help you get prepared for the yacht inspection and avoid unexpected situations.

In the Mediterranean yachts are not normally ready for embarkation until 5pm on Saturday to give time between charters for cleaning and maintenance. If you arrive earlier you may be able to get onboard during the afternoon if the yacht is ready but this cannot be guaranteed in advance. You can also use this time to deal with paperwork. If you arrive later you will be able to board your yacht any time during the night and have your check-in the following morning.

In most cases you should return the boat back at the yacht base on Friday no later than 19.00 hrs and be ready to disembark on the Saturday morning before 9.00. If your return flight is later that day or in the evening you will be able to leave your luggage at the base while you spend the day on the beach or sightseeing. If you want to keep your yacht until you go to the airport, you may be able to pay for an extra day's charter.

In the Caribbean most yacht charters run 12:00 noon – 12:00 noon although for arrivals after 18:00 hrs a sleep-aboard rate is usually available. Some fleets operate Mediterranean times, so please do check.

As with a car rental, a deposit must be paid for the yacht, which is equal to about 1% of the cost of the yacht. If the yacht participates in a regatta, the deposit is usually doubled.

Charter companies block a deposit on a credit card, some charters also accept cash.

The deposit covers the potential losses that the charter company may incur as a result of damage to the vessel, loss of equipment or late return. If there is damage to the yacht, the repair cost is deducted from the deposit. If you have accepted the yacht and discover damages on it, you can report them to the charter company within 24 hours.

The deposit is refunded in full if there is no damage to the yacht.

Some charter companies offer a deposit insurance, therefore, you pay 10% of the deposit (this amount is non-refundable) and the amount of the deposit is not blocked on the card.

Yacht Equipment

Modern cruise yachts are equipped with everything necessary for the safe independent sailing:

  • Diesel engine and generator
  • Means of communication and rescue: life jackets and life raft (life vests are for each adult passenger on board. The yacht bases have children's life vests which should be requested in advance, however, for safety reasons, for any child under 8 we recommend bringing your own)
  • Water tank of 200-1000 litres
  • Gas stove with oven (sometimes there is a microwave)
  • Refrigerator (often also a freezer)
  • Washer with hot water
  • Toilets and shower
  • WIFI
  • Complete set of utensils for cooking and serving (cleaning agents, dish cloths, etc. are not provided on board, but can be bought in stores in the marinas before boarding)

Snorkeling and fishing gear are not standard equipment on sailing boats. There are shops in the marinas where these can be purchased, or as an alternative they can be added to the provisioning list

Some of the luxury yachts will come with WIFI internet routers as standard.  In other circumstances it may be possible to add a WIFI router as an extra to your booking. If this is possible WIFI will be included in the 'optional extras' section when making your booking enquiry. Wi-Fi Internet on board is available almost at all destinations except Thailand

Bed linen is included in the base charter price. The supply of towels depends on the charter base, whether they are included or an obligatory extra will be clearly noted on the boat booking query page. Sometimes towels are listed as an optional extra item and they can be selected on the booking query page. So, by all means take your own with you (both beach towels as well as those for personal hygiene).

Most charter yachts have shore power fitted although this is not necessarily the case for older yachts built before 2003. This provides 240 volts mains power but only when the yacht is plugged into a mains supply on the dock. This will be the case in most marinas but not in many fishing harbours. Please take an appropriate adaptor for local sockets.

Shore power is the only option for using hairdryers – they consume too much of the yacht’s battery power. You can buy a 12-volt hairdryer but because they are designed for very low power they are virtually useless.

All yachts have a 12-volt cigarette lighter socket. This will work at all times and is ideal for 12 volt chargers that you use in your car for your phone, iPod etc.

You can buy an INVERTER, which will convert the 12 volts DC to 240-volt mains power even when no shore power is available. These are perfect for charging phones, cameras etc from mains power supplies and running appliances such as laptop computers, PDAs and computer games consoles that take little power. 

There are laundry facilities at most marinas and they usually cost between 5 to 7 euros for both washing and drying.

Navigation. Sailing on the yacht

Yacht charter & flotilla
To charter a yacht bareboat or on flotilla you must be in possession of a certificate of competence (e.g. Day Skipper standard). You should be competent at handling a yacht in close quarters, anchoring and mooring in varying conditions, and be able to use your navigation and piloting skills to plan a day passage and know your position at any time. It is also a legal requirement for one member of the crew to be qualified for the operation with the VHF station (possessing a VHF license).
If you are not sure about the validity of your sailing license, please check its validity with the charter agency in advance.

Motoryacht charter
An international certificate of competence, e.g . RYA Day Skipper Practical (Motor) or RYA ICC (Motor) is required by the port authorities in Croatia, Greece, Mallorca and Turkey for bareboat motoryacht charters.
In the BVI a qualification is not currently required but your resume must show, motoryacht experience equivalent to Day Skipper Practical (Motor) - usually evidenced by owning a motoryacht or previous motoryacht charter.
 

It is always the skipper who takes full responsibility for the boat. Skipper insurance is available. This is usually not mandatory in order to charter the boat, however we recommend it. If you have skipper insurance, you are still required to pay the deposit and still liable for damages to your boat, however, the charter operator will assist you with invoices, photos and all other details you will need for your insurance claim. 

А) Hiring a skipper
If you have no sailing experience, or if you do not possess an officially recognized sailing license, you are obliged to hire a skipper.
Even if you have experience in sailing but are not confident with your maneuvering skills, it is strongly recommended you hire a professional skipper for at least a few days, in order to make your cruise more relaxing. You can also benefit from the skipper’s local knowledge – they are well acquainted with the region and will be able to suggest the most interesting places for swimming and having fun, as well as numerous restaurants.
If you need any assistance in this regard, we can provide you with an experienced crew. You are obliged to provide accommodation and board for the skipper throughout the duration of the cruise.

B) Accommodation of the Skipper
In most cases the skipper sleeps in the salon area. However, it is strongly recommended to charter a bigger boat and provide the skipper with his own cabin. Since he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the yacht, as well as the security of people on board, he should be well-rested – apart from that, the guests will have more comfort and a free salon area to hang out.

C) Nutrition of the Skipper
It is your responsibility to pay for the skipper’s food, even if you eat at a restaurant or on board.

D) Remuneration of the Skipper
The skipper’s services are paid separately from the charter fee. 
On gulets, the crew expenses (those of a captain, a sailor and a cook) are already included in the charter fee.
Mega-yachts and sailing boats exceeding certain lengths are chartered exclusively with the crew (provided by the vessel owner), in which case the crew’s expenses are included in the charter fee.

E) Tips
Tips are always at your discretion. If you want to pay your skipper a tip we recommend 5 to 10% of the remuneration amount. If you hired a rental boat with a crew - hand the tips to the captain and he will distribute it among the team.

Comfort on Yacht.

Seasickness occurs mostly in the open sea, far from the coast, also when you are in the cabin while sailing.

In order to prevent seasickness, follow these simple rules:

  • go outside onto the deck of the yacht, do not sit in the cabin
  • look towards the horizon
  • keep yourself busy
  • have a snack on-time
  • drink some ginger tea
  • or a glass of wine (or rum)
  • take a motion sickness pill

If you are traveling in Croatia in the coastal waters, you are protected from the winds and waves of the open sea by the islands, and there is no reason for concern. However, if you are still worried - bring motion sickness pills.

If you are not comfortable sleeping on the boat, then you can rent apartments in the marina. You can find a large selection of the apartments on site at: www.Booking.com

Some yacht bases offer a provisioning service, however, most marinas have a minimarket, or otherwise you will find supermarkets and hypermarkets in the towns. Not all islands have shops and even then some have just the bare minimum of products, we would therefore recommend you shop before heading to the islands. You will find lots of restaurants and bars along the coast including the islands.

Credit cards are accepted in most shops, restaurants and hotels (Diners Club, Master Card, Visa & occasionally American Express) - on some of the islands we would recommend taking cash for use in the restaurants, bars and shops.