how much does it cost to charter a yacht

How Much Does It Cost To Charter a Yacht?

My first yacht charter was the first time I ever saw a real yacht. I didn’t know anything about yachting, but the idea hit me while on a tropical vacation, so I decided to inquire about it.

I approached the tourist agency in the hotel and asked, how much does it cost to charter a yacht? I wanted it exclusively for my family, so we talked about a private yacht for hire.

In sailing terms, it’s called ”chartering” when you hire a yacht. Today I will tell you more about how much does it costs.



How Much Does It Cost To Charter a Private Yacht?

That was Antigua, West Indies, and the agency was already offering group tours on a sailboat, but I wished to rent a boat exclusively for my family, and with the skipper, of course. With the agent, we eventually negotiated the price of $800 for a two-day overnight trip around the island of Antigua on a private sailing yacht.

The charter included swimming in the harbor of a tiny uninhabited island next to the main island. Then we stayed in the harbor at anchor at night to dine and sleep, and we sailed back the next day.

The yacht was a 50-foot sailboat which was well equipped and had a spacious main cabin, and our crew consisted of a skipper and his wife, who also cooked.


How Much Does It Cost To Charter a Small Yacht?

Every one of my friends who have used my sailboat had the same first impression: “Looks small.” My response: “No, she is not small. You didn’t expect an aircraft carrier here, did you?”

It was a pretty good, strong, and reliable 30-foot-boat that was great for a day of fishing or a BBQ party at anchor overnight. She also even crossed the Mediterranean Sea!

You probably do not need an enormous boat to gain your first chartering experience. Thus as long as you are not printing money consider chartering a small yacht if you are a small company.

So, how much does it cost to charter a small yacht?

It’s about $400 a day with a skipper for a sailboat that is 30-40 feet, and $500-$600 for a sailboat that is 45-60 feet. 

A longer boat suggests she weighs more, is faster, and has more stability when facing wind and waves. 

A good negotiation, I think, would be if you agree to $200-$300 for a day in some destinations. It might be a good idea to look for a boat whose owner and skipper are the same person.

The price can also depend on whether you are chartering through a hotel or a company or just a hippie skipper in a marina.

Some skippers offer their yacht as a bed-and-breakfast at a much lower price. This means that you stay in the marina, but an owner (or owners) still can sail with you a little.


How Much Does It Cost To Charter a Superyacht?

This varies, depending on what you consider a superyacht: A 88′ Ferretti motorboat was spotted at the price of $1,500 per day in Florida. This is a very big boat!

We found a 125-foot (38-meter) motorboat for $13,000 per day in California. This one was already officially called a superyacht in the listing.

In this category, the price may depend on many factors and, frankly speaking, is rather secondary.

FERRETTI YACHTS 860 superyacht
Is that what you call a superyacht? (Image: FERRETTI YACHTS 860)

Chartering a Yacht For a Day

Let’s see what it looks like to charter a yacht for one day in several popular destinations around the world.


How Much To Rent a Sailing Yacht For a Day In Miami?

A boat ride from Miami to Bahamas is the hottest offer you can arrange over there. By motor boat it’s only 3 hours, you can pack the whole adventure as one day yacht charter, but the best choice would be two days or more. Imagine staying on the boat at anchor in Bahamas overnight is romantic.

By sailing yacht to reach Bahamas from Miami, spend time there for swimming, diving, visiting a city, and return shall take 3-4 days to charter, if you prefer a sailboat. And there is a beautiful bonus, that you are not paying for a hotel as you stay living on the boat.

The cheapest 40′ sailing yacht we found in Miami, Florida was $550 per day.

A small 35’ sailing yacht in St. Petersburg, Florida was $300 per day.

Motorboats start from $200 per day and up.

Rent a Sailing Yacht For a Day In Miami
Sailing Yacht In Key West, Florida.

How Much To Rent a Motorboat For a Day In Miami?

The minimal price we found to hire a small 38′ motorboat in Miami, Florida was $150-$200 per day.

The minimal price we found to hire a 60′ motorboat in Miami, Florida was $350-$450 per day.

An extra fuel for going to Bahamas and back may add a price, if you are going to Bahamas from Florida by a chartered motor yacht. Doing so, consider two or more day charter for the best vibes.


How Much To Rent a Yacht For a Day In California?

In California, the prices look a little bit high, but again, it all depends on how you search and what kind of marina you use to find your deal. The exploration shows a $595 price per day for a regular sailboat.

They also offer an hourly rate in California to charter a boat for a day trip. The lowest hourly price we found for a 35’ sailboat started at $75-$100 per hour, but usually, an hour will cost $100-$200 and up.

How about the bigger ones? A beautiful 60′ ketch we spotted in San Francisco, California was $600 per hour. A boat that size could carry a lot of guests, and it was marketed really well. But for a whole day or a few days, you always negotiate!

Motorboats run higher in price, as they eat fuel drastically and enjoy a different customer base. The motorboats for hire in California start somewhere between $600-$800 per day.


How Much To Rent a Yacht For a Day In The Virgin Islands?

My personal feeling is that the Virgin Islands are not the best destination among the Caribbean islands. However, the place is considered to be one of the most popular sailing destinations.

The limited market along with what we jokingly call a ”cartel agreement” holds the price at a higher level – significantly higher than the neighboring islands.

The price to hire a boat in the Virgin Islands starts at $600-$800 per day, and then you trade and choose the boat size. You need to make arrangements in advance, as there’s a crowd over there wishing to charter.


How Much To Rent a Yacht For a Day In Jamaica?

A quick check shows that Jamaica offers an average price of $200-$250 for a boat that is 35-45 feet if you are lucky and a good negotiator, and $400-$500 for one that is 40-50 feet.


How Do You Feel When You Charter a Yacht For The First Time?

The very first feeling once you board your chartered yacht for the first time: Is this it?

Yeah, any sailing yacht of a reasonable size (at least those we mention in this post) will very likely surprise you by seeming small for such a high price. You should not compare her with a hotel room; that’s a different thing.

A boat of 45-50 feet is very ample! It may seem small compared to a superyacht from a movie, as they do not show small yachts in the movies, but 40-50 feet is a lot of space for a family of two or even three.


A Cost of Chartering a Yacht – Bottom Line

We have checked here what are the average yacht chartering prices depending on the type, size and place where you want to sail. Of course, as always, everything depends on many factors, such as the current political and economic situation, fuel prices, seasons and finally your negotiating skills.

READ MORE You can find more about chartering a yacht in our guide: Renting a Yacht for a Day.

You will also find there a piece of practical advice on how to negotiate the price when you charter a yacht, yet I doubt you can drop it significantly below the market rate. It is more about what the cost includes when you charter a yacht.

And do not forget to learn What to do about seasickness.

Stay safe! Enjoy your charters!

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Igor

Hi, I’m Igor, Skipper of S/Y "The Hooker". A decade ago, I conquered my childhood dream: be a sailing captain, have a sailing yacht, sail anywhere and everywhere on the globe, and breathe freedom.
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