The most romantic dream for many of us is renting a yacht for a day! The first time onboard is rarely what we’ve expected, yet it often stays the most romantic adventure through the lifetime.
We share in this post how to rent a yacht for a day or two (which is relatively simple: you pay and you go), and more importantly, how to maximize the ultimate luxury experience you are going to have by doing so.
Let’s start with the basic question…
- Can I Rent a Yacht For a Day?
- Use Proper Terminology When Renting a Yacht
- Sail or Motor?
- What Documents Are Required To Charter a Boat For a Day?
- How To Rent a Yacht For a Day? The Process
- How Much Does It Cost For One Day?
- And How Much For Three Days?
- My Last Advice: Weather Is Important – Both Wind And Waves
Can I Rent a Yacht For a Day?
There is no restriction. Everybody can rent a yacht at least for a day, and if you have the opportunity, you’d better not miss it, because it’s very cool!!
For a birthday, for a wedding, or merely if you have spare cash, renting a yacht is a wonderful way to celebrate.
The following guidance will help to ensure you’ll have a great experience that you’ll never forget. Have a look, and learn some practical tips that you won’t find in the touristic brochures.
Use Proper Terminology When Renting a Yacht
The first important tip is to use the correct maritime terminology. Renting becomes chartering, and boaters practically never refer to the vessel as a yacht; she is a boat or a sailboat.
Some boat owners rent out their boats as a place to spend a night moored, like a floating bed and breakfast, and some offer a bare-boat charter, which is when you rent a boat to skipper her by yourself, similar to renting a car.
But we are going to discuss the kind of charter where you are taken out on the water by a skipper. This is called a “skippered charter” or a “day charter.”
Sail or Motor?
Sail. Sail. Sail.
You may want a motorboat for a day of tuna fishing, or if your destination suggests long travel followed by anchoring in a beautiful harbor all day to swim, drink, and BBQ at sea, but other than that, a sailboat is the best choice.
Note that a sailboat makes seven knots, while a motorboat makes 20+ knots.
More advantages of sailing over a motorboat…
Regular fiberglass motorboats vibrate.
You have to shout instead of talking, your own bottom vibrates as you sit, your head vibrates, and your table and the drink on it vibrate too. Even expensive motorboats do so. Some old-school motorsailer boats may do it less since they’re more solid, but the majority of common modern motorboats do vibrate.
A sailboat, by contrast, is peacefully silent, with water quietly whispering as she cuts the waves. There is a romantic feeling that you have never felt before, and you won’t want to trade it for a motorboat’s vibration.
Motorboat fights the sea while sailboat is one with the sea, if you know what I mean.
Sails are beautiful! And you will be able to take beautiful photos!
Sailboats have a more maritime appearance, including the interior. The tilt can also be a bit thrilling, especially for the first-timer.
Seasickness does not tend to be as bad on sailboats as on motorboats. However, there is no person in the world who does not suffer from it at some point.
Many sailors can manage it and have gotten used to it, but I’ve met no exception so far. Do not believe in tales like “I’ve spent years at sea and feel nothing at all.” This is BS! Kung fu fighters feel pain, and sailors feel seasickness.
What Documents Are Required To Charter a Boat For a Day?
- You’ll need an ID to check out from the marina and to check back in on arrival for the Coast Guards to know you were there and returned safely.
- For a bare-boat charter, you’ll also need your sailing license, but for skippered pleasure trips, you do not need one, of course.
- If you have any serious health issues, you must inform the captain about them.
- And a credit card. Obviously.
How To Rent a Yacht For a Day? The Process
You can just order your boat and listen to what the skipper or the agent says, and it works pretty well. The maritime folks are great people in general.
However, you can also customize your yacht charter to suit your personal needs and desires.
Here are some questions you can discuss with your hired crew and the skipper:
- Ask the route or route options if several are available in the area. You can also learn the “chart” (the map) of the location where you are going and ask questions in case you want an island or a romantic swimming spot or a place to fish octopus. The latter is not a joke, and your skipper should have proper qualifications if you want to be an octopus hunter.
- If you choose a sailing boat, ask how much you sail and how much you motor. Skippers are nice people; he will gladly spend time to explain to you what he is going to do. This will help prevent a situation where you motor the whole way when you had wanted to understand more about sailing. Technically speaking, the skipper must inform you about the route before departure, but it’s best to chat about it in advance so you can make adjustments if you wish.
- Discuss the menu. If you want anything specific, like if your childhood dream was to eat steak at sea, let them know. Otherwise, you may be having pasta as a default option. By the way, sea sickness can be affected by diet, so chartering skippers normally offer a “safe ration” in this regard, but you can adjust it, because it’s your day!
- If you don’t think the skipper is a nice person, then seriously consider another company and/or another skipper. This tip is very important when it comes to chartering – more important than it would be in regards to a taxi driver or a waiter in a restaurant. Trust me, you’d better feel mutual chemistry with your skipper. It may be an everyday occurrence for him, but the first time in your life for you.
- Start at dawn!! Or as early as possible. Listen to the skipper’s plan and his suggestions too. Do not lose your time; you can take a rest or even a quick nap on the go, which is genius at sea. But get as much out of your charter as you can.
- If a very long trip is planned, the skipper may offer to start before dawn. It’s okay; he is an experienced guy and knows (or should know!) what he is doing.
- Meeting the dawn at sea is a cool option as well!!
- Sunset at sea I’d prefer less: you do not want an exhausted skipper parking at the dock. If you want a sunset plus stargazing, consider anchoring overnight.
- Listen carefully to the safety instructions the skipper gives before departure; they are vital.
- In a state of emergency, you obey all commands of the skipper; this is the law.
- Take sunglasses and preventative measures against sunburn. Consider having a pair made of glass and not plastic. If possible, get polarized sunglasses; they protect better. It’s very easy to damage eyes at sea, as there’s much more sunlight around, reflecting off the water and penetrating the sunglasses from the sides. For the same reason, sunburn is more probable than on land.
How Much Does It Cost For One Day?
First of all, everything marine-related bears a triple price, but there are reasons for this. The cost to rent a yacht for a day is normally slightly overpriced, and especially in popular locations during a high season.
In such locations it is harder to negotiate the price, but you go ahead and negotiate anyway! You’ll most likely be able to reduce it, but on the other hand, it’s in your interest to have a happy skipper. Stay reasonable.
Here are few tips:
- Crew. In well-developed touristic locations, there will be a hostess on board to serve you food and be in charge of hospitality. If it is a big boat and you bring lots of people, there can be a chef also, but more often it’s two-in-one. You can try to refuse this service, but won’t always be able to. For example, in the Caribbean, it’s often a couple doing all jobs.
- Skipper. These are expensive professionals. If you plan on renting a yacht in advance, then you may consider hiring a skipper as a separate deal, or find a friend, and then rent a bare boat with your own skipper.
- Food. I don’t know how you are going to negotiate this one, as food and drinks commonly are included in the price. If you want anything special or an abnormal amount of anything, you’d better ask about it.
- Time. The yacht charters count a day from dawn till sunset, because nobody loves night navigation. However, if you want to get back earlier for some reason, you can probably cut the price a little. However, if you suddenly feel scared or dizzy or something, there will probably not be a reimbursement for the early return.
- Fuel. For a motorboat day charter the fuel adds a lot to the price. Ask or check a chart on the internet about the distance of your whole trip. Another tip here: a yacht’s fuel consumption is calculated by hours of motoring and not in miles, because distance-to-hours depends on the weather and waves, totally not like a car. And yes, it’s nautical miles; 1852 meters constitute one nm.
TIP This is just the tip of the iceberg, here is a dedicated post discussing how much does it cost to charter a yacht, check it out.
And How Much For Three Days?
The yacht charter price for three days shall be three times greater than a one-day yacht charter.
There’s no big discount; it’s not cheap to have this kind of fun.
You may get a small discount, but remember: the skipper will be spending a whole day and night instead of just the hours from dawn to sunset on the boat.
My Last Advice: Weather Is Important – Both Wind And Waves
Have a backup plan if you schedule your charter adventure in advance, like for a wedding or birthday.
The weather can play a bad joke all the way up to making your trip close to impossible. Or it could be possible, but with sea sickness as your best memory, or it might be too cold or too windy, or you wished to sail but there is no wind at all. Waves may spoil the whole trip or make it impossible to enter and exit the marina. Weather is what you cannot control, so mind the weather and check up on the marine forecast.
The best wind to sail with pleasure and excitement is about 12-15 knots, maybe up to 17, depending on the displacement of the vessel you hire. The geographical orientation of the marina, amount of clouds producing gusts, size of the boat regarding both her LWL and weight, and direction of the wind may all have an effect.
The weather is a very important factor in creating the most comfort and best experience for your boat rental day. But not the only one. Keep that in mind, and be sure to talk to your skipper about what you want: a sports activity, a party, swimming, fishing or anything else. He will be happy to help make your charter dreams a reality.
Enjoy your adventure!